The Pros & Cons of International Qualitative Research
26 Oct 2021

As more brands are now seeking the benefits of globalization, the need to conduct international qualitative research has become more important than ever to understand consumer behavior. Conducting research outside a brand’s home country brings illuminating insights with a caveat of unique challenges. In this blog, we will dive deeper into the pros and cons of international online qualitative research.

Pros of International Online Qualitative Research


Conducting online focus groups has fewer physical boundaries. There are no travel fees involved, as the moderators and participants can join within the comfort of their homes or offices. Though there are country-specific time zones to be mindful of when scheduling sessions, data is available for market researchers to analyze almost immediately. 

Unique Perspectives

Globally, consumers perceive brands differently and therefore have a unique relationship with a brand. Having said that, a key advantage of online focus groups on an international scale is that participants can share their perspectives for a specific brand. This data can be unique, multi-varied, and culturally sensitive. 

Advanced Technology

Now that technology has become so advanced, executing online qualitative research internationally has become much easier, efficient, and cost-effective. Various methodologies such as in-depth interviews and online focus groups can be utilized through web conferencing software to help brands understand what consumers truly think. Other unique research methods like AI qualitative research and selfie interviews reveal attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs about the brand or product.

Cons of International Online Qualitative Research

Communicating in the Local Language

Although conducting online focus groups allows for flexibility, searching for a moderator who can speak the local language can be challenging. Different dialects can also impact focus group responses. If the focus group is facilitated by a moderator who can speak the native language, participants will be more willing to share their attitudes and beliefs.  

Translating Culture

When it comes to international qualitative research, it’s important to be mindful of cultural sensitivities and nuances. Some cultures have taboo subjects or revered customs. Additionally, people of certain cultural backgrounds may be more apprehensive or quieter in focus groups. This can distort consumer insights. 

Lack of Technological Infrastructure

Although technological advancements have transformed market research, some countries may lack technological infrastructure. This can be a barrier to setting up and gathering sufficient, reliable insights.


Brands must consider cost when taking on a project internationally. It plays a major factor in the translation of transcripts, recruitment, and simultaneous interpretation. Each country that participates in a qualitative research study brings added insights–as well as added costs. 

There are many pros and cons to international online qualitative research. Overall, it can result in insightful takeaways on brand attitude and perception, it also comes with certain limitations. Depending on the study and KPIs, it’s important to weigh the benefits and costs for qualitative methodologies. 

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Drink Up: RAB Drills Down Into Beverage Category Strategies – InsideRadio
06 Oct 2021

Provoke Insights president Carly Fink presented unique consumer insights on retail shopping at RAB’s webinar on the beverage purchaser. 

Radio is a great way to reach both alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinkers.

It was also found that alcoholic beverage purchasers, in particular, have different habits, attitudes, and demographics than the general population:

  • 30% believe that customer service has worsened since the pandemic began
  • 57% observe that fewer products are available
  • Millennials are far more likely to purchase wine online

Brands should turn to the radio to connect with local customers. With the growing number of craft breweries, local wineries, and hometown distilleries, alcohol brands have ample opportunities. As the non-alcoholic beverage consumer is similar to the general population, these brands also have ample opportunities.

Pros & Cons of Research with Kids
04 Oct 2021

There are about 73 million children (under 18) in the US. This group, which accounts for almost a quarter of our nation’s population, has an incredible say in the market even though they may not even  have wallets yet. Conducting research for this audience is important both for brands currently looking to appeal to children as well as companies who want to understand their future customers. Here are some pros and cons to consider if your brand is thinking of commissioning research with kids:


Their Parents Like to Spend

Parents love to provide for their children. Today’s parents are spending more on their kids than ever before, accounting for billions of dollars in annual spending. A quarter of US consumers purchased toys in early 2021. In 2020, half of younger parents planned on spending more on entertainment for their children. Conducting market research on children helps brands understand which products and content can appeal to the audience. Brands can then turn to the parents and demonstrate how their products meet their child’s needs.

They’re Passionate and They Show It

It can sometimes seem like kids are just young innocent little people who are unaware of worldly issues happening around them, but this could not be further from the truth. As the most diverse generation, they are exposed to many of the same situations we think about regarding the working class–and they notice. Today’s kids hold strong opinions about some of the world’s biggest issues from school safety to gender equality. They also express their concerns with these issues as freely as some adults. One in 5 children have marched or protested about an issue they are passionate about. As adults are already forming opinions on companies based on their takes on worldly topics, brands should take an early opportunity to see what topics the next wave of consumers are thinking about.

They are Our Future Consumers

As mentioned before, understanding what children like can help a brand cater to parents for short term purchases. However, brands can work in advance to seek out developing behaviors and trends that can predict what these generations will care about when they are older. Brands can get a head start developing products and marketing campaigns that will appeal to these kids when they are older and have their own spending power.


They Lack Immediate  Purchasing Power

Though kids may be influential in their parent’s purchasing decisions, at the end of the day, they may not have the final say in spending. Though it could be lucrative to gain insight into the needs of future audiences, some companies may be looking to assess immediate needs. It could be more beneficial for these brands to conduct research on parents as opposed to children. Millennial parents say that their children’s habits influence their purchases. Speaking to or surveying parents could be more effective for examining the current pool of consumers.

They are Difficult to Reach

Gathering children for research is not as simple as it is for adults. Recruitment can be difficult and costly. Children are not directly connected to survey marketplaces or recruitment lists. This means researchers are really recruiting parents to volunteer and supervise their kids during the research. This factor puts an extra layer of targeting on top of other aspects that need to be accounted for in a specific study.

Developing Kid Friendly Research Requires Additional Innovation and Compliance

Conducting research among kids requires an immense amount of thoughtfulness and creativity. Survey questions and research guides must be engaging and easy to understand. They also must include age-appropriate material. Extra care must be taken to select the appropriate type of methodology for the targeted age group. For example, quantitative research among children under 5 years old is extra challenging. In all cases, parents will likely need to assist their children through the research. Finally, research on children must follow strict COPPA requirements which include revealing the research topic and how the research will be used.

Developing research for younger audiences can give brands insights into how they influence their parents current spending as well as help them predict what future trends may develop as kids grow older. Companies should consider these plusses and minuses, decide what their needs are, and evaluate whether speaking to tomorrow’s consumers can help them today.

Interested in reading more in our Pros and Cons series? Check out our other blogs here. 
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