For some service and industrial market research projects there is nothing better than a face-to-face in-depth interview technique to elicit market intelligence, find out about the decision-making process and find out about competition and technology/ processes in general.
In traditional marketing, and in the time before the rise of online marketing and online marketing research, in-depth research interviews were arranged via a letter or email and the time to complete such an interview was 45 minutes to one hour.
Today in our “fast food society” time is of the utmost importance and the chances of getting this time is limited. Yet thorough research demands that essential information is gained to test the viability and accuracy of the research.
For this reason, traditional marketing research and online research have been able to forge a supportive partnership to gain accurate and in-depth research results.
The approach is best done with the in-depth research appointment and conducting an in-depth research interview, but with a limit of no more than 15 to 20 questions. At the end of the in-depth interview, the interviewee is then asked if they would mind completing online research to provide information that is common to all key respondents, as this is effective for analytical purposes and easy to cross-tabulate and assess for critical success factors.
A link is provided and, of course, the language is direct and there is a “thank you” for time and effort. The online research is often embellished by a diagram or photographs of the product or the capital item, especially in the case of industrial research, and this is all of interest to engineers and other experts as it improves their knowledge as they respond to the question.
When the questions are asked online, it is possible to send a synopsis of the results to each of the respondents without mentioning particular individuals. This feedback is often much appreciated.
A lot of market research is the victim of low response numbers as well as poor responses. This method assists in overcoming these two factors, especially where there are technical, industrial or in-depth processes at work that need to be market researched.