The Rise Of Video Usage For Market Research

Video use for Market Research Fast-Tracked in 2020

The Rise Of Video Usage For Market Research

Back in December 2019, when we could still meet and Corona was just a beer, we conducted a survey amongst our Market Research customers to get their view on the trends they were seeing in the industry.

It was clear. Video was already on the rise:

% of market researchers using the method more often than 3 years ago

  • 93% Online focus groups using video
  • 87% Participants’ online video submission
  • 87% In-depth online video interviews

Qualitative Video Research in 2020

Fast forward to 2020 and I think we can all agree that the use of video has been well and truly fast-tracked. We’ve all had to adapt and find ways to transition to be more online-focused and the same is true for Market Researchers.

In our latest survey (October 2020), we asked our Market Research customer base about their use of video over the last 12 months, to see how they’ve adapted.

Q: Which of the following best reflects your use of video for research over the last 12 months?

  • 63% Our use of video has increased and I expect that to continue
  • 17% We were using video extensively before and I expect that to continue

The majority were either using video extensively before or have ramped up their usage in the last 12 months, with the longer-term view that the trend will continue.

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The Benefits Of Video For Qualitative Research

Outside of the necessity to adapt to restrictions on travel and face-to-face contact, video provides some additional benefits which make it an enticing option.

  • Time & effort saved for both the participants and the researcher as travel isn’t needed, which can remove some of the barriers in getting participants to take part
  • Depending on the type of research, video can allow multiple participants to take part at different times to suit them
  • Removes geographical limitations – more sessions can be conducted in a day and there is greater flexibility in who is in each session when location restrictions aren’t in place
  • It’s easy for people to observe sessions or segments of sessions, which helps stakeholders to engage with the research
  • Platforms exist to allow for interactive activities such a white-boards and breakout rooms
  • Video can provide cost-savings when compared to face-to-face alternatives

Limitations & Challenges For Using Video For Qualitative Research

Obviously, video has been used for some time, but there are some hurdles to overcome which can be easier to deal with in a face-to-face environment. In our survey, 8% stated that although their use of video had increased, they expected it to reduce again when face-to-face research becomes a viable option once more.

Some of the challenges for Market Research conducted by video include:

  • Video typically provides a limited view of the participant, you lose the ability to see body language and their surroundings
  • Slow connections, people talking over each other and general technical issues exist, including user error. This can make for a poor experience and may put some people off
  • If participants are at home they are only moments from distraction – a mobile phone buzz, kids coming into the room or a knock at the door
  • Managing a group is a skill regardless of the environment, but can be even harder online. It’s difficult to maintain energy levels and keep people engaged
  • For product development research, where you might be using prototypes or samples, posting them out to individuals can be problematic. Also ensuring confidentiality may be more challenging in an online environment
  • People can feel all ‘zoomed-out’. As video calls become more prevalent generally, people want a break from the screen

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Issues For Qualitative Research Conducted Offline Or Online With Video

In addition, there are also some challenges that still exist regardless of the format. 

  • No show participants – the reduction in travel and therefore the time needed to take part that video provides may reduce this, but there will still be those participants who don’t attend
  • Lateness – even when people are at home and have easy access to their computer or phone, lateness is likely to still occur. In fact, people might be more likely to be late with video as they don’t think they need any time to prepare – there is always the inevitable quick nip to the loo or last-minute dash to grab a glass of water
  • For effective analysis of any sessions turning speech into text is key. It provides a reference of what people said and makes the content searchable


Like with most approaches there are pros and cons and although there is always likely to be a need or desire for face-to-face qualitative research in the future, it seems that video is here to stay.

If you need to transform your focus groups, interviews or other qualitative research speech into text, we have a range of transcription services to suit your timescales, security requirements and budget, 99% accuracy guaranteed!

Source: Take Note Customer Survey October 2020, Take Note Preparing for the future of market research report, December 2019.

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Thomas Carter