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February 2013
Vol. 12, Number 1

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QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
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Eastern Canada Chapter Applauds QRCA Convention in Their City

Marc-André Leduc,

Last December, the Eastern Canada Chapter held a seasonal lunch meeting at the Ella Grill in Montreal. Those of us who managed to avoid the flu epidemic and could spare the time away from last minute, pre-Christmas demands from anxious clients gathered to assess the Annual Conference held in Montreal last October. It was also an opportunity to think and plan ahead for future QRCA events while enjoying salmon prepared "à la grecque”. It was an interesting lunch with eight qualitative researchers. Unfortunately, the industry blitz to complete projects before the Holidays prevented many interested from joining us.

We agreed that the Conference had once more shown how valuable and encouraging the QRCA principle of sharing experience and ideas could be. This went both for ideas that work and ideas that don't- unlike the "preaching tone” that prevails in certain other professional organizations. In particular, we felt that the new format for "round-table discussions” -- with pre-prepared handouts at the ready -- provided a promising development of this principle.

A newcomer to the Chapter --not yet a member -- gave this endorsement of what the QRCA stands for: "...thank you for inviting me. I was incredibly impressed by the collaboration and the sharing of ideas at this lunch, it was very refreshing compared to other organizations. Thanks for helping me remember why I am passionate about the work I get to do- it has been a while since I have been around such a motivating group.” Emily Rumanek

It seems worth repeating, and certainly worth living up to.

Please do not be distracted or disturbed by the picture on the wall behind this smiling group of Montreal QRC's. It does not fully represent the ambiance we were looking for. It is entirely by chance that it served as a back drop. Don't blame us... if you must find a scapegoat, blame Ella Grill! BTW, their salmon was delicious.

eastern chapter
(Left to right) Marie-Pierre Charette, Emily Rumanek, Daniel Masse, Kimberley Campbell, Marc-André Leduc (Co Chair), Pascal Patenaude (Co Chair), Maryse Hudon, And Mark Lovell

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Minnesota Chapter Celebrates 2013 with Annual Dinner

Rosemary Sundin,

"A tavola non si invecchia” is an Italian proverb meaning, "At the table with good friends and family you do not become old.” And so it was at the annual gathering of the QRCA Minnesota Chapter, held at Biaggis Ristorante Italiano on January 7th, where good friends and their spouses and partners shared the lessons of 2012 and hopes for 2013 along with second and third helpings of authentic Italian dishes, wine and dessert. Buon anno – Happy New Year from the QRCA Minnesota Chapter!

MN Chapter
(Left to right) Front row: Elaine Gingold, Rosemary Sundin, Judy Cook, LizScholz. Second row: Harold Cook, Thom Winninger, LynMarieWinninger, Sandy Longfellow, Nancy Brown, Valerie EsquedaBack Row: Jeff Wyant, Doug Johnson, Jeff Walkowski, Dale Longfellow, Paul Tuchman, Tom Evers

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Philadelphia Chapter Kicks off the New Year with Provocative Programs

Laurie Tema-Lyn,

"My friends call them acting gigs…I’d say 85% of the time I’m legitimately qualified to do a study.”

Are you wondering about the other 15%?

The Philadelphia Chapter’s January 11 meeting was a fascinating & sobering event with co-chairs Abby Leafe & Laurie Tema-Lyn presenting their original research into "Cheaters & Repeaters.” They shared their findings on how respondents learn about studies, how some purposefully fudge the truth to get into a study ("Sometimes I forget I have children”, or are nudged into mis-stating the truth by recruiters. Consumer participants also talked about what motivates participation (money, of course is a big factor, but having their voice and ideas heard ("You’re helping a company mold a menu, or come up with a commercial”) are also important.

Now what happens when a respondent walks into a study that they shouldn’t have been recruited for in the first place? Consumers have various strategies—staying quiet and just agreeing with others in the room is one that a savvy moderator might pick up on. But the more adventurous respondents prepare so that they will be informed on the topic and be able to contribute (They think they are doing a service!).

The presentation of research findings was just one part of the program with panelists Judy Langer (who chairs the FieldCom), Merrill Shugoll, and Andrea Schrager lending their perspectives as market researchers and also facility/recruiting professionals.

There was spirited discussion amongst presenters and listeners and a number of ideas and strategies were suggested that research consultants could employ.

Two tips:

  • Have frank conversations with recruiters about expectations and make your specific needs known.
  • Review your assumptions (and your client’s) about security questions-- it may be time to delete or refresh some of them.

The Philadelphia Chapter is also thrilled about its next program -- which will be held March 1--Applying the Principles of Behavioral Economics. This is a follow up to Deanna Manfredi’s well-received presentation in Montreal. The program will include pragmatic examples and cases presented by panelists Jenifer Simson Hartt, Deanna Manfredi, Richard Thau, and Mark Wheeler

The meeting will be held at Schlesinger Associates in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Registration & networking begins at 10:30; the program will run until 3:30. We expect this to be a full house and are encouraging people to RSVP early to Karen Zimmerman.

Philadelphia Chapter Abby and Laurie
Philadelphia Chapter Co-Chairs Abby Leafe and Laurie Tema-Lyn presenting at the January 11 meeting.

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Southeast Chapter's "Best of the Best from the QRCA Annual Conference” Meeting is a Favorite

Laurie J. Butler,

The QRCA Southeast Chapter held its annual "Best of the Best” meeting on Friday, December 14, 2012 at Jackson Associates in Midtown Atlanta. The theme of this meeting was once again based on the "Best Of The Best From The QRCA Annual Conference," where some of the Southeast chapter members summarize selected workshops presented originally at the 2012 QRCA Annual Conference held in Montreal.

Greg Rathjen began our presentations by summarizing "Red Light, Green Light! On the Road to becoming an Advertising Agency-Favored Qualitative Researcher.” This summarization of the presentation-- which was originally delivered by agency veterans Belle Frank and Anne Manning -- surprised many as we as moderators in the Southeast Chapter did not feel we delivered the "Red Light” behaviors that these agencies have experienced. Regardless, the QRCA members in this meeting have a new level of empathy for advertising creative executives and vowed to strive even more diligently to communicate with agencies about wants and needs throughout the research process.

Rebecca Bryant summarized Ron Rentel’s presentation and book "Karma Queens, Geek Gods and Innerpreneurs.” The presentation, including some of the nine different consumer types (C-Types), as well as ways to better market to some of these C-Types, was most interesting, especially since I found myself immediately identifying some Karma Queens, Denim Dads, Parentocrats, and Geek Gods -- among other C-types in my various social circles. We are now looking forward to exploring ways to use this interesting information more fully in our businesses.

Rebecca also gave a summary of her own presentation originally delivered with Charlotte Havely at the conference, ”Integrating Individual and Social Creativity: Using Online Bulletin Boards, Kindergarten Art Supplies and Traditional Focus Groups To Fill The Product Pipeline.” This presentation resulted in a thoroughly intriguing discussion about how to use online bulletin boards and kindergarten art supplies in conjunction with traditional focus groups to enhance the creativity desired from qualitative research.

Jim Bryson summarized the Workshop: "Social Media Recruiting: Way of the Future?” where he was one of three panelists, moderated by Michelle Finzel when it was delivered in Montreal. We discussed the growing success and uses for social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter in terms of listening to and communicating with more and more people, yet the seeming reluctance to use this medium for recruiting. One of our most important points in the discussion was the need to explore this avenue for recruiting some markets, but the necessity of following up on any leads found through social media with traditional phone confirmation of the respondent qualifications.

As always, this meeting was too short to cover all the wonderful information we desired to discuss and just a small segment of what was presented in Montreal. This, now annual, chapter meeting is an awesome endorsement for the Annual QRCA Conference, because we get a slice of all the incredible information that was delivered by such a talented crowd of professionals! We all look forward even more eagerly to hopefully attending this year’s conference in San Diego, CA!!

southeast chapter
(Left to right) Back row: Chet Bertolli, Greg Rathjen, Elvenyia Gibson, Rebecca Bryant, Linda Travis, Tom Beggs, Shelli Keagle. Front row: Joel Reish, Jim Bryson, Laurie Butler, Kristin Sharp-Anderson, Randi Stillman

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Texas & Friends Kicks off New Chapter with Ava Lindberg’s Workshop on Feb. 22

Kelly Heatly,

It’s time kick off 2013 with the first QRCA Texas & Friends Chapter event on Friday, February 22, in Dallas!

Start the New Year by getting your creative game on with fellow-QRCA member Ava Lindberg as she presents…

Facilitating Consciously for Breakthrough Insights: A Mini-Training Workshop on Creative Techniques

Applying the right form of creative facilitation can achieve breakthrough results in qualitative research. But how do you know what the right form is, when, and how to use it for your particular situation? And, when do you get the chance to learn and practice creative exercises, so you feel confident trying it with clients?

Join Ava Lindberg as she shares cool tools in creativity facilitation and focuses on the top four ways to generate breakthrough research and conceptual insight. She will offer case histories from major brands to illustrate what works and what doesn’t.

A combination of lecture, exploration, and interactivity, the event offers everyone
an opportunity to observe and practice actual creative-innovation exercises.

Bonus: The workshop will conclude with a fun ideation session focused on our own Texas Chapter, allowing us to apply what we just learned and generate new ideas for our growing Texas membership.

Location: Whole Foods Market – 2nd Floor Meeting Room
11700 Preston Rd., Dallas, TX 75230
FocusVision available for remote viewers.
Date: Friday, February 22, 2013, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Lunch, workshop, and optional happy hour afterward.
Cost:$30 for QRCA members; $45 for qualified non-members.
Lunch included.
PayPal through Mike Courtney: Or bring cash or checks (payable to QRCA).
RSVP:By Wednesday, February 20, to
This is to give the chapter a general idea of how many to expect, but last-minute attendees are welcome. You are welcome to invite guest colleagues (non client-side).

About the Presenter:
ava in a rockAva Lindberg is President of SunResearch, a leading-edge qualitative research practice located in New York City. An academically trained cultural anthropologist and creative facilitator, Lindberg has delved deeply into consumer behaviors, experiential-emotional need states, "visionizing,” archetypal brand imagery, and creative development as well as spearheaded innovative new forms of qualitative methodologies for leading brands and companies. Ava has given international, U.S., and Canadian workshops in qualitative research processes and is a frequent presenter for the QRCA.

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Toronto Chapter Pinterest Event: An Insight into a Cool Tool

Charlene Esposto-Scheibler, M.A.,

dianeIn November, the QRCA Toronto Chapter was privileged to have Diane Harris vibrantly share her insight into the world of Pinterest. Diane describes Pinterest as a "visual corkboard” which uses the beauty of imagery to represent one’s values and motivations. Pinterest is free - open to everyone – and the original source of every image is noted; therefore, copyright infringement is not an issue.

Due to the open and expressive nature of Pinterest, Diane suggested that this form of social media may act as a medium into fully understanding consumers and brands. In saying this, qualitative researchers may utilize the visual images on Pinterest to capture the story at the heart of every consumer. Moreover, Diane outlined how Pinterest may be an effective recruiting tool. A researcher is able to search through topics to identify potential respondents based on the pictures they have pinned to their wall. In addition, clients may also utilize the perks of Pinterest. For example, Pinterest has been said to increase the quantity of products ordered, as respondents exposed to product images often refer shoppers to client stores.

The event was a great success. The QRCA Toronto Chapter would like to sincerely express our gratitude to Diane Harris for her ability to inspire and motivate. Thank you also to Consumer Vision and Focus Vision for donations of facilities and webinar capabilities.

In addition, hold the date for our next event - April 12. Anthropologist Michael Youngblood will be presenting his 2012 QRCA Conference paper, "Beyond Words: Conducting Simple and Effective Observations in Stores, Malls and Other Public Settings" in a lunch time session. Further details will be provided closer to the date.

The QRCA Toronto Chapter wishes you all the best in 2013!

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Virtual Chapter’s December Presentation -- Qual’s Secret Weapon: Behavioral Economics in Practice

Samantha Loggenberg,

To follow is a recap of the Virtual Chapter’s December meeting, presented by Jay Zaltzman, December 11-14, 2012, via live Webinar and asynchronous online discussion.

As Qualitative Researchers, we understand that people constantly attempt to rationalize their decisions - yet remain largely influenced by context and powerfully driven by emotions. Intuitively and cognitively, Behavioral Economics (BE) begins to account for many anomalies we encounter in Qualitative research, making sense of, and framing, the often seemingly counter-intuitive behavior of human beings.

The big challenge with BE is not developing an understanding of the "what” but of the "how.” Jay’s presentation to the Virtual Chapter practically de-codes these principles and models of thinking for use in our every day research lives. Highlighting how BE in practice truly is Qual’s secret weapon.

We are constantly looking for innovative and new ways of gaining more insight, getting to deeper levels, and delving into the behavioral nuances that are our consumers.

This is because deep down we know one crucial thing about each other, and ourselves. People Lie.

Not because they want to – not because they need to – but because they incorrectly assume that thinking underpins their choices. By weighting up the role of traditional economic variables – and down playing the role of emotions at the moment of choice – they form strong logical opinions based on weak evidence (and often flawed memory).

The more complex the decision, the easier the default choice becomes, and the more vehemently we defend (and rationalize) that choice.

Direct questioning often predisposes respondents to think logically - when what we really want is to understand is their emotional drivers. We are all natural storytellers and logic leads to rationalized stories. These almost always make sense, can even be thought provoking and interesting, but often have little to do with actual behavior.

Jay’s presentation uses this understanding to illustrate how simply by changing how we ask questions we can radically change the depth and insight we gain during the research process. We need to not only give our respondents "emotional license,” but to understand that how we ask the question impacts the richness of the contextual material that emerges.

Jay’s presentation demonstrates how abstract principles like choice, architecture, rationalization, biases, and heuristics can be used as concepts guiding and informing questioning to deliver far more depth - not only improving the quality of data collection, but also serving as a solid reason for advocating clients to use skilled researchers.

On behalf of the QRCA virtual Chapter, we would like to thank Jay for re-igniting our passion and assuaging our natural fear of BE with practical examples that can be applied to all facets of qual research. This was helpful to all levels of qualitative practitioners from the seasoned moderator to the experienced researcher.

If you are interested in reading through Jay’s presentation, please feel free to mail him directly for a copy at

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Virtual Chapter Announces Two Upcoming Meetings

Julia Spink,

julia with a snowmanI trust that you all had a good time across the holiday period, and would like to take the chance to offer you all best wishes for a happy and successful 2013.

The year is starting actively for me in the U.K. – though for the third winter in a row we have been hit with (for us) heavy snowfall which has left parts of the country paralysed, roads impassable, planes grounded – you know the score. Not ideal for the international researcher... so meanwhile I am enjoying the sledging and building a giant snowman!

February meeting: w/c 11th February 2013

We are starting our 2013 Virtual Chapter programme with a well-known QRCA speaker, Susan Abbott of Abbott Research + Consulting in Toronto. Susan will present her paper "Hate Selling? Build Profile Instead.”

Susan is going to share many ideas and suggestions for building a company profile that can help increase business, a subject which must be relevant to all members!

Virtual Chapter members look forward to not only learning from Susan but also participating in an interactive discussion and idea-sharing session.

This virtual meeting will be active during the week of 11 - 15th February on an on-line Bulletin Board to facilitate convenient access, regardless of the participant’s schedule or time zone.

To register, email Then, look out for log-in details to arrive a few days ahead.

Next meeting: April

The Virtual Chapter is delighted to announce the program for its next meeting, a presentation of the 2012 ESOMAR Excellence Award for Best Paper which was selected from all ESOMAR conferences throughout the year.

Piyul Mukherjee and QRCA member Pia Mollback-Verbic of Quipper Research, India will present their paper,"Water Wows: Tapping the unleashed potential of mobile phones.” This paper discusses with great clarity the cultural issues and differences between conducting research in Eastern and Western markets.

The ESOMAR jury commented, "This paper takes cross-cultural research to a new level, not least by providing a framework that guided the development of the research approach. This paper illustrates far better than most, how decision-makers can be misled by what consumers say in traditional research when there are cultural sensitivities not accounted for in the methodology."

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