None of us are new to watching video content, thanks to over a century of “moving pictures” through cinema and many decades of television programming. Fast-forward to the past few years when video content has largely gone online. Video has become just as ubiquitous for companies as it has for self-made vloggers and YouTube prodigies. In fact, given that consumers’ mobile devices allow them to record, stream, or video chat with friends and family whenever they want, creating video content has never been easier.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Qual360 North America 2018 conference in Washington, D.C. Many of the presenters touched upon video either as part of their offering or as used in recent research to collect deeper, more robust research touchpoints. For example:

  • Ednei Hishida from General Motors explained how video was able to add context and demonstrate how consumers talked about their vehicles in the moment. Consumers combined tone and body language instead of just using their words alone to describe their experiences.
  • Ross McLean from Over The Shoulder demonstrated how their video platform enables digital video submissions and transcribes responses for further text analysis.
  • Cara Cosentino from Watch Me Think showed how Gen Z respondents were able to speak naturally about trends within their own generation. In some cases, consumers’ self-described behaviors were in contrast to what researchers saw on the screen.

Not only is video having an important moment in research, its role is evolving for consumers as well. Our US ConsumerVoices market research online community members indicate that video now helps them meet many important communication needs. Video services like Skype and FaceTime let them have “face-to-face” conversations; they can keep up with distant friends and family; and they can even showcase aspects of their life (such as a new outfit, toy, or addition to the family) to the person on the other side. Most importantly, consumers agree that video helps them express their feelings and emotions and be more authentic versions of themselves.

“When I want to see and talk to my 3-year-old nephew, the BEST way, short of being there in person, is via Skype. I can see and talk to him and he can see and talk to me.” – Male, 25 to 29 years old

“I video chat about once or twice a week to communicate with my closest friends and family. Video is ideal for those times because it’s often nice to just see my best friend or my son being silly when I’m out of town. It’s like having a conversation face-to-face when you are unable to.” – Female, 30 to 34 years old

“Video chat is great to communicate with my grandchildren. They show me their new projects and I get to visit with them.” – Female, 65+ years old

For researchers, not only is video easily consumable, it also helps seamlessly socialize great insights within the organization. Professionals at all levels can see and hear consumers in their own words as well as pick up on cues that text alone doesn’t capture. Luckily, consumers already have the practice and a penchant for storytelling. All it takes is a few minutes, the right research question, a well-lit, quiet environment . . . and action!

Not a Technographics client and interested in accessing qualitative consumer insights and social trends? Contact us at

Kristopher Arcand is a data analyst focusing on qualitative insights. Follow him on Twitter at @kristophersays.