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29 April 2022


We are pioneers in the development of online qualitative research approaches.

Online communities as well as focus groups and interviews by video conference have been a part of our tool box for a long time and are commonly used by our team.

These approaches are more than mere substitutes for our in-person qualitative methodologies; They nicely complement our array of qualitative approaches by offering their own advantages.

They combine the depth expected from qualitative approaches with the agility and versatility of digital approaches.

They allow for in-depth connections with consumers, business people and employees on highly-secured technological platforms.


Market Research Online Communities (MROCs) are a methodology designed to collect qualitative insights from any given population. It typically consists of bringing together a group of participants to engage in a series of conversations and structured exercises around a specific topic. These conversations take place on an platform, similar to social media, that is custom-designed for research purposes.

Ad Hoc is indisputably a leader in Canada in this methodology, having introduced these communities to their practices in 2012 and having worked on perfecting them ever since. We manage communities for a large number of clients, both on a national and an international scale. At Ad Hoc, communities are done in an agile and flexible way. They are adapted as the exchanges evolve, rather than by following a rigid script. This philosophy distinguishes us and provides rich and extremely relevant results.

Online communities offer unparalleled versatility, as much for research with consumers (B2C) as with business people and employees (B2B):


Our proven video conferencing technologies allow for all types of interviews. Similar to in-person exchanges, discussions are led by a moderator based on a discussion guide that structures themes of interest with regards to the research objectives to cover.

At Ad Hoc, video conference discussions are not simply a transposition of in-person encounters. They are subject to rigorous adaptations, especially when it comes to length, number of participants, exposure to research stimuli and moderating techniques. Ad Hoc has perfected these adaptations and has mastered video conferencing solutions, giving us the opportunity to realize high quality qualitative research, efficiently and in a secure technological environment.

The democratization of the Internet now enables us to reach just about all parts of the population, consumers as well as business people.

Diversified tools

  • Image, text and video annotation
  • Diary studies
  • Sorting and classification
  • Image association
  • Etc. 

Varied expression methods

  • Text responses to open-ended questions
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Audio testimonials
  • Screenshots
  • Vote on ideas and comments from others
  • Live chat
  • Closed questions
  • Spontaneous discussions (submitted by participants)

Countless applications

  • Concept testing (products, services, positioning, communications, packaging)
  • Customer journey and experience (CX)
  • User experience (UX)
  • Digital shop-along
  • In-depth exploration
  • Autoethnography
  • Ideation and co-creation
  • Contextual research
  • Image and communication evaluations
  • Product trials
  • Etc.

Multiple configurations

  • Activity: A single point in time or continuous
  • Length: One day to several months or years
  • Size: From 10 to hundreds of participants
  • Languages: Multilingual
  • Progress: In real time or asynchronous

Multi-Device compatibility

  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Computer

Diversified Interview Types

  • Individual interviews
  • Dyads
  • Triads
  • Quads
  • Bigger sized groups
  • Length: Ideally less than 90 minutes

Varied Interaction Methods

  • Plenary
  • Sessions in subgroups
  • Screen sharing by moderator and by participants
  • Chat (With participants or in private mode with observers)
  • Vote

Countless applications

  • Test de concepts (produits, services, positionnements,  communications, emballages)
  • Customer journey and experience (CX)
  • User experience (UX)
  • Digital safari (shop-along)
  • In-depth exploration
  • Image and communication evaluations
  • Etc.

Secured Environment

  • Access by password and use of a waiting room to prevent intrusion
  • User specific authentification
  • Secure registration
  • Encryption of meetings in real time
  • Backup of recordings on protected servers

Multi-Device compatibility

  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Computer