The benefits of online qualitative: a client perspective

Greetings from the MRA Annual Conference in beautiful downtown Chicago. 

Today I attended one presentation that contained some interesting information on a topic that researchers often mention when discussing online qual, “How do I sell it to the client?”  Kathleen Wolf of Whirlpool provided some insight into how she “sells” online qualitative internally to a very traditional organization. 

According to Ms. Wolf, the two most important benefits to her internal clients are that online qual:

  1. Is flexible enough to allow the researcher to respond to last minute requests from the client team
  2. Saves time and money (individual schedules, product shipping and travel)

Other benefits she mentioned that are important are that online qual:

  • Allows client and facilitator to interact easily without having to physically meet.
  • Elicits individual thoughts with less “groupthink.”
  • Can access a broad group of people because it is not geographically bound
  • Creates brand testing opportunities

The following quotes from Ms. Wolf when discussing the futrue of online qualitative shows that she is excited about the promise of the future but that the future is often more limited by our attitudes than our capabilities.

“The technology is there”

“We’re limited by our own mindset”

“We’ve had great success in using technology to elicit consumer information.”

One Comment
  1. Thanks for capturing the “meat” of the presentation so well! Although it sometimes feels as if I have to sell this methodology to my internal clients, the effort is well worth the results. Using online focus groups and bulletin boards has allowed us to increase our consumer reach while maintaining, or even reducing, our research costs.
    Technology is our friend!

Leave a reply