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June 2014
Vol. 13, Number 5

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C+I SIG—2014 Webinars: Insights, Creativity, and Innovation Collide

Kathy Jacobs-Houk,
Marta Villanueva,

Our vision for the C+I SIG is To strengthen our professional community and be a key driver of QRCA’s success by facilitating creativity, innovation, and collaboration among our members.” 

To that end, we have offered three great webinars already this year and we’re not done yet! Please save the date of August 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (EDT) for another terrific presenter:

Pat Sabena will reprise her highly-rated presentation from last year’s conference in San Diego: Techniques Practicum for Deepening Insights & Sharpening Outcomes. 

In case you missed any of our first three webinars, we’ve included a link to each following their descriptions below.

Taking Insights to Action by Tapping into Values

The customer-centricity of today's dynamic marketplace has caused a participatory shift in innovation processes. Today, employee and customer insights are equally influencing the economic viability of global and local brands. This informative session examines case studies and shares a range of research methods to help practitioners uncover highly-actionable insights through developing a deep understanding of the values and meaning systems of their clients' employees and customers.

Please view using the following link:

About our Speaker:

Ginger Grant, PhD, is a Founding Partner & Consultant in the Creative Intelligence Lab in Canada. A Marketing Professor at Sheridan College in the Faculty of Business, she is also a Visiting Professor at the Copenhagen Business School where she teaches Corporate Anthropology. Ginger is also Advisor to the Council for Customer Experience at the Conference Board of Canada.

Ginger’s passion is story—how to capture it, use it, and understand it—and she studied story and its power to change people since the beginning of time at Joseph Campbell's Pacifica Graduate Institute. While writing her dissertation, Ginger joined an amazing team at the Stanford School of Business; started in the early 1980s by founder Michael Ray, the school's unique MBA and consulting program shifted business thinking towards a philosophy of passion as a tool for transformation.

Also a Jungian therapist, Ginger is the author of two books, Finding Your Creative Core and ReVisioning the Way We Work.

Synectics: A Creative Approach to Product Innovation

Joe Giordano explores Synectics’ application to product innovation including the discovery of unarticulated user needs. For the past 54 years, Synecticsworld has been bridging skills, knowledge, and behaviors to the non-traditional creative functions in order to help drive inventiveness and innovation in individuals, teams and organizations. The key to being able to create this new understanding is to be able to think about the world around us differently. Being collaborative and creative is the opposite of thinking harder—it is embracing a new way of treating ourselves, our thoughts and ideas and those around us.

Please view using the following link:

About our Speaker:

Joe Giordano is a Principal with Synecticsworld out of Cambridge, MA. In the last 10 years, he has worked with a diverse range of clients, including Burger King, Colgate-Palmolive, Assurant Health, Nestle Purina, and many others.  His work includes Insight and Invention workshops, Naming, Claims-Staking, Positioning and Branding, and Organizational Strategy Development, as well as certifying Synectics facilitators within the client organizations. Joe holds his Marketing degree from Bentley University in MA.  He has spoken and taught extensively on the applications of creative collaboration and problem solving—the underlying behaviors for innovating.

Moderating: Why Stop There? Connecting the Dots Between Moderating and Facilitating!

Jean Bystedt and Siri Lynn share interpersonal and group dynamic skills—skills which can be leveraged in settings beyond focus groups.  This fun, informative, and interactive session demonstrates how moderators can use their skills in new ways, how they can build upon them and, ultimately, how they can move their businesses to a new, higher level of consultancy. 

Please view using the following link:

About the Speakers:

Jean Bystedt, founder and principal of J. Bystedt & Associates, and Siri Lynn, founder and principal of Idea Exchange, live in both the worlds of moderating and facilitating.  Along with Deborah Potts, they join their marketing and creative problem solving expertise in the collaborative partnership, To The Max, a union that provides a structure and brain trust for brand development and new product innovation.

Both Jean and Siri are senior trainers for RIVA Training Institute, leaders and trainers for the Creative Education Foundation and the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), and Co-authors of Moderating To The Max: A full-tilt guide to creative, insightful focus groups and depth interviews

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Ethnography SIG: Marie Lemerise and Isabel Aneyba kicked off “Case Studies by Life Cycles”

Isabel Aneyba,
Antonella Fabri,

On May 2, the Ethnography SIG kicked off its “Case Studies by Life Cycles Series,” covering Millennials, Young Nesters, Established Families, and Seniors.

These case studies emphasize the fact that in this disruptive environment, it is critical for business to employ researchers who provide new, timely, and innovative ways to understand the market.

Marie Lemerise introduced the concept of disruption and showcased a case study where Boomers and Thought Leaders helped create a new business model for a pharmaceutical company.

Key Learnings about Disruption:

  • Exponential technology, socio-cultural change, and a collaborative or sharing economy are large disruptive forces that impact our clients’ businesses and our work.
  • Big data is a disruption enabled by exponential technology. The business community seems to be fascinated with big data, but can they get to the “why,” the emotional drivers of behavior? Can they craft a compelling brand story?

Learnings about the Boomers Case Study:

  • The Challenge: move from clinical-centric silos to patient-centered corporate focus. Pharmaceutical companies will succeed or fail based not on how many drugs they sell, but on how well their offerings improve outcomes.
  • The Design: Thought Leader Audit, Patient Ethnographies, and Insights Workshop.
  • Insight: pain points and unmet needs were observed in regimens for multiple chronic conditions.
  • Insight: unmet emotional needs block the use of disease management information as well as adherence.
  • The Outcome: a new business model, with a patient-centered comprehensive program.

Isabel Aneyba presented a co-creating case study where Millennials and clients developed a new brand vision for a new product category.

Learnings about the Millennials Case Study:

  • The Challenge: the use of smartphones is the source of disruption, and they have become an important way to achieve social status.
  • The Challenge: client was bored with normal focus groups and wanted a three-day camp that was fun and real, like a reality show.
  • The Design: a consumer co-creation camp that provided fun and real experiences for Millennials and clients.
    • Stage 1: real introductions turned participants into friends by using story telling.
    • Stage 2: fun concept generation exercises produced product and brand ideas that truly connected with Millennials.
    • Stage 3: real open forum with Millennials and clients motivated clients to truly listen to Millennials’s product and brand ideas. There were “a-ha” moments and one voice in the room.
  • Real visits to night clubs with clients and Millennials helped clients observe and understand how Millennials interacted the first time they met as well as after they knew each other.
  • The Global Outcome: clients gained a deep learning of Millennials and shared it with the entire corporation.
  • The Outcome: the client team and its advertising agency were able to create and communicate the value of the brand in a new brand vision.

Sixty-five participants registered for this event. Congratulations to the two winners in the book raffle: Barbara Rugen (Marketing to Millennials by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton) and Maria Cedillo (Big Bang Disruption by Larry Downes and Paul Nunes)!

To request the PDF of this presentation or access the recording link, contact Isabel Aneyba at with the subject “Disruption PDF and Recording Link.”

Pam Goldfarb Liss showed how to ignite ethnography research with children and teens.

On May 22, Pam Goldfarb Liss of Lit Brains presented "In the Life of a Kid: Ethnography Kid Style." The program was very informative and enlightening, especially because doing ethnography with the younger generations requires planning and a very sensitive approach. To this end, Pam's main recommendations are to involve the parents from the beginning to the end of the ethnography, and to do the ethnography "in-situ" to maximize observations and interactions. Moreover, the ingredients of a successful ethnography are:

  • Plan the ethnography during a time that does not interfere with any other activities, such as homework, sports, finals, proms, etc.
  • Plan activities that will involve children and their friends and then observe their interactions.
  • Be yourself: children are very sensitive and understand "fakes," so be natural and casual.
  • Be respectful of people's space; keep in mind that you are not a guest, therefore refrain from "making yourself at home".
  • Be consistent with people's culture and environment, and pay attention to the context.
  • "Digital" is second nature to kids and teenagers; take advantage of it and ask them to write online diaries and to send snaps of themselves. They love "selfies"!

Seventy-three participants registered for the presentation, and Sandra Brown and Nancy Hardwick were the winners of the raffled book, Kids as Customers by James McNeal. Congratulations!

To request a PDF of this presentation or have access to the event recording link, contact Antonella Fabri at with the subject “Kids & Teens PDF and Recording Link”

To the next one!

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Pharma SIG’s Upcoming July 17 Webinar: Learning from the Participants’ Perspective

Caroline Volpe,

The Pharma SIG is presenting encore presentations of two of the sessions from the AQR/QRCA Worldwide Conference in one webinar, to be held on Thursday, July 17, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EDT).

Presentation #1—Disabled Participants in Qualitative Research: Are We Being Both Fair and Effective?

Many traditional qualitative methodologies structurally exclude respondents with physical, sensory and learning disabilities. Yet these are important populations to consider for our clients, both in making mainstream research fair and representative, and also when researching in markets such as adaptive technology. Online options present both new opportunities and new challenges that need to be explored. This presentation will share best practices, look at examples of overcoming difficulties, and feature feedback from participants.

Maya Middlemiss founded Saros Research, the U.K.’s first database-driven research participant recruitment service, in 2000. To date Saros has placed over 25,000 participants into paid projects around the U.K., employs a resourceful team of dedicated project managers and interviewers, and delivers the highest standards of customer support to clients spanning a wide range of industries. Maya’s prior background was in community development and training. As well as research, she writes and blogs about business, social media, and location independence.

Presentation #2—Understanding the Respondent Perspective: What Participants Think of Qual Research

Ever wonder how respondents feel about qualitative research and what motivates them to participate? Learn first-hand what respondents think about the experience and their perceptions of working with moderators, recruiters, and facilities. Understand key insights gleaned from nearly two dozen interviews conducted among physicians and patients/consumers that you can use to help further optimize your projects, as clients continue to expect more and more with less and less. Keeping respondents engaged and satisfied throughout every phase of the qualitative experience will make for a more seamless process and help produce deeper and richer insights, setting you apart in a world that increasingly views research as a commodity.

Mike Karchner of Karchner Marketing Research, LLC has worked across more than 110 different therapeutic areas and spoken with nearly 50 different physician specialties and healthcare professionals, as well as more than 25 different patient and care provider types. He began his research career as a project manager for Shell Oil, and later became the director of the company's Marketing & Communications Research department. He also helped CapitalOne create its marketing research function, and then joined the supplier side, working for NFO Migliara-Kaplan and Adelphi Research By Design prior to co-founding KMR. Mike is a RIVA-trained Master Moderator and past chair of the Philadelphia Chapter of the QRCA, and remains a member of the chapter leadership team.

More registration information is coming soon! For other information about this program, please contact Caroline Volpe at

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