Online Qualitative Research to the Rescue!

2020 has been a crap year of epic proportions.

We’re sure you already knew that.

In the market research world, clients and agencies have had to move quickly to adapt. The fear of COVID-19, combined with the considerable restrictions, has brought about a colossal change in needs and motivations, behaviours and attitudes, across b2b and b2c sectors.

But Mustard’s 10+ years’ experience of delivering online qualitative research – in particular through pop-up online communities – has meant that we have been in pole-position to grab the cape and fly…

So here are your NINETEEN reasons why Covid-19 is no match for our super research method – the online community:

  1. It works well across all sectors – and amongst consumer AND b2b audiences.
  2. It is natural. People of all ages are now communicating online as the nervousness has dissipated.
  3. Respondents are giving us more time and effort than ever. In some instances, six+ hours even when we only ask for two. Respondents need not wait their turn to speak.
  4. It works across different devices – in particular mobile – allowing us to capture brilliant in-context photos and videos.
  5. It allows us to use brilliantly creative projective techniques. We have been jumping in virtual time machines, creating mood boards, having brand parties, role-playing and writing love poems.
  6. Our community moderators are the most personable, encouraging and enthusiastic people you could imagine. So we get the very best out of every respondent.
  7. It is more convenient for clients, who have been logging in and observing discussions in real-time. Wherever and whenever they’re free.
  8. It’s more convenient for the respondent too.
  9. It provides thinking time for the participants.
  10. And more thinking time for us – an extended window of consultation rather than the “one hit” of a depth or focus group.
Why use online communities
  1. It provides the flexibility to change direction as insights emerge.
  2. It provides us with geographical coverage – across the country, the continent and beyond – without incurring travel cost.
  3. It gives us the “best of both” – group discussion and debate alongside detailed probing to understand the individual.
  4. We build better relationships with our participants, and we REALLY get to know them and what they’re about.
  5. They build better relationships with each other. We have had “petitions” from participants to extend communities when friendships have blossomed, whilst (positively) we tend to see less natural “group consensus” (i.e. less “agreeing for ease”).
  6. We have the option for private response to more sensitive issues. or if someone doesn’t want to offend but has a point to make.
  7. It is cost effective. An online community of 24 people (with up to 48 hours of consultation time) costs less than four groups.
  8. It is suitable for almost ALL types of project – e.g. brand research, CX, concept testing and development, innovation, behavioural studies, communications, etc.
  9. And it is COVID safe.

In times of change and in times of crisis, research and customer consultation is more important than ever.

So be like Iron Man – and embrace the technology.

Be like Wonder Woman – rise above it all and see the big picture.

And use your Superman super-hearing to listen better than ever before.

Get in touch for case studies of how we have been using online communities to help some of our other clients through the Coronavirus crisis. Give us a call +44 (0)161 235 5270, drop us an email –, or visit us online @