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April 2016
Vol. 15, Number 3

Remember to check out the QRCA calendar of events
for upcoming Chapter events

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News

Canada Chapter Explores Tools to Assist in Analyzing Vast Quantities of Data

Theresa Dietrich,

On March 4, 2016 the Canada chapter met to learn about some of the coding tools and text analytics methods currently available that can help us work through vast quantities of data generated from certain qualitative methodologies (ethnographies, online, etc.).

Jeff Hecker and Sarah Jane Johnson from Athena Brand Wisdom walked us through their experience with a Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software tool (CAQDAS) and pointed out both strengths and challenges with using this type of tool. Here are some of the topline take-aways of Sarah and Jeff’s presentation:

  • A variety of different software packages are on the market to assist us as qualitative researchers. They range in price from minimal (or even free) up to very costly. Not surprisingly, the more costly tools come with more bells and whistles, as well as technical support.
  • There is a significant learning curve involved in adopting these tools — with a comparably significant investment in time required for the first couple of projects.
  • If one frequently had the types of projects that produced copious amounts of data (i.e. qualitative projects in multiple markets, or a large number of IDIs or online bulletin boards taking place over many days), or more than a single qualitative researcher is involved in the execution and analysis of the data, the investment of cost and time in these tools may pay off in helping to produce better, quicker, more fact-based analysis and reporting.
  • A comfort and interest in embracing new technologies is a bonus when using these tools.

While Jeff and Sarah shared their experiences of this new technology, excellent espressos, cappuccinos and delicious pastries were enjoyed by all at L’Espresso Bar Mercurio, just around the corner from UofT.

Canada Chapter
Attendees included (left to right): Lidia Vetturetti, Ellen Karp, Meghan Houlihan, Catherine Dine, Meredith Morino, Sarah Jane Johnson, Lynne Meisner, Jeff Hecker, Anne Lee Groves, Marion Plunkett, and Theresa Dietrich

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Florida Chapter’s Annual In-person Meeting Features Water Views, Gourmet Lunch and Tom Rich

Mary Turso,

The Florida QRCA chapter gathered for our annual South Florida in-person meeting at the fabulous waterfront home of our fellow member Horacio Segal on Friday, March 11.

We enjoyed a gourmet lunch dockside and then socialized poolside with our fellow members from across the State of Florida. We were fortunate to have long-time QRCA member and qualitative research pioneer Tom Rich of Thomas M. Rich Associates visit us from New Jersey. Tom shared a presentation highlighting one analytical model that focused on how consumers simplify decision-making. The attendees had a robust discussion about how to use the model to uncover valuable shopper insights for clients. Tom also led a discussion about the importance of developing and using more analytical frameworks to differentiate our work as moderators vs. other practitioners in the marketplace. It was a fantastic afternoon and we are grateful to Tom for enabling such a marvelous discussion.

Florida Chapter
Members of the Florida QRCA chapter enjoying the fine Florida weather at their March 11 meeting. Left to right: Claudia Liemann, Horacio Segal, Tom Rich, Paul Warner, Albert Sanchez, Angela de la Pena, Alicia Menanteau, and Gisella Emiliani. Mary Turso, the photographer, also attended.

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Minnesota Chapter Learns “How to Expand Your Business into User Experience”

Jean Nordgren,

briana sylver
Brianna Sylver

Brianna Sylver recently presented Minnesota chapter members with an opportunity to grow their businesses by considering the ripe and growing field of User Experience (UX). Brianna, of Sylver Consulting in Chicago, is an expert with a BFA in Communication Design from the University of Buffalo and an MDes in Human-Centered Communication Design and Design Planning from the IIT Institute of Design.

Brianna defined UX as “developing the experience of a product or service to ensure that it is usable, useful, desirable and delightful” (based on the User Experience Maturity Levels by Sakhardande and Thanawala). She believes that while QRCs may also help clients reach the “desirable” stage of product development, user researchers focus on the specific design changes that ultimately lead to reaching the “delightful” level.

As organizations evolve in their use of UX as a core tenant of differentiation, Brianna explained, the opportunity for market researchers to move into UX grows. She states that QRCs have the “needed skills and knowledge that are not only valued but essential as organizations seek more strategic direction from their UX activities.” In other words, we have skills that the typical user researcher may not have.

Brianna explained that QRCs are valuable in the UX process as experts in participant sampling and quality, as we specialize in selectively screening respondents. QRCs also typically have a broader tool set than their user research counterparts, as qualitative researchers typically explore emotions in addition to understanding activities and behaviors. Additionally, QRCs have a better sense of when qual, quant or a hybrid approach is best for a project.

Brianna advised the Minnesota members that market researchers and user researchers have different philosophies on how work gets done. In user research, the role of the insight is a means to an end or something that instigates action. Meanwhile, in market research, the insight itself is the end, which is meant to increase understanding in the organization. User researchers typically serve as facilitators, interpreters and advisors as they work collaboratively and iteratively with groups. Market researchers, however, work more independently as more of a consultant in the development process.

In order to move into the UX field, Brianna suggests that QRCs need to mentally reframe their work, their role and how work is done. She also proposes that QRCs increase their knowledge of the user-centered design process.

In summary, we — as QRCs — have skills that the growing industry of UX is looking for. It’s up to us to articulate and refine those skills in a manner that resonates with and is appreciated by UX professionals.

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OH/IN/KY Chapter Members Start Day with Brunch and Storytelling

Ruth Connolly,

An opportunity to learn “The Science Behind Storytelling” brought OH/IN/KY chapter members together at The Living Room, a meeting space in Norwood, Ohio on March 25. Jamie Johnson of Seek was the group’s expert guide to the topic. Chapter members in attendance were:

OHINKY chapter
Peju Milne, Kyle Hodgkins and Bruce Ferguson

OHINKY chapter
Dennis Devlin, Sharon Laukhuff, and Marty Johnson

OHINKY chapter
Every picture tells a story and The Living Room, the host site for the meeting, lines its reception area with Instagrams.

Jamie giving his presentation, “The Science of Storytelling”

Jamie, with an Instagram gift about storytelling presented to him by OHINKY member Ruth Connolly (who took all of these pictures)

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Marketing Mastery: How to Promote Your Qualitative Practice in 2016

Ayanna Kenyatta,

Earlier this month at Focus Pointe Global in downtown Philadelphia, Steve Henke, founder of Harpeth Marketing, provided 15 members and guests of the Philadelphia Chapter with amazing tips to improve their own businesses. Harpeth Marketing develops and helps implement marketing strategies for market researchers so they can instead focus on doing what they do best — research!

Qualitative research consultants often find marketing their own businesses to be challenging, given the feast or famine nature of the consulting world and competing priorities. To help QRCs, Steve focused the discussion on building awareness, nurturing sales leads, working with first-time clients and creating a market plan that is simple and executable, but still impactful.

Steve suggests that the key is to market yourself a little every day. Doing this consistently helps avoid times of financial famine. Resources like LinkedIn, Twitter, personal websites and even blogging are just a few of the many tools that can help the effort of daily marketing activities be worthwhile.

There are seemingly countless ways to improve your marketing, but the main point is to get out there and start marketing! Doing so will only allow your business to grow, make it easier to maintain and improve sustainability.

Steve’s presentation is available for video streaming to QRCA members for $35. Please contact Karen Zimmerman at for details.

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It’s OK to Talk Politics: The Real Deal. Really!

Mike Karchner,
Deanna Manfredi,

Ever wonder how Trump or Hillary know what to say? How a politician’s image is crafted? How qualitative research is used to support political campaigns? Well, here’s your chance to find out!

Join the Philadelphia Chapter of QRCA on May 6, 2016 for a fascinating session discussing domestic and world political research featuring political research gurus Brian Gottlieb, Rich Thau, and Steve Moore. They’ll answer these burning questions as well as help each of us understand how the type of work they do applies to our own practices. Plus, there will be plenty of time for Q&A, musings and predictions about the outcome of Decision 2016!

Friday, May 6, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

$40 for QRCA members;
$50 for qualified non-members.
Bring cash or checks with you (payable to QRCA).

RSVP By Wednesday, May 4, 2016 to
This is to give us a general idea of how many to expect. If your plans change at the last minute and you find you are available, please come by!

Attend via FocusVision:
This program will be available via FocusVision for those who are unable to attend in person. If you plan to attend via FocusVision, please use PayPal to pay in advance and you will receive details about how to join in virtually.

Schlesinger Associates
50 Monument Road, Suite 200
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 538-1900

Read more about each of the speakers and their presentations below:

The Canary in the Political Coal Mine: Qualitative Data as an Early Warning System
Managing Director of Purple Insights Brian Gottlieb will share some lessons learned from his days as a political and campaign pollster. Brian will examine case studies from Jindal to Romney to Trump and how qualitative findings were critical to understanding those campaigns. He will help unravel the Trump phenomenon that took the nation by surprise and how qualitative research predicted this trajectory. Additionally, he will discuss how to apply a politically-inspired approach to brand and other corporate questions.

About Brian Gottlieb
Brian brings a balance of research, corporate and political experience to Purple Insights. With nearly 20 years of experience working in public policy and politics, Brian has been an integral part of many successful ballot initiatives and political campaigns across the nation. He has conducted research for the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, Republican Party of Kentucky, Senator Elizabeth Dole, Senator Richard Shelby, Congressman Brett Guthrie, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anheuser-Busch, Altria, Reynolds America, The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, Gorton’s, and the National Fisheries Institute, in addition to the 2008 Romney Campaign.

Putting Words in Their Mouths: How American’s Leaders Know What to Say
Rich Thau, President and Founder of Presentation Testing, Inc., will share a variety of insights from his 13 years of dial-testing, public policy messaging, and conducting other qualitative research that influenced the national public policy debate. He will offer several examples of how his findings from specific projects changed the discussion and/or better informed policy-makers. This includes examples related to the federal budget, climate change, international trade and healthcare. He will also discuss how he integrates behavioral science and social psychology into his work.

About Rich Thau
Rich’s company, Presentation Testing, Inc., is the industry leader in scientifically testing and refining the effectiveness of business and issue-advocacy presentations, moment-to-moment. The firm helps its clients become more successful by applying the power of behavioral science and social psychology to the process of dial testing. In its research, Thau’s firm instructs study participants to provide feedback to help refine the messages its clients deliver. This is done by directing audience members each to turn a hand-held dial to give continuous feedback as they watch a speaker. This feedback pinpoints the presentation's "weak spots" based on a single criterion, such as agreement, understanding or interest. Follow-up conversations probe for “why.”

Thau regularly advises leaders in Congress and their staffs, Presidential campaigns, and corporate executives on how to improve their messaging; his recommendations have shaped the national debate over Social Security, Medicare and tax reform. His firm’s recent policy messaging projects have focused on climate change, immigration, foreign policy, welfare, energy, government spending, healthcare, labor/management issues and international trade. Thau is also the publisher and co-founder of a monthly e-newsletter called the Constituent Communications Alert, which is read by senior House staff.

Think Your Market Research Day Was Tough? Be Glad You Weren’t Conducting a Survey in Baghdad
If you think your day-to-day workload is tough, come find out what it’s like to conduct a survey in Baghdad (hint: “non-response” is not the biggest methodological hurdle). Hear about conducting focus groups in a barn in post-Soviet Russia. And come ready to understand why politicians are delivering the same lines over and over again this primary season, because you’ll learn a little about that as well. Public-opinion researcher and political consultant Steve Moore will provide an overview of how political consultants use public opinion research to shape messages. He will provide examples of research he conducted in Russia for the 1996 Yeltsin campaign, the story of Munquith Daghir (the father of Iraq’s public opinion research) and how he helped in the transformation of Arnold Schwarzenegger from action hero to public policy authority.

About Steve Moore
Steve Moore is a public opinion researcher and political professional who has worked in some of the world's most challenging environments, ranging from Iraq after the fall of Saddam to Russia during the Yeltsin era to Capitol Hill during the Tea Party wave election.

For much of the last decade, Moore was a chief of staff and senior strategist on Capitol Hill. During the Tea Party wave of 2010, which ushered in a historically large Republican majority, Moore played a role in dozens of Congressional campaigns. After 2010, Moore was chief of staff to the Chief Deputy Whip, much in the vein of “House of Cards” (without the murders) and had to help figure out how to get the unruly Tea Party class to vote with the party.

In his first tour in Iraq in 2003-2004, Moore established the Baghdad office for an international NGO, growing it to some 70 full-time and part-time staff across the country. During that time, IRI conducted about 70 focus groups and helped develop public opinion survey capacity in Iraq. The results helped guide the Coalition Provisional Authority in creating the Iraqi constitution and electoral law.

In the '90s, Moore was part of the team that secretly advised Boris Yeltsin’s campaign in Russia in 1996, bringing the incumbent President from 6% in the polls five months from Election Day to an ultimate 13% victory. The team’s efforts were chronicled in a Time magazine cover story and the subject of a Showtime movie, Spinning Boris, starring Jeff Goldblum. Also in 1996, Moore consulted in Romania during the parliamentary elections.

Moore has written opinion pieces for the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, the City Journal and the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has appeared as a commentator on Fox News, MSNBC and as a guest on ABC’s Nightline. Moore has also been profiled in The Hill and in Roll Call.

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San Francisco/Bay Area QRCA Chapter Gets Treated to a Night of Educational Improv

Joanna Jones,

The SF/Bay Area QRCA Chapter was treated to a meeting themed around “improv” and how to use improv tactics in ideation sessions and qualitative groups. Marc Engel, a pioneer in qualitative research and improv comedy artist, led the discussion.

Marc used the opportunity to test out some exercises that he will be presenting at the Vienna, Austria Worldwide QRCA Conference. He had the local chapter members on their feet, doing funny moves with their hands and feet, and even going through a “mock expert” exercise, whereby the group got to experience firsthand just how funny and quick many of the chapter members are.

Following the improv sessions, the 24 chapter members in attendance discussed topics ranging from clauses in contracts to sharing ideas they use or have recently discovered. VuPoint Research in South San Francisco hosted and catered a delicious Asian fusion meal for the event.

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QRCA Southeast Chapter Is “Rocking” in 2016!

Laurie Butler,

On February 26, 2016, the Southeast Chapter kicked off the year with acclaimed presenter Kendall Nash from Burke, Inc. She shared her impactful presentation “Getting Beyond ‘Once Upon a Time’” for the Southeast Chapter’s February brunch meeting.

southeast chapter
Back row (left to right): Michael McClellan, Bruce Peoples, Theresa Cornett, Greg Rathjen, John Turner, Jaycee Sebastian. Front row (left to right): Linda Travis, Kendall Nash, Jenny Wood, Randi Stillman (co-chair), Laurie Butler (co-chair).

And There Is More to Come!
The Chapter has a lot more planned for the rest of 2016 as well. We invite all Southeast Chapter members and any QRCA Members nationwide to join in our events if you are in town.

Vino Venue

What: Vino Venue Wine Social —

When: Monday, April 11, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST

Where: Atlanta, GA


What: Chapter Meeting: “Going Mobile! Maximizing Online and Mobile Qualitative Methods”

When: Friday, May 20, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. CST

Where: Nashville, TN

Who: Mark Michelson, Executive Director Mobile Marketing Research Association and Isaac Rodgers, CEO at 20|20 Technology

20|20 Research
161 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37203

Cost: $25 for the workshop

Why: QRCA members and guests will learn about the latest mobile qualitative platforms and how to integrate them into your studies.

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