Conference Program Vienna
2016 QRCA Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research

leading beyond

Worldwide Qualitative Research Conference

Three days of Transformative Thinking

Vienna, Austria
April 13 - 15, 2016

Conference Program

After much head-scratching and chin-stroking, the paper selection committee whittled down more than 70 submissions to a terrific line-up of 38 speakers. The entire detailed conference program is listed below.

» Read Full Session Descriptions by Clicking on the Session Titles Below

Tuesday 12 April

7:00 - 9:00 pm Vienna Café

Wednesday 13 April

5:00 - 6:00 pm Registration
6:30 pm Cocktail Reception and Posters Open
 
» What Do You (Respondents) Really Think?
Speaker: Caroline Volpe, Compass Market Research LLC (United States)

Without market research participants, our jobs are impossible. And, in many cases, there is a limited pool of potential participants for the research study. Factor in any recruitment criteria that are in place to ensure we are speaking to the most applicable respondents and the pool becomes even smaller. So, it is important that we make the market research process, among other things, easy for the respondents to participate in and engage with not only for the sake of the current study, but so that they are willing to participate in future studies.

I was interested in better understanding what respondents think of the entire research process from recruitment through the qualitative research fieldwork. What did they think of the process? What were reasons that they engaged in research? How could researchers improve the process? And, what should we continue to do just as we are? This session will share research on research, include multiple countries in the process and include both qualitative and quantitative research. The poster will include both the findings from the qualitative and quantitative research along with the implications of those findings. The poster form, which can be viewed over time and discussed with others easily while looking at the poster, will generate discussion and potentially other ideas for ways to improve the market research process for our participants.

 
» Data and Information: Incorporating Big Data into Qualitative Narratives
Speaker: Audrey Henderson, Knowledge Empowerment (United States)

This poster will share the definition of big data, including its historical origins. (Hint: Big Data is not a new concept!) It will present the contrast between integration of big data into qualitative research versus a quantitative approach using a variety of examples.

 
» How Qual Can Take Back Customer Experience
Speaker: Jay Zaltzman, Bureau West (United States)

The term "customer experience research" has been popularized by those in the usability field, but qualitative researchers should take it back. Even though customer satisfaction is not new, the concept of "customer experience" (CX) is somewhat different, since it is a combination of (or perhaps even an evolution of) user experience together with more traditional customer satisfaction. But when customer experience research is conducted from a usability perspective, it can be incomplete. Successful customer experience research should consider the steps customers take along their journeys from both objective AND emotional perspectives. For example, customers might report positive experiences in all their calls with polite customer service reps, but still be unhappy with their overall customer experience. Qualitative researchers can provide insight into both customer touchpoints and the overall experience. Learn the language of customer experience as well as specific approaches to CX research to add to your arsenal, including customer journey mapping and key touch point research. And learn how customer experience research can open new opportunities for QRCs to provide greater value to their clients.

 
» The Tear that Changed a Thousand Launches
Speaker: Amanda Stockwell, 352 Inc. (United States)

The tear that changed a thousand launches is a story from early in my career about uncovering a key, but boring, insight from a series of usability tests and how we utilized the strong emotional response of a participant to effect change in our organization. The poster will tell the story to demonstrate both the power of understanding context of a user and then of using research to make a positive impact on business. Other examples will be shared of relying on emotional story telling in presenting research findings, and concrete tips for researchers to present their work in a way that gets utilized rather than lost in an inbox.

 
» "When My Client Needs Answers Now" - Agile Qualitative Processes Get Answers Faster
Speaker: Jenny Karubian, Lotus Research (United States)

How can brands stay connected with target markets? Agile methods offer a more iterative research approach and can keep QRCs engaged with their clients over time. On-demand qualitative research is changing brands' operative processes and is vital for greater relevancy in today's market. Learn how one QRC is asking questions and getting the answers fast. This presentation showcases how an on-demand approach enabled a global CPG organization to shift into Agile processes at their own pace. The presentation will explore the benefits of such a gradual method, as well how qualitative research can adjust to better accommodate market trends and concerns. Chief among these approaches are Agile methods, known for their iterative, customer-oriented design and marketing. Qualitative research must also adapt to Agile processes and learn how on-demand Qualitative is changing the way global marketers find their answers why they need QRC's to guide them.

Thursday 14 April

8:30 - 8:40 am Opening Remarks
Susan Abbott (Canada) and Kendall Nash (United States)
8:40 - 9:40 am
» Mega Trends and their Implication on the Future
Speaker: Tamira Snell, Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies

Tamira Snell will unveil mega trends and their implications on the future. You’ll learn how to identify mega trends, subtrends, micro trends, and fads. During this Keynote Presentation, she will share the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies’ list of mega trends and guide us on how to use them in our work. You will leave smarter and your colleagues will be in awe.

During the session, you’ll get up close and personal with:
  1. Technology – how the technologic development creates new platforms for inspiration, exploration, interaction, etc.
  2. Demography – how demographic changes like urbanization, aging population, diverse family constellations and single living influence future lifestyles
  3. Behavior – how greater behavioral currents impact on future consumer patterns
9:40 - 10:50 am Seeking the Deeper Truth
 
» Why Exploring Secrets Will Make You Question Everything
Speaker: Daniel Berkal, The Palmerston Group (Canada) and Tory Gentes, The Palmerston Group (United States)
Human Understanding is the core of this business. We're all looking to speak with a participant's 'inside voice', but this is often hidden beneath layers of facade. It's incredibly difficult to strip that away, particularly in a limited time with a complete stranger. So we set out to tackle this beast head on. Our team travelled across the USA, interacting with a wide variety of people in a staggering number of situations in order to hear the voices that people conceal and to understand why they conceal them. We interacted with an incredibly diverse range of people, in a wide array of settings with the simple opening, "Tell me a secret". This led us down a path of discovery that had actionable insight for practitioners of Qualitative research. Find out what we've learned and how it can adapt the way that QRCs can use this to ask questions in a more relevant and understanding manner.
» Mind Your Language in the Rainbow Nation (Why Forcing South African Respondents to Speak English is Holding Back Transformation & Discovery)
Speaker: Lesley Croskery, In Focus Research (South Africa)

In South Africa, language has commonly been associated with controversy and enforcement of an unfair regime. Remember the protests in the 'old days' of Apartheid, when the then-government enforced Afrikaans as the language of instruction? South Africa has 11 official languages, split regionally and racially, with many people speaking more than one language in everyday life. In the business world, English and Afrikaans are commonly used, depending on the company, environment, location and international reach of the business. The different languages are taught in schools as first or second languages, depending on the region. In Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa and a 'melting pot' of different cultures, black people commonly [and admirably] speak and understand several regional languages. But why is it that qualitative researchers are still commonly forcing black consumer respondents to speak in a language that is not their first language?

As an assessor on the Unilever Accreditation panel in South Africa, I have been astounded and saddened by how many qualitative researchers, who appear to understand the importance of putting respondents at ease in order to get the most out of them, insist on asking black respondents to speak in English during the group. Yes, respondents' English capability may have been pre-checked alongside what washing powder they use, but why is it that as soon as the moderator leaves the room, or the topic becomes racially charged, or people get animated about the research question [positively or negatively], or they are uncertain of what answers they should give, we commonly hear people moving immediately into the vernacular? Conducting research in the vernacular is inconvenient, it's harder for unattuned researchers and clients to listen through a translator, good translators are few and far between, not all moderators speak all the vernaculars, and [the bottom line] it's more expensive. I will argue that the language used for research has a serious impact on the quality and depth of consumer response and therefore our detailed understanding of a research question.

» Straying Off Topic: On Dogs, Discord and the Art of Digression
Speaker: Jim Mott, BAMM London (United Kingdom)

Qualitative fieldwork is an abstract experience. We meet strange people in strange places, far and away from the pathways of our daily lives. Disconnected and abrupt, we meet the people we have arranged to meet, we see the places we have arranged to see and then we are gone. For the sake of clarity, we push the dissonance that is intrinsic to our encounters into the background. We have been hired as experts and we want our reports to reflect that fact, delivering clear insights that make our clients happy.

But what happens when we bring the confusion we inevitably encounter to the foreground? Rather than avoiding or editing confusion out of the picture, what happens when we actively seek it out and embrace it as an asset? What if we acknowledge the fact that we are lost and use it to our advantage in how we approach the field? What if by opening up the experience we are able to deliver even greater value for our clients, making an emotional connection that ensures our insights land with a punch that will resonate throughout the organization?

This presentation is an argument for the benefits to both researchers and our clients of straying away, wandering, getting lost and actively avoiding the urge to explain. It is framed and brought to vivid and mangy life by www.lifeindogtown.com — a microsite based on BAMM's experiences of wandering whilst in the field in Malaysia. Using immersive sounds, sights and footage from the Dogtown microsite as our case study, we will discuss the possibilities that are opened up to us as researchers when we seek confusion rather than clarity and wander the streets that surround a field site. It presents some practical suggestions as to how this can be achieved in ordinary fieldwork settings as well as how the learnings we draw from these moments can be turned into something of tangible use to the client.

10:50 - 11:20 am
Coffee/Tea Break
11:20 am - 12:25 pm Harnessing Innovation
 
» Insight Communities, the Kitchen and the Warm Cheese
Speaker: Oana Popa Rengle, MAPPERS (Romania)
Being user centric in a company's innovation also implies evolving the research methods used throughout the innovation process: you cannot build the future with today's consumers using yesterday's methods. In this paper we will discuss what are the challenges when researching innovation, why we believe that context + experimenting + expert involvement is a solution to those challenges and how our insight communities (which are a blend of online communities and mobile qual ethnography) are a tool that deliver on all three. The main case study we will present will show how we helped HOCHLAND launch a new category on the Romanian market ("warm cheese" or "cheese that is cooked") with a product that later proved to become a consumers' choice award-winning product.
» Are We 'All Systems Go'?
Speaker: Ken Parker, Discovery, The Thinking Shed, Spectrum

In my capacity as AQR Chair, I have recently been invited to be a panelist at two events. The first was a Warc Conference and the topic being debated was 'Qualitative Research is dead'. The second was a 'Question Time' session run by the ICG (Independent Consultants' Group) where a question from the floor was, 'Since it is increasingly apparent that people don't know why they do what they do what's the point of asking them?' Both of these questions were deliberately provocative. If the answer to them was "Good point, you're right", then this is our last conference. Essentially they came from the same source. They both referred to System 1 thinking and Implicit Memory. They both challenged qualitative research in terms of our ability to address the issues. And I think we should have a progress report. My paper will look at the wider issues before honing down into our qualitative response. For example, how is the advertising industry responding? Well, they are critical of us (again!) for interfering with their creativity, but now cite evidence to say we have no legitimate grounds. Yet, in the meantime some seem to have been successful (randomly?), but many are still producing TV ads that follow the approach of 'get attention, then deliver the message'.

In short, they do not seem to have addressed the issue at all. Conversely, many qualitative researchers have widened our data collection methods, invariably introducing a bricolage approach to take into account arguments that humans are poor witnesses of their own behavior. Different questioning techniques are being tried (including hypnosis); projective and enabling techniques are moving up the agenda; online is being integrated with offline; ethnography/self-ethnography is increasing in importance; etc. We have also started to address our methods of analysis and interpretation. Videos, photos, and visual uploads are being analyzed differently with context taking a more prominent role. In addition, more emphasis is being placed on discourse analysis, particularly examining diaries kept by respondents. My paper will cover these issues and the different approaches that are used today. It's true that we are a long way from fully addressing the complexities surrounding System 1 thinking and Implicit Memory, but I will argue that we are moving in the right direction. Those who have adapted should feel proud of their achievements. Far from being dead, good qualitative researchers are leading the way.

» There Is a White Space Out There...
Speaker: Ben Skelton, Quadrangle Research Group (United Kingdom)
This presentation will analyze a way of coming at innovation work that involves stakeholders and hears the target market differently, using start-up and blank canvas approaches to innovation, and using market research to generate innovation spaces rather than evaluating ideas directly.
» Using Insight Innovation to Re-Invent a 247-Year-Old Institution
Speaker: Jeffrey Johns, Northstar Research Partners (United Kingdom)

Vienna is a city long at the forefront of the arts, a perfect setting to speak about Northstar's recent work with London's Royal Academy (RA). The RA's Summer Exhibition has a lengthy history, running annually for 247 uninterrupted years with virtually no change in its approach or format. However, as the 250th anniversary approaches, the RA wants to target new generations of visitors and refine the exhibition to meet modern needs. With this in mind, Northstar was commissioned to design research that would illuminate visitor motivations, barriers and potential improvements. With this project, we faced a unique challenge. The RA wanted the research to be completed quickly, across a broad-based sample but without interrupting Summer Exhibition visitors' experiences and with a hugely constrained budget. Furthermore, this is an institution without a history of utilizing consumer and audience feedback, meaning we would have to be particularly engaging in our analysis and results. So Northstar worked together with our partners in the Anthropology Department at the London School of Economics to design a bespoke approach: a Micro Anthropology. This approach was revolutionary in two ways: the research approach and the research analysis.

This creative approach and analysis proved hugely effective. Our key findings and the way they were presented led to real change in the 2015 Summer Exhibition, including a less-is-more approach to the amount of art presented, focusing communications on the annual family ritual that we identified as a major motivator of visitors and greater utilisation of technology to drive momentum. Even more importantly, these changes have had tangible results, with visitor volume and art sales up by significant margins year on year. Hence, we will inspire researchers with a new, innovative method that is adaptable and replicable.

12:25 - 12:35 pm Café Culture Introduction
12:35 - 2:05 pm Lunch
2:05 - 3:00 pm In the Moment with Improv
 
» The Unplanned Symphony: Using Improv to Tune in to Yourself and Others for the Benefit of Your Work and Your Life
Speaker: Marc Engel, Engel Research Partners (United States) and Pascal Patenaude, Patenaude Research & Communications (Canada)

Imagine totally exposing yourself (but not in a way that gets you arrested): feeling awkward and uncomfortable, standing on the edge without a safety net, not knowing what to expect, being open to whatever happens next, and loving it. Imagine turning down the analytical mind and dialing into your core (even if you haven't been to the gym recently), letting your body and soul take over. Imagine doing this in Vienna in April, then bringing it home to apply in your work and even your personal life. Imagine the transformative power of improvisation. When we hear "improvisation", most people think performance and entertainment, jazz, theatre, comedy. It is that, and it isn't. It's more. It's a philosophy, a way of looking at the world with fresh eyes and ears, open to the possibilities that emerge when we imagine, "What if?" Improvisation has become one of the most coveted skills in business these days, with classes being taught at leading business schools and in corporations around the world. And to think, Pascal and Marc trained in improv back in the '90s.

We've been applying improv techniques in our research and ideation work for years. Pascal has borrowed what he learned as a professionally trained actor from the National Theatre School of Canada applying improvisational theatre in role-playing exercises, engaging ice-breaker games and facilitating behavioral training. Marc has taken what he learned from being a member of two improv troupes in L.A. (with Kristen Wiig) and has developed an ideation technique called, "Out of Focus Groups." In this "play-experience," we'll share the fundamentals of improv and get everyone on their feet, playing games that you can use in focus groups, idea-generation, co-creation, client meetings and your own life (not to be too grandiose about it). You'll learn techniques to help participants (and clients) open up, be more comfortable, get to emotional responses more quickly, and "live" experiences to better feel and reflect on them, ultimately leading to the deep insights our clients pay us to uncover a "Process of Illumination." In the provocative symphony that will be the 2016 Vienna conference, our session will be a high-energy scherzo (yes, that makes us scherzo-phrenic), a spirited companion to the gentle, mind-bending lyrical pieces offered by other presenters.

» Improvisational Duets and Small Ensembles: Principle-Based Qualitative Research (20)
Speaker: Patrice Wooldridge, Wooldridge Associates, Inc. (United States) and Patrick Wooldridge, Wooldridge Associates, Inc. (United States)

Whether improvising a cadenza within a symphony or sitting in on a jazz session, the deeper a musician's comfort with the principles of music, the more beautiful and harmonious the performance. When a client calls asking for a specific technique (e.g., six focus groups or an online panel discussion), the exceptional researcher will interview the client to determine whether their proposed method is the best way to get the results they need. The truly exceptional researcher is capable of designing a unique solution based on a clear understanding of the client's need and the essential principles of interviewing. A musical analogy would be the difference between musicians who crank out formulaic compositions vs. those who are constantly innovating, surprising and delighting their audiences, and bringing new meaning to musical genres. Further, whether interacting with clients, suppliers, or respondents, a researcher's fluency with the principles of interviewing can turn potential disasters into resounding successes. Within the martial arts, a principal distinction between the internal and external arts is that the external or "hard" arts focus on technique, while the internal or "soft" arts rely on principle. In this presentation, Patrice & Patrick will share stories and insights from their combined 60+ years in market research and 70+ years practicing T'ai Chi Chuan to illustrate the special usefulness of principle-based, as opposed to technique-based, research.

We will share several clear, memorable, and humorous examples of the close correspondence between the principles of skillful interviewing and successful T'ai Chi play ("Sensing Hands"). These anecdotes will demonstrate the usefulness to researchers of listening with one's whole body, yielding/neutralizing/grounding deflecting returning energy, and (when necessary) uprooting. Here is a teaser: way before webcams were included in computers, one of our clients needed a quick, accurate, and insightful read on consumers' first responses to their new product, across wide geographic and demographic segments. The client had requested multiple focus groups in several cities, but using the principles of T'ai Chi play, we convinced them to try (previously unheard-of) webcam in-depth interviews, with each respondent viewing the product for the first time in their home, and captured by webcam. Partnering with a supplier to develop one of the first video log platforms, we delivered to our client compelling, insightful findings which were shared all the way up to the C-level, and which resulted in a very successful product roll-out, all at less cost and faster than their originally proposed method. This research was recognized by an Ogilvy award.

3:00 - 4:10 pm What it Means to Be a Consultant Today
 
» Why "Quick" Doesn't Need to Be "Dirty" in Qualitative Research
Speaker: Edward Appleton, Happy Thinking People (Germany) and Claudia Antoni, Happy Thinking People (Germany)

We Qualitative Researchers operate in a world increasingly characterized by analytics, data overload, the internet of things, where the "what" is increasingly available at low cost, but the "why" still needs answering - fortunately. We can thrive if we are nimble. One of the key challenges thrown up by digital transformation and "real time" dashboards is speed of turnaround - topline within 24 hours, full reports within 3 days - where's the room to breathe and think?? Surely we need to slow things down, get time to reflect and analyze, and piece evidence together from different sources. It's what most of us would say, or at least think. But maybe this is group think. The world around us isn't slowing down. Instead of pushing back (like King Canute) on speed, crying "slow = better", maybe we should look where we can actually operate at speed without sacrificing insight quality, and without "online qual" in any form.

We recently conducted consumer safaris - we call them Experientials - for McDonald's in two major cities on the East Coast of the USA where in the space of 1.5 days we moved from consumer observation through insight through co-creation with a total of 150 franchise operators and 75 consumers. It involved: speed-dating sessions between franchise owners and participants; guided but "hands-off" consumer safaris; story-telling as a way to capture consumer understanding; idea-generation session; Oscar speeches and prize winning awards. The sessions resulted in a huge number of actionable ideas, co-created by the individual franchise owners, in the areas of customer experience, service quality, food/drink overall and breakfast. All this in the space of 1.5 days, plus set up time. What does it take for this to happen? This presentation will share what it took to generate fast-turnaround, robust, actionable insights.

» Harmonizing Through Collaboration to Amp Up Your QR Value
Speaker: Lynne Meisner, L. Meisner & Associates Inc. (Canada)
This session will outline how a request for patient journey research evolved into a three-phased pharma project. The key idea is to leverage collaboration with partners in related disciplines in order to enhance the total offering. When clients see the value, they find the resources. The audience will gain ideas for enriching the research insights by leveraging skills and techniques such as semiotic analysis, social media listening, and co-creation workshops.
So often, researchers focus on methods, practices, techniques, and best practices in designing and fielding studies. While these are all extremely important, the true measure of success of a research effort comes down to the impact for the client team and decision makers. While PowerPoint presentations are often the default deliverable, there are opportunities to think outside the slide deck to deliver insights with far greater impact. In this presentation we will look at creative ways to package insights including physical objects, comic novellas, and customer proxies that go far beyond PowerPoint to truly bring insights to life. Attendees will take home creative ideas and tactical tips that they can integrate into their research practice.
4:10 - 4:40 pm Coffee/Tea Break
4:40 - 5:40 pm Using All of Our Senses
 
» Are We Really what We Eat? Cross-Cultural Exploration of Food as a Projective Technique
Speaker: Rebecca Bryant, Bryant Research, LLC (United States)

We have observed that one way people get to know each other is to talk about their food. They share what they like, what they don't like, what makes them feel special, and even what gives them comfort. We see this in our own countries as well as across cultures when we travel. To our knowledge, using food as a projective technique has not been explored. Traditionally, projective techniques involve using ambiguous stimuli to spur discussion, and ultimately, to gain insights. We hypothesize that food can be used as a projective technique. We think food serves as a backdrop against which we define where we see ourselves in the context of our own culture. And, we further hypothesize that food provides a context in which participants can quickly gain insights into another's culture. By getting participants to explore the role of food in their own culture and in the culture of someone from another country, we suspect participants will uncover values that define their cultures of origin. Let the symphony begin!

At the start, moderators will conduct one-on-one interviews with each participant from their respective country in their native language. This will be used to establish rapport, create engagement and to brief participants on the study. Each participant will then be paired with a participant from another country. Participants will be asked to both tell their partner about their own foods and food traditions, and to find out about their partner's food routines and traditions. We plan to use an asynchronous mobile platform for this portion of the work. The mobile exchange will be in English.

Finally, participants will reconvene with the moderator from their own country to explore the cultural exchange experience. This portion will be conducted in each participant's native language. What similarities did they note? What was different? How are the similarities and/or differences interpreted by the participants? How come I think what I think, and do what I do? What values, if any, are reflected in my food? How does this compare to the values reflected in the food traditions I heard my partner describe, if at all? We hope to present a new symphony, one where polyphonic, cross-cultural exploration reverberates with what we discover across our respective homelands. We fully intend to identify editorial calendars, in both traditional and social media, through which we can push information about the work, and of course, information about our respective companies.

The project is designed to give us content of interest to a number of sectors including the following: retail grocery outlets, food manufacturers, retail restaurant establishments, cooking utensil/appliance manufacturers, "foodies." Data collection is scheduled for completion in January 2016, with analysis finished by February.

The world of technology has enabled companies to engage with people everywhere and at anytime in ever more sophisticated ways. Intriguingly, it has also heightened the need for brands to 'cut through' the noise and connect with consumers on a much more primal level - that of engaging our basic senses, of delivering a sensorial experience that sparks emotion and has a memorable impact. We'll explore how it is no longer (and has really never been) enough to elicit and explore consumer engagement with brands, products, and communications just through their visual, verbal and written reactions.

We need to engage different senses to get 'under the skin' so to speak of how and why consumers think and behave the way they do, or what will help to spark greater desire, affection, loyalty, or conversely, avoid distrust, disgust, rejection. We'll use a couple of quick 'experiments' with the audience to bring this to life and provide evidence via case-studies of where we have adopted different techniques and approaches (including sensory deprivation and augmentation), to elicit far richer and sometimes highly unexpected findings for clients. All this without needing high-tech testing labs or stringent testing methodologies (although they do have their place). With 5 core senses, that elusive 6th sense and 3 more that are hotly debated, we have a wealth of opportunity (and duty) to help our clients unlock the sensorial potential of their brands.

Neuroscience and cognitive psychology have provided vast amounts of evidence that human thoughts are embodied covering multi-sensory experiences stored at modality-specific and non-conscious levels in the brain (e.g., Barsalou, 1999, 2008, Damasio, 1994, Johnson 2009, Kahneman, 2011). These findings impact how we approach qualitative research aiming to understand consumers. So far, researchers still apply qualitative research techniques that are too verbo-centric not accounting for the embodied nature of human thought.

This presentation introduces Multi-Sensory Sculpting as a method that allows retrieving multi-sensory and non-conscious thoughts via metaphors. The method's major idea evolves around a toolkit covering abstract building materials aiming to stimulate human senses. A typical sculpting session starts by asking respondents to freely explore the materials with all senses. In a second step respondents individually build a sculpture that represents what a brand/product/etc., means to them with the materials available. Finally, respondents describe their sculpture's meaning in a long unstructured one-on-one interview. Data analysis focuses on verbal and non-verbal metaphors, experiences, meanings, and elicited senses. The managerial applicability of the method is broad and ranges from strategic branding and organizational change, creativity and innovation, to multi-sensory touch point design (e.g., store design) and the understanding of abstract concepts (e.g., love, aging).

5:40 - 5:45 pm Closing Remarks & Evening Invitations
Susan Abbott (Canada) and Kendall Nash (United States)

Friday 15 April

8:45 - 8:55 am Remarks
Susan Abbott (Canada) and Kendall Nash (United States)
8:55 - 9:40 am Freud & Friends
 
» "The Vienna School": The Origins of Qualitative Research
Speaker: Simon Patterson, QRi Consulting (United Kingdom)

In many respects, Vienna is the cradle of modern qualitative research. Not only is it the home of Freud and Jung, it is also where the likes of Paul Lazarsfeld, Herta Horzog and Ernest Dichter were born (three of the most influential figures in the development of Motivational Research in the US and Europe). The presentation will chart the origins of the "Vienna School" of Market Research from Vienna to the US and back to Europe. This whistle stop tour, via PowerPoint and video, will have a look at the fascinating roots of our Profession. Paul Lazarsfeld (1901-1976) had a significant impact on the development of market research and mass media studies in Europe and the United States. Born in Vienna in 1901, Lazarsfeld studied mathematics at the University of Vienna and developed an interest in psychology. By the late 1920s, he helped establish the Wirtschaftspsychologische Forschungsstelle (Research Center for Economic Psychology), which was attached to the University's Institute for Psychology. Lazarsfeld moved to the US in 1933. He built up a research center at the University of Newark and secured funding for the Princetown Radio Project (1937), which was a pioneering study in academic audience research. By the early 1940s, the Radio Project was affiliated with Columbia University, where it grew into the Bureau of Applied Social Research.

It was Lazarsfeld who invited and persuaded Dichter to move to the US in 1937. Lazarsfeld's first wife, Psychologist Herta Herzog, also from Vienna, is recognized as one of pioneers in bringing Motivational Research to Madison Avenue. Ernest Dichter (1907-1999) studied psychology in Vienna and Paris where he was affiliated with Paul Lazarsfeld's Research Center for Economic Psychology. His work focused on practical applications for depth psychology and psychoanalysis. Having established the Institute of Motivational Research in 1947 in Croton, New York, he is accredited with inspiring such campaigns as "Put a Tiger in your Tank" and the creation of Barbie! He established himself as the 'Father of Motivational Research', with the help of Vance Packard's Hidden Persuaders (1957). Dichter's London office was opened in 1959 by American Bill Schlackman who himself became known as the Godfather of Qualitative Research in the UK. We then take a look at what we can learn from 'The Vienna School' moving forward.

» What Has Freud Ever Done for Us? PLUS The Spirit of the Bricoleur: Drawing Upon the Field of Psychology in Qualitative Research
Speaker: Peter Totman, Jigsaw Research (United Kingdom) and Luke Perry, Jigsaw Research (United Kingdom)
Given we are in Vienna, there is no way we can avoid a paper about one of the world's greatest thinkers. Especially given his pivotal role in the evolution of qualitative research. In this presentation we will explore which of his ideas we should celebrate - and which we can pass on (we promise not to mention penis envy!). What aspects of his thinking can still make a difference in our interpretation? The style will be informal, practical and fun.
9:40 - 11:10 am Taking Old Paradigms into the Future
 
» Segmentations Are Dead
Speaker: Abbey Clemens, Tonic Insight (United Kingdom)

Meet John and his friends. They are Bronies: male fans of the cartoon My Little Pony. When My Little Pony relaunched in 2010 there are no doubts that it was not aiming at this segment of consumers: it was aimed at little girls. Yet, it still found a faithful following in men aged 16 to 35. What went wrong? Nothing. In this paper we will explore why segmentations are a risky methodology in today's world, outline reasons why segmentations are dead, and propose a new approach to reaching consumers and building meaningful relationships with them. Limiting our potential audience limits our growth potential. Reaching your 'ideal' consumer by defining which segment they fit into is not only limiting and risky, but it's an old-fashioned view. Consumers are everywhere. Little girls are not the only ones watching cartoons, women in their fifties also love One Direction, online has universal reach. Even the most targeted communications are reaching broader than we think.

To achieve growth, brands need to align with a consumer mindset. Mindsets don't age. The next step is to develop a distinct brand: one that is recognizable and unique. Thus, the way we do segmentation research is not working and is leading us somewhat astray. Research needs to deliver breadth and depth. What are our consumers' values? What are our brand's (and our competitors') values? Do our consumers know us from them? What is important in the category? Only once we've identified this can we identify gaps and opportunities and deliver a brand that is relevant, that feels true to itself, and is distinct from competition.

» Semiotics and the Optimization of Advertising Messages
Speaker: Charlotte Hager, Comrecon Brand Navigation (Austria)
This presentation will introduce the meaning of semiotics and the applicability of semiotics (to qualitative market research as well as to, e.g., the HR context of employer branding) through case studies that we performed for our clients.
» The Sticky Factor: Finding the Yin to the Yang in the App World
Speaker: Raji Bonala, Vox Populi Research Pvt. Ltd. (India) and Priyam Chawla, Vox Populi Research Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

Despite increasing mobile penetration, less than 1% of mobile apps (Forbes) are financially successful. The challenge isn't just to get downloads, but to be able to get the consumers to stick with the app. When online portals analyze consumers from a business perspective of ‘stimulus-reaction', the richer emotional nuances that surround decision-making are lost. We propose a model which overlays the consumer perspective gained from Campbell's Hero's journey on Nir Eyal's Hook Model, these being the two sides of the same coin, Yin and Yang. Nir Eyal, in ‘HOOK', details stages which lead a consumer to form a habit for an app/website. The cycle involves: Triggers (cues a habit); Action (behavior in anticipation of reward); Variable reward (element of surprise) and Investment (makes the trigger internal). Campbell talks about the basic framework followed by all epics. A hero, introduced in the ordinary world, receives a call for adventure and commences on an extraordinary journey, wherein he faces challenges and returns transformed.

While Nir Eyal's Hook Model is an analytical business model which details the basic framework for an app to be successful, Campbell's hero's journey — with its rich foundation of universal myths and archetypes — can help us understand the decision-making journey in terms of the conflicts, emotions, barriers, expectations, and influences involved at each stage. This information, when retrofitted to the Hook model, will help us evaluate the performance of the app, diagnose issues, uncover need gaps. The decision-making journey can be traced via a ‘comic book’ where certain ambiguous pictures/words can be given to the consumer who will then fill the rest of the journey himself. These in turn can be used as ‘show and tells' for the debrief. For instance: The third stage in the Hero's Journey (the refusal of the call) speaks about the deep personal doubts of taking up the challenge. This is where we can discover barriers faced by consumers in adopting the app. When these barriers are overlaid on the Hook Model, they can give rise to powerful solutions.

» Make a Change — Worldwide
Speaker: Ilka Kuhagen, IKM (Germany) & Janina Kuhagen, IKM (Germany)
Research with online and mobile tools at the Congress of One Young World. Young professional leaders from over 190 countries work on the The annual One Young World Summit, bringing together the most valuable young talent from global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other forward-thinking organizations.
11:10 - 11:40 am Coffee/Tea Break
11:40 am - 12:40 pm Cross-Cultural Exploration & Contrasts
 
» Africa and Middle East: The Last Research Frontier
Speaker: Sergey Sheykhetov, TNS Global (Kenya)

The AMME (Africa and Middle East) region is often described as the "last frontier" by desperate marketers. Although it is not the biggest market in terms of volume, it is without doubt a world beater in terms of growth. The region remains largely untapped by research, but the constant expansion of multinational businesses delivers a big opportunity for market researchers. Doing research in AMME can bring a lot of surprises to those who are not familiar with the region. Some basic things that you may take for granted may not work here because of the cultural or infrastructural restrictions.

At the same time, the same cultural, religious or infrastructural challenges can give you a unique opportunity to successfully employ methods that you cannot imagine using in the developed world. Some people believe that Africa and Middle East have simply "primitive" or "basic" market research culture. This is only half-true. Being quite underdeveloped, this research culture quickly evolves into something original that can potentially enrich global market research culture. This presentation will explore the AMME region outlook, advantages and restrictions of using online qual and the future of the market research in AMME.

» Central and Eastern Europe: Cultural Differences
Speaker: Agnieszka Gornicka, INQUIRY (Poland)
The CEE markets have undergone an enormous change during the past 25 years, from a shabby communist economy to modern marketplace. However, CEE consumers are different from their Western counterparts. This is partly due to the differences in purchasing power, but income levels do not explain everything. Why do Russians prefer big cars? Why are Czech brands not successful in Poland, and vice versa? Which soft drink brand is stronger than Coca-Cola? Why do Russian women use strong make-up? Why are the CEE societies (irrationally!) against migrants? What makes advertising successful? We answer these questions using real-life examples from several countries, in relation to the Hofstede dimensions. Finally, we show how these cultural differences influence marketing strategies and public policy.
» Panel Discussion About Cross-Cultural Understanding

In a panel discussion moderated by Pat Sabena, five selected international attendees will compare and contrast their observations about recent qual trends in their various parts of the world as well as their expectations for the near-term years ahead.

12:40 - 2:30 pm Lunch
2:30 - 4:00 pm Behavioral Sciences: Opening Minds
 
» Creative Techniques to Embrace Behavioral Economics
Speaker: Sofia Costa Alves, MindBrand (Brazil)

Behavior Economics provides a unique framework for understanding how and why consumers behave. It focuses not only on consumers' rational and conscious behaviors but also on a strong understanding of consumers' emotional and unconscious behaviors. This is key to get deeper insights into their lives, attitudes and choices. This paper will highlight and provide examples of a number of different creative techniques which we developed, such as the Senses Journey, Visual Safari, and Brain Mapping to apply Behavior Economics to Qualitative Research for richer, deeper and more meaningful insights. The format will be a PowerPoint presentation, with additional big boards and a high number of stimulus to show how the techniques work in real life.

» BETWEEN CHAOS & ORDER: A Thought-Provoking New Strategic Paradigm and its Consequences on Our Research Trade
Speaker: Jean Paul Petitimbert, Smartfrogs (France) and Alexandre Didier, Smartfrogs (France)

It is a truism to state that times have radically changed over the past three decades. Technical progress, virtual mobility and ever-growing globalisation have shuffled our lives in many aspects up to a point when not only do we behave differently but even think in a way we never used to in years of yore. Surprisingly enough, amongst our clients, brand strategic thinking seems to have remained fossilized in the mould into which it was given birth at the time of the advent of the marketing era, i.e. when P&G invented the copy-strategy. One continues to use the same old concepts, recipes and lexicon, brand user, consumer insight, proposition, reason why, barriers, drivers, motivational appeal, etc. This phenomenon is likely to be attributable to the dominant cognitive approach to human facts in general, upon which marketing strategies are apparently based.

In this context and in front of the ever possible and dreaded brand chaos, strategists seem to fall into three main boxes. Some, although hopefully not many, will rely on their lucky star and keep betting that their randomly managed strategic choices will sooner or later pay back. Others, more numerous and less careless, will conversely make every effort to strengthen their brands' assets and maintain what they consider as a tidy and solid order. They will make sure that they can master the situation and pull the strings at their will and convenience. Lastly, the third kind of animal will be the most risk-averse of all and will avoid any chance of failure. Such a motto as “proven successful” will drive their decisions, most often based on their brand's past glories. The way they think relies on their belief in linear causality according to which the same causes always produce the same effects. In many instances though, real life proves them wrong. But real life also often proves the other two wrong.

Times have changed and there is no reason why strategic thinking should escape drastic evolutions. There is a fourth option that some rare clients are starting to consider. It is not founded on the prevailing cognitive theories, but rather on the emerging dimension of esthesia, a big word used to describe a direct contact between us and the outer world (products, consumers, communications, etc.). In the absence of any cognitive mediation it has to do with hunches, intuition, sensitiveness, creative inspiration - anything sensed and felt rather than thought and articulated. This latter type of strategy outlines a completely new paradigm that still is a terra incognita to many and to which our trade needs to adapt. But are we researchers not attracted by new objects of scrutiny? Should we not answer relevantly to this call of the wild and contribute to pushing this new frontier further?

» The Debrief Is Dead: How Behavioral Research Can Transform the Impact of Qualitative Insights
Speaker: Rachel Abbott, The Behavioural Architects (United Kingdom)

The debrief is going extinct. We are entering a new era where it's not enough to explain consumers' lives and behaviours. For qualitative insights to hold their own, we need to deliver practical models and tools to positively disrupt, influence and change them. The session will be built around learning from two complimentary project case studies, both from the world of sport. 1. How to use role models and other 'influencers' to positively impact women's involvement in sport, for a leading UK women's sport charity, Women In Sport (WiS) 2. How to get disabled and non-disabled people in England swimming, in the face of declining participation, for the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA).

We will re-live key highlights along the research journeys that ultimately led to the development, and widespread use, of a simple yet impactful model/tool for addressing these challenges. Through the case studies, we will SEED the key idea and takeaways as follows: SHARE: the model/tool and the actionable insights that underpin it; EXCITE: around the impact it has had across the client's organization and beyond: both tools have been rolled out to the wider sports industry, putting consumer insights centre-stage in the ‘real world'; EQUIP: reveal the behavioural research techniques used to first generate the actionable insights that underpin the models/tools; and DELIVER: show what these types of approaches can deliver, e.g. fostering collaboration and greater empowerment for respondents, clients and stakeholders alike. This presentation will reflect on the experience of running disruptive insight activation workshops with the client's key stakeholders, instead of a traditional debrief, and the implications for other types of projects.

» A Motivation Conversation: Why the Standard Approach to Incentives Might Need Some Tuning
Speaker: Nikki Lavoie, MindSpark Research International, LLC (France)
The key ideas to be contained in this presentation will revolve around learning from Behavioral Economics (specifically, learnings outlined in books from Dan Ariely) PLUS a case study demonstrating the effects of financial incentivization on participation, quality of responses, and content in an online study. Some key topics will be understanding intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, and how to harness the power of motivation to optimize even your most sensitive or mundane studies (not that we think our research is ever mundane!).
4:00 - 4:30 pm Interactivity Break
4:30 - 5:00 pm Closing Remarks from Conference Chairs

The agenda is subject to change