RPG Research Catalog

In-Depth Interviews

In-Depth Interviews, or IDIs, are a powerful and popular method of conducting research. One of the biggest advantages of IDIs is that they can provide deep data that really gets to the heart of what a respondent thinks and feels about an issue.

Because of the back-and-forth exchange between the interviewer and the respondent, IDIs tend to produce the highest quality of data as well, since respondents have ample opportunity to ask for clarification when they’re not sure what a question is trying to ask, and interviewers have the ability to probe answers that are vague or that hint at deeper data beneath the surface of the response.

IDIs are typically used in qualitative studies, since they tend to provide rich data that requires further analysis to properly quantify. Some IDIs are conducted using an unstructured process, where the interviewer engages the respondent in a conversation about a topic without having a predefined list of questions to ask.

It is far more common, however, for IDIs to be conducted with a structured guide to ensure that each respondent is asked the same basic questions (though the probes themselves may differ).

IDIs can be observed live in a marketing research facility, over streaming video or over an audio stream, which allows observers to interject additional questions towards the end of the interview. IDIs are also particularly well-suited for concept testing, process testing and emotions-based research.

 

Traditional IDIs

A traditional IDI is conducted in person, typically in the respondent’s home, at a professional research facility, in a hotel conference room, or some other comfortable location.

Traditional IDIs tend to function like a journalistic interview, where the interviewer begins with a predefined list of questions and probes responses for additional detail. Observers can also suggest additional questions to the interviewer for additional probing.

Advantages
•Traditional IDIs generate a deep pool of information that can offer some real insights into the minds of respondents.
•Questions can be tailored to the interview.
•Product and concept testing can be administered effectively and securely.

Telephone IDIs

By using the telephone to conduct an IDI, an interview process can be conducted much more efficiently than a series of in-person IDIs.

Busy respondents can be called at home, during a break, or while traveling and participate in research when it is convenient for them to do so. Clients may observe by listening in on these calls or to recordings of the calls, but many clients simply prefer categorized verbatim comments.

Advantages
•Interviews can be conducted regardless of geography.
•Telephone interviews are both comfortable and convenient for
respondents.
•Costs are typically less than a traditional IDI since travel expenses, facility fees and refreshments are not needed.

Online IDIs

In-depth interviews can be conducted online via e-mail, chat, a private message board, a social network, audio chat or a video conferencing service.

IDIs involving written content (such as e-mail or chat interviews) are better for studies where there is a need for detailed information that may require some thought on the part of the respondent.

IDIs involving spoken content (such as audio or video chat) are better for studies where the interviewer may need to probe more often to gain insight into the respondent’s point of view.

Advantages
•Using online media allows interviews to be conducted regardless of geography.
•Online interviews are both comfortable and convenient for respondents.
•Costs are typically less than a traditional IDI since travel expenses, facility fees and refreshments are not needed.

Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic research involves studying people in their natural surroundings and might involve probing these people with questions to understand why they make the choices that they make.

In marketing research, ethnographic research is sometimes used to study customers as they shop in stores or participate in service exchanges. Ethnographic research can range from purely observational (no questions are asked) to something that resembles an interactive, unstructured interview.

Advantages

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