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For winning qualitative, make it high-touch + high-tech

By Mary McIlrath, Senior Vice President, and Erin Barber, Vice President of Online Immersion

The explosion of online and mobile technologies has become fertile ground for innovative qualitative research. Since social sites and smartphones have become the dominant way so many communicate, a social approach can be the most natural way to talk about the brands in our lives. Both online and mobile help us explore customers' experiences without geographic constraints.

Over the past several years, online discussion boards and communities have become quite common. Shorter-term online discussion boards are a fast, economical way to get the benefit of an online community in days or weeks without an ongoing commitment and expense. Long-term online insight communities provide an ongoing mechanism for staying in touch with your customer base and an efficient platform for launching targeted projects as needed.

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