FEATURE22 April 2021

Forming connections: How to find the right research mode

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Covid-19 Features Impact Innovations Trends

When research methodologies meet their participants, researchers must ensure that this connection between mode and individual creates the best landscape for insight – but this comes with challenges. Elen Lewis reports.


There are at least three things the market research industry can agree on after surviving more than a year working through a global pandemic. One: researchers have become more nimble and agile than ever to ensure different (virtual) research modes create high-quality data and insight. Two: online qual has become a distinct research mode in its own right, with new rules and boundaries. And three: “You’re on mute, Karen” has become a daily reality for many online moderators, illuminating the connection between how people interact with research and the quality of the resulting insight.

The way in which people interact with different research modes was an issue way before Covid-19 stepped onto the world stage, but the pandemic has unquestionably become a catalyst for accelerating digital transformation.

“This whole situation has seen the industry challenging boundaries with an appetite for change, ” says Christian Dubreuil, senior vice-president, client solutions, Schlesinger Group. “But we should always innovate in the ways we ...