Twenty four thousand reasons to do online qual

In our last three-day online qual forum / discussion bulletin board (whatever you want to call it!) on financial services, 13 consumers made 219 posts, each post an average of 75 words long (and some much longer). In all, our participants typed 24,764 words!  Compare that to our last 2 hour group: 6274 words, from 8 people.

When someone speaks in a face to face group, they get to speak no more than 20 to 25 words before they are interrupted.

Four real reasons why participants in online groups feel confident about posting

  1. No one interrupts
  2. No one judges you on how you look or how you speak
  3. They have had some time to think about the question
  4. The moderator doesn't rush you along. A face to face group discussion can have a 4 page topic guide where participants are discouraged from speaking for longer than a minute on any topic.


End result: detailed and well thought out answers


We of course need to acknowledge that some consumers are not comfortable with online discussions as a genre. That is why we always use a mixed methodology in our projects: face to face groups plus online qual; or telephone depth interviews plus online qual; or any similar combination.

Tags: online qualitative

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