Market research is a complicated beast. Modern market research strategies tend to focus on bringing in as much data as possible for analysis then analyzing, re-analyzing, and spitting out conclusions based on the crude information available. While we are huge fans of measurement and quantitative methodologies, different research tools are better for different forms of analysis and seeing the humanity behind the behaviors of your customers and business partners requires something more.
This is where in-depth interviews come into play. Also known as IDIs, these methods of market research involve in-person interviews where an interviewer/moderator can have time to gather both hard information and more subtle impressions from the interviewee. Here is a high level overview of IDIs and how they can help businesses better understand how their brand is perceived in the marketplace.
What are In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) Exactly?
In-depth interviews are market research tools which entail a one-on-one interview, conducted by a trusted moderator. IDIs focus on finding qualitative data over quantitative. In other words, IDIs are great for understanding how a group of individual perceives a certain brand or product rather than gathering hard data on usage, market size, and so forth. A properly conducted in-depth interview will not only result in the respondent’s answers, but also the moderator’s notes on the respondent’s body language, energy, and general affect.
In-depth interviews rely heavily on the skill of the interviewer. The entire process is more intimate than many market research scenarios, and therefore require a more personal touch. Interviewees who are comfortable tend to answer more fully and honestly. If this can be achieved, IDIs offer extremely valuable qualitative insights into how your brand is perceived.
In-Depth Interviews for B2B Market Research
Business to businesses transactions, more frequently shortened to simply B2B, benefit greatly from in-depth interviews. While IDIs can certainly be used for B2C business market research, B2B businesses often have long-term, personal relationships with their business partners rather than with numerous, faceless end customers. This makes B2B in-depth interview research particularly useful.
Here are some examples of valuable information points which can be revealed through a B2B in-depth interview:
- Why the other business chose to work with your company. What was the decision making process and which factors carried the most weight?
- Who were the decision makers in this process? Was the CEO the only opinion in the room? Were department heads involved? Were shareholders asked for their input?
- Were there any doubts before choosing to work with your organization?
- How could those doubts have been erased?
- Is your business partner happy with the goods and/or services you are providing?
- How can your existing business relationship be improved?
- If this interviewee has chosen not to work with your company, what might have changed their mind?
These are merely examples of potential interview questions. Again, it is important to remember that IDIs are not just used to get direct answers, but also to get a feel for how the respondent views your brand and your business on a more personal level.
The Unique Benefits of IDIs
In-depth interviews allow for extremely detailed information gathering
The primary benefit of an in-depth interview is perhaps the level of detail into which an interview can go with their interviewee. If a series of questions reveals a unique concern from a consumer or business partner, the interviewer can continue asking questions about that topic to gain greater insight. All the time, highly skilled interviewers will be reading the body language, word choice, etc. of the respondent to get a personal understanding of their position.
IDIs provide a personal touch in an increasingly impersonal business world
Something we have yet to touch on is that many businesses and consumer groups appreciate being asked to participate in an in-depth interview. This is a way for them to express what they love, what they don’t love, and any concerns they might have about your brand or product. While IDIs are certainly serious business, they can also be relaxed and informal. Creating a sense of comfort in a one-on-one interview can allow for detailed and powerful insights.
In-depth interviews provide more “bang for their buck”
As we mentioned in the introduction, so much of marketing these days is focused on sheer volume. How many data points can we cram into this analysis report? In-depth interviews for businesses go the opposite route. IDIs focus on fewer subjects, but higher quality data gathering. A strong marketing strategy should consider using both quantitative and qualitative research. When it comes to qualitative research, IDIs are tough to beat.
Clock Tower Insight Helps Conduct and Analyze IDIs for Market Research
Clock Tower Insight is proud to work with a wide range of B2C and B2B industries, including retail, CPG, food service, and advertising organizations. We believe in using powerful, cutting edge research to offer brand-specific insights. With this insight, we work with brands to turn the data into actionable information, and eventually into business growth. Our services include brand positioning, customer experience management, and much more. We believe in the power of personal relationships, and in-depth interviews are just a small part of that commitment.
Learn more about how Clock Tower Insight can help your business today!