Qualitative Research Methods That Need Participant Recruitment

binder that says qualitative research methods

We can see it now: your company has a brand new idea for a service or product you’re certain consumers will love. 

But you need people to test it out to see if it really is just that cool, and you don’t know where to start. 

Or, perhaps you have an existing brand, product, or service that isn't getting the attention you think it deserves from your target market.

There are several qualitative research methods that can help with these business challenges. 

And with qualitative market research, comes the need for participant recruitment.

Below, our full-service market research company shares more details on different types of qualitative methodologies and how to find people to participate in them.

For an in-depth analysis, I recommend reading Ultimate Guide to Recruiting Participants for Qualitative Research.

Focus Groups 💬

More than likely, you’ve heard the term “focus groups.” However, if you simply know the term and not much else, allow us to give you a quick overview.

Put simply, these groups are a collection of people specifically chosen to discuss a new development from a company.

From new social media services to coffee products, somewhere out there is the perfect focus group for you.  

Common uses for focus groups are for target consumers to offer their feedback regarding: 

  • A brand as a whole
  • Product appeal, design, awareness
  • Advertising and marketing concepts
  • Customer satisfaction

The main benefit of focus groups is to gather in-depth feedback from your target audience. This group of individuals is meant to represent the largest subset of your market.

Therefore participant recruitment is crucial. You must find people that match closest to your ideal customer in order to gather actionable takeaways. 

Options for recruiting for focus groups include paid social media ads, panel vendors, or working with a qualitative recruitment company like Drive Research.

💡 The Key Takeaway: One of the most popular qualitative research methods, focus groups provide first-hand feedback for a brand’s service or product. Conducted either online or in-person, they’re simple to run and yield quality results. 

Recommended Reading: [Ultimate Guide] How to Use Social Media to Find Research Participants

Phone Interviews ☎️

To quote Blondie, qualified research participants won’t leave you “hangin’ on the telephone.” 

Phone interviews are a traditional qualitative research method. A type of personalized, one-on-one research, these surveys provide organizations with quality insights that drive business strategy, marketing initiatives, and more.

Depending on the item or service you are gathering feedback on, phone interviews can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as an hour.

An interviewer will ask pre-determined questions and will ask for further explanations for solid feedback. 

Yet another one of our qualitative research method examples, phone interviews are a simple but in-depth approach to gather the information you need. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Phone interviews are conducted one-on-one to yield the best possible feedback for your team. Whether each lasts 15 minutes or an hour, they can help move your business forward. 

Concept Testing 🔴🔵

One of the most versatile qualitative research methods, concept testing is also considered a form of quantitative research. 

Whether it’s with online surveys, mobile ethnography, or focus groups – the main goal of concept testing is to have qualified participants share their opinions on a new idea, concept, or product. 

For more context, here is an example of how Drive Research partnered with a popular soda brand on ad concept testing.

  • The soda brand shared its criteria for qualified participants (age, gender, location, etc.).
  • Drive Research utilized paid social media ads to promote the concept testing study.
  • The ad encouraged people to complete a recruitment screener and qualify for the project.
  • Our team completed follow-up phone calls to qualified participants to schedule them for the next phase of the study.
  • Per our instructions, participants went to the store, bought the soda, brought it home, and drank it.
  • Participants completed an online survey about their shopping experience, the taste of the soda, label design, and more.

It really can be that simple, you just need a good team behind the scenes. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Gathering the right participants to try out your new concept is critical. The goal is for these participant groups to mimic the actual audience that your item would be geared towards. 

In-Home Usage Tests 🏠

Yep, just how it sounds. 

In-Home Usage Tests (IHUTs) are when the new item is physically sent out to participants. They’re able to handle and use the product, and hopefully come up with some reliable feedback. 

This type of testing is ideal for products that are hands-on. Products like cleaning supplies, coffee makers, and other similar items are prime for an IHUT. 

Some of the top benefits of conducting IHUTs are: 

  • An ideal environment for prototypes
  • Perfect for in-the-moment comments
  • Multiple ways to obtain feedback
  • Get a feel for the market 
  • Product life can be easily tracked

Interested in learning more about this type of qualitative research method? Read our Ultimate Guide to IHUTs or watch a brief video for a short synopsis.

💡 The Key Takeaway: One of the many types of qualitative recruitment, IHUTs are a unique experience for participants. Individuals are able to use a brand-new product and provide feedback to shape the course of its success.

Contact Our Qualitative Recruiting Company 

Now that you’ve learned how to use and assess qualitative research methods, consider them for your next big project. 

A third-party market research company, like Drive Research, can help you figure that out with qualitative research methods. To properly run such methods, you need participants. 

While it may sound intimidating, participant recruitment is a breeze when working with a market research company.

Before you know it, you’ll have a qualified group to weigh in on your new service or item. 

If you’d like to learn more about our market research services, contact us in any of the ways 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


Lark Allen

As a Content Marketing Specialist, Lark has a strong background and passion for creative, professional, and journalistic writing. She is also a self-proclaimed music freak and 90s enthusiast.

Learn more about Lark, here.

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