There are many reasons to consider a virtual (non-facility based) qualitative approach to research. Top among them are low incidence audiences that would be difficult if not impossible to recruit to a central location at a specific time and date. Another reason is efficiency, trying to get national representation without spending a week or more on the road and tens of thousands of dollars.
There are also several approaches to virtual research. We can advise you on how to select the right approach to meet your objectives.
Telephone conference: While this may seem low-tech given today's technology, it is often the best way to interview C-Level participants because they are all easily accessible no matter where they are. Just because the conversation is over the phone does not mean visual stimuli cannot be presented via computer.
Webcam Focus Groups: This is the closest thing to a live focus group. Each participant has a web cam connected computer and is conferenced using Consumerview™. The moderator holds a traditional conversation, and can present stimuli. Participants send typed questions to the moderator. Client observers view the conference and can carry on a private chat session. Call us to learn more about the benefits to using this approach.
Online Bulletin Board: Respondents are asked to check-in to a private discussion board several times a day over a period of 1-4 days. This is similar to how a person uses Facebook. It allows participants to reflect on questions posed by the moderator and to comment on the messages posted by other participants.