What Are IDIs? | In-depth Interviews Market Research

Wish you could have a conversation with key customers or target consumers? In-depth interviews (IDIs) are what you have been seeking! As a market research company serving organizations from coast to coast, we know all about IDIs and can walk you through everything you need to know about this market research methodology.

We also know choosing a research methodology can be tough if you are new to research or unsure about the benefits of different research methodologies. The decision on what methodology to use in a market research study is often based on two factors.

First, it's important to understand the objectives of the study. Market research pros guide clients through the process of choosing qualitative or quantitative methodologies and discuss the benefits of each. Quantitative research methodologies are best for measuring while qualitative is best for exploring. Here's more on quantitative versus qualitative market research.

Second, it's important to understand the timeline or when the results from the study are needed by. Typically, it's safe to say an online survey project can be completed faster than phone surveys. Learn more about how long market research methodologies take here.

This post discusses what IDIs are and what a typical IDI project looks like. It will also discuss what the IDI process looks like. Learn more about IDIs below!

What Are IDIs? | In-depth Interviews Market Research

What are IDIs? Find out below!

What are IDIs?

Let's start by answering, "What are IDIs exactly?" An IDI is a conversation led by a market research interviewer with another individual. Typically, these conversations last between 20 to 30 minutes and are done over the phone or in person. IDIs are great for exploring new concepts like products/services, reasoning behind decision making, and more.

How long to IDIs take?

The length of interview and setting often depends on the objectives of the research. For example, if an organization wanted to get insight on customers' user experience (UX) on its website, the IDIs may be completed through an online screen-sharing software and could take upwards of 45 minutes. However, a conversation about an organization merger and a re-brand could take over 30 minutes.

How many IDIs are needed?

Of course it always depends on the objectives of the study, but market research pros usually recommend anywhere from 8 to 14 interviews depending on how difficult the audience is to reach. After roughly 8 interviews, researchers expect to hear repeat information and common themes in the interviews.

What's the difference between IDIs and phone surveys?

Great question. The guide for an IDI is more loose and interviewers are trained to dig deeper throughout the conversation. Phone surveys, however, only take a few minutes to complete, ask mainly close ended questions, and limit follow-up questions. Phone surveys are much more rigid than IDIs which gives the ability to ask follow up questions throughout the entire interview.

What does the IDI process look like?

Why choose IDIs? This research methodology is ideal when the questions being asked are abstract or the research objectives require a deeper dive into each question. This research methodology uses a third-party research company to lead a conversation.

Here's an inside look at the IDI process:

Kickoff: It all starts with the kickoff meeting. Here is where market research pros will walk clients through the finer details of the project. This includes reviewing the objectives, timeline, interview criteria, honorariums, and more.

Learn more about market research kickoff meetings and what should be covered.

Recruiting: The recruiting process is when the market research team will start seeking interview candidates. Depending on how specific the interview criteria is, this process could last a week or less, or several weeks. Safe to say recruiting general consumers within a target market is faster than CEOs that work for Fortune 500 companies.

Want to learn more about qualitative recruiting? We've got you covered.

Fieldwork: During the fieldwork stage is when the IDIs take place. Great market research interviewers like to think of themselves as gold miners who try to find pieces of information to help clients drive future strategy.

Learn more about what makes a great research interviewer.

Reporting: In this step, the market research team takes the findings from all of the interviews and presents them in an IDI market research report. Audio files can also be included in the report package so clients are able to go back and listen to interviews if needed.

Debrief: After the report has been delivered, the market research team will review the findings. The discussion will cover the background and methodology of the study briefly and then focus on the key findings from the research.

Want to know more about IDIs?

Drive Research is a market research company in Syracuse, NY serving organizations from coast to coast. The team at Drive Research has experience with in-depth interview (IDI) projects helping our clients design and manage recruiting, interviewing, reporting, and more.

Have a question for our team?

Contact Drive Research via email at info@driveresearch.com, call us at 315-303-2040, or contact us on our website.

Market Research Glossary