In market research, using stimuli is very common. A stimuli may be an advertisement, a concept, an image, a video or audio file that elicit a variety of responses from participants.
Part of marketing research is conducting in depth interviews and focus groups. As a regulator or facilitator for any interview, it is a natural requirement to always be prepared. For some interviewers, their mode of connection with their respondents is through networks like skype, tango, msn and more. However, in sharing files like stimuli, it is done by copying and pasting them onto a word file then sharing it to the respondent. The respondent then downloads the file, opens it, and only then is able to have a look at the image or ad. Long process, isn’t it?
Another downside is, instead of showing the stimuli one at a time, facilitators might send them all in one bulk to save effort leaving respondents to view them all at once – maybe in a different way the facilitator planned. This makes the process quite disorganized and sort of messes up all the step by step preparation, doesn’t it?
Recently, marketing research providers have created an online working environment where they can maximise the use of stimuli. In an in depth interview or focus group, they can simultaneously present stimuli to the respondents and the observer systematically, by copying and pasting directly in their work environment instead of using word files. They can have the stimuli pop up in certain parts throughout the discussion. It could be done per image, or video, repeatedly or only once in the entire session.
This allows the regulator to monitor the reactions and responses given by the members as they go along each stimuli together. The regulator can be in full control of how to use the stimuli effectively in IDI’s and groups.
Some in-site applications of market research companies have the ability to watch how respondents test a new website’s user-friendliness by monitoring what they do on the site, where they go, and why they go to those parts of the site. It records what the respondents’ reactions are making a review of the entire process easy afterwards.
One of the best things these tools can do is making the job of a regulator easier. It is a
lso more convenient for the respondents as well since most of what they need is made available by a few clicks. Of course, responses are later analyzed, transcribed and reported.