As a professional researcher with over 20 years of experience building innovative new tools and methods, the advent of mobile video-based research is the most exciting innovation in the insights industry since the introduction of web-based surveys.

Just as social media has reshaped how news is created and distributed, so too video research is changing the way research is collected and is impacting business decisions. And just as social media and traditional media now live side-by-side, video research has nudged its way into the research toolkit as a powerful storytelling method with completely new insights. So, what do researchers see in this new power tool?

10 benefits to conducting video-based research:

1. Native Context 
Observing actions in context or in the native environment. Which I like to say takes traditional research to the 3rd dimension. Where people can act in the normal every day context they live in, instead of an artificial survey or focus group setting. This brings a whole new element of reality into the insights and key learnings.

2. Longitude
Video research very effectively captures insights over time. It’s like video research is able to take consumer research to the 4th dimension to show an unfolding of a process, like the path to purchase. Experience can be observed over time, not simply at one 2D moment. This is a much better way to get at the truth of an experience.

3. Real emotion
Candid video research shows the true depth of emotion as a result of capturing the tone, facial expression and intensity of expression (or lack thereof). Understanding emotion provides a more in-depth way to understand a consumer’s true reaction, without the bias that comes from limitations in written responses. Telling these consumer stories can help inform messaging, targeting and product design in meaningful ways.

4. Sticky insights
Most market research reports never make it to the boardroom. However, video insights carry so much authority that they’re easy to share all the way up to the boardroom because they give voice to the customer – the ultimate arbiter of the value of the brand. Video research allows you to bring the consumer to the boardroom in a way never before possible.

5. Empathy
Business leaders can easily lose touch with the reality of their consumer’s priorities. When you work on the brand, you start to think about that brand morning, noon and night. You go ‘down the rabbit hole’ of the details so much that it’s easy to forget what it’s like as an outsider. Video-based insights help to develop your company’s empathy for the consumer.

6. Faster Decision Making
Companies that are more in tune with their customers’ needs are better able to meet those needs. Video-based insights enable business leaders to become better decision makers by developing better ‘consumer intuition’ without having to attend days of in-person research. Too often traditional research outcomes don’t have the required impact on decision makers because data and insights are not brought to life in a meaningful or credible way. But, video-based research is now changing all that by uncovering insights that become a “call to action” for business leaders.

7. Competitiveness 
Many businesses fail because they lose touch with what makes their brand the obvious choice for the consumer. Business people who get immersed in their customer learn how to offer something more relevant and appealing than competitors. Video research helps you go deep quickly to learn who the consumer is and what makes them tick without having to attend hours and hours of focus groups or reading dull research reports. Researchers who leverage video become the de facto consumer expert in their companies.

8. Depth of understanding
Video insights help you get to the “why” behind business metrics such as low NPS. Our free-form method doesn’t constrain people into checkbox answers, so you can expect to learn something new every time.

9. Speed
Mobile video research has been available for the past 5 to 8 years, but is still costly, time-consuming and requires a high degree of expertise to administer. VideoPeel has developed a platform that enables even non-experts to quickly pull off video-based research in a fraction of the time that would have typically been required to collect video of consumer reactions.

10. Value 
Compared to both traditional qualitative and quantitative methods video research offers more bang for your buck, with typically lower or comparable spend with a wider impact internally – up to the boardroom, and across teams as insights are democratized with our highly shareable format.

– Myles Proudfoot, VideoPeel Head of Video-based Insights