Engaging Your Participants Asynchronously vs. In Realtime

Written by Recollective • Posted on August 29, 2017

Following the Recollective release in August 2017, you now have a choice of engaging your participants using not just the standard asynchronous Activities over the course of days, weeks, month or years but also in Realtime via text-based focus groups.

Both methodologies present their own distinct advantages and when deployed together, achieve a unique synergy.

Advantages of Asynchronous

1. Participants can take part when it makes sense for their lives, resulting in happier, more productive respondents.

  • You can reasonably expect attention spans to be about 20 - 25 minutes, so why push the limit? Give your participants a break and get the most out of every visit. Recollective’s asynchronous Activity based approach means that you can split your discussion guides into manageable pieces.
  • People are busy! And this is often most true of the hardest audiences to reach such as entrepreneurs or business professionals. Rather than forcing everyone to engage at a set time, let respondents login when it suits their schedule so that they can give your research the attention it deserves.
  • This convenience isn’t just for participants, the same goes for study administrators and client observers. Login to track responses, post follow-up questions and engage with the findings as they roll in, whenever and wherever.

2. Recollective provides true flexibility in research design, allowing you to delve deeper into the intricacies of your audience at any time, promote brand reciprocity and go live faster.

  • Build your whole study ahead of time or explore where the responses take you by programing as you go. By being able to adjust upcoming activities on-the-fly, you're better able to take full advantage of your participants earlier contributions. Design methodologies that evolve based on the research as it happens.
  • Demonstrate to your participants that their voices are being heard by integrating their contributions into future activities. Generate reciprocity and turn your community into a positive word-of-mouth incubator for your client’s brand.
  • Have your community live within the hour. To get started, set up a single activity to get your participants going and take care of the rest as it comes. An asynchronous approach means that you only need the first step in place to move forward.

3. Decode the influence of others and use bias as a tool. Control what is and is not made social to understand how popular opinion and opposing views change your respondents’ perspectives. Create studies that simulate social media conditions.

Advantages of Realtime

1. Capture in-the-moment, top-of-mind sentiments from all or a subset of your participants.

  • Present your participants with an array of stimuli and receive a response the second it pops into their head.
  • Prepare your content ahead of time and release it as the conversation progresses or improvise and probe as the focus shifts to unexpected, intriguing new territory.

2. Truly rapid research is possible with no participant travel required; just log in and get to work.

  • Schedule your groups in advance and bring people together from anywhere in the world. Geography is no longer an obstacle, but an opportunity.

3. Watch as spontaneous participant collaboration uncovers unexplored new ideas and help guide them to uncover new, unexpected insights together.

Asynchronous and Realtime Together

1. Make the most out of every minute that your participants contribute. Use asynchronous activities to establish a base of information and identify the themes and ideas that would benefit from more attention in a live context.

2. Simplify logistics, worry less about attendance. Get everyone on-board and comfortable in the community ahead of time, making it easier for participants to log in and take part at the scheduled time.

3. Use asynchronous public or private follow up comments after the realtime chat room is complete to deepen understanding of insights captured during the live discussion.

We're sure you will come up with lots more creative ways to combine these two methodologies to great effect in your Recollective studies!

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