Market Research Methodologies – M3 Study Guide

*The translation of this article in French and Portuguese has been made through machine translation and has not been edited yet. we apologise for any inaccuracies.

Are you about to participate in a paid healthcare study with M3 Global Research? Here´s a quick guide to help you navigate, and better understand the different market research methodologies that we use. Learn about online surveys and online bulletin boards, and the differences between in-depth interviews, focus groups, and ethnographies. Read through our M3 study guide and get ready to take part.

Being an M3 panel member gives you access to different types of market research opportunities within healthcare. Each study uses a different research methodology and is uniquely designed to gather understanding and insights about the way particular treatments, services, and healthcare products are used, perceived, and potential future applications. As a healthcare professional, your real-life experiences and medical knowledge are highly valued to further develop healthcare provision and improve patient outcomes.

Based on the study topic, medical specialty, and objectives of the research, studies vary in methodology, length, qualification requirements, and compensation.

To understand if you are eligible to participate in a study, you will first be asked to answer some screener questions, which only take a few minutes. If you want to learn more about what a screener is and how to avoid screening out, read our screener guide.

The compensation for paid studies will be processed via your M3 Wallet upon completion.

market research methodologies: online surveys, focus groups, ethnographies, in-depth interviews

Online Surveys and Chart Studies

An online survey is a series of questions that are answered online on a computer. If the study details indicate that it is mobile-friendly, you may use a smartphone or tablet . Online questionnaires have different question types, including but not limited to:

  • Single choice response (select one answer from the given answer options)
  • Multiple choice response (select two or more answers from the given answer options)
  • Open-ended response (type in your answer)
  • Likert scale response (indicate on a scale how much you like/dislike, agree/disagree, or feel about multiple properties)

Some online surveys may require you to enter information from a patient, or administrative charts, sometimes called ‘chart studies’. If that´s the case, you will receive detailed information about the requirements in the survey invitation. You will always know exactly what is required of you when you agree to take part.

Online Bulletin Boards

An online bulletin board is an interactive discussion between participants and a moderator via an online platform. You may be asked to visit a website, answer questions, or go through some exercises. This type of study can usually be done in your own time over a period of several days. You will then be asked to reflect on your thoughts and feelings about the experience.

market research methodologies: in-depth interviews, ethnographies, focus groups

In-Depth Interviews

An in-depth interview is a one-to-one discussion between a participant and a moderator. This discussion can be held in-person, usually at a neutral and central location, or can be conducted via telephone, or virtually; normally using a webcam and an online conference platform. Commonly used approaches include:

  • In-depth interviews (in-person)
  • Telephone in-depth interviews (TDI)
  • Webcam or web-assisted telephone interviews (WATI)

After you’ve completed the screening questions and qualified for the study, you´ll then need to schedule your interview at a time that suits you. We´ll then send you a confirmation email with your interview link, or location, information about how to connect with the moderator, and any other details you may need to participate.

Check out these five steps on how to participate. They apply to focus group interviews and ethnographies as well.

  1. Complete the screening questions
  2. Schedule the interview using our online appointment booker OR wait for the M3 support team to call you
  3. Confirm your interview time via email or phone
  4. Participate in the interview
  5. Receive compensation via your M3 Wallet

We use QualStage for virtual interviews, a secure platform for anonymous online interviews.

Here´s how QualStage works.

market research methodologies: focus groups, online surveys

Focus Groups

A focus group is just like an in-depth interview, but in a group discussion format with two or more participants, and an interviewer who also moderates the group, guiding the conversation and ensuring all participants are given equal opportunities to speak. A focus group can be held in-person at a neutral location or virtually through an online platform, using a computer with an internet connection and a webcam.

Read more on how to participate under the In-depth interviews section.


An ethnography study, which is sometimes called a ‘case study’ project, is similar to an in-depth interview but is conducted in various locations such as a participant’s home, place of employment, or another location that applies to the research. Ethnography is a type of social research that involves observing participants’ behaviours in their own environment in order to gain an understanding of their perceptions, values, or beliefs. When this is done virtually, it´s called a mobile ethnography.

Are you curious about other paid study opportunities? Log into your M3 account and check out the available study opportunities on your dashboard or visit the “Available medical studies” page.

Ready to Take Part in Market Research?

We would like to invite you to participate in healthcare surveys to improve patients treatment. Join today to take part in market research in healthcare.
We would like to invite you to participate in healthcare surveys to improve patients treatment. Join today to take part in market research in healthcare.

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