Which type of stimulus is best used to elicit reactions for qualitative market research?
A stimulus is any kind of material or object used in a market research study intended to draw thoughts, emotional reactions, or insights from respondents. You make use of these stimuli to prompt engagement and consequently get a better understanding of a respondent’s complex decision-making process. It’s basically anything that stimulates our senses.
It can be categorized into three: auditory, physical, and visual stimuli. Auditory stimuli refer to materials or concepts with sound, music, or one that is being read aloud to elicit reactions from the respondents. Auditory materials may include tapes, recordings, videos, etcetera. Physical stimuli refer to an actual product presented either during in-depth interviews or focus group discussions, also to generate insights. And Visual stimuli refer to images or videos presented typically as marketing materials including videos, photos, storyboards, ads, even websites.
Most of the time, researchers focused on innovation studies and product development are required to present stimuli in order to test new concepts in qualitative environments. And out of all these types of stimuli, it’s no secret that one of the best ways to engage with your respondents and obtain stories from them is through video stimuli.
Here are Five Advantages of Using Video as a Stimuli When Doing Market Research
Videos are more engaging
Being a combination of different elements such as image, text, and sounds, videos are known to strike a deeper connection and elicit stronger emotional reactions from respondents rather than just relying on images, texts, or sounds alone as a stimulus because your brain is said to process visuals much faster than it can with text and it leaves a longer impression too. In addition to that, market researchers are able to test immediate reactions just by playing these videos.
Videos exhibit non-verbal communication
Relying solely on text as a form of stimuli may be harder because then you’d have to be precise with your word choices, punctuation, and things like emoticons alone won’t always justify the right tone. However, with video, respondents are able to determine exactly what it is trying to get across through elements such as intonation, body language, verbal tone, even the color scheme, and other visual cues.
Videos are easier to recall
If you are working on a long-term research study, it is really more efficient to make use of video stimuli because research shows that people, in general, can retain 95% of a video’s message compared to the 10% that it can when reading text. If you’re going to be working with respondents on a long-term project, it would definitely be better to make use of videos because it allows for a longer recollection of information.
Videos spark a free-flowing discussion
Market researchers can also use videos to evoke extreme emotional reactions, be it a positive or negative emotion, so much so that it urges respondents to open up and discuss amongst themselves. This, in turn, will give the market researchers more insights and observations to take note of.
Videos are less time consuming
According to studies, respondents consume information presented on videos much faster than they do with text, making it more efficient for you and for your participants. Again, it gives you a quicker means of gathering information for a richer process of analysis later on.
In the end, you can always use a combination of all types of stimuli. Videos are just one tool to generate insights from your respondents. However, do keep in mind that you should use them strategically and appropriately. Meaning, your video should specifically be relevant to the topic for discussion and should be at the core of what participants were briefed about, rather than an unrelated string of videos designed solely on aesthetics or the idea that showing videos may be a good idea.
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