Qualitative research gives us first-hand insights from participants in their own words. Researchers have many reasons and considerations when selecting the best method for gathering qualitative insights. Focus groups are conducted in group format allowing for discussion and ideation among participants while in-depth interviews (IDI) allow researchers to go deep in a one-on-one environment.

The preferences of research participants are not usually taken into consideration when deciding on the method for qualitative research. At Branded, we wanted to learn more about our users’ communication preferences. Do our users prefer talking in a group setting as they would in a focus group? Or do they prefer to communicate in a one-on-one setting as they would in an in-depth interview? We conducted our poll on September 4, 2018, and 17,154 users responded.

Overall, 81 percent of our users say they are most comfortable talking in a one-on-one setting, while 19 percent say they are most comfortable in a group setting.

Digging into the poll results, our research found nuances in communication preferences by audience segments. Better understanding consumer preferences help researchers understand the best method of communication for their key audiences.

Our research found that multicultural consumers are more comfortable communicating in group settings like focus groups, compared to Caucasian users. Thus, researchers conducting multicultural qualitative research should be inclined to use focus groups to gather insights. Approximately 24 percent of Hispanic users and African American users are most comfortable communicating in a group, while 76 percent are most comfortable communicating one-on-one. Roughly 21 percent of Asian users are most comfortable in a group setting and 79 percent are most comfortable talking one-on-one. In contrast, 18 percent of Caucasian users are most comfortable communicating in a group setting and 82 percent are most comfortable talking one-on-one.

Communication Preferences by Race/Ethnicity

 

The poll also found that men are more comfortable in a group setting than women. Approximately 21 percent of male users prefer communicating in a group and 79 percent are most comfortable communicating one-on-one. While 18 percent of women are most comfortable talking in a group setting and 82 percent are most comfortable communicating one-on-one.