We’ve met a few clients lately who have used online remote techniques. Quite a few fingers have been burned by using it for the wrong types of objectives, but an equal number of clients have been converted and have views about when it should be used. There are a number of emerging beliefs:
The iterative approach: Ideation requires a lot of work-shopping of respondents and lends itself to F2F. However, Online forums (especially within communities) lend themselves well to testing and re-testing of new concepts with changes advised by participants.
Trends/lifestyle: Being able to bring consumers tastes, attitudes and values to life really fits forums because it can be captured over time, allowing participants the opportunity to assimilate the information you need to create a deep portrait of their lives.
Tactical: Live online discussion groups are great for those quick and dirty projects. This can be potentially dangerous, as although online qualitative is quick, it’s not always right for tactical work.
Another key benefit that seems to be prevalent across all remote technqiues is honesty. And I get that. With the lack of social conditioning that occurs in F2F, participants feel more comfortable in airing their honest opinions.