Recently, I heard some compelling stories about a client’s brand. My colleagues and I were conducting consumer in-depth interviews (IDIs) to better understand how people make personal healthcare decisions, as well as their perceptions of our client’s brand.
As I listened, I was impressed by the passion and honesty each participant shared—a benefit that’s relatively unique to IDIs. Focus groups, on the other hand, tend to be dominated by a handful of participants, which can skew results. By eliminating the drawbacks of “group think,” IDIs enabled us to garner consumer input that was not affected by the views of other participants.
Other advantages of IDIs include:
- They allow us to investigate not only perceptions, but also individual thought processes. Because consumer feedback is solicited and given in a one-on-one dialogue, IDIs help shed light on differences that exist within each target segment.
- By design, IDIs give the interviewee significantly more “floor” time, meaning the consumer will speak for approximately 80 percent of the interview. By contrast, focus groups require more speaking and facilitating by the moderator, which leaves less time overall for consumer responses.
- IDIs can be adapted to other settings as well, including online and phone interviews.
We value IDIs for all these reasons and more. By taking group bias and external influence out of the equation, we can gather insightful information for our client that may not have surfaced as clearly in a focus group or survey. Probing the hearts and minds of healthcare consumers as individuals enabled us to draw several informed conclusions and build them into our client’s strategic plan. We are confident tomorrow’s consumers will like what they see from this client in the coming years because it will be, by and large, exactly what they said they want and need.