Online is an opportunity to complement conventional research - It is not a subsitute
Client wanted to look at snacking and drinks amongst those who are on the road all day and dependent on snacking for several meal occasions a week.
We conducted a three-part research process. The first two phases being online, resulting in gathering essential data on our participants before encountering them in a group. This provided respondents who were sensitised to the subject and had formulated considered opinions by the time they got to the groups as well as equipping us with valuable point of purchase insights.
Online - Exploratory
At the initial phase our garage grazers were asked questions about their purchases of snacks and drinks. Exploring what choices were made and what influenced these selections. In particular we were interested in caffeine drinks and energy providers.
Online - Ethno Video Diaries and In Car Thoughts
The second stage was a diary of the purchasing process. Smart phones were used to video and photograph the shelves, merchandising and the ultimate selection they made. We also explored issues such as storing the drinks in their vehicles whilst drinking and driving. We were especially interested in the packaging and how it was disposed of.
Face to Face Groups
The third stage comprised conventional groups. Due to having formed a relationship with these participants prior to the sessions the groups were more efficient, focusing on the key issues that the client was concerned with. The participants demonstrated a real sense of commitment having invested their time and thoughts into the subject prior to attending the groups.
I would strongly advocate this marriage of online and conventional groups where you need to understand usage and environmental or circumstantial factors. If you would like to discuss any aspect of research call me - Julian (+44) 07768877127