Qualitative research is a powerful tool, but it can be hard to figure out where, when and how to apply it to a given problem. We always start by considering the objective. Online qual is ideal for developing a hypothesis that can later be tested through quantitative means. It can also be a great way to identify needs, understand attitudes or complex behaviours, generate ideas, and even develop parameters. You may also consider flipping the typical qual to quant process, and instead use online qual to provide additional context to previous findings.
Common scenarios where online qual is typically deployed include: inspiring new product development, open explorations of key market segments, investigating the effects of current marketing strategies, understanding specific paths to purchase and behavioural journeys, and conducting research on complex topics such as politics, societal issues or psychological factors.