Many marketing staff members may still be working from home. Traveling for out-of-town focus groups is still a hassle. And trying to recruit customers to be interviewed for the development of that new go-to-market strategy? Well, many are still very reluctant to spend time at a focus group facility voicing their opinions in a room filled with strangers.

To relieve these problems, while actually reducing the time and expense of Voice of Customer research, the Drucker Group has been exploring the potential benefits of a new, very fast and efficient research tool called Big Qual (AKA, Large-Scale Qualitative).

Big Qual is an online, interactive marketing research session of 50 to 300 participants across the country working together to answer questions, react to stimuli, and explain their reasons and motives on a product, a brand or a purchase. Large-Scale Qualitative sessions utilize survey-type questions (or polls), open-ended questions, and projective exercises to help collect consumers’ responses. Graphs, tables, summaries of open-ended responses, and verbatim results are instantly available to the moderator and observers. Pictures can be shown, sorted, and grouped. Participants can draw, design, and explain their views. Verbatim answers are displayed in real time, so the respondents’ reasons and motives are known immediately to the project team and brand managers.

The whole process is interactive, and questions and exercises can be changed, added, or deleted as the session unfolds. Our clients can observe and interact with the moderator. A typical session lasts 60 to 90 minutes, and a summary report is available the following day. You can’t get something like that with a focus group! In a recent Big Qual study for a Drucker Group client, a 60-question discussion guide, created in collaboration with our client’s marketing and product development team, was completed in just under 90 minutes with 150 respondents. Within weeks, a comprehensive report was filed that included an extensive view of consumer attitudes, perceptions and behaviors around the path to purchase for this client’s products in the retail channel. The report also included the coding of all open-ended questions and a breakout by key demographics. You can’t get that from ordinary focus groups, which is why it’s well worth considering the strategic development advantages of Big Qual.