Dyads & Triads in Market Research: What's the Difference?

In this article, we'll walk you through an explanation of dyads and triads, examples of how they are used in market research, and their benefits over traditional qualitative methodologies.

two people speaking as an example of dyads in market research


What are Dyads in Market Research?

Dyads in market research are qualitative research discussions consisting of 2 participants together, led by a moderator. The two people selected for the dyad will either come as a pair who know one another, or two strangers that have never met. 

Common examples of dyads where participants know one another include parent and child, teacher and student, spouses, siblings, and friends.

Whereas, dyads where participants don't know each other work best to compare conflicting views.

It allows the moderator to receive feedback on a topic from both sides of the coin.

Common examples of dyads where participants don't know one another include those with differing political perspectives, users of competitive brands, and loyalists and non-loyalists of brands.

Examples of Dyads

A common use of dyads in market research is when brands want to collect feedback from children.

Oftentimes, gathering insights from those under 18 requires a parent or guardian to be present.

Additionally, brands are interested in hearing from parents and caretakers being that they are the main decision-makers for the child.

For instance, an example of a dyad would be an in-depth interview with a mom and her child to understand the impact of EdTech on children

Recommended Reading: Mothers Participate in Qualitative Research for Kids Learning Game

What are Triads in Market Research?

Triads in market research are qualitative research discussions consisting of 3 participants together, led by a moderator.

There is more flexibility in the construction of these triads.

For instance, you can choose to segregate the 3 participants by different variables such as:

  • Generations - 1 Gen Z, 1 Millennial, 1 Gen X
  • Type of customer - 1 promoter, 1 passive, 1 detractor
  • Shared interests - 3 users of competitive brands

In qualitative research, once you move past 3 to 4 participants, you shift to a focus group.

Qualitative Research Chart - Drive Research

Examples of Triads

A common use of triads in market research is to explore the customer experience and gather feedback from those with shared or differing opinions.

For instance, an example of a triad would be conducting a group interview with three customers. One is a brand loyalist, one switched to a competitor, and one is neither a promoter nor a detractor. 

Or, another example would be to conduct three separate triads. One with 3 promoters, one with 3 detractors, and one with 3 promoters. 

Benefits of Dyads and Triads in Market Research

Dyads and triads in market research are a common alternative to focus groups and one-on-one in-depth interviews.

Organizations that conduct two-person or three-person studies do so because of their many benefits.

The value of conducting dyads and triads include:

Dyads and triads allow for more intimate settings than focus groups

With focus groups of 4 to 12 participants across 90 minutes that math will quickly tell you that on average, it’s about 7.5 minutes of speaking time per participant.

When you add warm-up, moderator instructions, moderator questions, and 1 to 2 dominant participants who eat into the time, it’s not hard to see that you may get less speaking time per participant.

That’s not a lot of in-depth and exploratory feedback, which is the flagstone benefit of qualitative research.

Even with 60-minute diads, you are starting at 30 minutes per participant to dive deep.

More flexibility in group construct

If you have a budget for your project (don’t we all?) you might end up wracking your brain about how to divide 2 focus groups.

  • Should we divide them by age?
  • Behaviors?
  • Income?

With dyads and triads, it allows you to divide those 16 participants across many more variables.

Those participants can be divided into 5 or 6 different triads allowing for greater flexibility with segment groupings.

Conducting Dyads and Triads in Market Research

The process of conducting dyads and triads is similar to most common types of qualitative market research.

Consider partnering with a full-service market research company like Drive Research to oversee the entire project from recruitment to moderating to reporting.

Below is the step-by-step process for doing dyads and/or triads to collect in-depth feedback.

The approach is similar to any qualitative research project with our team. Here are the steps.

  1. Contact the firm for a quote on a full-service project (end-to-end management) or recruit.
  2. The firm prepares a market research proposal with cost, timeline, and how the plan addresses your needs.
  3. The kickoff meeting is scheduled to guide you on the process, requirements, and next steps.
  4. A workplan is developed highlighting key tasks and deliverable dates for the project.
  5. Dates and times for the dyads or triads are chosen in agreement with the client and firm.
  6. The team develops a screener to guide who qualifies for the study and what segment they are placed.
  7. The recruitment for the project begins and the client is updated on the progress throughout.
  8. A moderator’s guide is drafted which is the document used to guide participant discussions.
  9. Confirmed participants are sent confirmation emails, calendar invites, and links for the sessions.
  10. Reminder phone calls and text messages are sent to participants to confirm their spots.
  11. The dyads or triads are held with the moderator, participants, and any client viewers.
  12. These sessions are often recorded to generate transcripts and also for review come reporting time.
  13. Analysis of the feedback is compiled into a qualitative report summary for the client.
  14. The research team and the client debrief on the takeaways and action items on a video call.

Final Thoughts

Dyads are a type of market research involving two participants, whereas triads involve three participants. Studies containing more than three participants are seen as focus groups.

Similar to most qualitative market research, both dyads and triads in market research are led by a trained moderator to guide the discussion and collect feedback. 

When compared to traditional focus groups or IDIs, dyads and triads offer brands more flexibility in segmenting audiences. Doing so allows for the additional benefit of gathering higher quality, in-depth feedback.

Though, when it comes to research, there are plenty of methodologies and options at your disposal.

Other examples of qualitative research methodologies include:

Working with a full-service market research company can help guide your organization in selecting the best choice for your unique goals, as well as overseeing all components of the study.

Conduct Dyads & Triads with Drive Research

Drive Research is a market research firm that works with brands all over the U.S. to complete custom qualitative research projects.

Our team of experts relies on methodologies like diads, triads, and other forms of qualitative research to complete our projects.

We work as a consultant with your brand to guide you to the best approach to answer your key business objectives.

Contact us below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.

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