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Research Spotlight: Online Diaries


Companies are always trying to gain a better understanding of their customers’ experiences with their products and services so that they can improve their offerings. A great way to better understand those experiences is to take a deep dive into how people interact with those products and services in their daily lives. An online diary study allows you to have a longer and more interactive relationship with customers to cultivate rich insights.


What is an online diary study?

An online diary study is a qualitative research method where respondents are asked to keep track of and record their experiences or observations over a specified amount of time, usually days or weeks. Online diaries have become much easier for participants in recent years thanks to advances in smart phone technology. Most people have one, and they’re great for taking photos & videos and collecting small bits of information!


How can this type of research help my company?

Online diaries are a great way to gain highly detailed insights at a personal level in the moment that customers are doing what you want to better understand. It allows a company to better understand the process people go through as they carry out a self-guided research task or assignment. Among many things, you can get feedback on a new product someone is testing in their home or get a better understanding of how someone shops for a product as they navigate the purchase process.


How do we do it?

Advantage Research uses a robust online platform that sources people to participate in your study. Participants answer questions, upload pictures as requested, and provide videos about their thoughts and feelings on the research topic. The research can be multi-phased and adapted based on their initial feedback and thoughts. The program can be interactive; if you have further questions or clarifications about their insights, those can be posed in real-time to the participants.


How will your company benefit from using online diaries?

The benefits to using this type of research are:

  • Understanding how consumer insight changes over time or through a process.

  • The research is flexible for the participant: they can complete it when they naturally would versus being forced to do it at a specific time.

  • The information is accurate because participants are completing the research in real-time, recording their thoughts, opinions and behaviors as they happen rather than trying to remember them later on.

  • The information collected through photos, screen shots and videos are robust and a great way to capture the emotions of the process.

  • Since it’s happening in real-time, Advantage Research can interact with the participant and probe deeper on interesting findings to make the data even richer.

  • It’s an affordable way to collect insightful data.

If you think this type of research could help advance your company’s goals and objectives, Advantage Research can help you. Contact us today to start the conversation!