A bit of breaking news in the fast moving world of online qualitative research… According to Inside Research’sOnline Qualitative Research Index, published in the April issue, online qualitative events were up 73% in 2010 versus 2009. The expected increase in 2011 is 57%. Also, 80% of these events occurred in real-time.
These are some pretty spectacular numbers, but I can’t say I’m shocked. Every day at iModerate we are witness to this growing trend in market research. People want the insight, the engagement with their customers, the ability to listen, the consumers’ voice, the research story and everything else that qualitative offers. And while many of them still value in-person qualitative, they are sick of the travel, stale M&M’s and huge bills. They see that technology has afforded them several options, and decide to dip their toes in the water. If they wind up getting the insight they need without leaving their desk, then they dive in again and again.
Personally, I don’t think online qualitative research has even sniffed its potential. With the rise of video and mobile and with new platforms and technologies emerging every day, the opportunities in this space are tremendous. Is it ever going to be as mainstream as online quant? Probably not, but one thing is for sure, online qualitative research is certainly growing up fast.
About the index
According to Inside Research, the index was based on information provided by seven firms in the online qualitative arena. Firms were asked to report use only in an online environment utilizing chat and video technology. Offline events occurring in facilities or other physical venues or by phone were excluded, along with community panels.