Digital Shift: Tools and Solutions for Your Market Research During the Pandemic

As more and more in-person interviews and in-facility focus groups are being canceled and postponed, more and more researchers are also rethinking how they can stay connected with respondents and clients -- something that some critics say is long overdue. The Coronavirus pandemic pushed us all into a corner where our only viable option is to seek refuge in digital solutions and maximize web-enabled tools and platforms especially for the insights industry. 

If you haven't tried going digital in any of your market research projects, don't fret - the virtual web experience is surprisingly similar to traditional methods. With innovative solutions like CyberFacility, online communities, and mobile research technologies, you’ll have an easier time migrating from traditional methods to digital ones. 

Fortunately, going virtual is also more convenient and cost-effective. 

However, in order to make a successful shift to digital, you have to look for reliable market research services online that can effectively enable you to conduct in-depth interviews or focus group discussions over the web with technology that compensates for physical communication cues. Just as well, it should be able to connect you with moderators and clients wherever your individual locations may be. This lowers the chance of rain checks or cancellations of any upcoming projects.

a laptop, clipboard, pen, smartphone, notebook, and mug with coffee on top of a table

Tools and Solutions that Can Help You Go Digital With Market Research:

Web-Enabled IDIs and Focus Groups

Look for a service that will enable you to conduct web-enabled in-depth interviews and can also facilitate focus group discussions. For one, we can help you find experienced moderators to help with your sessions, and with our CyberFacility® solution, you are empowered to use stimuli in many ways you want to present so you can probe your respondents as much as necessary. We support projects worldwide and we can help your participants join your interview sessions without worrying about expensive international calling fees. 

To ensure respondent confidentiality, it would be helpful to look for features like audio masking and video blurring. These features eliminate the possibility of your respondents being identified by end clients. This ensures the integrity of your research and further safeguards the privacy of your respondents.

Online Communities 

Apart from IDIs and focus groups, another way of gathering data and insights is through asynchronous research via market research online communities. Designed for long term studies, you can utilize activity options such as questionnaires, sort and rank exercises, polls, grids, even stimuli mark-ups to keep your respondents engaged and gain enough actionable insights. Ideally, you need a robust platform that allows you to track respondent participation and progress rates.

If you feel like some of your respondents are not as enthusiastic answering your questionnaires, you can also incorporate a point system for rewards and incentives. This way, you can increase participation and encourage your respondents to complete more activities through gamification. 

Mobile Market Research

The rapid adoption of smartphones has opened up new opportunities for market researchers because of reduced costs, improved audience reach, and the unprecedented speed and convenience for insights to be collected. Because people tend to take their mobile phones with them anywhere they go, it has effectively created the potential to collect in-the-moment insights. Such features include geo-fencing, geo-triggering, and geo-location. With that, you know you’re getting more credible information right at the time of purchase or when your respondents are experiencing a particular service. These are just some of the most important advantages of utilizing mobile market research.

Mobile research also allows respondents to share their sentiments in several forms such as text responses, images, and audio or video recordings thanks to the increasing innovations implemented on smartphones. 

It is up to you whether to go for mobile or web, but do keep in mind that you are not obligated to select a single method and stick with just one throughout your project. You should also try mixing various platforms that can be customized to work best for your study. 

Sources: insightsassociation.org, semrush.com, zinklar.com, lrwonline.com, socialsciencespace.com, 

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