Monthly Archives: August 2011

Mobile Qualitative Research Well Worth the Hype

Mobile qualitative research is one of the most talked about topics in online qualitative — and for good reason. As our very own Steve Henke points out in the August issue of Survey magazine, “mobile qualitative research provides the most authentic feedback of any methodology anywhere — in person or online.” That’s because participants are actually “in the moment” while communicating with you, not in a focus group facility or in front of their computer screen thinking about a past experience.

In the article, Steve outlines the basics of mobile qualitative research, from the benefits of trying it out to the many ways our clients are using mobile devices for on-the-go qualitative insights.

For many researchers, mobile is an exciting new tool that we are all trying to figure out. Whether as a stand-alone platform or as a convenient access point to other tools, mobile is coming and will be the Next Big Thing. In other words, you’ll want to have it in your research toolbox. Learn all about it in our free ebook: The Essential Guide to Mobile Qualitative Research. Inside you’ll learn how to use mobile devices for event research and shop-alongs, why it’s great for reaching hard-to-pin-down respondents, and more. Download it today.

How Do You Deal With the Question of ROI on Research?

I saw a great quote on Twitter last week. I’m paraphrasing here, but it went something like, “Why do corporations question the ROI of social media…shouldn’t they be worried about the ROI on endless meetings?” Anyone who has sat through endless meetings can appreciate the humor in that. But the quote also reminded me that ROI is a challenge for this industry, as well. It’s a question most clients want answered — especially those who have little or no experience with research. But as most researchers know, that’s easier said than done.

Bob Lederer, who led last month’s ROI on MR conference in Chicago, says ROI is seen as dubious by many, and it’s not something researchers often are prepared for. The danger, though, is that clients who want an answer about ROI and don’t get it could take that as a sign that they should slash their research budgets.

So how do you discuss ROI with clients without making them even more hesitant about the merits of research?

Cristin Malone of B2B International offers a few ideas in this blog post, but we’d also like to hear from our readers. How often does ROI come up? And when it does, how do you address it? Any tips to share with your fellow researchers?

DIY Research: Boom or Bust?

There has been a lot of chatter in the past several months about the supposed rise in DIY research among research buyers. Quirk’s recently reported that a survey by Prevision Corporation reveals that half of all research buyers have conducted DIY research in the past 18 months.

DIY research is not going away.  In fact, it is likely to increase as more tools become available to the corporate researcher and as cost and time pressures continue to mount. So, as researchers, we have to ask the question, “What are the implications of increased DIY research?” Here are some of my questions.

  • How will DIY change the structure of the industry?
  • Will easy-to-use DIY research tools sound the death knell for research suppliers?
  • Will research quality suffer?
  • Will DIY continue to grow even as suppliers find new business models that adjust to the buyers’ ever-increasing need for speed?
  • Are the implications different for qualitative and quantitative research?
  • How do suppliers need to respond to the rise in DIY research?  Or do they need to respond at all?

We will explore these and other questions in an online Meet-n-Tweet on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET/Noon PT.  The topic is: “DIY Research… Boom or Bust?”

To participate, follow the hashtag #2020Tech or follow along on Twitter at @2020Technology.

New Case Study Demonstrates Power of Mobile Qualitative Research for Events

We’ve posted a new case study over at that we encourage you to check out — especially if you need to find a better way to conduct event research. We recently helped Greg Fuson, director of research at the Country Music Association, gather all sorts of good qualitative insights about the four-day CMA Music Festival. It’s the ultimate in country music fan experiences, and Greg wanted to know exactly what attendees thought about it and what they liked most about it so they could make next year’s event even better.

The challenge, of course, was engaging fans who are decidedly not there to offer their qualitative insights — they’re there for the country music! That’s the problem he brought to us. Our solution? Mobile qualitative research using our mobile platform QualAnywhere.

The results? We encourage you to read the full case study, but we loved hearing from Greg that participants were so engaged that they were texting him back asking for more questions. Ahhh, makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Download Our New eBook on Mobile Qualitative Research

Looking for an easier, more insightful way to get real-time feedback while participants are experiencing a brand? The answer is in your pocket. No, not your keys…your mobile phone. That’s right, your mobile phone is one of the best ways to gather authentic, “in the moment” feedback.

While mobile surveys have been around for close to a decade, mobile qualitative research has only recently become a viable research tool—and it continues to grow in popularity.

Whether you’re considering your first mobile qualitative research project or consider yourself a pro, you’ll want to download the newest eBook from 20|20 Technology — The Essential Guide to Mobile Qualitative Research. The tips and tricks in this eBook were developed for research agencies, independent moderators, as well as client-side researchers.

Specific topics include:

• An introduction to mobile qualitative research
• Using mobile qualitative research at events
• Behavior tracking on the go
• Mobile qualitative research and shop-alongs
• Using mobile to connect with difficult-to-reach participants

This eBook is the second in a series designed to help you better utilize today’s online qualitative research tools. The first in the series, How to Save Time and Money on Your Qualitative Research Projects: Using online research software for 5 popular methodologies, is still available for download at

4 Right Times to Conduct a Webcam Focus Group

The Summer 2011 edition of QRCA Views contains an article by our very own Tara Chambers (aka Tara Smith) titled, “When is the Best Time to Conduct Webcam Focus Groups?”

Tara identifies four “right times” in her article and provides case studies with each one. Here is a brief overview:

  1. To meet tight timelines. The pace of decision-making continues to increase; therefore, time pressure on researchers continues to increase as well. Using webcam interviewing eliminates travel while gaining geographic diversity. This benefit is becoming even more accessible with ever-faster recruiting capabilities available from 20|20 and other national recruiting organizations.
  2. To interview respondents in their natural setting. Using webcams allows the researcher into the respondent’s home or office. This access can be very beneficial for product discussions and other uses when the researcher wants to see the respondent demonstrate a product or show competitive products in the environment.
  3. To tightly control shared stimuli. The webcam stimuli software ensures that each respondent views each piece of stimuli in the same way.  This consistency can eliminate some uncertainty in respondents’ reactions to ads, packaging or concepts.
  4. To schedule low incidence populations. The web is a great way to reach low-incidence populations because geography is not an issue; respondents can be from anywhere.  The methodology is also helpful when dealing with difficult to recruit populations (CEOs, doctors, plumbers, etc.) because they do not have to come to a central location and their interview can be fit into a convenient slot in the interview schedule.

Like all other methodologies, webcam interviews are not right for every project. However, the method does provide many advantages in the right context.  As more people have computers with webcams and get more comfortable using them, webcam focus groups and in-depth interviews will continue their rapid growth rate in our industry.

Mobile Qualitative Research: What You Missed at MRMW

Were you at the Market Research in the Mobile World conference (MRMW) earlier this month? We were, and we brought home some great insight on the state of mobile qualitative research. But even if you weren’t, you’re in luck: Betsy Leichliter of Leichliter Associates has posted a round-up of her “must-attend” sessions. And by “must-attend,” we mean the ones she thinks you should download once they’re available later this week at Here are the six she tags as “ignore at your own risk”:

• Using mobile qualitatively to transform insight generation
• Web technologies for mobile engagement: navigating the entry points for engaging on-the-go customers
• Brand Management during a crisis: leveraging insights for instant course correction
• Using Social Media for market research and new product development: the case of Hallmark
• The new era of expressive research: using technology for cultivating insights
• Mobile vs. online: modality considerations for data quality

Were you at the conference? What would you add to her list?

Betsy notes that almost all of the conference sessions will be available on—some even in video form—later this week. Many of them already are posted at SlideShare, although they can be a little hard to follow in this format. But with mobile chomping at the bit as market research’s next big thing, we think they’re worth taking the time to review.

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