05 Feb 2019
Traditional Vs Modern – Qualitative Solutions


Market Research industry improves and grows with all new developments in technology, which are also changing the human behaviour and the way we interact with each other, as well as with brands and companies. Traditional qualitative solutions are getting a makeover through the use of technology, and we have a number of modern methodologies that are becoming more popular than face to face interviews or focus groups.

For this blog post, we decided to dive into some of the most popular traditional and modern qualitative solutions and explain them further.

Traditional Qualitative Solutions

Focus and Mini Groups

Focus and mini groups are a proven method to getting an insight into respondents’ feelings, perceptions and thoughts about a particular product, service or a solution.

One of their main advantages is the flexibility of design which allows one to follow the dynamics of real life – participants build up on each other’s beliefs and experiences, they interact and influence each other.

Since the market consists of various individuals whose thoughts and decisions often depend on other people’s opinions, focus groups are a unique solution to getting important market research insights.


The main thing that separates dyads and triads from mini and focus groups is that participants are connected in some way (they have similar or opposed views) or even know each other (family members, friends, co-workers).

It allows an in-depth insight into different opinions and perspectives within the same group. Additionally, if respondents know each other they will feel more comfortable expressing their honest thoughts and opinions.

Tele-Depth Interviews

Tele-depth interviews remain one of the most frequently used solutions in market research. They allow you to reach geographically remote respondents and gain deeper insight on the subject, since individuals in different areas will have different experiences.

Additionally, this methodology is cost effective because you do not have venue costs, there are no travel fees, etc.

However, the researchers could be missing out on a quanitity of data since they are unable to see the respondent and watch their body language during the telephone interviews.

Online Qualitative Solutions

Online Qualitative Interviews

This is a new way of conducting in-depth interviews. They are respondent friendly because participants can do them from homes and offices. Usually they are conducted through software such as Zoom, or Skype, but they could also be conducted via chat or email.

As any other methodology, online intervews have their advantages and disatvantages. One of the biggest disadvantages is probably the fact that it is much harder for a researcher to establish a trusted relationship with the respondent. Furthermore, it could be a problem to maintain respondents’ attention level, as there could be distracions which could interrupt their engagement.

Bulletin Boards

Bulletin board is a method where research-related discussions take place online over a period of time. The moderator asks questions and the participants give answers and share their thoughts with each other.

Since respondents take part in the research at their convenience, they provide more detailed answers, allowing specialists to gain greater insight.

A transcript may be printed out at any time, so the client has instant feedback and full control over the research process.

Online bulletin boards are a good solution:

  • If you work on continuous projects
  • When researching specific topics requiring anonymity
  • If you want to expand your reach over different time zones
  • In case you need opinions of busy respondents such as healthcare professionals and business executives who don’t have time for a traditional face-to-face interview
  • When you want to carry out cost-effective research

Online Communities

Online communities are like social networks, topic portals and forums.

It is a private online group where respondents talk to each other about research-related subjects in the form of blog posts, videos, forum entries, etc.

Naturally born communities are those where participants gather to discuss topics of their shared interest. Unlike them, market research online communities are recruited and specially built.

They last longer than bulletin boards, more specifically they can last a couple of weeks, months, or even a year.

They are suitable for continuous projects where there is a need for developing products or services over a certain period of time. On the other hand, you could use them for getting ad hoc insights.

Participants are take part by posting and commenting.

Online community is a more natural environment where respondents are in fact members and freely interact with each other, exchanging thoughts, desires and experiences using their everyday language.

Therefore, you can get deeper insights which is sometimes hard to obtain in artificial conditions of a more traditional research methodology.

In Conclusion

With new tech developments, we can only hypotesize what the future innovations will bring to the market research industry. Qualitative solutions will continue to offer the most valuable information to the companies, however, we still need to wait and see how the future will continue to develop the ways we conduct research.