Acknowledging Intimate Behavior: Harnessing Emotional Insights from Online Qualitative

Filed Under: Best Practices, Market Research, Consumer Empathy, Online Qualitative Research


Emily Prozeller

Vice President, Communities & Panels

Five ways to acknowledge intimate material

At C+R, we have found that we’re able to uncover deep emotional insights and build empathy with your consumers and customers with online and even mobile projects. To do this though, we need to earn the right with consumers so that they tell us what we want and need to hear.

There are three key techniques to earning the right with people in online qualitative, two of which we have gone over in previous blogs: part 1 – leveraging online behavior and part 2 – finding the moments with your consumers.

The last of the three key parts to help earn the right with the people in studies is all about acknowledging intimate material. There are five ways that we can do this.

Be Upfront about Sensitive or Emotional Topics

Participants respond to honesty and transparency, and they can sense this whether you’re communicating in-person or online. This is why we like to go ahead and gain their trust right away by being upfront and letting them know what’s in the pipeline for our projects, specifically when it’s a particularly emotional topic.

We let them know from the beginning where we are going and what we will be discussing so they feel in the loop and respected.

Help People Warm Up to the Topic

We want to be able to help people warm up to the topic and the feelings they may have about it. This is where gaining their trust by being upfront and saying something like “Hey, you know in a few days we’re going to tackle this very sensitive topic of underwear,” really allows them to wrap their minds around what is coming.

They become warmed up to the idea and have a better mindset which allows you to get to the places you need to really understand their emotional, intimate feelings toward a particular product or service.

Have More than One Moderator

The benefit of having more than one moderator is it gives people the opportunity to connect with more than one individual. People in the study may feel close very quickly to one moderator based on similarity in lifestyle that they perceived in the introduction.

So having more than one moderator allows for the opportunity to make more connections depending on the participants and who they may gravitate towards.

Be Present, Not Overbearing

Although we want to gain trust and build a bond with the participants in the study, we don’t want to try and dictate the process or how they feel. We are there to guide, but ultimately we give them room to give feedback to us and let them own the space overall.

Leverage the Comfort of Home

When dealing with sensitive topics, it is even more important to be device agnostic so individuals feel as though they can carve out their most comfortable space. With online qualitative, this is normally in the comfort of their own homes.

Being at home allows participants to build a comfortable environment for themselves so that they feel ready to give feedback on these sensitive topics we gave them a heads-up about.

Being upfront about sensitive topics, helping people warm up to the topic, having more than one moderator, being present and not overbearing, and leveraging the comfort of home are the practices that we feel are most successful to acknowledge any intimate material that may come up in online qual.

To wrap things up, in order to earn the right with consumers to make sure you get the emotional insights you need for your research, you should make sure you are doing these three things: leveraging online behavior, finding the right moments, and acknowledging any intimate material.

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