You don't need to be a Sherlock Holmes type character to work successfully in market research, but a passion for observation, investigation and a true interest in people and your research objectives certainly goes a long way.
Sometimes, some of these can get a bit lost which is why I would like to share a few thoughts on what to keep in mind when starting a new project - especially one concerned with both online and offline techniques and methodologies.
Hybrid research is incredibly powerful and we use it more and more. We've recently run a "Marketing Research Mix" webinar to share some ideas on how you can successfully combine online and offline methods.No matter which exact methodology and set up you choose, some core points should always be observed.
Mixed Methods Research Best Practice
- Good research needs excellent recruitment. Don't forget that the respondents you recruit are people first and only participants second.
- In line with this, show your respect and value your respondents - especially with smaller qualitative projects where the number of respondents is very well manageable, get in touch before the project starts, say hello and introduce yourself. Why not give them a personal call?
- Set clear expectations with participants. What is expected of them in terms of engagement, time and involvement? What can they count on from you?
- Offer an incentive that realistically reflects their efforts and reimburses them for giving up their time.
- Depending on your methodology and techniques, go and see the respondent in person. You get to see where and how they live, you can observe their environment and habitus, whilst getting to know them better and, more importantly, the respondent meets you, too. This builds trust and respect for each other and your research.
Benefits of Online Mixed Methods Research
- Use community features which enable respondents to send messages to each other, chat and exchange feedback and opinions outside the guided, moderated or structured research tasks.
- Use in-line conversation features or private messaging to get in touch, say hello, respond to questions and tell them you value their opinion and they are more than just one of many.
- Take research "in-situ" with mobile enabled tasks, or specific, location-enabled apps your respondents can use on their smartphones whilst they are out and about. This takes you into the lives of your respondents. And they can give feedback and report back in the moment, not hours or days later.
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