Market research is a very important part of regular operations for most modern businesses. Market research is conducted before a product and/or marketing campaign is released to determine how successful it is likely to be. Likewise, this type of research is also typically conducted after a product or campaign is released in order to determine how it is being interpreted by consumers and their feelings on it.
All kinds of methods are utilized to arrive at these conclusions, such as panel discussions, surveys, and more. While most of this type of research, in the past, was conducted in person, nowadays it is becoming more and more common for it to be conducted online or virtually, which has many benefits over the older method.
One service that allows for modern businesses to conduct market research online is Discuss.IO, an innovative tool that offers video chat, translation services, transcription services, marketing participant recruitment, sometimes in as little as 24 to 48 hours,, and more, all online. The service can also be used with pre-selected “real life” participants if desired, but using it strictly online is considered, by most, to be superior.
The fact of the matter is that many problems arise when market research is conducted solely in person. And, in that regard, there are many issue with a lot of Discuss.IO’s competitors, services that are overly reliant on in-person market research which must be conducted in a physical facility.
One of the major issues with strictly in-person market research is the extreme cost involved for businesses. With this outdated type of market research, businesses are first required to find and recruit consumers, a process that makes them reliant on outside organizations and that can be costly in and of itself. The costs do not stop there however.
Once recruits have been found, there are costs involved in bringing all those recruits to one location for the research to take place. Most valid and good market research requires participants from a wide range of areas, sometimes from around the globe, depending on the scope and range of the business conducting the research, so air travel, mileage reimbursement, and food and lodging costs all typically factor into the equation. When the sample size is large enough to be valid, it’s easy to see how this could easily add up to huge costs for a business.
Unfortunately, there are still other fees involved. Business owners are required not only to pay for the transportation and related costs of participants but also to rent a facility in which to hold the research event. These facilities sometimes charge huge hourly rates, further adding to the costs incurred by the business.
When market research is conducted online, however, very few fees are involved. In fact, smart businesses, such as those that use Discuss.IO only have to pay a base fee to use the service. Using the service, they can find participants in just a few hours or days and then conduct the research, communication, and, collaboration all online. That eliminates travel, lodging, and facility rental fees. The only fees paid are those to the service and to the participants, making online market research a much more cost efficient option for all businesses.
Another huge issue that exists with in-person qualitative research is bias. When participants in a market research panel, study, or survey are together in one room, it’s basically impossible for bias not to occur.
First, there’s the fact that no one likes to be labeled as an “outsider.” Thus, if the majority of a group thinks one thing, it is less likely that a person who feels an opposite way would voice his views, thus unfairly skewing the results of the study or other research.
Furthermore, confirmation bias is a huge problem in such studies. There is a tendency among people conducting the study to want to interpret given information in a particular wary. Thus, the people conducting the survey may read facial cues, remarks, and other affirmations in a way conductive to their beliefs, rather than in a thoroughly accurate way. This, too, can lead to skewed results. Likewise, physically present researchers may unintentionally but actually influence participants with their own body language and facial expressions in a way that leads to unfair results.
While the potential for bias will always be present in any kind of research, it is greatly reduced with online research, such as the kind that can be conducted through Discuss.IO. With this service, everything happens online, so participants do not have to view or be influenced by the reactions of other participants.Furthermore, researchers can view information via a transcript, leaving less room for bias than there is when facial expressions and other non-verbal cues can be seen.
Again, bias will always be present in any type of research, but the risk is greatly reduced when research is conducted online, so, in that regard, the results of research conducted through Discuss.IO has the potential to be much more accurate, which can make for more actionable and helpful results.
Online market research platforms, such as Discuss.IO understand all of the problems that can occur in traditional research, such as those mentioned above as well as the potential for missing variables, which, in short, means one did not include all relevant participants and/or factors in the scope of a study.
Because these online platforms are more reliable than humans in that they can “think” technically and mathematically with no room for error, any problems with a potential market research method can easily be pointed out and resolved before the actual research takes place, saving researchers wasted time and money.
Obviously, there are a great many benefits to conducting research online instead of in person. The benefits discussed here are really just a small sampling of the many that exist. And, while each business must make its own decisions about the best research methods, there definitely are enough motivators for modern businesses to at least consider online market research