Beyond Online Survey, How Qualitative Research Gives You More Insights

Surveys. Everybody knows what that is, right? Only nowadays, instead of the traditional way of conducting surveys, which is, on paper, it is done through the ultimate creation of technology – the World Wide Web. You might say it levelled up to becoming an online survey system.


Here are a few reasons why many researchers opt to give online surveys rather than the conventional one:

  • Speed – performing an online survey makes acquiring results twice or thrice faster than one that is not online
  • Practicality – apparently the most inexpensive way to pass out surveys is online. Instead of spending numerous hours out in the field which requires some inevitable extra expenses, online surveys save up on fees spent unnecessarily.
  • Convenience – not only is this more convenient for the researchers, but also for the respondents.
  • Accuracy – online surveys come with clearly stated instructions and can be attached to websites that can attract the target market of the canvasser.

For those familiar with marketing research, taking a survey is one of the methods used in qualitative and sometimes, even quantitative research. Online surveys help gather data needed by researchers with more specific queries. There is one thing that qualitative research does with the results of an online survey – it takes it a few steps further.

With qualitative research, it doesn’t focus on the numbers or percentages. It digs deeper in to what creates those numbers or percentages. Qualitative research gives us answers to questions that can not be answered by a digit.

It sheds light on the answers to WHY, WHAT NEXT, WHAT’s WRONG? You might ask why it is important at all. Well, mostly it’s because knowing why could help understand what the greater public is thinking of too. It could help predict what the next trends could or would be. It could also enlighten companies as to what’s wrong or right about the products or services they are selling.

If you knew today what would happen tomorrow, you could invest in advance and make a living off of that knowledge. It’s the way businessmen look at the market world today. They rush to spend millions on technology that could help them predict what would be most profitable tomorrow by learning about it today. Isn’t that a thought?

Surveys are only one step in the entire process. It’s a must to move up some more to gain information that is useful, and of course, promising.

Article Source: EzineArticles

Defining Qualitative Market Research

What is Qualitative Marketing ResearchWhen one is asked to conduct market research, whether it be traditional or mobile market research, there is always two methodologies that researchers would go with – Qualitative or Quantitative.

Researchers that choose qualitative methods of conducting research are more focused on getting an in-depth background of the way a consumer thinks and feels during the decision making process.

When it comes to the methods used in qualitative market research, the most popular choices would be In-depth Interviews and Focus Group Discussions. Other methods of qualitative involve usability testing, brainstorming and mind mapping sessions and VOX Pop surveys.

In Depth Interviewing is where the main focal point of the qualitative research is on the business markets. Here the researcher acts an interviewer and spends time with the respondents, engaging them in a one on one interview to find out what their particular circumstance is and get their individual opinions with regards to a particular product of service.

In-Depth interviews are conducted in person. This provides an added benefit to the researchers, as they are able to visit the respondents’ location and is able to obtain data not only provided during the interview itself but also of the environment. This allows the researcher access to the way they “do” things within the respondents’ natural eco-system. One downside though is that if a study of this kind where to be conducted across borders and more so across continents, telephone or other electronic means of in-depth interviews would be more appropriate.

Focus Group Discussions

Focus group discussions are the most favored due to the amount of data that can be obtained in a short manner of time, but it can become quite taxing and costly compared to the one on one In Depth qualitative research method. However, online technology has evolved in such a way as to deal with this particular research method’s issues. Focus Group Discussions is a discussion that is lead by a researcher, called moderator, to discuss and explore a particular topic such a product of service and obtain and also to encourage creative ideas from the participants.

It is quite rare for large business to go through this method using the traditional way of focus group discussions were done, but with the mobile technology such as smartphones and feature phones, it has allowed larger companies and even small to medium enterprises to conduct these easily, increase data efficacy and obtain group feedback in real time. This allows it to become an even more effective method of understanding what customers would be looking for and help it at the creative stages of product of service research.

Civicom’s ShopTalk Makes Its Debut at the Mystery Shopping Providers Association – Asia Pacific in Manila

Greenwich, CT USA, November 15, 2012. Marketing Research Services & Mobile Mystery Shopping Solution Global Leader Civicom speaks and exhibits at the Mystery Shopping Providers Association – Asia Pacific (MSPA-AP) in Manila, Philippines November 19th – 21st in support of the mystery shopping community in exploring new technology and methodology to bridge gaps in Mystery Shopping.

Rebecca West, Civicom’s Global VP of Marketing Research Services and Mystery Shopping Solution, leads the presentation on “When Talk Isn’t Cheap – Richer Insights from Mystery Shopping through Live Mobile Moments”.  The presentation features mobile qualitative applied to mystery shopping and how the mobile solution can provide clients with a deeper understanding of the thoughts, opinions, and sentiments mystery shoppers can provide while out on an assignment.   Rebecca is Civicom’s marketing research services practice leader. She is a specialist in applying mobile qualitative research technology in research and business strategy for shopper insights and mystery shopping.

Many companies have turned to mystery shopping to ensure that standards are met and also to learn more about potential improvements.  Deploying mystery shoppers to assess your brand, store, service, or product presents the potential of gaining more insights beyond your typical evaluations.  This is where integrating mobile qualitative can greatly improve the data you gather from your mystery shoppers.

Civicom is a leader in global market research tools, providing audio services in almost every country on the globe, enabling mystery shopping studies to take place in multiple international locations simultaneously.  Civicom’s primary mobile mystery shopping solution is Civicom ShopTalk™which enables your mystery shoppers to use their own smart phone or feature phone to get the job completed successfully. It gives companies the ability to get actionable insights into real world consumer behavior through mystery shoppers using mobile devices.

ShopTalk™ is a mobile qualitative tool that lets mystery shoppers use their cell phone to report in-the-moment experiences and answer the evaluation for their assignment.  Going mobile paves the way for a less noticeable, paperless and hassle-free mystery shopping activity letting them focus on the things they have to observe and rate.  They can freely comment and share their thoughts as they fulfill their mystery shopping tasks.

The Civicom team looks forward to their first MSPA conference.  This is the 8th Annual Conference of MSPA-AP.  The event is set in Makati City, the business district of Manila, Philippines, surrounded by many large shopping centers, big brands, popular hotels and businesses.  This is the first of two events Civicom is attending in the Asia Pacific region.  The second event is in January for Marketing Research in the Mobile World (MRMW-AP) in Malaysia.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat – Getting into the Shower and other Private Places with Mobile Qualitative

What does a bath puff have to do with mobile qualitative research?  
The message is that mobile qualitative can go anywhere you need to! There are tons of opportunities available to you right now to use mobile qualitative tools in your research projects, in almost any language, in almost any country.

Join Us!
Sign up for our Webinar “Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Getting into the Shower and other Private Places with Mobile Qualitative.” Tuesday, October 23, 5am EDT and 1pm EDT.  We’ll confirm your time zone so you’ll be sure not to miss this FREE telephone and online event.


This webinar is an invitation-only recap of the program we delivered at Marketing Research in the Mobile World.

Why Mobile Qualitative?

When faced with challenging ethnography assignments, mobile qualitative tools can be the perfect answer. With mobile, you can go where qualitative has never gone before! Practical examples of real world applications will include examples of how mobile qualitative tools have been used in unusual situations.

Learn More!

Sign up for our webinar on “Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Getting into the Shower and other Private Places with Mobile Qualitative,” Tuesday, October 23, 5am EDT and 1pm EDT. Limited Seats Available!


Learn More About How:

Mobile ethnography creates privacy options that free consumers

Mobile qual provides insights into repeat purchase decisions

  • Consumers open up when they are given control
  • Sentiment becomes clearer with mobile qualitative tools

Be Part of this FREE Learning Forum! 

Sign up for our FREE webinar on “Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Getting into the Shower and other Private Places with Mobile Qualitative,” Tuesday, October 23, 5am EDT and 1pm EDT. Limited Seats Available! 

Be part of our learning forum on understanding the importance of mobile tools and how to make them work for you!

How Mystery Shopping can Improve your Marketing Strategies

Mystery Shopping for Marketing StrategyCompanies often require certain information about their businesses which can best be discovered by hiring a third-party marketing research technology outfit who will conduct the research and then analyse your data.  Directly interacting with the consumers and recording their reactions and experiences while shopping or while in a business establishment is possibly the best way to determine if the company is performing well, or if a company’s services may be further improved.  To conduct the research discreetly, companies hire mystery shoppers who will gather this information and document their shopping experience by posing as customers.

Mystery shopping is able to sufficiently establish the level of performance of any business, or the effectiveness of its customer service.  The mystery shopper may be asked to do a series of assignments, such as purchasing a product, making inquiries, or complaining about a service or product.  After this, the mystery shopper will send his or her observations from the consumer experience or interaction.

Mystery shoppers conduct site monitoring to gather important business information, and determine compliance, based on a number of customer experience and performance measures.  The marketing strategies implemented by businesses are evaluated and analysed based on these performance measures.  The results are then collated and analysed by marketing researchers.

But the data gathered from mystery shopping becomes much more accurate and effective if the reports are transmitted within a certain time frame.  Introducing mobile qualitative research to mystery shopping enhances the accuracy of any data that may be acquired from the research activity as it makes it possible for participants to send in their reports in real-time.   Furthermore, the results are uploaded to the marketing researchers and made available to clients online.  Mystery shoppers will be using their cell phones to collect information, translating to fast, accurate and more in-depth information, which will only improve the overall quality of the research in the long run.

Through mobile qualitative research, results are instantaneously transmitted to a central server and thus, managers or anyone with a password may access the results.  Consequently, it makes it possible for branches to compare the performance of one branch with another through the reports of mystery shoppers, and this may be done even on a daily basis.

What this means for businesses is that they are now empowered with rich data to act on discrepancies, identify poor performers instantly, and thus, correct or adjust their business strategies to improve customer service.

Mall Intercepts, Right Here, Right Now

Research sciences have always cited field studies and surveys as being important methods in data collection, and in marketing research, one way of getting consumer feedback is by interviewing consumers right in the place where they do their shopping, or mall intercepts, as it is termed.  A mall intercept is a type of survey conducted in the premises of a shopping complex, and involves stopping the shoppers and selecting them based on their suitability to the marketing research or survey.  If the persons are deemed appropriate for the survey, they are selected as potential participants are invited to answer an interview or survey.   The interview is either administered on the spot or they participants are taken to a nearby location, usually located in the same building, to complete the interview. Mall-intercepts are able to provide a fairly varied sampling group, though not necessarily representative of the population.  However, consumers found in a shopping mall do make up a major share of the market for many products.

Mall intercepts are widely used by marketing researchers because they are able to reach a large segment of the population in one area.   It is said that two-thirds of American households shop at the mall at least once during a two-week period.  It is not surprising then that about 25% of marketing research, and 65% of personal interviews, or mall intercepts are conducted at shopping malls.

With the advent of mobile marketing research,  mall intercepts are now able to yield results which are more timely and accurate, because the surveys engage people at the point of experience.   Surveys can be conducted using smartphones or tablets, and the  the data may be uploaded online.   The advantage of mobile research in mall intercepts over the traditional clipboard survey is that it is now possible to transmit the data collected in real-time via wireless network and other mobile computing technologies.  Mobile research also improves the communication between the researchers, even if they are conducting their surveys in different locations.    This also means that even if the surveys are conducted in multiple locations, the survey responses can be uploaded to a centralized location where the marketing researchers can analyze and monitor the data as it comes.  Moreover, the researchers can also identify issues and problem areas instantly and have the opportunity to change the interview/survey even remotely. Questions may be changed and tailored to the respondents accordingly hence making the research project more effective.

Mobile Ethnography in the Marketing Research Industry

Qualitative Mobile ResearchThe term “ethnography” has been widely associated with the marketing research industry in determine consumer behavior and preferences. It involves qualitative research into a particular human society, as well as the customs of individual peoples or cultures. The purpose of qualitative research in this case, as opposed to quantitative research, is to provide a full account of everyday life, behavior and practices of a particular society, instead of statistical data. The ethnographer then interprets the accounts gathered and attempts to explain these findings.

Traditional ethnography involves fieldwork, and requires the researcher to immerse themselves in the community and reside among the people under study for over a year. Through this method, the researcher is able to glean important information from members of a particular social group or human society on many aspects of the culture and customs of that group.

In marketing research, ethnography is invaluable for the information and insight it provides in brand management and marketing. It helps businesses understand how people make use of products and services.

Mobile qualitative research when applied to mobile ethnography is a faster, more efficient way of securing data, which may take years to obtain when utilizing traditional ethnography methods. When it comes to time and context, mobile ethnography provides real-time descriptions, and allows researchers to experience consumer’s lives as they happen without actually having to be there. Whereas traditional ethnography requires person-to-person interaction, mobile ethnography gives a window into the lives of consumer even from the other side of the world.

Because of their characteristics, mobile devices, when used in ethnography, may provide clearer and specific insight, backed by valid socio-cultural data on a particular group of people. One of its obvious advantages is the accumulation of different types of qualitative data in a relatively shorter amount of time.

Mobile phones are handy and most people carry them on their persons, so the reactions and observations can be sent in an instant. The experiences which are relayed have a context.

Added to this are the other capabilities of mobile devices. Most mobile phones come with cameras and video-recording, so it isn’t difficult to imagine a respondent, for example, a person cooking dinner, taking a picture of all the products he or she is using. The photos and real-time delivery will enhance the mobile research, providing an authentic consumer experience, and in turn, provide the researcher with an understanding of consumer motivation and behavior.

Practical Applications for Mobile Qualitative Research

Practical Applications of Mobile ResearchThe 21st Century has ushered in the mobile revolution.  The use of mobile devices, such as smartphones and other internet-enabled mobile phones has increased rapidly in the past years, and as such, mobile internet usage has become a commodity.  These devices are everywhere and can reach previously unreachable target groups.  Indeed, with more than 5 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, mobile technology has become a significant tool in qualitative marketing research.

The mobile revolution presents new opportunities and possibilities for researchers, and businesses must align their marketing research strategies to the changing technology.  Much more than a tool for communication and messaging, mobile devices are accessible anytime, anywhere.  The mobile revolution has changed the way people live and work, shaping habits, preferences and behaviors.

But how exactly does mobile qualitative research work?  How may a business implement it?

One example of how mobile qualitative research may be applied is during events.  People bring their phones everywhere they go, and it is now possible, through mobile technology, to relay their experiences, reactions, likes, dislikes and other data relevant to the study, in real time.

Mobile qualitative research also allows researchers to take a peek into the consumer experience without being in the same locale.  Researchers can send the participants questions while they are at a business establishment.  The participants can include photos of shelves, products or store layouts along with their answers.

Another benefit of mobile qualitative research is improving the response rate of behavior diaries and patient journeys.  Mobile technology makes it easier for participants to reply to targeted questions at a specific point in time, which means a higher accuracy and reliability of data.  This method also allows the researcher to gather data during set times, even on a daily or an hourly basis.

Similarly, pre-group exercises can be conducted more thoroughly by allowing researchers to monitor the participants and guide them to complete the exercises.  Mobile technology minimizes the tendency of non-compliance or non-completion of the task, because the researcher can simply remind the participants about the planned activities and track them.

Most important of all, mobile qualitative research allows researchers to interact with participants, even if they are on the other side of the world, including those from bottom of the pyramid (BOP) and emerging market groups.  While most of these participants may not have access to the internet or computers, they may use their mobile phones to respond to surveys.

Civicom Flies to Amsterdam for MRMW and MMRA

Greenwich, CT USA, April 17, 2011. Marketing Research Services Global Leader Civicom will sponsor, speak and exhibit at the Market Research in the Mobile World in Amsterdam April 18th – 19th to show their support to the marketing research industry in embracing the emergence of more sophisticated and advanced mobile marketing research technology.

Civicom Marketing Research Services helps marketing researchers by facilitating their telephone and web-enabled research projects using the latest technologies, combined with superior client service and support. Civicom also offers Civicom InSitu® Mobile Research, which gives marketing researchers the ability to get actionable insights into real world consumer behavior through respondents using mobile devices, smart phones, and even traditional land lines. Civicom’s also offers an iPad and iPhone App for mobile research. Learn more about Civicom Marketing Research Services.

Civicom believes in creating practical innovative technology solutions to make it possible for marketing researchers to reach a broader respondent base, as well as the opportunity to reach every person with a phone. The resulting insights are greatly valued as an integral part of the bigger picture of marketing research: reaching the right target market and sending the right message.

Mobile qualitative research brings about results from truly richer data derived from unadulterated insights in the moment.  As pioneers in providing practical mobile research solutions to the marketing research community, and advocates of this innovative methodology, Civicom supports MRMW in promoting breakthrough applications for mobile phones, as well as in building a community of shared mobile insights among researchers, developers, and service providers.

Rebecca West, Civicom’s Global VP of Marketing Research Services, is presenting a compelling piece on mobile qualitative research entitled: Getting to “WHY?”- using mix and match mobile technologies to gain heuristic insights in the moment.  In her presentation, Rebecca will discuss how audio, visual and emotion tracking inputs tease out the most insightful questions to investigate.  In-the-moment information about the decision process—as it is happening—is becoming indispensable. Mobile qualitative research provides the tools that will allow you to combine what the consumer is saying with what they are thinking and feeling at the point of sale – and for you to predict what others will think and do as well.  Lastly, the presentation will explain how you can combine various technologies with mobile qualitative tools and determine how people seek shortcuts to expediently arrive at judgments and to make decisions, with practical examples of real world applications.

Civicom also plays an active role as one of the founding members of the MMRA Global (Mobile Marketing Research Association).  They will attend the inaugural MMRA General Assembly the day following the MRMW Conference, at the same location in Amsterdam.