In-depth interviews are a qualitative data collection methodology, used to identify attitudes, opinions and beliefs of a target segment. Market research in-depth interviews in China can be conducted over the telephone or face to face. Normally we find some Chinese participants are more willing to share their personal views with the researcher than if they were participating in a focus group. Isolated experiences of consumers such as usability of a product/service or the impact of a products brand can be often managed more effectively through in-depth interviews.
In-depth interviews can be particularly useful in China when targeting participants with a lower level of literacy, whereby they may find it more difficult to respond to structured surveys. The skill and experience of an interview cannot be understated in China. An interviewer needs to ensure that participants feel relaxed and are able to give their true opinion and underlying motives for their opinion. Thus an interviewer should be friendly, encouraging and have the ability to adapt to the personas of different respondents.
Where we find in-depth interviews being particularly useful in China is through understanding a consumers motivation. Why is a consumer buying that brand of chicken feet over another brand? What is the thought process that is going on? For instance Is it the price? The packaging? A friends recommendation? A moment of curiosity? Rule number one when trying to understand Chinese consumers is never make assumptions. In-depth interviews in China are a great way to really understanding the true motives of Chinese consumer and not letting an assumption get in the way of reality