Although classic marketing research usually bases on personal interviews and focus group discussions, gathering customer insights does not necessarily have to depend on physical presence. Messengers such as WhatsApp or Signal offer various possibilities of fast, interactive, and documentable dialogue with target groups and individuals without decreasing the insight of quality or credibility.
The potential of self-reporting
Using formats as voicemail, selfies, and video-messages actually enables to reach a level of intimacy that can even transcend direct conversations: As the probands create material in their environment of choice and without any external intrusion, they tend to be more open and authentic then they would be in any sort of arranged setting. Also, the flexibility of self-reporting regarding time and place allows people to contribute, who due to their occupational or personal obligations could not participate in classic research methods. Especially in the field of ad-hoc-research self-reporting appears to offer a wide range of potential – particularly since acceptance and willingness to participate have been growing during times of social distancing and lockdown.
Tipps for your research via messenger
There are a few things to be considered when planning a research via messenger:
- It is advisable to keep the structure as simple and clear as possible, which means, to use only a few short, numbered questions.
- Anything that could cause confusion or a need for assistance should be avoided: The more accurate you manage to formulate your questions the more help- and insightful will be the proband’s answer.
- Most importantly: atmosphere! In order to compensate the lack of personal interaction you need to create a subtle level of intimacy and trustworthiness through your medium, for instance by addressing the proband directly.