The Value of In-Person Research
It's no secret that the Internet is a transformative force in the world today. The digital age has enabled millions to reach goals more efficiently by revolutionizing the way things are done.
Qualitative research is no exception; as the marketing research industry evolves, there's a tendency to accomplish tasks by creating online questionnaires and focus groups. While these approaches render positive results, it's important to note the difficulty of fully understanding the feelings and interests of human beings without traditional face-to-face research. Take a look at the benefits of in-person interviews for research purposes and how it enhances the observation of human interaction.
The main objective of qualitative research and focus groups is to comprehend the way people react to various concepts and situations. While the Internet is an effective tool for this research method, it sometimes fails to capture the truthful thoughts and feelings of individuals. Some participants are prone to tailor their responses to what they assume the moderator or researcher wants to them to say. This may cause them to over-think their answers before voicing an opinion which reflects an attitude that's not genuine.
Face-to-face research compels individuals to act on instinct. Interviewees are more likely to respond truthfully because in-person interviews force them to improvise. Instead of trying to embellish their words, they offer reactions that come directly from the gut.
While Internet-based consumer research provides the words and blatant messages of individuals, it falls short of identifying unspoken expressions. Researchers have no idea of how a person is acting as they type their responses at the computer. Consequentially, marketing research professionals can only consider the participants' words that are displayed directly in front of them on the screen which may not always be an accurate observation.
On the other hand, conventional research techniques in qualitative research take into account various kinds of nonverbal signs, as well as verbal or written activity. A person could be saying one thing, but their body language can voice a totally different message. Moderators are skilled at picking up several gestures, such as eye movement, facial expressions, and fidgeting which is essential to the progress of a study.
Leaves Less Open to Interpretation
Written language can be taken one way by one reader and in a different way by someone else. This is because everyone interprets information differently. Digital studies can cause researchers to misread the tone of participants' responses. As a result, they may come to the wrong conclusion and prompt a negative outcome in the research project.
In contrast, face-to-face qualitative research is less likely to leave anything open to interpretation. Researchers are allowed to receive participants' exact responses and also sense the meaning behind their words.
The digital approach to conducting research serves a great purpose and enables companies to remain current on new tools that further develop their agendas. However, traditional qualitative research and in-person focus groups are still especially useful because it's more personable and adequately reflects other people's behavior. Face-to-face research is what keeps us human by giving us the ability to connect with other humans.