Qualitative Market Research

A 360-degree understanding of the person behind your consumer

We are a top firm among qualitative research companies in Chicago

Evoke feedback that answers why people do what they do with qualitative market research

At Insights in Marketing, our in-person and technology-based qualitative market research services go beyond the surface of top-of-mind reactions and behavior traits. We stand out among qualitative research companies by applying a variety of exploratory and figurative language techniques, including but not limited to mind mapping, image and card sorts and personification exercises. When this qualitative brand research is paired with the experience levels and marketing background of our consultants, the result is a 360-degree understanding of the person behind your consumer.

Learn more about us

Individual or Group Discussions

Individual or Group Discussions provides a comfortable and safe environment for consumers to communicate their thoughts and feelings, contributing to valuable qualitative market research. This format offers many benefits, including: the ability to see and feel the consumer’s visceral reaction, thoughts and opinions; identification of needs, wants and desires through non-verbal and verbal communication; an opportunity for people to build off of each other’s thoughts and feelings that enhance the richness of insights.

Pre-Discussion Journal Exercises are often used to generate rich consumer-driven insights that capture the consumer voice through visual or written content.

This format is ideal for:

• New product usage/tasting
• Concept exploration
• Advertising and copy evaluation
• New packaging exploration
• Marketing communication evaluation


In-person shop-alongs allow us to observe shopping behavior, consumer reactions to a product’s merchandising and packaging, as well as the entire in-store experience providing qualitative brand research. With this technique, we have the ability to examine actual shopping behavior rather than claimed behavior. We’re also able to highlight consumer challenges with real shelf sets, category clutter and out of stock issues. Shop-alongs allow for authentic interaction with consumers and a deeper probe during the process. This method is ideal for:

  • Understanding category shopping behavior
  • Package design feedback (i.e., shelf pop, readability, etc.)
  • Shelf placement and POS understanding
  • Determining merchandising vehicle impacts

Ethnographic Approaches

Our qualitative market research services include ethnographic approaches that enable us to observe your consumers’ behavior in a non-facility environment—providing a more natural setting that allows consumers to simply be themselves.
We achieve this through in-home videos, lifestyle immersions, friendship networks and pre-interview journals.

In-Home Videos

Catch moments not seen in-person and allow for consumer commentary on behavior without task interruption. In-home videos also enable the IIM team to look in ‘cupboards’ to ask more probing questions.

Lifestyle Immersion

Enable immersion into consumers’ world through attendance of a lifestyle event (i.e., party, family gathering etc.) and get uninterrupted observation into consumers’ attitudes and behaviors.

Friendship Network

Allow the IIM team to witness natural, real world dialogue between friends. This approach can provide a deeper view of consumers’ lives and generate more candid insight within a comfortable environment.

Ethnographic approaches are ideal for:
  • Understanding your target’s needs, wants and desires
  • Uncovering consumer attitudes and behavior
  • Product and package testing (short and long-term use)
  • Ad campaign development and testing
  • New product development
  • Website development

Online & Mobile Approaches

Leverage a blend of technological-based qualitative techniques to access a broader, more diverse and active market. IIM’s online and mobile designs offer a relevant and efficient approach to qualitative market research providing you with virtual solutions that can be customized to fit your business’s needs. Our technology-based qualitative approaches include:

Online Individual or Group Discussions

With zero geographic limitations, online Individual or Group Discussions allow you to receive access to individuals not easily reachable. This approach also provides a more cost efficient model when compared to traditional groups.

Bulletin Boards/Panels

Similar to group discussions, this method allows the greatest depth of feedback and is ideal for sensitive topics. Its asynchronous format simplifies scheduling and leads to a more cost effective model.

Mobile Qualitative

Obtain real-time, in-the-moment feedback with a large audience and see into consumers’ lives through text, photo and video. Driven by the quick and casual nature of the approach, mobile qualitative approaches capture candid feedback.

Digital Diaries

Collect rich, participant-driven content that showcases a consumer’s voice and perspective. Digital diaries allow for easy feedback communication—through both text and media. It’s also a great approach for long-term engagement with the same participants.

Online & mobile approaches are ideal for:
  • Concept evaluation and development
  • Product testing (short and long-term use)
  • Purchase considerations
  • Ad campaign development and testing
  • Website development and usability testing
  • Attitudes and behavior tracking
  • Traditional qualitative lead-in or follow-up

Consumer Forum Research

A distinguishing feature from other market research companies is our imForum research. With our iimForum research, you have access to fast and continuous consumer opinions. Our consumer forums are a cost-effective way to get information from users or targets of a particular brand/category – in person or online! Our consumer forums can last weeks or even years, and we always design them to meet your specific learning objectives.

Our forums include, but are not limited to:

General Population Forum

Recruited and screened based on their usage behavior

Trend-Setter Forum

Comprised of early-adopters to help companies see what is coming next

Brand-Lover Forum

Made up of brand-loving consumers who understand products/services without brand equity getting in the way

Learn more

Are you looking for continuous and cost effective consumer insights for your brand? Contact us to learn more about iimForum


Case Studies

Ready to Connect with Your Consumers?
Let’s Talk!


Request Consultation