Qualitative Research Comparison Chart

Method PROs CONs
Virtual Ethnography
  • Record real life activities
  • New tasks can be assigned on the fly
  • More cost effective than in-person ethnographies
  • Relies upon participant to record/capture the full dynamic and process
  • Participants must be technologically savvy
directiveCHAT
  • Provides an anonymous forum to discuss private and sensitive topics more openly
  • Convenient for busy parents, professionals, and teens allowing more scheduling flexibility
  • Can probe privately with respondents individually, without involving the full group
  • Does not allow moderator to observe non-verbal queues and reactions
  • May result in less participant interaction than a traditional focus group
  • Feedback to probes may not be immediate
directiveFOCUS Same as directiveCHAT plus:
  • More interaction between participants
  • Allows for immediate probing
  • Does not allow moderator to observe non-verbal queues and reactions
  • Generally fewer conversations/rolls develop among participants than in a traditional group
directiveDIARY
  • Integrates a more holistic view of the consumer behavior, including emotions and attitudes about the behavior
  • New tasks can be assigned on the fly
  • Format and structure of feedback is less standardized than in traditional diary studies
  • Potential for user error/technology issues
  • Open format may require more digging for the key insights
directiveMOMENT
  • Captures in-the-moment reaction
  • Collect feedback through a variety of mechanisms
  • Format and structure of feedback is less standardized than in traditional intercept studies

What is Virtual Ethnography? Using video cams, web cams, voice recorders, and/or digital cameras and online bulletin board technology, participants narrate and make video recordings of real life activities such as cooking dinner for the family, doing laundry, cleaning the toilet, etc. Participants can also be given tasks to do and record the results (e.g., using a particular cookware, trying a new cleaning product, programming a new universal remote).

What is a directiveDIARY? Using a similar set of tools, participants can develop a rich and in-depth diary that represents their behaviors, emotions, and attitudes about a particular subject, hobby, consumer category, etc. over a period of time. Participants may be given a series of questions and guidelines to fill out their diary about some particular behavior under study (e.g., meal prep) and may be given tasks to complete (e.g., providing a favorite recipe).

What is a directiveMOMENT? Participants are recruited to provide in the moment feedback about things such as purchase triggers, alternative considered, emotions associated with the purchase decision, pain points, and satisfaction and emotions with the final decision and/or purchase. We are able to collect feedback through a variety of mechanisms methods including: voice messages, texts, emails, voice recorders, photos.