In-depth interviews – interviews with members of the target audience or industry experts industry experts
In-depth interviews are qualitative types of marketing research and are usually used when there is a need for a detailed and immersive study of consumer behavior.
Scope of in-depth interviews:
- Respondent is from a rare or hard-to-reach audience;
- Requires discussion of difficult to handle/problematic situations in which the person has been forced to make responsible decisions;
- Discussion of sensitive or confidential issues that are not appropriate for group discussions;
- The respondent is an expert in the researcher’s field of interest;
- Discussion of issues that are contrary to generally accepted norms, etc.
The technique of in-depth interviews is used when there is insufficient information about consumers’ perceptions of products. Research participants are free to express their opinions, in a predetermined direction set by the researcher. Within the framework of the interview, the respondent is not limited to defined questions (as in the case of questionnaires, conducting mass surveys), but is allowed to express their judgments about the product.
Thus, in the in-depth interview process, interviewees operate with categories that are not imposed on them by the researchers. Their thoughts, judgments, and self-expression will allow the interviewees to interpret life experiences and observations, verbalizing what they have usually only thought about and may not have thought it necessary to discuss. Or, in the case of an expert interview, on the contrary, influence the researcher by eliciting insights into the research topic. Since any target audience is made up of individual personalities, once we understand how the decision-making mechanism of the typical representatives of the group of interest functions, we can proceed with the study of the entire general population.
Smart City Enterprise analysts most often use semi-formalized interviews: based on the answers provided by the respondent, the moderator-interviewer determines which topic should be proceeded to and whether clarifications on the previous question are required.
The interview is conducted by the moderator alone with the respondent, which guarantees the absence of influencing factors on the purity of the experiment.
Often, the use of remote communication channels for in-depth interviews, such as Zoom, is used. In this way, the interview becomes a confidential dialogue, allows participants to feel safe, and facilitates the recording process for later analysis.
Also, given the value of expert time, it allows you to reach hard-to-reach respondents for expert interviews, adjusting to their schedule, on their terms.
During the dialogue, using certain psychological techniques, the moderator establishes a relationship with the respondent, based on trust, which allows for the identification of not only the primary causes of consumer behavior of certain categories of buyers but also potential customers.
Often in-depth interviews are conducted as a preliminary stage to form hypotheses (just like focus groups), followed by a control quantitative research.
Of course, conducting interviews has its difficulties, in particular, it concerns the search of participants for expert interviews, as well as quite a long processing of each GI transcript at the stage of writing the analytical report.
- The standard length of in-depth interviews is from 20 to 60 minutes, the time can vary depending on the specifics of the interview;
- Recordings are provided to the customer, and each interviewee provides his/her consent to data processing;
- The study involves professional moderators, with experience of more than 100 interviews.