How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities

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AMSRS 2010 national Conference paper on adapting traditional research techniques to online communities

AMSRS 2010 national Conference paper on adapting traditional research techniques to online communities

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  • 1. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala RajanINTRODUCTIONOnline  quantitative  techniques  have  been  widely  developed  and  accepted  in  the  past  ten  years  or  so-­‐,  with  most  researchers  predominantly  evolving  CATI  based  techniques  to  suit  the  online  platform.  Perhaps  quantitative  research  has  been  explored  and  developed  more  easily  due  to  its  reliance  on  numbers  where  as  qualitative  research  has  a  stronger  reliance  on  conversation  and  observation.    However  with  the  birth  and  rapid  growth  in  Social  Media,  online  qualitative  research  is  being  explored  beyond  the  online  focus  group.  There  are  also  forums  or  discussions  that  allow  larger  numbers  of  people  to  contribute  over  a  longer  period  of  time  than  say  a  live  focus  group,  with  the  added  ability  to  include  a  variety  of  multimedia.  Aside  from  these  opportunities,  there  are  also  significant  barriers  when  compared  to  face-­‐to-­‐face  based  qualitative  techniques.  Both  the  opportunities  and  barriers  have  been  responsible  for  more  than  a  simple  evolution  in  research.  We  face  a  paradigm  shift  in  the  way  we  look  at  this  method  of  research,  particularly  when  considering  that  these  qualitative  techniques  can  be  seamlessly  integrated  with  the  quantitative  (we  call  it  Quantilative).    Despite  the  fact  that  we  view  this  as  a  paradigm  shift,  some  old  rules  and  techniques  apply.  In  this  paper  we  examine  three  traditional  qualitative  techniques  and  set  about  how  to  apply  them  to  online  research,  with  a  particular  emphasis  towards  online  panel  communities.    This  paper  consists  of  two  sections:    1. This  section  discusses  how  the  communities  were  selected,  planned  and  setup  2. The  second  component  examines  the  qualitative  techniques  tested,  the  results  and  how  they  can  be   used  in  the  future.  1. SETTING UPPart  of  the  “shift”  mentioned  in  the  introduction  is  about  engaging  with  members  more  successfully  than  we  have  with  traditional  online  methods,  such  as  the  access  panel.  If  we  want  unbiased,  quality  information,  we  need  to  ensure  that  the  people  participating  are  truly  interested  in  what  we  are  doing.  Advertising  is  an  example  –  if  people  are  engaged,  they  are  more  likely  to  sit  up  and  willingly  consume  what  is  being  pushed  to  them.  If  not  they  will  figuratively  or  literally,  switch  off.  Whilst  the  cost  for  people  not  absorbing  advertising  is  low  sales  conversion,  the  cost  to  research  is  harder  to  pinpoint,  but  undoubtedly  would  affect  the  concentration  level  of  participants.  If  there  is  a  payment  to  participants  we  would  expect  to  see  a  significantly  better  response  rate  than  with  no  payment.  However,  when  looking  at  the  participant  levels  of  access  panels  compared  to  that  of  branded  communities  such  as  those  that  Communispace  or  Vision  Critical  operate,  there  can  be  more  than  twice  the  number  of  members  participating  in  the  branded  communities  than  the  access  panel  model  even  without  financial   Page 1 of 18
  • 2. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajanpayment.  There  are  a  number  of  reasons  as  to  why,  many  of  which  are  outlined  in  the  2009  AMSRS  National  Conference  paper  RESEARCH  2.0:  IT’S  ALL  THE  BUZZ,  BUT  WHAT  DRIVES  MEMBER  ENGAGEMENT?  HOW  TO  ENSURE  ONLINE  RESEARCH  COMMUNITIES  SUCCEED  by  Ray  Poynter,  Steve  Cierpicki  and  Daniel  Alexander-­‐Head.    The  setup  of  the  community  is  paramount  to  the  success  of  the  qualitative  findings.  Traditionally  either  a  financial  incentive,  the  power  of  a  particular  brand  or  both  is  significant  motivators  to  attract  members  to  participate  in  the  research.  In  this  instance  we  did  not  want  to  use  an  ongoing  financial  incentive  on  the  basis  that  it  may  create  a  bias  (in  reality  it  is  hard  to  verify  to  what  extent  financial  incentives  may  or  may  not  create  bias).  Therefore  it  was  particularly  important  that  the  site  was  designed  to  attract  the  target  audience.    1.1 Identifying the Category and the SegmentThe  first  step  was  deciding  what  category  we  wanted  to  target.  We  decided  to  test  the  techniques  in  two  environments,  one  branded  and  the  other  unbranded.    With  the  branded  environment  we  used  an  SBS  branded  Community  Panel.  The  platform  was  branded  in  line  with  SBS  branded  guidelines  and  populated  with  their  audience  who  had  previously  signed  up  to  participate  in  market  research.    For  the  unbranded  panel  we  targeted  the  Energy  Drinks  market.  The  energy  drinks  market  is  predominantly  targeted  to  the  male  youth  market.  A  look  at  websites  and  marketing  undertaken  by  brands  such  as  Red  Bull,  Mother,  Monster  and  V  were  starting  points  to  the  website  design  we  were  to  undertake.  The  next  few  sections  describe  the  process  of  setup  for  this  particular  community.  1.2 Planning the community A  look  at  the  various  branded  energy  drinks  sites  showed  an  emphasis  towards  motorsports,  Rock   music  and  “adrenaline”  inducing  activities.  The  name  MyAdrenaliser  was  chosen  for  the  community   and  URL  and  a  creative  brief  sent  to  a  designer  for  the  site  design.     We  had  decided  to  use  the  Ning  platform  (www.ning.com)  for  a  number  of  reasons.:      It  is  a  free  web  based  tool  that  allows  anyone  to  setup  a  community    It  is  versatile,  allowing  those  with  limited  skills  to  create  a  basic  site  to  being  highly   customisable  with  Cascading  Style  Sheets  and  the  ability  to  create  applications  for  the  more   skilled  persons.    For  a  relatively  small  monthly  fee,  premium  services  can  be  acquired.  This  includes  items   such  as  unique  URL,  removal  of  advertising  and  increased  bandwidth.   Page 2 of 18
  • 3. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan There  are  a  multitude  of  other  platforms  that  are  free  and  easily  accessible  that  could  also  be  used,   Ning  was  used  on  this  occasion  due  to  the  author’s  familiarity  with  it.  1.3 Setting up the community Whilst  the  community  design  template  was  being  created  and  adjusted,  we  developed  a  basic  set  of   profile  questions  for  the  site  for  when  members  joined.  We  then  started  to  look  at  how  we  were   going  to  engage  with  new  members  once  they  came  to  the  site.  This  was  particularly  important  to   ensure  we  maximised  the  number  of  members,  from  when  they  first  came  to  the  site  to  signing  up   as  a  member.    In  an  ideal  situation  all  the  members  would  need  to  do  is  click  on  a  button  to  join  and   nothing  else,  but  in  this  instance  we  wanted  people  to  return  and  so  we  needed  to  collect  a  few   personal  details,  in  particular  their  email  address.    We  then  threw  up  some  non-­‐research  related   items,  such  as  energy  drink  sponsored  stunts  and  international  adverts  so  that  it  did  not  feel  like  a   research  community  when  they  first  joined  but  rather  somewhere  that  was  stimulating  and  helped   get  them  in  the  frame  of  mind  that  this  was  where  they  would  be  able  to  interact  with  others  with  a   shared  passion  around  energy  drinks.  1.4 Sourcing members Whilst  SBS  provided  sample  for  their  panel,  collected  through  marketing  initiatives  and  previous   research,  with  the  energy  drinks  we  were  required  to  find  sources  to  build  membership.  In  an  ideal   situation,  members  are  sourced  organically  through  word  of  mouth,  generally  through  social  media   channels.  This  is  both  more  cost  effective  and  helps  reduce  the  bias  of  pro-­‐incentive  research.   However  due  to  timelines  we  also  used  Facebook  advertising.    We  used  two  alternative  adverts.  The   first  advert  was  more  traditional  in  terms  of  recruiting  participants,  using  the  lure  of  an  incentive   prominently  as  the  title.  The  second  advert  relied  more  on  engaging  with  the  participants  with  little   mention  of  incentive.   Page 3 of 18
  • 4. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan   Advert  1                        Advert  2      Facebook,  like  many  Social  Media  sites,  allows  advertisers  to  target  very  specific  categories.  In  this  case  we  set  up  the  advertising  as  per  below:     Page 4 of 18
  • 5. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan        Invitation  2  did  not  use  the  incentive  in  the  title  and  yet  resulted  in  over  twice  the  number  of  hits  per  impression,  possibly  due  to  potential  participants  being  over-­‐fatigued  from  the  attempts  to  lure  them  with  financial  incentives  and  not  capturing  the  members  in  the  same  way  that  the  copy  in  advert  2  appears  to.   Page 5 of 18
  • 6. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan1.5 Warming them up Previous  work  on  research  communities  had  taught  us  the  importance  of  building  a  critical  mass  of   members  rapidly  and  ensuring  that  not  only  the  site  was  visually  appealing  to  the  target  audience,   but  also  that  there  are  activities  or  media  that  are  engaging  to  members.       The  language  used  on  the  site,  from  the  warm-­‐up  discussions  to  the  tabs  were  all  retro-­‐styled  to  the   target  audience.  Videos  were  uploaded  from  sites  such  as  YouTube,  comprising  of  overseas  energy   drinks  adverts  and  sponsored  motor  stunts.         Page 6 of 18
  • 7. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan1.6 Setup Conclusion – Non-Branded Community Despite  a  positive  start  with  the  warm  up  discussions,  the  energy  drink  community  failed  to  gain   significant  size  and  traction.  There  are  a  number  of  hypothesises  why  and  they  probably  each  play  a   part  in  the  lack  of  traction:   1.   Lack  of  brand  surrounding  the  community   Previous  research  undertaken  had  indicated  that  when  there  is  no  financial  incentive,  one  of  the   main  drivers  for  participation  is  association  and  direct  contact  with  the  participants  preferred   Brand.  In  this  instance  there  was  none.   2.   Insufficient  incentive   With  the  community  not  representing  one  particular  brand,  incentivisation  becomes  considerably   more  significant  as  there  is  no  previous  relationship  between  the  sites  brand  and  the  community   member.  There  was  some  initial  traction  when  using     3.   Low  overall  participation  rate   A  well-­‐used  analogy  for  communities  is  that  they  are  like  parties.  If  there  are  not  many  people  and   they  do  not  know  one  another,  it  is  less  likely  that  they  will  stay.  Having  a  larger  mass  results  in  a   more  vibrant  environment.   4.   Target  segment   18-­‐24  year  old  males,  whilst  one  of  the  most  prominent  demographics  online,  they  are  notoriously   fickle  and  disloyal  in  comparison  to  older  demographic  groups.  Traditionally  easy  to  recruit  but   with  a  high  turnover  rate  within  online  panels  makes  it  a  hard  group  to  retain,  particularly  for   anything  that  requires  levels  of  longitudinal  research.   Page 7 of 18
  • 8. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan1.7 Setup Conclusion – Branded CommunityThe  traction  with  the  SBS  community  was  significantly  better.  Aside  from  being  a  well-­‐regarded  brand,  the  launch  of  the  community  coincided  with  the  2010  Football  World  Cup,  of  which  they  are  the  Australian  broadcaster.  Initially  the  target  group  was  previous  research  participants  who  had  opted  in  for  further  research  around  sports.  As  we  were  able  to  populate  the  community  with  a  significant  number  of  people  in  a  short  period  of  time,  traction  was  quickly  established.  2. THE RESEARCHWhile  most  qualitative  researchers  have  a  range  of  enabling  and  exploring  techniques  that  they  might  be  familiar  with  and  use  regularly,  there  might  be  a  few  who  either  may  not  be  aware  or  may  not  use  them.  Therefore,  we  think  it  is  important  for  us  to  start  with  listing  the  techniques  and  the  reasons  we  tested  them.      We  tested  three  qualitative  techniques  that  we  have  used  numerous  times  over  the  years  for  various  categories.  2.1 House Building Technique       This  technique  is  typically  used  in  brand  equity  studies  and  ideally  administered  along   with  other  techniques  in  a  group  discussion  to  uncover  the  otherwise  latent   perceptions.     Respondents  in  a  group  discussion  are  asked  to  think  and  tell  us  the  role  of  each   element  in  a  house.  E.g.  what  is  the  role  of  the  foundation  in  the  overall  construct  in  the  house?  What  role  do  the  four  walls  play  in  the  overall  construct  of  the  house?  Once  we  have  established  a  group  consensus  of  the  role  of  each  element,  this  then  forms  the  base  of  the  technique.  The  participants  are  then  asked  to  build  a  house  for  the  brand,  e.g.  let’s  create  a  house  of  brand  X,  what  aspect  of  the  brand  is  the  foundation  of  this  house?  Which  elements  of  the  house  will  be  the  four  walls  etc.  The  moderator  uses  the  first  exercise  to  probe  and  understand  the  pertinent  ‘why’  of  qualitative  research.    The  benefit  of  this  approach  is  that  it  pushes  for  deeper  understanding  and  probing  within  a  construct  for  richer  data.    2.2 Kelly’s Triad     Is  typically  used  to  understand  the  unique  product  similarities  and   differences.  This  involves  taking  three  brands  and  asking   participants  to  compare  and  contrast  by  grouping  two  together  and   Page 8 of 18
  • 9. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan then  comparing  against  the  third.  The  rotation  is  then  swapped  around,  until  every  grouping   has  been  explored    2.3 Collage or image boards:       We  often  use  pictures  from  magazines  to  allow  participants  to   express  themselves  better.  They  can  be  valuable  if  wanting  to   explore  the  tone  and  feel  of  a  brand,  and  be  revisited  over  time  to   observe  the  brand’s  development.  Respondents  typically  work  in   pairs  to  produce  their  own  board,  which  can  include  pictures,  words,   colours,  drawings  and  textures.  This  can  also  be  used  to  assess  the   desired  future  positioning  and  feel  of  a  brand  or  boundaries  of  the  brand  or  a  new  way  to  think   of  the  brand.    3. FEEDBACK FROM COMMUNITY To  assess  these  benefits  and  understand  how  these  techniques  migrate  to  an  online  medium,   we  evaluated  consumer  feedback  in  four  ways.  First,  we  consolidated  all  our  learning  from  our   experiences  using  these  techniques  from  the  offline  medium.  Second,  we  created  a  simple   worded  web  1.0  question  and  posted  it  on  an  online  community.  Thirdly,  we  created  a  flash   based,  more  web  2.0  based  question,  to  see  what  impact  different  strategies  have  on  the   behaviour  of  participants.  Finally,  we  administered  the  technique  on  asynchronous  (forums)   and  synchronous  (live  chat)  to  pick  up  the  impact  through  spontaneity  vs.  considered   responses.       To  remove  biases  we  administered  similar  techniques  in  1)  an  unbranded  open  community  and   2)  a  branded  closed  community.  Both  with  distinct  categories,  one  for  energy  drinks  and  the   other  for  a  reputed  free  to  air  television  channel.      4. CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE STUDY  GARBAGE  IN  GARBAGE  OUT:  The  rate  of  response  and  engagement  with  a  flash  based   question  was  considerably  higher  compared  to  a  web  1.0  worded  question.      TAKE  THEM  ON  A  JOURNEY:  We  need  to  take  the  participants  on  a  journey  not  just  throw   in  a  question  and  expect  a  response.  Members  feel  more  confident  participating  in  topics  that   paint  the  complete  picture  for  them  and  treat  them  as  partners.  We  noticed  that  participants   Page 9 of 18
  • 10. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan came  back  to  add  to  their  responses,  thus  building  on  a  response  that  is  more  robust  and   representative  of  their  thoughts/  thinking.      COMFORT  HELPS  CREATIVITY  AND  DETAIL:  One  of  the  key  benefits  of  the  medium  is  that   participants  are  not  pressured  to  think  on  their  feet  and  can  respond  at  their  convenience.   The  risk  of  dominant  personalities  (other  participants)  overshadowing  other  members  and   silencing  them  from  voicing  their  opinions  is  reduced.  The  ability  to  be  more  honest  is  a  key   benefit  of  the  MROC.      ENCOURAGE  PARTICIPATION  THROUGH  FAMILIARITY:  It  helps  to  create  an  interface  that   most  participants  are  familiar  with.  Creating  an  environment  that  the  target  group  are   familiar  with  and  naturally  gravitate  to  helps  participants  to  join  and  stay  on.  This  paper   highlights  the  importance  of  aesthetics  and  familiarity  for  continuity.    5. SUMMARY  Conceptualising  the  study  we  assumed  that  the  techniques  might  need  major  rework  for   them  to  work  online.  We  learnt  that  the  principals  and  the  outputs  remain  the  same.   However,  what  does  change  is  the  researcher’s  approach  and  thinking  with  the  medium  and   participants.        This  paper  provides  guidance  and  possible  report  outputs  to  ensure  MROCs  are  optimised   for  researchers  to  transition  their  existing  thinking  and  approach  to  online  communities.   Researchers  can  realise  this  potential  and  deliver  impactful  insights.  Furthermore,  the   transition  of  offline  qualitative  techniques  to  the  online  medium  is  dependent  on  the   evolution  and  access  to  technology  for  example  conditioning  with  widget-­‐like  technology   which  drives  engagement  to  form  a  positive,  creative  environment  for  participants.        As  this  paper  outlines,  by  thinking  carefully  about  the  objective;  by  choosing  the  right   techniques;  by  being  creative  with  technology  and  being  conscious  of  aesthetics  we  can   transition  the  offline  qualitative  techniques  to  the  online  medium  and  not  be  restricted  by   time,  venue  and  cost.     Page 10 of 18
  • 11. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan6. OUTPUTS6.1 House Building Technique The  Forum  and  Flash  image  used  for  part  1  the  House  Building  Technique     Page 11 of 18
  • 12. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan  Above  &  overleaf:  The  Live  Chat  and  Flash  image  used  for  part  2  the  House  Building  Technique     Page 12 of 18
  • 13. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to marketresearch online communitiesDaniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan   Page 13 of 18
  • 14. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan6.2 Kelly’s TriadRespondents  in  each  group  are  asked  to  describe  the  brand  or  brands.  The  brands  are  rotated  so  that  they  are  shown  with  another  and  alone.       Page 14 of 18
  • 15. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan6.3 Collage/Image Boards1.  Participants  are  asked  to  drag  the  images  that  they  relate  to  the  SBS  brand  into  the  window       Page 15 of 18
  • 16. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan  2.  Members  discuss  their  decision  on  the  images      3.  Multiple  versions  of  the  outputs  are  generated             Page 16 of 18
  • 17. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan7. CONCLUSIONS – BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHERA  recent  posting  on  an  AMA  (Boston)  blog  warned:  “A  Market  researcher  who  clings  on  to  conventional  surveys  and  focus  groups  like  a  life  raft  on  a  turbulent  sea,  is  going  to  drown”.  It’s  also  noteworthy  that  technology  in  qualitative  research  has  always  been  further  away  from  its  counterpart  quantitative  research.  However,  given  that  consumers  have  moved  their  communication  and  interactions  to  the  online  medium  of  social  media,  qualitative  research  is  compelled  to  innovate  and  adapt  to  stay  relevant.      Through  our  paper  we  are  confident  that  with  the  use  of  creative  technology  and  aesthetics  of  the  medium,  while  retaining  the  qualitative  analysis  principles,  we  can  migrate  a  few  techniques  online.  Where  it  does  go  beyond  traditional  medium  is;      1. Ensures  that  all  consumers  funnel  through  the  stages  to  ensure  that  we  have  the  contextual   understanding.    2. It  is  a  more  robust  and  rigorous  form  of  data  capture.    3. The  technology  collates  the  first  level  data  which  otherwise  is  time  consuming  and  laborious.  4. A  comparatively  inexpensive  tool  to  get  wider  and  deeper  coverage.    5. The  ability  to  re-­‐analyse  data  over  time  and  to  overlay  demographic  or  profiling  data.  6. Keeps  all  the  stakeholders  involved  simultaneously  and  allows  for  real-­‐time  feedback.      However,  not  everything  migrates  seamlessly.  Our  experience  with  Kelly’s  Triad  tells  us  that  it  is  not  best  suited  for  all  online  mediums.  A  forum/discussion  or  bulletin  board  is  a  more  involved  participation  where  consumers  read  and  process  other  responses  before  they  respond.  To  this  end  the  buckets/groups  in  Kelly’s  Triad  did  not  isolate  the  unique  attributes  as  consumers  could  read  and  re-­‐read  their  own  and  others  responses  before  they  responded.  They  provided  similar  responses  despite  changing  the  groups.  We  believe  this  technique  is  best  administered  in  an  asynchronous  live  chat  that  runs  in  real  time  and  taps  into  the  top  of  mind  responses  ensuring  that  the  consumers  don’t  over  process  their  thoughts  and  respond  with  just  the  rational  filter.      Also,  with  house  building  we  used  two  mediums;  forums  and  live  chats.  We  used  the  forum  to  develop  the  contextual  understanding  of  the  elements  of  a  house  and  took  those  learnings  with  the  participants  to  a  live  chat  to  share  what  we  learnt,  building  on  that  to  build  a  brand  house.  Forums  are  great  to  develop  landscape  understanding,  however,  the  diagnostic  and  further  building  of  thoughts  are  better  suited  in  a  live  chat.   Page 17 of 18
  • 18. How to adapt qualitative research techniques to market research online communities Daniel Alexander-Head and Bala Rajan8. RECOMMENDATIONS1. KEEP  CONSUMERS  IN  THE  LOOP:  Evidence  suggests  that  taking  consumers  on  a  journey  through   data  captured  and  what  it  is  being  used  for  is  the  best  form  of  incentive  and  engagement.   Throughout  the  studies  we  ensured  continuous  feedback  on  what  we  had  picked  up  from  them  to   help  keep  them  coming  back  into  those  particular  studies  so  they  could  see  what  was  happening   with  their  feedback.    2. TECHNOLOGY  AESTHETICS:  Consumers  today  are  exposed  to  various  websites  with  a  myriad  of   experiences.  Market  research  questions  typically  tend  to  be  visually  poor,  generally  leaving  the   consumer  with  a  choice  of  clicking  on  a  website  that  is  visually  inviting  or  a  survey  that  has  nothing   but  radio  buttons.  In  our  studies  conducted  for  the  paper  we  ensured  that  we  had  relevant  imagery   and  colours  and  used  flash  based  questions  to  make  it  more  interactive  and  engaging.  To  ensure   consistent  participation,  we  need  to  ensure  that  we  offer  an  attractive  experience.  3. TECHNIQUES  DO  MIGRATE  BUT,  NO  ONE  SIZE  FITS  ALL:  Techniques  like  Collages  migrate  a  lot   easier  than  House  Building  and  Kelly’s  Triad.  The  key  to  knowing  which  techniques  are  best  suited   to  which  medium,  is  to  focus  on  the  purpose  of  the  technique  and  overlay  the  limitations  of  the   medium  (forum,  bulletin  board  or  live  chats).        4. USE  MULTIPLE  MEDIUMS:  Every  medium  has  its  benefits  but  also  has  its  limitations.  For   techniques  that  need  consumers  to  process  their  thoughts  and/or  build  on  other  participants   thoughts,  forums  are  a  better  option  as  opposed  to  techniques  where  researchers  need  a  higher   degree  of  control  and  have  a  more  diagnostic  approach.  In  these  instances  live  chats  are  better.  A  crucial  point  that  will  determine  the  future  and  innovation  in  this  space  will  be  how  willing  qualitative  researchers  are  to  embrace  technology  to  capture  data.  We  are  currently  only  scratching  the  surface  and  there  are  multiple  possibilities  to  develop  data  capture  mediums  depending  on  the  design  and  objective  of  the  studies.  In  any  case,  it  is  imperative  that  we  try  these  techniques  across  more  categories  and  brands  to  understand  where  it  has  more  potential  than  others.  In  our  belief,  it  requires  cross-­‐discipline  (research  and  technology)  expertise  to  make  any  advances  in  this  field.  The  future  of  these  innovative  approaches  also  depends  on  how  researchers  change  and  adapt  to  analyse  the  social  media  style  generated  content.    Irrespective  of  how  we  go  down  this  route  as  an  industry,  the  children  who  are  growing  up  with  Cyworld,  Bebo,  MySpace  etc,  will  be  bringing  their  experiences  and  reliance  of  social  network  to  the  forefront  of  decision  making  and  we  as  an  industry  will  need  to  keep  up.     Page 18 of 18