4 Benefits of Video Response in Qual

Selfie of a woman in a pink beanie, blue fleece and green vest on top of mountain with surrounding mountains at dawn

As technology evolves, so too does research. For example, as smartphones and Wi-Fi developed so did the possibility for mobile market research. Better technology in market research allows for increased response rates and techniques like image uploads, recordings, and last but not least— video responses. Video responses, while less frequently adopted, add a lot of value for market researchers.

We use them to highlight visual or auditory elements of a response for questions that would otherwise be one-dimensional. While video responses may seem like a lot of work, requiring expert panel providers, willing and able respondents, and digital tools to help analyze them, they provide a lot of value and impact for a business.


1. Humanizes Responses

One of the major benefits of qualitative research methodologies is garnering more context to a question. However, with the addition of technology, it’s difficult to capture the emotional and nonverbal cues of answers. Luckily, video responses help counteract this tradeoff. Think of the use of emojis in text messages; they only get you so far in understanding how someone feels and are often misinterpreted. The same can go with open-ended answers. Including video responses allows researchers to understand the sentiment within answers, the tone of voice, and facial expressions.

2. Provides True Customer Point of View

Sometimes teams too close to the product in question can project their feelings onto results. Video responses are a great solution to avoiding this bias since it’s almost impossible to misinterpret responses. Respondents are also forced to think through their response before sharing it, and due to the effort required to take a video response are less inclined to “edit” or censor themselves— providing a true viewpoint.

3. Increases Quality & Reliability

Not only do video responses reduce bias and provide a true customer viewpoint, they also increase the quality and reliability of qualitative research. On average, video responses are longer than open-ended answers and allow for more respondents, meaning more information to rely on. Different from traditional focus groups, video responses allow every respondent to provide their full thought (there’s not one person dominating the conversation), so researchers get a more detailed picture.

4. Provides Additional Visualization

Video responses aren’t just useful for traditional questions; they’re also great for more unique qualitative studies. They can be used when asking a respondent to share a process or action— like in mobile shop-along studies. More often these videos won’t include a respondent’s face but instead provides a visual and verbal account of it. For example, say a coffee maker wants to understand how to make the process of cleaning it easier. Using video responses they could actually observe their consumers in the act and understand the pain points they need to address throughout the entire process.


Video responses certainly add a lot of value based on the benefits they provide to market research. More importantly, they hold a significant impact on data and business implications. For example, data is no longer a series of numbers or textual responses when video is used. While that may seem daunting to some, it actually provides a richer illustration of data, particularly when it comes to consumer profiles or segmentations. Video responses are also a great resource for researchers, marketers, or product teams to engage and capture the attention of key stakeholders. Imagine going into a presentation with a video of an actual consumer telling the entire team how they can make the product easier to use— doubt anyone can ignore that!

Now let’s take it global. While the same benefits and impact still exist, they do so on a much larger scale. Additionally, international video response can save a lot of time and money. Without them, conducting in-person focus groups or interviews would require an in-country researcher or someone to travel internationally. Extensive translations and developing an understanding of cultural nuances would also require more time, and sometimes they still aren’t foolproof and things get lost in translation. Instead, utilizing international video response, researchers can cut down on translation errors and speed up cultural understanding with larger sample sizes. While international video is still evolving, researchers can expect it to gain traction as comfort levels of international respondents increase and smartphones and Wi-Fi continue to expand.

To check out a study that utilized video response to what influences candy consumers to try new types of candy, download the executive summary below.

Download Executive Summary