Qualitative research allows an in-depth view of the consumer’s thoughts, emotions, and opinions, extending beyond just the data.

Technology has provided advanced methods depending on the situation and desired outcome. Let us help you find which tool is best for your situation.

At SMARI, we are constantly in search of new methodologies to witness the consumer’s emotion and thus, understand their behaviors. We work with our clients to ensure proper representation in the research discussions. We will design a moderator’s outline to include tools and techniques from the qualitative toolbox. Our moderators are professionally trained and experienced in the art of qualitative research.

Qualitative Approaches at SMARI

In-Person Focus Groups

8-10 respondents meet around a table to discuss a given topic led by a trained moderator. Ideal for collaboration, idea generating, new product development or where unique experiences come together to build upon each other.

Online Focus Groups

12-15 qualified respondents participate in an online forum discussion led by a trained moderator. Ideal when reaching a large geography (no travel), sensitive topics, or quick results.

In-Home Observation

Professional moderator goes to the respondent’s home to observe them using a certain product in a true setting. Great when looking to refine or develop a new product.

Mobile Diaries

Allows respondents to record feelings, thoughts, videos, and pictures in real time. Great for understanding a shopping experience, service, or usage experience.

Bulletin Boards

Ongoing dialogue using mobile engagement. Allows respondents to come to the bulletin board in their own time to record thoughts, feelings, and/or experience, and even react to others’ comments in real time. Great for understanding a journey – how consumers use, buy, & respond over time.


6-8 respondents meet around the table to review a wireframe, beta, or existing website. The technology can record the respondent’s movement as they are given certain tasks to perform as a way to understand where to make improvements.

IDIs (In-Depth Interiews)

One-on-one discussion between a respondent and a trained moderator. The discussion is typically framed like an in-person focus group, but the one-on-one approach allows for more depth of perspective. Also a common approach when dealing with professionals (such as physicians) or sensitive topics.