I went to the researh 2.0 conference on Tuesday and wanted to find out what online research could do better than offline.
It seems that it’s down to cost and time; however, I am still of the opinion that face-to-face methodologies (for the sake of qual research) will always provide better, sharper and more useful insights than offline.
It has an inherent than online can never have: you are talking to somebody in the flesh. You have a human dialogue, you can see who they are, assess all the non-verbal cues and draw out more of an emotional truth from what you’re being told.
I do think face-to-face has to change though to keep up with the competition. How groups are run need to be rethought because they have become stayed and done because they’ve always been done. I like the more deliberative, workshop styles and any opportunity of spending more time with a respondent even if it means a smaller sample.
Times are a changin’ but I don’t want to jump on the online bandwagon quite yet. I may have been proven wrong in a few years but it’s better to stand for something you believe in than sit on the fence, hey?!