Differentiate or die – how video open-ends will revolutionise your surveys

If you want to understand what someone is thinking, feeling or doing, chances are you’ll ask them a question. How are you? What do you think of this? Why did you do that? Expressing how we feel and our likes and dislikes are human nature; we do it every day in conversation and increasingly share it every day on social media. And when it comes to market research, the how and why questions give us the answers we need to get to the bottom of what people truly think.

Open-ended questions are an essential way to uncover hidden truths that closed questions just can’t – which is why they are such an important part of market research. This perhaps explains why they’ve been ever-present in the online, self-completed data collection techniques that have ruled the market research roost for the past 15 years. Why? Because, in theory, the ‘open’ question allows consumers to share true feelings and in-depth insights outside the constraints of an NPS score or brand opinion rating while fitting in with the scalable nature of online surveys.

Sounds great, right? But unfortunately, something about the open text box just isn’t, well, ticking the boxes. Which is why more and more market researchers are turning to video market research and video open-ends to revolutionize their surveys…

The trouble with text

Although open text responses such as text boxes are supposed to encourage consumers to share their thoughts and opinions, unfortunately, they often don’t. In reality, text boxes are actually cumbersome and pretty restrictive for respondents, resulting in short answers and little or no storytelling. In fact, text boxes usually deliver responses of just three or four words and nearly always less than 50 characters – either that or they are skipped entirely. And that’s not all – text open-ends are also pretty hard to analyze too, which makes gathering data in this way a long and time-consuming process. We’ve recently discussed how in today’s world, market researchers are under more time pressures than ever before, which means that text boxes just aren’t cutting it anymore. But don’t worry – there is another way. Enter end-to-end video market research…

The video revolution

Today’s consumers are embracing another option: video open-ends. Considering that most of us are never more than a few feet away from a smartphone or laptop with a built-in camera, coupled with the growth in popularity of platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram Stories, it makes perfect sense that researchers are starting to use video as a thought-collection tool.

Video open-ends are just like text-based open-ends, but instead of writing down their responses, respondents simply record a video. Video open-ends provide all the advantages of text-based open-ends and more: it’s a quick and easy way for people to express themselves and for you to get a real understanding of your customers’ thoughts, beliefs and opinions. The proof is in the pudding, with video open-ends giving an average of 460 character responses with a typical word count of 75. In fact, in a recent study, video regularly delivered six times more content and 65% more themes than its text-based counterpart.

That means you can add the depth and richness of qualitative research to your quantitative results, differentiating your offering and using these insights to make informed, customer-centric decisions. It’s a win-win for everyone: consumers love it because they can express their opinions, researchers love it because it delivers rich insights, and decision-makers love it as they get to identify actual customer stories rather than just look at more stats, which helps drive change across your entire organization.

Why consumers love it

To put it simply, consumers love video because it empowers them. It makes them feel like their opinions are important, that they are really listened to and ultimately that they are more than just data. Not only that, but video also makes it easier for them to express themselves than closed-end questions or open text boxes. It’s also much more personal, adding more of a human aspect to communication – and it means that they can clearly portray emotion through body language and facial expressions too. It’s a new experience that’s simple and easy to use and delivers spontaneous and honest answers as opposed to the monotony of tired text boxes.

How it works

Video open-ends can be quickly added to any survey, on any platform, at any time. People are often nervous about how long video will take and how expensive it is, however, today’s technology enables you to begin capturing hundreds of videos from your target audience in a matter of minutes. It works by just adding a simple block of code to whatever platform you’re using to embed video open-ends into your latest survey and enable video responses on any device for a quick and simple way to bring a human voice to your data.

For quantitative researchers, video open-ends can be integrated directly into survey platforms, collecting videos from consumers in the studies you already run such as SurveyGizmo, Qualtrics and Decipher or into communities like FuelCycle, – just imagine the power of your NPS, Brand Tracker and CSAT (the list could go on!) scores with real customer stories to back them up! The ease of end-to-end video research means you could also capture video feedback pre or post-survey by recruiting an audience from on-demand video feedback communities or panel providers.

So whether you want to utilize video in a new or existing study or collect your videos alongside or after a survey, in just a few clicks, it’s all possible. That means you can capture, analyze and share compelling customer stories across an array of quant and qual studies so you can boost the impact of your results without changing your existing program.

Unlocking those insights

Once they’ve been uploaded to a video analytics platform like Voxpopme, all videos will go through a quality assurance process to ensure only the best content is used – and they will also be instantly human-transcribed and time coded, too. Once they’re in the platform, there’s also an array of tools at your disposal so you can quickly find the best and most relevant responses for you. Not only that, but automated thematic analysis will also organize your content by keywords and phrases to make it easier than ever before to analyze.

In addition, sentiment analysis is also available to help you categorize video content by positive, negative and neutral feelings so you can understand the sentiment behind every single sentence in every single response. All this means you can say goodbye to tired text boxes and instead discover themes that really matter, delivering maximum insight and impact.

And once your video has been analyzed, you can select, customize and share your most powerful customer stories. Simply drag and drop your most important video snippets into your showreel, and reorder and refine them to make sure your most important insights are the focal point. If that wasn’t enough, in just a few simple clicks you can also add your logo, color scheme, and any images – which means it’s easier than ever to tell authentic stories, bringing the voice of your customer to the boardroom without bombarding your colleagues with yet more statistics.

Video market research is a powerful form of feedback for any business and by simply adding video questions into ongoing studies you can supercharge your surveys and really get to know your target audience, giving your customers a voice. If you’d like to find out more about the benefits and applications of video open-ends, including how easy it is to drop them into your next survey, download our ultimate guide to video open-ends here.

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