If you talked to Betsy Hoag and Katerina Makatouni of Chicago-based Kairos Consumers,
you’d assume they’re old pros when it comes to online qualitative
research. The truth is, though, they did their first project just this
year. How did they go from novice to pro so quickly? By following these
Spend time understanding the software. When Betsy and Katerina knew they’d be doing an online qualitative research project soon, they signed up for as many 20|20 Research webinars as their schedules could handle. “We wanted to learn all aspects of the features that were offered,” Betsy explains. “We also needed to learn how to sell the technology to our clients.”
Build in time for bumps in the road. This should go without saying: Don’t wait until the last minute to upload your discussion guide and supporting files. Have those materials ready a few days in advance so you have time to make sure they’re working correctly. If they’re not, ask for help – we are available 24 hours if you need us.
Engage clients early. If you’re new to online qualitative research, it’s possible your client is, too. To get buy-in, it’s important to engage clients early in the process. “Get their input for the discussion guide and make sure they’re online at some point to see some of the responses unfold in real time,” Betsy says.
Go over your discussion guide each night. This might be a new concept for someone who’s never done a bulletin board focus group, but Betsy reminds beginners that strategy and discussion guide development should be ongoing when doing online qualitative research. “Every night when the board is closed you should be spending some time going over the day’s responses and tweaking the discussion guide as necessary,” she says.
We posted a longer version of this article on 2020research.com. Check it out for more tips for online qualitative research newbies.