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Introduction to Online Qualitative Research and Best Practices

May 2017 – Introduction to Online Qualitative Research and Best Practices

Over the past few months, we have observed a heightened interest in our online qualitative research capabilities. Based on these enquiries we have decided to put together a reference guide to help researchers get their bearings with online qualitative research and best practices.

At i-Link Research, we offer a range of simple online qualitative solutions built for research. Our online qualitative research is delivered through i-Link's two feature-packed tools: i-Discuss for conducting over-time focus groups and i-Focus for conducting interactive real-time focus groups.

Benefits of online qualitative research:

  • Accessible
    • Real time discussion groups enable researchers to conduct In-Depth Interviews in real time irrespective of the participant’s location, it also provides the respondent anonymity allowing them to share more freely when discussing sensitive topics.
    • Over time discussion boards enable asynchronous participation meaning participants don’t all need to be available at the same time. Especially helpful if your audience is a specialist group such as doctors or busy parents.
  • Cost effective
    • As the qualitative boards are hosted in a virtual environment, there is no need to maintain physical meeting rooms or provide refreshments. Online qual doesn’t need to cover these costs so you are only paying for the essentials you need – the virtual meeting space – discussion board, your respondents will bring along everything else.
  • Faster
    • Online removes many of the barriers associated with qualitative research. You don’t need everyone to all be in one place at one time providing much greater scheduling flexibility. You will have an electronic text record of what someone said so you can quickly review what was said and in what context. As the group transcript can be easily exported as a word document, you can sift through the data more effectively helping you speed up the analysis process. 

What are the online qualitative options?

  •  What is important here is working out what you want to do with your group and the core functionality you require. For most of the researchers we have spoken to, their needs fall into two rather neat baskets.

The two most popular options are:

1. Live (real-time) online focus groups

  • Real-time discussion groups enable researchers to conduct In-Depth Interviews (IDI’s) in real time, irrespective of the participant’s location, it also provides the respondent anonymity allowing them to share more freely when discussing sensitive topics.
  • Tend to be used with 1-10 respondents at a time. If it’s your first time a smaller group will typically help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
  • Great for: 1-on-1 question probing, small group concept ideation, scenario exploration, in the moment attitudes and values.
  • Great for overcoming: geographic constraints, time zones, scheduling constraints, participant accessibility/hesitation with Central Location Testing (CLT)
  • Popular length: 45 mins – 1 hour.

 

 

 

 

2. Over time online discussion groups.

  • Over time discussion boards enable asynchronous participation meaning participants don’t all need to be available at the same time. Especially helpful if your audience is a specialist group such as doctors or busy parents.
  • Tend to be used with 5-30 respondents in an online group discussion. If it’s your first time a smaller group will typically help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, however, one of the great advantages with over-time groups is because not everyone is on at the same time there is a lower in the moment time pressure on the researcher.
  • Great for: Idea evolution, organic group discussion, website reviews, consumer product tests over 2-3 weeks and adapting discussion as it takes place, providing access to respondents that would not normally have time to participate due to scheduling etc or simply have no interest in being in a room with strangers.
  • Great for overcoming: geographic constraints, time zones, scheduling constraints, participant accessibility/hesitation with Central Location Testing (CLT), respondent bias or non-disclosure that can be present in traditional face-to-face groups.
  • Popular length: 1-3 days, 4-10 days or 11-21 days.

 


You will need a few things to have a qual session run smoothly:

  • A plan – we call this a discussion guide – if you have run qual research before this won’t be new to you. The discussion guide is all the talking points/questions you want to cover with your respondents. Do you need them to view stimulus? Is it an image, or website?
  • Technical requirements – an understanding of what you would like your interaction with respondents to look like and what the online qualitative platform can handle. Does the platform support all web browsers? How many respondents do you need to manage at a time? Does it have an intuitive mailroom to help you manage: prompts, invitations and communication with your respondents?
  • Participant success – this is thinking through things like your demographic, will they be able to do what you are asking? Does the guide design make sense? Does it have a logical flow, are the instructions clear? Sharing why you are doing this research and setting expectations early are important for maintaining your respondent’s attention and engagement. Remember online you also have the added advantage of including visual stimulation with every question, generally the more visually rich the research, the more interesting the discussion.

A few more things to consider:

  • Market Research vs. Technology Background.

Is the provider first and foremost from the market research industry or are they a tech company? Research based providers have a better understanding of how you can use the platform to help you reach your research goals. Tech tends to be focused purely in on the technical solution only.

  • Onboarding Process.

Does the provider offer an onboarding process to help you become familiar with the platform?

  • Technical Support Availability.

Sometimes technical situations come up or things don’t quite go to plan. Does the provider offer you the option for technical support?

  • Global vs. Regional Capabilities.

Is the provider based here in Australia or overseas? This is important to consider as it will generally have a bearing on whether the data is stored in Australia or somewhere oversea’s. Does the provider have global capabilities? Can you or your audience be anywhere in the world? Does the platform work seamlessly across borders?

Gamifying online qualitative research.

These platforms offer a unique opportunity for researchers to offer bonus incentives. Some of the examples that are used with good success in online qualitative groups are rewards for:

Most posts, most articulate, completion of a specific task, most creative (storyboard).

The important thing to remember here is what you are trying to reward? It’s about encouraging full involvement both completion and quality of engagement and trying to make the process as fun as possible, especially if you have a topic that is very dry or boring (insurance).

It can't all be perfect, right?

One of the only drawbacks when conducting online qual vs face to face qual is the potential loss of non-verbal cues. However as we have become more native with electronic communication it normally doesn’t take long to adjust, we find that clear instruction explaining why you are conducting the research and your expectations tend to nullify any potential effect, as your participants will have a clearer understanding of what is required of them, but it is something to keep in mind if you are someone that relies on intuition and cues.

 

If you would like further information about our online qualitative solutions or would like to talk through a project you are thinking about running please feel free to contact: Patrick, Mark or Scott for more information.

i-Link Research          

Related May Stories: 

i-Link Housing Affordability Poll

Getting To Know i-Link – Staff Bio 

 

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Getting To Know i-Link – Staff Bio

May 2017

For each newsletter edition, we will be introducing a member of the i-Link family. Get to know the faces behind some of the names. For this edition, it will be our Operations Director – Muriel.

Name: Muriel Geagea
Title: Operations Director

Muriel has been at i-Link for 9.5 years and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. Anyone who knows Muriel, would know that she has an answer for just about any Market Research related question you can throw at her!

Whilst completing her degree in Marketing and Management, she worked for Woolcott Research as a face-to-face and CATI interviewer and was quickly promoted to team leader and supervisor. After 8 years, she moved on to N= Research, and was instrumental in gaining IQCA accreditation for a remote call centre where telephone interviewers all worked from home.

A bit more about Muriel:

1) Favourite things to spend money on:
Shoes – coloured shoes! High heels, low heels – the brighter the colour the better!

2) Favourite holiday destination:
Fiji (in the villages, in the town with my friends – real people) – it ALWAYS reminds me of how lucky we are to live in Australia.

3) What is your obsession right now? 
The gym! I think it's a mid-life crisis (and yes, feel free to ask me how young I am!)

4) Favourite TV shows:
Seinfeld – definitely Seinfeld. Apparently I look like Elaine – what do you think?

http://i.imgur.com/Myvi81A.jpg

5) One thing most people wouldn't know about you?
That I am an extroverted introvert!


Related May Stories: 

i-Link Housing Affordability Poll

Introduction to Online Qual and Best Practices
 

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Housing Affordability Poll May 2017

May 2017 – Housing Affordability Poll

The i-Link team recently conducted a national poll amongst n=500 of its members on the hot topic of Housing Affordability. Is your suburb too expensive? Who is to blame? What is the solution? Please see our infographic below for a brief snapshot. For the full report you can contact Patrick, Mark or Scott from our sales team – info@i-linkresearch.com

Related May Stories: 

Getting To Know i-Link – Staff Bio

Introduction to Online Qual and Best Practices
 

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i-Link AWS Server Migration

February 2017 – AWS Migration Notice  The i-Link team have recently completed a major upgrade of our servers to AWS. With our commitment and focus on ensuring that our online research services are unrivalled within the marketplace, we feel that using Australian based cloud hosted servers allows us to best meet the needs of our clients now, and into the future. So what changes? nothing changes from our client’s perspective, all projects continue to be delivered using the highest standard processes and procedures, the major difference is what’s under the hood. The key benefits of this upgrade are:
  • Improved Reliability, with virtually no server downtime required.
  • Increased Capability, allows us to provide our client with the latest technology.
  • Future Proofing, because we don’t need to maintain the physical hardware ourselves, we will always have access to the latest and most efficient server technology available.
Does this change affect i-Link’s accreditations? This server upgrade does not impact any of our existing accreditations. i-Link holds the following membership and promotes adherence to these guidelines/codes of practice:
  • Accredited to ISO 20252, the international standard for social, opinion and market research.
  • Adheres to the ESOMAR guidelines on conducting market and opinion research using the internet.
  • Is a member of the Australian Market and Social Research Organisation (AMSRO).
  • Adheres to AMSRO privacy principles and fully conforms to the Australian national privacy principles as detailed in the Privacy Amendment Act (2000).
  • Adheres to the AMSRS code of professional behaviour and guidelines on the confidential handling and delivery of respondent information.
  •  AMRSO Quality Standards for Online Research (Access panels).
  • Adheres to the Australian Anti-spam laws and applies this on a global level.
If you have any further questions related to notice please feel free to contact, Scott, Patrick or Mark for more information. i-Link Research Related February Stories: i-Link Summer Shopping Survey Getting To Know i-Link – Staff Bio Back to News

Getting To Know i-Link – Staff Bio

February 2017 – Getting To Know i-Link – Staff Bio For each newsletter edition we will be introducing a member of the i-Link family. Get to know the faces behind some of the names. First up is our Business Development Manager – Patrick. Name: Patrick Coorey Title: Business Development Manager  Patrick knows the research industry inside out, with over seven years research and account management experience and a solid background in data collection. Over the past seven years, Patrick has gathered a range of market research and marketing knowledge, specifically in the online environment. Ranging from trackers, ad-hocs, qual work and right through to mobile research, Patrick has managed a variety of blue chip clients across a broad range of industries. Patrick moved to i-Link in at the start of 2015 in a Business Development Manager role and is always willing to go above and beyond to find the best solutions for every individual project; thriving under the challenges it brings! He holds a Bachelor of Economics majoring in Economics and Marketing. A bit more about Pat: Favourite things to spend money on: Coffee, Burgers, Video Games and Golf! Favourite holiday destination: I love going to New Zealand, especially the South Island. What is your obsession right now? Quite simply – Liverpool Football Club. Live and breathe it. It’s also hard not to be obsessed with the circus that is US politics! Favourite TV shows How long have you got? Big fan of the following: Game of Thrones, Veep, Black Mirror, Sherlock, *Old* Simpsons and Rick and Morty One thing most people wouldn’t know about you? I suffer from fructophobia- fear of fruit! You can contact Patrick for any sales enquiries at sales@i-linkresearch.com Related February Stories: i-Link Summer Shopping Survey AWS Server Migration Notice Back to News

2016 Members Poll

October 2016 – Members Poll

We recently asked some of our LiveTribe members for their thoughts on the questionnaires that we send them.

We asked a representative section of 1220 members for their opinions and whilst many agreed that it was nice to be incentivised with rewards, over 70% said that the main reason they joined LiveTribe was that they liked the chance to provide their opinions, with many saying that they felt that their 'Voice was being heard'. Over 50% also liked the opportunity to see new products and commercials before the wider public.

Their biggest grievance was that surveys were in general too long (16% in 2016 down from 25% in 2015) and repetitive (32% in 2016 down from 40% in 2015)

LiveTribe members are extremely engaged individuals (25% said that they wanted more invitations) with many interacting regularly with the LiveTribe Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Related October Stories:

Streaming Minipoll 2016
i-Link Minipoll Surveys
i-Link Noble Causes

 

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Australian Streaming 2016

October 2016 – Australian Streaming i-Link Research recently conducted a poll with n=1200 of our LiveTribe members to find out how many Australians use a streaming service such as: Netflix, Stan, etc. Here’s what we found out… Related October Stories: i-Link Members Poll i-Link Minipoll Surveys i-Link Noble Causes   Back to News

Download this infographic.

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i-Link / Livetribe Noble Causes

October 2016 – Noble Causes: Care 4 Kids Charity is important in our community and as such i-Link is continuing the LiveTribe Noble Causes initiative. This month, the charity in focus is Care 4 Kids. Care 4 Kids is about providing kindness to children who may be in a vulnerable situation. This could be due to domestic violence or a family situation. Care Packs will give a child something positive to focus on and to show them someone cares. i-Link has always been committed to combining online research with charity activities to give members the opportunity to donate to worthy causes. Our LiveTribe members donate thousands of dollars to various charities each year by sacrificing their survey reward points. This is just one of the many things i-Link is working on to help out in the greater community. Related October Stories: i-Link Members Poll i-Link Minipoll Surveys i-Link Streaming Poll 2016   Back to News