I met an independent qualitative researcher at the MRMW in Atlanta this summer just gone. She specialised in the Hispanic/Latino market in the US and we spoke at length about mobile research in general and the ways in which it added to and changed conventional qualitative research.
A few things about this individual which I picked up on immediately: she seriously knew her stuff - saw straight through a lot of the 'benefits' of mobile tools; she had some great clients which are a testimony to how good she is at what she does and her research methodology/approach was her way or the high way.
During the conference I noticed her also chatting with the QualVu people who were giving a demo of their platform. I asked if I could watch the demo and they graciously obliged knowing full well I was a competitor. If you must know, it was a fantastic demonstration which left me feeling a little sick.
Fast forward to two weeks ago when I received an email from this same lady. She is running a large study in the US with Mexican households and her client wants her to use a mobile platform of her choosing as a an experimental pilot into mobile. She sent me a briefing document too which was interesting. Audio was essential (separate from video) and the client didn't want the respondents to have to use their desk tops even once during the study. It was a mobile device only project. She also reeled off a load of new-to-me requirements which we don't yet offer.
I decided to play helpful and explained at length that we have a development road map and the features she is asking for won't go live for a few weeks at least. We explored ways of working around them while still using our platform and in the end I recommended she get in touch with the likes of QualVu and Revelation which may already offer the same features (not going to say which, so there!). She paused, and told me that she had already been in touch and none offered what she wanted. We were the closest yet.
The challenge is that this lady, like many other potential users, is what I call a hard core quali. She is trying to to a qual, focus group style research study using a mobile platform. And she won't compromise on how a platform should work for her. Which is fine. Which is my challenge.
I left it that if she decided not to use us, we would almost certainly work with her in the future. And that discussions with her have been amazingly useful. She said she would come back to me after discussing with her client.
I will keep you posted on whether we get this or not.