bulletin board focus group

QualBoard Mobile…Born-On Date: February 1, 2012

Sometimes introducing a new product is a little like birthing a baby. There is a lot of excitement and expectation followed by some intense pain leading to pure joy and pride at the result.

Today, 20|20 Research has “birthed” QualBoard Mobile. It has been in development for a while, caused some pain as it came to fruition and has created tremendous pride here at 20|20 in the end product. QualBoard Mobile (QBM) is an innovation that delivers on the promise and expectations we have anticipated for mobile qualitative research.

QualBoard Mobile has two primary functions.

1. QBM allows mobile access for QualBoards. Using the QBM app, respondents participate in a QualBoard bulletin board discussion from anywhere using their mobile phone. This capability alone dramatically increases QualBoard’s research functionality. Participants can make entries from anywhere. More importantly, researchers can design projects that respondents can complete untethered from their PC.

2. QBM includes LifeNotes. LifeNotes is a true breakthrough because it enables participants to upload pictures, video and comments from their mobile device from anywhere at anytime. Because LifeNotes is outside the QualBoard Q&A, it can serve as a “streaming ethnography” recording moments and opinions throughout the day independent of the QualBoard structured discussion.

For pure “cool factor” I’m excited about the voice-to-text feature. Respondents can leave their comments using the voice-recognition feature of their mobile device and it is fully incorporated into QBM. No more hassle with those tiny keyboards! Plus, it simply makes participation easier.

Also pretty cool is the geo-tagging feature. With the respondent’s permission, the researcher can geo-tag each mobile entry that ties each entry to its location. Think of the implication for shop-alongs and other out-of-home experiences.

To round out the offering, 20|20 is also announcing its smart phone panel of 60,000+ potential respondents. 20|20 has been known for its recruiting and services for over 25 years. This is yet another example of our focus on helping our clients do better research.

Yes, its a proud day at 20|20. Thank you for being a part of it.

Download Our New eBook on Hybrid Research

There was a time not long ago when qualitative research meant focus groups or phone surveys…and that was about the extent of it. But that’s no longer the case. Today’s researchers have myriad tools and
techniques at their disposal, from the same tried and true face-to-face techniques to multiple options in online and mobile. These tools can be used alone to gain deep insights—or they can be combined to achieve even richer results. Just as the best houses are not built with just a hammer, the best research projects are often not designed with a single research tool.

But how do you combine methodologies AND stay on budget, not to mention schedule? That’s usually the question we hear from researchers. They understand the value of mixing methodologies, but when it comes to execution, they come up short.

If this sounds like you, check out the latest eBook from 20|20 Research. The eBook, Mixed Methodologies 101: How to combine research methods to achieve deeper insights, outlines the process—soup to nuts—for three popular hybrid research designs:

1. Quantitative to Qualitative:
2. Online Qualitative Research to Online Qualitative Research
3. Online Qualitative Research to In-Person

We also help dispel the most common myths about hybrid research design. (Like why hybrid research isn’t necessarily more expensive or time-consuming than using just a single methodology.)

The bottom line: Today’s researchers are responsible for designing projects that produce insights. More and more, hybrid designs produce results that were difficult, if not impossible, to achieve in the past.

Download the eBook, Mixed Methodologies 101: How to combine research methods to achieve deeper insights.

How to Use Online Qualitative Research for Co-Creation

This week Jim Bryson mentioned to me that he loves the moment when a researcher first discovers how a 20|20 Technology platform can expand their ability to create meaningful insights. These researchers often are reluctant to try new methodologies, so the “aha moment” is particularly revealing and invigorating. Recent experiences have shown how the new QualLaborate concept evaluation tool can be used in Qualboard for co-creation to generate those “aha moments” researchers long for. The new how-to we’ve posted in the 20|20 Research Learning Center will explain how to use online qualitative research tools for co-creation.

Developing new products with consumer input has long been considered one of the best ways to develop new products. The underlying presumption is that consumers are better at creating products for consumers than marketers are. But companies haven’t always been eager to use the methodology, mainly because it has been a tedious and expensive process typically conducted at a location that is convenient to the product development team but not to the vast majority of consumers. Not anymore, though, thanks to online qualitative research. Read the full article to see exactly how it works.

The article is the first in a new series. We’re planning to outline how to utilize online qualitative research tools for at least three other methodologies. Check back soon for the next installment.

Online Qualitative Helps Healthcare Research Company Unlock Reasons Why Patients Don’t Take Their Medicine

We posted a new case study over at 2020research.com and we encourage you to check it out. It provides a glimpse at just one of the many outside-of-the-box ways you can use our online qualitative research tools. In this case, we’re talking about QualBoard, but the project wasn’t your typical bulletin board focus group.

Our client, GfK Healthcare, approached us because they wanted to get to the bottom of medication adherence — an issue that can be life or death for patients living with chronic illnesses. But because a chronic illness can be manageable one day and out-of-control the next, they knew a typical bulletin board focus group wouldn’t provide the depth of insight they were seeking: “The reactions could be very different over a period of time where factors beyond point-in-time emotions drive their behavior,” explains Carla Penel, GfK Healthcare’s director of research and consulting. “[We wanted to record] things in daily life that affect them physically and emotionally.”

Instead of an interactive board, GfK wanted participants to share the moments of their daily lives with a moderator. Participants were sent Flip video cameras to express themselves in that medium. Penel and her team checked in and monitored the daily feedback, including what was required of each participant, which was at least one video per day.

The project was a success, giving respondents the ability to express a depth of emotion they might not have been able to convey in writing and giving GfK helpful insights that were used to develop an adherence program.

“We came out with some very actionable results,” Penel says. “We’ve already proposed two additional studies with other clients.”

Rise of Online Qualitative Research: An Evolution Not a Revolution

The marketing research industry is changing. No one can dispute that fact. But it’s not cause for panic, as Michelle Finzel of Maryland Marketing Source points out in this post on Quirk’s. Take, for example, our business. Here at 20|20 Research, we’re known for our robust but easy-to-use online qualitative research tools, but we also still run some very successful focus group facilities (in Nashville, Miami and Charlotte). See? We didn’t shut those down as soon as online qualitative research entered the picture.

Finzel says it well: “The eruption of new methods does not mean that our other ones just get covered over, buried and left for dead. On the contrary, not only do telephone interviews and in-person focus groups remain research methodology staples, they only stand to benefit from advances in technology and communication.”

In other words, research is an evolution not a revolution. The rise of one new method does not mean the elimination of all others. Research is continuing a process that it always has, evolving into better and better methods.

So don’t fear the change, embrace it. I love this quote from Michelle: “Until researchers have the opportunity to step out there and risk moderating their first online bulletin board group…such methodologies will remain scary, distant and ‘next-gen’ instead of ‘now-gen’ to many of us.”

20|20 Launches QualBoard™ Plus

20|20 Technology, a division of 20|20 Research, Inc., today announced the launch of QualBoard™ Plus, a bundled set of tools, services and dedicated project support that relieves researchers of the myriad details necessary to complete a bulletin board focus group project.

According to Isaac Rogers, Director of Innovation for 20|20, “Every bulletin board focus group project has a lot of details necessary for the project to be successful – discussion guides, participant lists, stimuli and reporting. With QualBoard™ Plus researchers don’t have to worry about those anymore. QualBoard™ Plus is a new bundled package that includes access to an advanced reporting system, discounts on commonly used services, and a dedicated project assistant that will be the researcher’s “hands-on” for the entire study – for a low flat fee. Our clients can just focus on moderating, knowing that everything else is taken care of.”

QualBoard™ 3.0, 20|20’s industry-leading bulletin board focus group platform, is used by research agencies and client-side researchers around the world. The current version of QualBoard™ offers numerous features not found in any other bulletin board platform: the ability to embed webcam responses from participants, file archiving at no charge, QuickView™ – the easiest way ever to manage bulletin boards, and QualLink™ for true quant-to-qual hybrid studies and more.

Online Advisory Boards provide Executive Insights

One of the questions that I get asked a lot is, “How to use bulletin board focus groups for B-B research?”  Frankly, bulletin board focus groups are terrific for busy executives because they are asynchronous (not real time) so the participants can participate whenever is convenient for them. C-level executives may participate early in the morning or late at night or even in the middle of the day. Regardless, they have a convenient opportunity to take part in a discussion with their peers.

One effective method that is gaining traction is the use of QualBoard as a platform for “Online Advisory Boards.” These are typically 10-15 executives who are recruited to participate in an ongoing online research discussion that generally lasts for a couple of weeks. The executives log in every couple of days to see what other executives have to say on a particular topic and to give their opinion. The moderator and the client sponsor ask questions that relate directly to their research need but also generate discussion and debate among the executives.  The executives enjoy the format because the topic must be of interest to them and they get an opportunity to interact with their peers.

These Online Advisory Boards are proving to be very successful. Executives like them because they get a rare opportunity to interact with peers on a topic of interest. The client sponsors like the opportunity to hold the attention of decision-makers and get honest feedback from them. Moderators must be on their toes and design an engaging discussion that meets the needs of both the executive participants and the client sponsors.

The Storyline at the QRCA Symposium

Thursday, QRCA hosted their biennial QRCA Symposium featuring researchers and their clients presenting actual research projects, complete with impact on the business.  It was a great “feel good” day for consultants who sometimes wonder if their work makes much of a difference at the decision-makers level.

The common thread running through the presentations was the need to develop the customer’s story.  From Patricia Martin’s story about the Renaissance Generation to AARPs presentation on reaching the Millennial Generation, presenters focused on the importance of the story.  To fully engage their customers, marketers must understand them holistically.  They must understand their “story,” not just their impression of the product.

Qualitative researchers and qualitative techniques are uniquely qualified to explore and reveal the customer’s story. We have more qualitative techniques than ever before.  Presenters uncovered stories using traditional focus group methodologies and online qualitative research methodologies.  The techniques are simply tools that we match to the need to provide the richest and most revealing stories.

Out of the story come the deep insights into the “why.”  In conference after conference, research buyers say they want insights.  They want more than just regurgitation of the facts or the research events.  They want insights that inform decisions.  These insights don’t come from a cursory glance; they come from a focused experience that reveals the customer’s story with all the twists, turns and inconsistencies that makes us human.

The 2011 QRCA Symposium told a lot of stories that informed a lot of decisions that improved a lot of products/services that improved a lot of lives.  It was a good day.

What Webcams Can Add to a Bulletin Board Focus Group

There’s online qualitative research and then there’s online qualitative research. The latter involves really embracing the various online research software platforms and all they can offer. Like webcam response, which is the newest addition to our bulletin board focus group platform, QualBoard.

It took no time for Heather Mitchell, a senior moderator at Bloomfield, Conn.-based The Pert Group, to give this new feature a try. We recently caught up with Heather to find out why she was so eager to use it and what her first impressions have been. Here’s a sample of what she had to say:

Testing the technology: Webcam response in a bulletin board focus group is “one of the hottest new technologies,” according to Heather, which means that The Pert Group wanted to be one of its first adopters. They tested several platforms, but she says QualBoard quickly became her firm’s go-to solution, thanks to its ability to “incorporate multimedia (including video) in flexible ways that I have not experienced in any other platforms.”

First impressions: “You see things they wouldn’t otherwise think to tell you about, so it takes the insight to another level,” Heather says. “Whereas respondents might talk in a focus group about where they store something at home, you can’t get a good sense of the space constraints without seeing it for yourself. Respondents can tell you where they keep a product and that it works or doesn’t work for them, but you can’t appreciate it until you see it.”

Read the full article at 2020Research.com.

Thinking Outside the Bulletin Board Focus Group: Interesting Ways to Use Online Research Software

Last week we sat down with Jessica Ritzo, marketing consultant and head of online qualitative for Insights in Marketing, a Wilmette, Ill.-based research firm (and a client of ours). We’ve been impressed—and intrigued—by the inventive ways Ritzo’s company has embraced online research software. They’ve used bulletin board focus group software for online journaling projects, they’ve mastered the art of combining online—and traditional—methodologies in the same study, and more. Here’s a sample from the interview.

We understand you did an online journaling project, but didn’t use online journaling software. Tell us more about that.
We’ve used both online journaling and online bulletin board focus group software for research involving blogging/online journaling. While both tools can work well for shorter and longer-term projects, I’ve found that online bulletin board software is a better fit for projects that may require more moderator/respondent interaction over the course of the fieldwork, since it allows for more active probing.

What are some other examples of “beyond bulletin board focus group” projects you’ve done?
We’ve also done quite a lot of real-time online qualitative, including online focus groups and one-on-one in-depth interviews. Additionally, we’ve conducted a good amount of website usability and development research online, most recently using 20|20’s QualMeeting. Additionally, just as we do with our in-person qualitative work, it’s not unusual for us to create hybrid methodologies to best meet the research objectives. So, this may mean weaving together multiple online approaches or combining online with more traditional approaches within the same study. Really, it comes down to identifying the most effective methodology for each individual project.

For more insight from Ritzo, including some great tips for online qualitative newbies, check out the full article posted at 2020Research.com.

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