I’ve been a qualitative market researcher for 15 years. During that time I’ve moderated hundreds of in-person and online focus groups, and conducted thousands of interviews. I guess you could say I know a thing or two about qualitative research…

Over these 15 years I’ve seen some trends come and go in the research industry, but none bigger than the shift from offline to online methods. Online surveys provide so many advantages in terms of speed, quality and efficiency that it’s hard for many companies to go back once they’ve made the shift…

Almost all quantitative surveys are done online today. However, online qualitative has been somewhat slow to take off. The vast majority of qualitative research is still done in the contrived, stale and artificial confines of focus group facilities.


This is the question that drove me to create QualNow…

One day I opened up my favorite note-taking app (Evernote) and typed:

“What does my ‘ideal’ online qual platform look like?”

Here are the actual bullets I wrote to myself that day (typos and all):

  • Video replies for all of my questions (rather than just mixed in with text)
  • Built-in panel so I don’t have to deal with ridiculously over-priced qual recruiters
  • Panelists that are pre-screened and vetted with a video articulation question
  • Transcripts generated instantly so I don’t have to sit and watch every single video if I don’t want to
  • Built-in screening capabilities so I don’t have to use a third-party tool to build a screener
  • Built-in analysis tools so I can cut up the data on the site (without having to export anything)
  • Way to securely share results with clients without requiring them to create an account or login
  • Ability to ask follow-up probes to video replies so I can go a little deeper on a response if necesary
  • No need to ever think about incentives – the platform tracks and distributes them for me
  • Ability for people to respond from desktop/laptop computers or any mobile device
  • Ability to export videos to MP4 format so that they are easiest to get into PowerPoint/Keynote
  • Ability to easily view results by question or by individual – without having to make a bunch of clicks
  • No confusing terms like “missions” and “tasks” – just “questions” that have video “replies”
  • No need to ever email respondents with reminders/notices/whatever – all that is automated for me
  • Ability to test creative in a way that makes it easy for the respondent and for me to setup
  • No subscriptions – pay-as-I-go every time a client wants to run a project
  • No setup costs/fees just to get started. It must be free to create an account
  • No need to “request a demo” just to see how it works
  • Pay per complete (and no charge for partial completes ever)
  • No “nickel and diming” – one price that includes everything
  • Ability to easily use client-provided sample if need be
  • Super simple to setup a study – as easy as online survey platforms
  • In general, so easy to use that non-professional researchers can use it
  • No need to talk to anyone or get approval to run my studies (completely DIY)
  • Option for done-for-you services in case I’m booked up and need help on a given project

With this huge laundry list of my “requirements” in mind I set out to create my ideal qualitative platform, and I didn’t stop until every item on this list was done. Every. Single. One…

Nearly 1 year later QualNow was officially launched out of beta…

Qualitative research can be so immensely valuable. I’ve seen it produce amazing insights and business outcomes for companies of all sizes over the past 15 years. The problem is that it’s just too difficult, slow and expensive to conduct, so companies just skip it and do quant surveys alone (or worse, no research at all).

My mission with QualNow is to make qualitative research so easy, fast and affordable (without ANY sacrifice on quality) that companies do it much more often – making smarter, more customer-centric decisions as a result…

My goal is to see online qual become as pervasive as online quant – to shift the industry from 90% in-person to 90% online (as it is for quant research today).

I hope you enjoy using QualNow as much I have enjoyed creating it!


Matt Foley, Founder of QualNow

Matt Foley
Founder, QualNow
[email protected]