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  1. Steve August
    Steve August at |

    Thoughtful post, and I agree that multi modal is a great way to go. However, I strongly disagree with the blanket assertion that online qual cannot provide depth. I have been engaged with in depth and immersive online qual studies since 2004 and I have seen repeatedly with the right study design and platform it is possible to get closer to the moment of consumer emotions and behaviors, as well as honest depth of expression. Many of the reasons listed above that argue against online can actually be made FOR using online.

    Many sensitive topics are actually better suited for online vs offline, as people have a layer of anonymity that enables to express more fully. Using web and especially mobile, participants can engage much closer to the point of experience, before they have processed and rationalized. Context can be brought into the mix through a variety of activities that help enable participants to frame their experiences.

    It is true that you lose the visual and body language cues with online and mobile, but you gain access to experiences and sustained expression from participants. Each research medium has strengths and challenges, but I would say that depth is not necessarily a default challenge of online research.


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