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June 2016
Vol. 15, Number 5

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

What Are You Worth? The Minnesota Chapter Presentation Report

Jean Nordgren,

It’s likely something you’ve always wondered about, but have been afraid to ask: what are you worth? Abby Leafe posed this question when she recently presented “What Are You Worth? The Art and Science of Valuing Qualitative Research” to the Minnesota Chapter on May 9. Abby co-authored this presentation with Laurie Tema-Lyn.

This is not a presentation on pricing qualitative work, as QRCA members are forbidden from pricing discussions. However, it is a must-see presentation on how we as QRCs value the work that we provide to our clients.

For this presentation, Abby and Laurie conducted phone interviews with 16 QRCs, and found that there is no universal approach to determining value. While most QRCs interviewed use a spreadsheet to calculate value, what goes into that spreadsheet calculation varies widely. For example, some QRCs determine project value based on time, while others look at the value of the work provided to the client. For time-based consultants, some use hourly while others use daily calculations.

Abby pointed out several factors that can influence how QRCs value their work:

  • Busy or slow
  • Wholesale or retail work
  • Local or out-of-town
  • First-time client or long-term relationship

Abby also noted other outside factors that influence the value of qualitative work: an increased presence of purchasing in the hiring process and the preference for larger companies to work with larger research firms.

Most members admitted that they have not given themselves a raise recently and discussed the difficulty in raising prices. However, a few members mentioned that they offer discounts to new clients with the understanding that prices will increase for subsequent work. Meeting attendees discussed the fine line between not leaving money on the table versus losing projects that are overpriced. As one of the QRCs interviewed said, “If you don’t lose a couple projects a year because you’re too expensive, you’re not charging enough.”

Left to right, seated: Elaine Gingold, John Cashmore
2nd row: Paul Tuchman, Kara Lazarus, Abby Leafe (speaker), Jean Nordgren, Riva Kupritz
3rd row: Jeff Walkowski, Scarlett Ferguson, Rebecca Carlson

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OH/IN/KY Chapter Hosts Naomi Henderson of RIVA for Full-Day Seminar

Sharon Laukhuff,

Naomi Henderson of RIVA Market Research and Training Institute informed and entertained 15 research professionals at a day-long seminar hosted by the Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky (OH/IN/KY) Chapter of QRCA in May.

For those who were unable to attend, here are some notes from Naomi’s two presentations:

Session #1 - Three Tigers to be Tamed: Client Problems and Solutions in QREs
This presentation provided an overview of the three most difficult types of clients:

  • Clients who ask too many things to be tested and expect too many varied activities.
  • Clients who include too many different “vested” parties in the research.
  • Clients that do not respect qualitative marketing research or its practitioners.

We have all faced these types of clients; it was helpful to hear from an expert about what has and has not worked for her.

Key learnings:

  • Sensory overload kicks in after six [things] are presented.
  • Hear from 2/3 of the respondents before moving on.
  • Be sure to have a single point of contact (“SPOC”) in the back room.

Session #2 - Getting Below Top-of-Mind
Even for the experienced moderator, this session was extremely beneficial: we learned about effective probing techniques. While we may not all “probe till you puke,” we can benefit from being reminded of the importance of knowing when and how to probe effectively. “A probe takes us into the room where information lives,” Naomi commented.

Key Learnings:

  • Short questions get you long answers.
  • Know the different types of classic probes and when to use them.
  • Do not ask for the respondent to recall a “typical” experience. No one has a “typical” or “routine” anything.
  • Six key probes to get quickly below top-of-mind thinking.

Naomi also generously shared a copy of the briefing sheet she prepares for her clients. She leaves project-specific copies of the sheet in the back room as a replacement for the project reviews that used to take place prior to the first group. Naomi explained that she has found this to be helpful now that clients rarely have time to review the project before research begins.

Those lucky enough to attend this presentation thank Naomi for sharing her expertise!

Naomi Henderson personally signed a copy of her book for OHINKY Chapter president Sharon Laukhuff.

Naomi teaching attendees how to tame their “tigers!”

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Rocky Mountain Chapter Speaker to Discuss Lead Generation at June 29 Meeting

Sidney Clewe,

The next Rocky Mountain Chapter meeting will be Wednesday, June 29, from 11:00 a.m. until approximately 1:00 p.m., at Revolution Research, 490 Santa Fe Dr. Denver, CO 80223. Driving directions and parking information, is available on their website:

The meeting topic is “Lead Generation for QRCs and Small Businesses.”

Presented by Greg Bashaw from the Colorado MicroBusiness Alliance, the session will focus on how to identify leads for further potential engagement, and build a “lead generation machine” that produces consistent results.

Lead generation is not selling. Rather, it is primarily “gathering information” about the market, and discovering who has relevant need or interest. Once leads are identified, sales conversations can occur.

Greg Bashaw is the founder and executive director of the Colorado MicroBusiness Alliance (“CMBA”). He started six micro businesses, three of which he still operates. He was also a marketing executive at Samsung Electronics and The Home Depot.

Greg has appeared on several radio and television shows as a small business expert; he has a JD (commercial law emphasis) from Brigham Young University as well as an MBA (marketing and technology emphasis) from the University of Texas, Austin.

Meeting Fee: $15 for Chapter members, $20 for qualified non-members, and $5 for Students. The fee includes lunch.

RSVP on EventBrite here
Please RSVP by: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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Rocky Mountain Chapter Announces Calendar of Upcoming Networking Events

The tentative Rocky Mountain Chapter meeting schedule is as follows:

Topic: Lead Generation for QRCs and Small Businesses
Presenter: Greg Bashaw, owner and founder of the Colorado MicroBusiness Alliance
Date: Wednesday, June 29
Time: 11:00am
Location: Resolution Research (new facility on Santa Fe and I-25)
Lunch will be served.
Fee: $15 for Chapter members, $20 for qualified non-members, and $5 for Students. The fee includes lunch.

Topic: TBD
Date: August TBD
Time: TBD
Location: InGather, Downtown

Topic: Round Table Discussion: “Client ‘Horror Stories’ and how to Deal with them” Plus Other Subjects of Interest, Scary or Otherwise
Date: Thursday, October 13
Time: TBD
Location: TBD

Topic: Effectively Using Quotes and Video in Reports
Presenter: Carol Kauder
Date: Potentially, the week of November 7
Time: TBD
Location: Fieldwork Denver

For additional information or to RSVP, please contact Sidney Clewe at

Sidney Clewe,

The Rocky Mountain Chapter is sponsoring four great opportunities to network and spend more time with other market research professionals in the Denver area.

Each event is free, and will feature a speaker.

Times and locations are below:

Wednesday, June 8
Happy hour at 5pm
Infinite Monkey Theorem
3200 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205
Urban winery with an artsy vibe and new and traditional wine options

Monday, July 25
Lunch at 12:30pm
Azitra Restaurant
535 Zang St.
Broomfield, CO 80021

Thursday, September 15
Lunch at 12:30 pm
Chinook Tavern
6380 S. Fiddlers Green Circle
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Tech Center bar with a fun, sophisticated atmosphere and good food, wine and beer selections

Tuesday, December 6
Holiday-themed happy hour
Starts at 6:00 p.m.
Avanti Food and Beverage
3200 Pecos St.
Denver CO 80211

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San Francisco QRCA Chapter Meeting—UX Meets Qualitative Research

Katrina Noelle,

In May, the San Francisco chapter took a deep dive into User Experience (UX) and its inter-relationship with Qualitative Research. Cory Lebson, User Experience Consultant and author of The UX Careers Handbook, and Alfonso de la Nuez, CEO of UserZoom, led the group through an exploration of UX best practices, test sessions specifics, and insight into the potential future of UX research and testing.

The group learned that UX practitioners aim to understand the extent to which a product can be used by specified individuals to achieve specific goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use. This leads the research sessions to be based on a series of tasks during which the participant’s key behaviors are logged in real time. Attendees were encouraged to start projects with an expert review of the stimuli to point out any red flags and to encourage clients to test early and often.

The group then learned about the future of agile user testing, a way to rapidly test usability and measure user experience. Living in a “design driven culture” means that clients should be (and are, increasingly) doing frequent automated research thanks to the profusion of new apps, platforms, and technology available to them.

Attendees were given pause for thought: What can QRCs do in this world of increased automation? What is our role in this process? Where can we add value?

To learn more, check out the resources available on Cory’s website and/or schedule a demo with UserZoom.

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QRCA So Cal Spring Meeting a success!

Caryn Goldsmith,

For our April 2016 chapter meeting, the So Cal chapter welcomed new member Jenny Brandt. We then had a great speaker lineup:

Janet Standen from the SF QRCA chapter spoke on Agile Research. If you haven’t seen Janet speak, we’d suggest you consider her for a local chapter meeting of your own. She, along with her partner Katrina Noelle have an exciting, well-thought out approach to quick-turn qualitative studies. Many of us left the meeting hoping to partner with Janet or use their method moving forward. Thank you for your generous share, Janet!

Janet Standen presenting, with new member Jenny Brandt looking on

QRCA Board Members Monica Zinchiak and Jay Zaltzman, two local chapter members, gave us quick highlights of the Vienna conference over lunch. It sounds like it was a great conference, and made us all the more excited to have our next conference here in Los Angeles.

The whole group, discussing Vienna conference highlights over lunch

Finally, Jay also gave his first chapter talk on Customer Experience research. This was a version of the poster session he gave in Vienna. He covered journey maps and personas, among other things. Thank you again, Jay, for always leading a lively, thought-provoking session!

Jay Zaltzman presenting on CX

Our next meeting is July 29. More information will be posted on the website when it becomes available.

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