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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Market Research Online and Offline - Differences in output and processing of Qualitative Online and Face to Face Research
Year 2009
Access date 17.08.2009

As market researchers with a qualitative focus, our aim is to explore and understand both the rational and the emotional drivers that move consumers and shape their behavior. This requires that we get close to the consumers reality, which today is increasingly both online and offline – and therefore our research takes place online as well as face to face.

Research showed us that face to face and online research offer different advantages and requirements regarding the use of certain techniques and the respective kinds of outcome. We consider these differences as a great chance if both kinds of research are implemented and combined skillfully – but also as problematic if ignored.

So far, the necessity or usefulness of online research is justified almost entirely pragmatically: E.g. it reaches immobile target groups, offers flexibility for moderators and clients and for some – especially younger or professional target group – it is the familiar means of communication. We however think that it is important to also consider the methodological and content-based specialties and advantages of online research. We therefore explored the differences between the progression and results of online and face to face research more systematically and qualitatively by conducting four focus groups, two online and two face to face, with identical questions and similar questioning techniques. Our analysis showed that different subjects, stimulus materials and questioning techniques are more or less appropriate and successful in either form of group discussion. It also revealed clear differences in mode and content of answers, e.g. that different results are gained regarding the openness to express ones opinion and the kind of emotional involvement. Thus, the question whether it is more appropriate to conduct qualitative research online or face to face can only be answered by considering the topic and the desired results. For more complex research designs online and face to face research can complement each other in an iterative research process.

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Conference homepage (abstract)

Year of publication2009
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
Full text availabilityAvailable on request

Web survey bibliography - General Online Research Conference (GOR) 2009 (54)

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