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Traditional vs. Digital Qualitative: An Overview

As research options have grown tremendously over the past 10-15 years, with more and more online and mobile approaches becoming available, insights-seekers now have a full arsenal of tools on-hand.  Most often, researchers’ key question isn’t “Can we do this?”…it’s “What’s the best way to do this?”  One common debate is whether a project is better suited for a traditional/in-person approach, or a digital one.

Traditional and Digital approaches each have their benefits and trade-offs.  And, there are certainly initiatives which would be well-served by either option – often with the decision coming down to everyone’s least favorite factors of time and budget. 

On the Digital side, benefits to leverage include:

That said, in-person approaches certainly offer a host of unique benefits as well, such as:

While there’s often no “wrong” choice between digital or in-person qualitative, there usually is a “better” option for any given research initiative.  Partnering with a team well-versed across all qualitative approaches is the best way to ensure you’re investing your research budget wisely. 

Have questions or want to further discuss qualitative approaches?  We love what we do and are always ready to chat! Reach out to Jessica Ritzo, IIM’s Director of Digital Qualitative:

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