The pandemic and digitalization of society have certainly changed digital qualitative research. That includes using asynchronous video and getting feedback in a time-shifted way.
In this article, I discuss:
- What is asynchronous video?
- The definition of asynchronous feedback
- How asynchronous feedback works
- Integration into the overall market research mix
The topics of trying to stay ahead of consumer trends and doing that through market research, online communities (MROCs), and video surveys are always top of mind for me. So I read with interest this article about how the pandemic has changed digital qual.
I’m glad to see the insights industry is having this conversation, and it’s fantastic to see that the authors share tips on how to do qualitative in the digital world. The information in the article on how moderators need to adjust to remote interviews is beneficial. Body language on a virtual call is different from body language in a face-to-face conversation. But there’s more to digital qual than moving offline conversations to the online world.
What is asynchronous video?
At the most basic level, “asynchronous” means something related is not happening simultaneously.
Using video as an example could mean that one employee sends a video message or a short demonstration of something to another. That other employee can then watch the video on their own time. If a video response is necessary, they can send that independently from what the other person is doing. The other person can then watch it on their schedule.
Asynchronous videos can be used to communicate with each other, and they can also be used to get feedback from consumers and customers who live elsewhere.
What is asynchronous feedback?
Asynchronous feedback is the same concept as asynchronous video or learning, which many schools have done during the COVID pandemic. Asynchronous feedback means that we get feedback from people on their time. For example, when we launch a video survey on the Voxpopme platform on a Friday morning, respondents might answer later that day, and the results are ready for us to review when we get back to work on Monday.
Another example of asynchronous feedback is when a company sends me a text-based survey via email, I can answer it on my own time. Once they call me to follow up, the only way to give them additional feedback is to answer the phone and talk to them right then and now. That’s not asynchronous feedback.
Asynchronous feedback offers consumers the option to give input on their schedules. For example, the company could send a video survey and ask you to elaborate on the video instead of calling.
Unlike individual phone calls, asynchronous video surveys can also be done at scale. For example, when my team publishes weekly consumer studies like this on how people feel about wearing a mask in public, we gather 100 responses in just a few hours. Those responses are then automatically transcribed and analyzed.
How to use asynchronous feedback to understand customers?
When television was brand new, new television shows were just radio shows on TV. That’s what people knew. Radio was the go-to medium at the time. People use new technology like they’ve used existing technology to that point.
So how do you do TV when you only know the radio? You do radio shows on TV. But of course, good radio isn’t also good TV, and as media teams became more familiar with what good TV is, broadcast programming changed and evolved.
The same is valid for talking to our customers. If we only know how to talk to customers face-to-face, we might try to move that system into the digital world. But unfortunately, we have to schedule an appointment with them and hop on a Zoom call simultaneously.
And there certainly are situations when synchronous conversations need to happen. Sometimes people need to talk to each other at the same time. Other times, that’s not necessary. For example, let’s say you are a rental car company and want to determine how consumers feel about renting electric vehicles. Asking them one by one and only when you have them on the line isn’t efficient.
Here are some additional examples of when asynchronous feedback can work.
Test your campaign messaging
The wrong messaging can damage your brand, cost customers, and waste funds on an ill-fated campaign. Video feedback allows you to test your messaging before you send it out, so you can understand what does — and doesn’t — resonate with your customers.
Microsoft is an excellent example of this. It was planning to launch a multi-million dollar campaign but wanted to ensure that characters resonated with audiences. So rather than gamble and risk launching a campaign that might flop, Microsoft used video feedback to hear from its target audiences as early as possible about the campaign. The result? The promo could succeed with one character rather than a plethora of characters — an important insight for the company.
Speed is one of the biggest perks of video feedback, as it allows you to gather responses to your marketing efforts quickly. This will enable you to fine-tune your message well before it goes live.
A/B test potential campaign messaging, like Microsoft did with its characters, and use video feedback to gauge how people respond to your potential messaging. Once you have your audience feedback, you can fine-tune your messaging until it’s authentic.
Enrich existing data
As you collect video feedback, take note of trends. Video feedback trends can shed light on quantitative customer data trends so that you can understand the reasoning behind your audience’s actions. Video feedback provides a more complete picture than a mass survey.
For example, let’s say you did a mass survey and realized people are generally displeased with your current home page. Use video feedback to find out why people are dissatisfied with your homepage. You could also use video feedback to learn how they navigate your homepage, so you can pinpoint if their problem is UX-related.
Or maybe you recently polled a large portion of your audience on whether or not they’d purchase a potential new product. An overwhelming number of “no” responses could make you believe the product is a flop. But let’s say you follow up with a portion of that audience using video feedback. You may then find out that most of your audience simply “no” because the messaging behind the product was the issue, not the product itself. Or, maybe your product is missing one feature that would push most people into purchasing it.
Quantitative data is great, but you can take it even further with video feedback. You put a lot of effort into understanding people, and surveys are one way to do this. Video surveys are no more effort than traditional ones and give you more understanding.
Read next: How to determine your company’s why
Create testimonials for lead generation
Testimonials and reviews are classic forms of user-generated content essential to attracting customers. A positive review increases the likelihood of someone using your business by 91%.
Video feedback is a cost-effective way to create testimonial videos. First, ask customers if they’re okay with you sharing their footage. If they say yes, publish their positive video reviews on your site or social media. These testimonials will show potential customers how your company helps people with its service or product.
If you lack quality customer testimonial feedback, reach out to dedicated fans who have given you glowing reviews on other sites and ask if they’d be interested in providing a video testimonial.
Gauge customers’ impressions of your pricing
Pricing can be a huge factor in whether someone chooses your product. Nearly one-third of shoppers prioritize price comparisons over other considerations when shopping.
To set reasonable yet competitive rates, prompt your customers to evaluate several pricing options through video feedback. Determine these different rates beforehand with an internal price analysis. Unlike an online survey or a simple “Yes” or “No” question, video feedback will help you see the emotion and tone behind their response.
For example, if a customer is asked about paying $20 for a product and replies “Yes” but hesitates for a while, perhaps the price is still a bit too high. These little nuances can only be captured via video and together paint a complete picture of whether your price is on point.
Numerous factors impact if a customer is willing to pay for a product. Coupled with price analysis and quantitative survey data, video feedback can help you reach a price that’s ultimately fair and profitable.
Read next: What is Jobs to be Done?
Ask employees for input
Good help is hard to find and even harder to keep. Yet, business growth is next to impossible without a reliable, well-supported workforce. Most businesses think they put their employees first, but only 30 percent of employees feel their employer implements their feedback. However, companies that act on feedback have a retention rate that’s four times greater than businesses that ignore employee input.
Video feedback is an excellent tool for giving your employees a voice and allowing their feedback to be heard. Video will enable employees to provide more in-depth feedback than a simple survey, giving you more information to improve their work environment.
Make video feedback surveys part of your regular team check-ins and encourages people to be honest. To help build a feedback culture, enable the leadership team to provide their own. Leadership can talk about their performance and areas where they can improve, showing some vulnerability. By encouraging manager participation, you’re signaling to the rest of the team that it’s okay to be honest in their videos.
Implementing an always-on video feedback channel is another great idea. This allows employees to submit ideas and provide feedback by video anytime they want, simply by clicking a link. Do you ever have an idea in the middle of the night and wish you had written it down? An always-on feedback channel empowers employees to capture these sudden thoughts about their workplace.
Integration into the overall market research mix
Asynchronous video and feedback is another tool on the tool belt of market researchers, marketers, and product teams. That doesn’t mean it’s the only way to get insights from consumers, but it’s one we should consider when it makes the most sense. It’s a helpful strategy when trying to reach consumers who won’t be able to meet with us at a scheduled time but has opinions we need to listen to.