Surveys are one of the most popular market research methods. On the basis of generating a large amount of data, it plays an important part in the development of marketing strategies for businesses.
In the survey process, digging deep to find useful, valuable, and personal information is a very necessary step. And an in-depth interview is the top technique to get such information.
What is an in-depth interview (IDI)?
In-depth interviewing is a highly focused qualitative research method used to conduct person-to-person interviews. The goal is to focus on a specific product, situation, or goal to gain insight into consumer behavior. A comfortable interviewee is usually someone who is open to sharing information.
Three main types
Informal conversational: This is usually a conversation between two people. The key to this form is comfort, openness, and familiarity. The researcher uses conversation to spontaneously form open-ended questions. Participants are not necessarily informed about the purpose of the interview. This gives interviewers the ability to explore new angles as they form their opinions.
Semi-structured: These interviews are usually based on topics related to the survey’s scope. The questions were consistent throughout the interview process. The interviewer can change the order of the questions and adjust the level of exploration as the story progresses. The researcher is free to explore new topics and angles as they emerge during the interview.
Standardized, and open-ended: This format typically uses a series of specific open-ended questions that are prepared in advance and used in the same order throughout the interview with the participants. The aim was to identify differences in attitudes and approaches among the interviewees. Unlike questionnaires, open-ended questions help broaden the scope of the interview and attract new perspectives.
Advantages of in-depth interviews
Low budget: In-depth interviews don’t cost too much. However, specifying the number of participants and goals will have an impact on the budget issue.
Non-verbal communication: The focus of a face-to-face interview includes body language, gestures, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Through this, the interviewer can more fully understand what the respondent wants to convey.
Positive relationships: One of the main advantages of in-depth interviews in research is that they allow the researcher to develop an intimate relationship with the participant. This gives more insight, richness, and variety. It gives the interviewer wide scope to dig deeper into the areas and redirect the interview as needed.
Remote chat: Modern technology, and the proliferation of social networking platforms make communication easier and more convenient. Online chat also dissolves all geographical distances, and sometimes helps interviewees feel their most confident and comfortable selves.
Disadvantages of in-depth interviews
It requires someone with good expertise: For in-depth interviews to be a successful way of conducting market research, interviewers must have the right level of training, skills, and experience. Not simply just a conversation, everything needs to be run professionally. Conducting an open-ended interview while maintaining structure and an intense focus on the desired outcome is an exceptional skill.
Objectivity: The results of in-depth interviews are often based on a small sample and cannot be quantified. Their analysis should be carried out by independent experts to ensure objectivity. In-depth interviews should be done at the same time as or before the quantitative survey.