Online market research continues to prove itself as efficient and effective. With smart phones, laptops, desktops and tablets, respondents can be on their couch or on a beach. If their device gets internet, we get insight.
While the freedom that online market research affords us comes with tremendous benefits, we as researchers lose environmental control. Depending on where respondents are or what device they are communicating on, there can be massive amounts of stimuli in play. Sights, sounds, food, lighting, architecture and weatherall affect human psyche. The question is… Do the environmental conditions alter the quality of their feedback for better or worse?
I’ve talked to people who are at home, on the job, and even at the airport. How do these situations play into their feedback? Are your comfortable people at home more likely to stick around and give full answers than a tired, cranky traveler whose iPod just died? Or does the traveler’s mood in that situation help generate more raw, honest feedback? As a moderator I constantly wonder if the person’s screen I am talking with is cluttered with Youtube videos, or if they are chatting with one eye on the TV. If so, is that distracting or is this additional stimulus of their choosing actually keeping them happy and engaged?
I’ve managed to find information about environmental effects on consumer behavior, but nothing that definitively sheds light on the question at hand. So I put it to you. What’s your take on environmental stimuli affecting a person’s conscious, subconscious, mood or focus and ultimately their feedback?