After much head-scratching and chin-stroking, the paper selection committee whittled down nearly one hundred submissions to a terrific line-up of 38 speakers. The entire detailed conference program is listed below.
You can read full session descriptions by clicking on the session title. Click on the speaker name to read their bios.
The agenda is subject to change.
Wednesday 30 April
4:00 - 6:00pm
Thursday 1 May
9:00 - 10:15am
Setting our Course: Qualitative Research and Its Context
In my capacity as AQR Chair, I have recently been invited to be a panellist 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 behaviour. 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 analysed 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.
The 21st century is when everything changes. And you've got to be ready. Torchwood (BBC series, opening narration season 1) In a recent chat about the current user-centric design cult my designer friend Hala Hemayssi said something that really baffled me: "Yesterday everyone was hiring designers tomorrow it will be researchers. You guys had better get ready for it.What an uplifting scenario but also a call to action. Time to think of our game plan and that is what this talk will be about: 3 key ideas on how to unlock our discipline's true potential and take it one step further.
We might not have to "save the world from alien lifelike our colleagues at the Torchwood Institute but here comes my three point blueprint for re-sparking our professional passion and becoming the inventive drivers behind the Marketing of the future. Why us? because the future is human centric.
1. Reclaim the 'magic of qual' "The contemporary myth we are living is that we take measurement as an absolute truth... but the work of understanding humans is a creative process!" (Tricia Wang) Along with thinkers like Tricia Wang, Genevieve Bell, Chris Barnham etc. I'd like to opt for joining forces to craft new entry points into our work what we need is an epistemology of qualitative sense-making in order to make the way we think more tangible and credible.
2. Activate human-centric thinking in marketing There is a large agreement out there that people-centric thinking is the recipe for future success in the field of design. Marketing has some catching up to do here. A shift of paradigm is needed towards a user centric approach to marketing. Who could be in a better position to fuel this than us, the 'people's people'? In order to get there we need to craft new ways of interacting with clients: Away from transmitting insights to transforming thinking and doing. Rather than writing better than ever debriefs we have to specialise in crafting 'action agents' in our client organisations. How do we this: Simple and clear - by redesigning research as we know it - by crafting transformative experiences rather than just applying methods.
3. Adopt a magpie attitude A key driver behind excellent insights is curiosity. Let us learn from the magpie and steal whatever seems inspirational and fun: playing around with new approaches such as Design Thinking helps us to re-invent ourselves as we go. Experimenting with new work styles like rapid action mode in combination with deep analytic thinking puts the focus on tangible outcomes. Cross-disciplinary collaborations with designers, architects and craftsmen help us question and refine our work processes in an inspirational way. Let us be more experimental and light-hearted and just like the magpie: if something we pick up turns to be a little too glitzy we can just simply throw it out of our nests again. Let us set off and prove my designer friend right the future is ours let's claim it.
» Trust Me. Two Words That are Guaranteed to Provoke Mistrust
It's too easy to say that people have lost trust in brands. What if we start from the premise that the desire to trust brands is as strong now as it has ever been? As human beings, we want to trust it's hardwired into our nature. If we don't trust something, it's usually for a very good reason. Trust and transparency have become part of the vernacular of brands these days. While a few years ago, brands were asking high-level trust questions and worrying about CSR tracking studies, it is now becoming a regular feature of most brand and communications briefs, big and small. And while we all acknowledge that trust is an issue that sits behind a customer's relationship with a brand, the thinking has moved on. It isn't as straightforward as it seems
This session will challenge the audience's beliefs about trust and set them straight on what trust really is and how to do something about it.
BUT EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT TRUST IS. DON'T THEY? Actually no. Trust has become a baggy word; it is frequently (mis)used to convey different but related concepts, such as confidence and trustworthiness. Understanding the difference between these concepts is key for a correct diagnosis of a 'trust' issue that a brand may be facing. Only by understanding the different facets of 'trust' can we as researchers and marketers work out what the problem really is and do something about it.
THE TAXONOMY OF TRUST - AN INTERACTIVE PRESENTATION In this session I will define the three distinct facets of 'trust', and actively involve and challenge the audience with a series of interactive exercises in order to embed the differences between these key concepts.
SO HOW CAN BRANDS BUILD 'TRUST'? I will talk about the appropriate solutions for building trust in brands, leaving delegates with a clear set of principles and action points to take away. And I will also lay down a challenge to brands: why should your customers trust you if you don't trust them? We all know instinctively that someone who says 'trust me' is not to be trusted. They need to behave in a way that earns our trust. So might 'outbound' trust initiatives where brands put themselves on the line and make themselves vulnerable to their customers be the most effective solution? Where they actually walk the talk? Ultimately, the value of a trusted brand is in the relationship it can build with its customers. And a real trusting relationship goes both ways.
10:15 - 11:30am
Moving from Theory to Action: Behavioral Economics in the Real World
» Wake up and Smell the Coffee: Open Your Mind to the Power of Priming and Experimentation
The session will demonstrate how we can leverage learning from the behavioural sciencesspecifically how we can leverage learning in relation to behavioural priming and sensory interaction to enhance the research tools at our disposal hence encouraging a more experimental approach to qualitative research. We will draw on learning from live experiments conducted at the 2014 MRS conference to bring this subject to life and explore implications for how we apply this learning to qualitative research.
» Tool not Textbook - Putting Behavioural Economics to Work
Behavioural economics is not a new subject conference. Indeed, it has become a well established part of the world of research and marketing that challenges the way we work as researchers and offers new opportunities for practitioners and clients alike. However, there is a risk that behavioural economics can remain rather conceptual and intellectual for clients. The big challenge with this new tool at our disposal, is to ensure that clients understand what behavioural economics is, why it is important and most importantly what they will get out of it at the end of a project in terms of impact on their targets and business objectives. Conversation with clients has often revealed that BE easily be seen as a new set of jargon that researchers bandy about in meetings and even hide behind. Behavioural economics should be seen by our industry and our clients as a set of practical tools that can be used to effect behaviour change. The need is to empower the client to plan see the world through the explanatory lens of BE and use this new understanding to plan effective future strategy.
With this in mind we have developed a model and approach that ensures that behavioural economics is used not just considered and talked about. At the heart of the model is the assumption that in the light of a client's business objectives, people's current behaviour is imperfect and something that they would like to change to their (and ideally the customers) benefit. This tends mean that they would like people to buy, use or think of their products more often. In this light a deep understanding of current imperfect behaviour is juxtaposed with a brand's objectives to create 'behavioural equations' essentially problems the client would like to solve. These equations form the basis of a strategy workshop session that we call Behaviour Lab. Using cutting edge techniques such as lifelogging we take a detailed snapshot of current behaviour.
This is then explained to the client in terms of principles and heuristics that underpin it. These principles then become the tools that can be used to effect change to a future behaviour that is preferable to the client. These 'tools' are then used to develop future strategy in a planning workshop part of the session. The client walks out of the door with new strategic vision and plans to activate it not just a clever new theoretical perspective on the world. Clients like that. We have a great case study of this that GSK Oral Care is amenable to presenting that will bring the idea to life. This will provide us with lifelog film (that we will show) of current behaviours that were used as stimulus in the workshops to develop strategic initiatives to promote change in behaviour.
» 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 panellist 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 behaviour. 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 analysed 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.
» Creating Behavioral Change with Applied Behavioral Economics and Neuromarketing
Applying behavioral economics to market research has lead to the increased relevance of neuromarketing techniques in creating behavioral change. This presentation will review a model of behavioral change introduced in Douglas Van Praet's 2012 book "Unconscious Branding". Borrowing heavily from the empirical data on decision making made relevant to market researchers by behavioral economics, this model provides a practical seven step technique that QRCs can use to design research projects with the goal of helping clients create new behaviors in their consumer targets.
11:30 - 11:50am
Coffee Break in Sponsor Hall
11:50 - 1:00pm
Making It Inclusive: Engaging with Hard-to-Reach Audiences
Today's society doesn't cater well for people with no access to a bank account or a means to pay electronically and, as result, these people can be financially excluded in numerous ways; they struggle to find employment, are often limited to 'cash in hand' jobs, shopping online is problematic and they're unable to benefit from online discounts like cheap flights, limiting the options in how they shop. This research aimed to illustrate the everyday lives of those who are often hidden from financial institutions in Europe, as they currently have little or no relationship with them.
MasterCard commissioned Ipsos MORI to help it understand the impact of being financially 'excluded' or 'underserved' has on people's lives. This study looked at:
- Those who are financially excluded (without any access to formal banking services);
- The financially underserved (those who have some sort of account, but no access to any form of electronic payment).
The research approach was designed with breadth and depth in mind. An in-depth ethnographic study was designed, looking at how 36 different households across six countries: UK, France, Spain, Italy, Poland and Russia, live day-to-day under these circumstances, understanding the ways in which people manage whilst financially excluded/underserved. This was followed by a quantitative element of over 630 people in the same six markets, designed to look at the types of services people have access to. Combined, it makes one of the largest studies of its type to research this population, and details both the attitudes and behaviours towards living in this manner.
MasterCard commissioned the research in anticipation of a key conference in which they wanted to explore the challenges of financial exclusion, and also to aid on-going lobbying efforts with the EU commission around the provision of, and access to, basic payment accounts. MasterCard presented four key themes that emerged from the research; an obvious perception gap of how we think about this group: that money management is an issue, access to technology is varied, and that education about financial inclusion is important. For this presentation we believe there are two key points of interest based around the ethnographic methodology and the way we worked together towards creating material for the conference:
1) Ethnography challenging our preconceived perceptions of the world
- Outline brief 'who are the underserved'? Who do you think they are? Do you know anyone who doesn't have a bank account? (audience participation)
Show perception gap film (see http://vimeo.com/74365324 Password: ipsosmori): is this what you expected? (audience participation)
- How we got to this: o Context all important, understanding identities was huge financial exclusion is social exclusion o Identifying unarticulated needs through observation
Show money management film output: telling audience to look out for unusual ways they put money aside etc ï‚§ Understanding the conceptual nature of money; cash vs cards
2) Working together to produce great outputs o Client team, marketing, PR, conference & research team came together collaboratively to create best outputs possible o Success of conference; strong case was made through 5 key themes
» What if I break the internet? - Engaging the Digitally Disengaged
News of the continuing prevalence of online generally comes as little surprise, but Ipsos MORI have been researching a small but significant group that remains on the periphery of this zeitgeist; lacking the skills and confidence to perform all but the most basic tasks online. Their hesitation to join the digital age is borne partly out of limited capability, and partly out of trust and security concerns (which a lack of capability in turn often serves to reinforce). Their lack of confidence means that they are still to assert their presence as citizens or consumers in the digital space; and as such represent considerable untapped potential.
The aim of our presentation will be threefold: firstly, to share our understanding of the idiosyncratic beliefs, needs and motivations of this group; secondly, to explore how the challenges of engaging them as qualitative researchers may be overcome; and lastly, to demonstrate that devising an online strategy that is both simple and seductive enough to engage them can provide an invaluable competitive edge for clients in today's digital marketplace.
The multiple studies that we have recently conducted in this area have shed light on the sheer diversity of this group: while the elderly are often the first to come to mind when discussing the digitally disengaged, they are by no means its sole constituents. There are college leavers who only use Facebook; there are parents whose children set them up with an email address so they can communicate with family and friends abroad; and there are those who will only use the internet for search purposes, being reluctant to transact due to security fears. There is even a small but significant generation of less digitally literate children who, if they who don't have access to the internet, tablets or other devices, risk being left behind both culturally and educationally. The primary defining characteristic of this digital demographic is the limited role of the internet in their lives. Capability impacts confidence and limits the activities that they are willing to attempt online: many have a fear of making mistakes, with a genuine worry that they will 'break the internet'. Despite their reticent internet use, these individuals foresee that the internet will play an increasingly important role, with most feeling they must try to keep up to avoid being left behind.
We propose to explore the personal and societal benefits that fostering the ability and confidence of this lower digital literacy group can bring, and demonstrate that it is possible to effectively engage them in research in this sensitive area; even with potentially problematic tasks such as testing materials and skills online. We are keen to make the experience as interesting and rewarding for our audience as possible, and propose to do this through a range of media and storytelling techniques, as outlined later in this submission.
» Engaging 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 specifically in markets such as adaptive technology. Online presents both new opportunities and new challenges, that need to be explored. This presentation will share best practice, look at examples of overcoming difficulties, and feature feedback from participants
The global news market has been transformed by the growth of digital. Traditional television and radio audiences are now also snacking on headlines via mobiles and social media across the day, across markets. This increasingly complex picture means that gaining a sophisticated understanding of behaviours and needs is critical for news organisations.
This presentation will share a case study from the UK between the BBC and Ipsos MORI who have been working together on an innovative method to understand news consumers, and ultimately informing how journalists can best explain complex stories to them in this new media landscape. The world is changing "“ more platforms, more opinions, more snacking Today"s topography of news consumers is more complex than ever before. Television and radio news audiences remain strong, but emerging platforms are growing rapidly, causing usage to expand and fragment - there is simply more news available than ever before. The result is that many people are now "always on", reaching for whichever platform suits, on the understanding that different platforms meet different needs, and with the ability to choose different providers for different types of news, regardless of which market they are in. But critically, the availability of more news does not always mean a more informed audience. With audiences snacking, they may not always get the depth and context required to truly understand a story.
Innovative solutions to bring a more sophisticated, cross-platform understanding of audiences: Researching news and information consumption is always a challenge, given many behaviours are subconscious. Getting a deep understanding of the most effective ways of delivering information and news to different audiences across different platforms, given the complexity of behaviour, is even more difficult. Previous attempts to elicit preferences on news "treatments" from BBC audiences had been unsuccessful; and a new approach was needed to get the level of detail from audiences to rigorously inform the way BBC News reports on stories. In order to help the BBC optimise their journalistic resources to maximise audience engagement with, and understanding of, big news stories across platforms,
Ipsos MORI developed the StoryBoard, a creative and innovative approach that combines the benefits of a multitude of qualitative approaches into one day of discovery. Taking a journey through short depth interviews, viewing stimulus, rolling groups, vox pops and suggestions boards, participants are able to feedback on specific examples which lead to a wide understanding for the client, of technology consumption, information needs, and news delivery. We have learned that audiences have different needs from different platforms. Findings have challenged existing audience thinking and been used to identify best practices of covering complex stories, providing feedback to correspondents to inform what they do on-air, encourage diverse programme teams to learn from each other, and derive common learnings across different stories within the news agenda. This presentation will outline the challenges the complex news market provides to journalists and researchers, and how Ipsos MORI and the BBC have worked together to develop an innovative qualitative approach to gain a sophisticated understanding of new news and information consumption across media platforms.
» Breaking Down the Glass - Incorporating Immersive Ethnography with Conventional Techniques to Create Deeper Understanding
This presentation will look at three specific examples where adding in an immersive component has worked in concert with an otherwise standard qualitative approach in order to create significantly deeper understanding of a consumer experience that is far greater that can be attributed to just using a conventional technique.
Three examples will be explored.
(1) A client wanted to understand problem gambling amongst specific ethnic communities, not all of whom spoke our language and for whom culture was a significantly entrenched belief system which we did not have a full grasp of. Prior to conducting focus groups with these people, we posed as curious gamblers and spent significant time immersing ourselves in the environment by riding on community-specific buses up to the regional casinos with some of these different communities. The understanding we obtained from these experiences helped us pose much more relevant questions to our groups and let us speak 'in the right language' to these people. (
2) A beverage client was interested in exploring consumer reaction to communication and product in the busy but hard-to-reach nightclub environment. We formulated a two stage approach, with an initial immersive phase allowing the various friend-groups to explore the environment of a staged nightclub alongside the public all at the same time without being asked questions or probed whatsoever. Respondents were miked with wireless microphones (which they quickly forgot about) and were asked to enjoy their evening. A camera crew captured this as if it was a reality TV show. The next day, we had the groups come back separately and we conducted separate conventional friend groups with these respondents, better connecting with them because we were informed from the immersive work the night before.
(3) A client wanted to understand male-bonding and feelings of authenticity. Before conducting the conventional focus-group with the group of friends, we accompanied these participants on a day-long rock-climbing excursion in the mountains near where they lived. They had all pre-qualified as being experienced rock climbers and we wanted to be involved in a situation which stressed the variables we had an interest in discussing later. After looking at these examples, along with any other elements that may be brought in from the audience, we will build a best-practices checklist that will be useful for those QRCs who are interested in exploring these dimensions for future projects.
» Going to the Source: Working Directly with Consumers to Inspire & Advance Product Ideas
This presentation can be prepared as a 30 minute Keynote or, with less depth and fewer cases, in a 20-minute format. I"ve been designing & delivering "Co-creation" programs of various kinds for more than twenty years, long before the trend became widespread. I use Consumer Collaboration methods (AKA Co-creation) for "Concept Inspiration" (early stages of new product or positioning work) & "Concept Advancement," (for feedback, building and refining concepts and prototypes). I position this work under a wider umbrella of "Smashing Mirrors." These programs break down traditional barriers of qualitative research in: Methodology Collaboration between consumers and the client teams Structuring the research environments without the traditional glass wall that separates respondent from observer. Depending upon the timeslot offered, I would present 2-5 recent cases which will illustrate design approaches, guidelines and how to's for conducting Co-Creation programs.
My presentation will include at least one program conducted for American Standard Brands (makers of kitchen and bathroom fixtures including toilets, sinks, faucets) an example from work with Perrier Sparkling water, and if time permits, others. Each of the client teams was receptive to an approach that would engage consumer collaboration and creativity. Program designs were tailored to the specific needs and parameters of the clients, and client feedback has been very positive.
Highlights: Concept Inspiration: The multi-faceted Perrier program, co-facilitated by Reva Dolobowsky, was designed to help their global brand team fill up their pipeline with new product and packaging ideas. I will focus on the "Virtual Kitchen" that we created for sparkling water drinkers to spark new product ideas as well as to provide deep insights into what these respondents most desire from a new beverage. Concept Advancement: American Standard"s Design & Engineering teams are constantly seeking ways to improve upon kitchen and bathroom fixtures to solve consumer pain points and needs. We conducted a program in the kitchen faucets category for which the AS team had developed several working prototypes. They wanted robust feedback to guide further prototype development. Additionally the team desired a broader perspective of consumer issues and ideas to identify future white space opportunities for AS to explore. This program was conducted at the American Standard Design Center, partly in their "Wet Room," so that respondents could experience actual prototypes and give specific feedback to the options presented. But beyond feedback, we engaged consumers" and designers" imaginations through a variety of multi-sensory creative activities (pre-group and within the groups) to envision how to improve kitchen clean up and food prep with the help of new faucet designs and features.
3:30 - 4:10pm
Inspiration Zone: Emerging Approaches
» Finding the High Ground: A New Metric to Compare Methodologies
An organization today that wants in-depth qualitative insights has many choices before them. Crowdsourcing platforms offer to place their challenge before thousands of participants over a period of weeks or months. Online insight communities with participation ranging from a dozen to hundreds of individuals, over time periods ranging from days to months to years. We can add mobile methodologies, telephone, and face-to-face methods. The main points of comparison today are number of participants and total project cost. I began this journey by trying to figure out how some providers were able to offer seemingly massive insights projects at very low cost. I was also seeking to show clients a way to compare different alternatives in my own proposals what is really the difference between the five day online discussion and the six focus group option? I will briefly explain the simple metric I have devised. And will show illustrations of the comparison from actual proposals. And will suggest how organizations might use this approach to clarify what they are really getting from different suppliers and different qualitative methodologies.
» Digital Disruption in Developing Markets: The Tricks, Tools and Tips for Successful Innovation
Our contribution will draw together three key themes of the conference: 1. Developing market consumers are a key target audience for truly global companies and many revel in their new found commercial importance 2. Innovation is key in cultures where the ability to consume is linked to social status and new ideas are so easily copied and replicated 3. New qualitative tools such as online communities and mobile ethnography are as relevant in emerging markets as they are in developed ones if anything, they give us more opportunity to connect, discover, explore and understand than traditional tools which often fail to account for cultural nuances Our contribution will therefore show how we have used new qualitative tools to supplement, and in some cases replace, traditional approaches to innovation research and customer closeness.
Having undertaken digital research in countries as diverse as Nigeria, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Brazil, Mexico, India and Eastern Europe, we will demonstrate the value of looking beyond traditional approaches. Specifically we will show how taking consumers through more longitudinal and disruptive research techniques will lead to more opportunities for clients and provide greater output from consumers in activities such as co-creation and creative collaboration. Our contribution will draw on case studies, broader experience and cultural immersions to bring a new perspective on how to approach international research and how to truly understand consumers and identify innovation opportunities.
Market research clients generally do not want to be ones to engage you for your first market research study using a new methodology. It is our job to convince them that we have the skills and understanding to leverage the new methodology successfully. Our clients do not want to feel like they are guinea pigs. As QRCs, we have a number of ways to do so, including partnering with others who have experience with the methodology. Another means of doing so is to undertake a case study of our own. This is the exactly what I decided to do. I decided to undertake a case study that would allow me to execute a qualitative mobile study without risk to a client. But, the study was designed to simulate a market research study for which I could actually be engaged to execute. T
his presentation will leverage this case study to walk attendees through my experience with this study. What did I do to prepare for the research? What was the experience like executing the study? Looking back, what would I do differently? What was the overall experience of executing the research? From my experience, this presentation will allow others who have no to limited experience with mobile qualitative research to shorten their learning curve and increasing the likelihood of a successful project. I envision this being a how-to presentation in the context of a case study. I envision the poster taking the audience through the learning process and the key takeaways for the next mobile study.
» Global Unleashed: Dogs Go Mobile and Meet Online
This multi-country project used a mobile-enabled online platform to conduct research with dog owners. At the time of submission, Germany is complete, India, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Canada and the USA are fielding, with France, UK and South Africa expected to follow in the next 8 weeks. The project was funded by the researchers, to demonstrate how new technologies might support a global team of independent researchers conducting in-depth qualitative. Project Objectives: a) Understand the role companion dogs play in their owners' lives b) Test a hybrid research methodology, e.g., mobile lifestyle documentation, respondent video, online discussion, online/mobile ideation c) Identify territory for innovation in the category.
This presentation is based on two live case studies: 1. Start-up: the research started with the first idea of start-up. On an ongoing basis a small community provided insights that shaped the product, website and marketing tools. 2. This community created diaries that helped identify key areas to improve that are devellopped with the support of the community again over a longer period and as an ongoing process. Process of a small world community will be described based on both case studies, though the content will focus on the first.
4:10 - 4:30pm
Tea Break in Sponsor Hall
4:30 - 5:45pm
Qualitative Mash-Up: Borrowing from Other Disciplines
» “Get You Off Of My Cloud”: Semiotics and Heraclitus’ Theory of Contrary. An apparently futile dissertation.
This wants to be a provocative paper on how very often we qualitative researchers, in order to follow the most updated techniques of the moment, trend away from some “classic”, sturdy methodologies. Frequently, we judge as outdated or already heard, seen, something which we instead neglect because too demanding to us. We prefer so to speak to follow the magic fife player instead of learning to play the fife itself. Or pretend to play the role of “savant”, in order to disguise our lack of knowledge of the “basics” of our job, like semiotics, for instance.
Thus, I decided to start from Heraclitus theories to demonstrate how using semiotics for an apparently futile dissertation may instead reveal their basic importance in our job: because as Heraclitus says nothing is how it seems, and only a deep analysis may reveal hidden insights.
And semiotics allow to do that, whereas, according to him, the “awake” (the philosopher, the semiotician) may instruct the “sleeping” (…your choice whom to put into brackets!).
Let’s call this essay as a challenge to practice a mental gym, a very useful exercise indeed to qualitative researchers nowadays!
Following the “Theory of Clouds”, written by one of worldwide most important semioticians of Art, Hubert Damish, I will apply a semiotic analysis to the icon of Cloud, supporting it on the same time with Heraclitus principles of interconnectedness of contrary.
Heraclitus' flux doctrine is a special case of the unity of opposites, pointing to ways things are both the same and not the same over time. He uses to depict two key opposites that are interconnected, but not identical. For example, sea is the purest and most polluted water: for fish drinkable and healthy, for men undrinkable and harmful.
Clouds’ characteristics seem perfectly match his theory: they appear soft in the sky, but thick when used as a seat to Gods in the Baroque Art; they trigger happiness at sight, but fear when it doesn’t no longer rain; they make you happy when appear white in a clear sky, but have you worried when are grey in a storm; these same colours are an icon of the purity of the air, but also of pollution; they are a source of life, but also of death, like those coming from a bomb or those sadly famous of September 11th; are either in the round in nature or sculpture, or flat in comics’ or in projective bubbles, and so on.
I will try to demonstrate how through a semiotic analysis these signs on one hand reveal some hidden archetypes, meanings and insights (i.e. the use of clouds in advertising for either female or male products, the hidden figures in Art) . On the other hand, how the use of semiotics in any argument of research can be both powerful and impactful, in order to demonstrate the importance of knowing such a type of instrument by the qualitative researcher.
» Combining Semiotics with other Research Approaches for Richer Results
Semiotics has the reputation for being ethereal and theoretical, but in fact has powerful relevance in understanding how consumers process brand messaging and other kinds of meaning. This presentation will demystify semiotic analysis with examples, and provide attendees with practical approaches for integrating a semiotic analysis component into research projects they are deploying.
A mix of theory and practice, where researchers hear and see some of the basic concepts from psychotherapy and how they are used - whether consciously or unconsciously in marketing. The practice would include creating deep relationships quickly, two chair work, accurate empathic listening and the Goldfish Bowl technique
Departure for 7:00 Dinner Cruise on the Danube
Friday 2 May
8:30 - 9:00am
Coffee Break in Sponsor Hall
9:15 - 10:30am
Putting the Participant First: Partners on the Journey
» Going Beyond the Lies: How to Recognize When Respondents Lie and What to Do About It
The presentation will summarize the scientific research about detecting lying, and it will also draw upon the knowledge of professionals in relevant fields such police interviewers. I will then discuss how we can appopriately utilize this knowledge in qualitative settings in order to go beyond participants' deceptions and uncover the truth.
» Reclaiming the the relationship in qualitative research
This paper will outline origins of qualitative research in the therapeutic relationship for contextual reasons but will not be am historical study. At its centre will be a research study amongst a range of qualitative researchers about how they see their relationships with their respondents and the role these have in creating insight. The tone will be practical as well as searching how do we build the most effective research relationships?
» 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.
10:30 - 11:00am
Coffee Break in Sponsor Hall
11:00am - 12:40pm
One World, Many Cultures: Going Beyond Maps and Guidebooks
» Clarity beyond enthusiasm: lifting the fog of early adopters to spot real innovation opportunities in China and other emerging markets
Early adopters usually make great research respondents: they are curious, passionate and knowledgeable about products and services, always willing to try out new technology at their own personal expense. Companies try to create communities of these consumers to sharpen their prototypes and promote product launches. But are they really the best indicator of innovation opportunities, particularly in the emerging market context, such as China? Is their initial enthusiasm a true measurement of product excitement? Can the buzz sustain itself and eventually spread to mainstream consumers?
There have been numerous cases where a great initial launch turned out to be a total product flop - think of eBay: despite loud cheers from savvy online fans, it never really took off with mainstream consumers in China and to this day still does not compete with a local Chinese e-commerce site, Taobao. The other example is Whatsapp, an instant messaging app that works across iOS and Android platforms. Despite its huge popularity in the United States and Chinese early adopters" zeal when it first became available, it is now losing its foothold in China. WeChat, a free app with robust features, developed by a Chinese technology company, now has over 400 million registered users in and out of China, not only outnumbering Whatsapp but also aggressively rivaling Facebook and Twitter. In this presentation, I explore how marketeers, innovators and insights practitioners can and should look beyond the personal fervor of early adopters to spot real innovation opportunities.
How an an iterative process to innovation, built from design thinking, can enable us to lift the deceptive fog of early adopters. I demonstrate how a rigorous, insight-based journey, starting from real life observation and interaction with these early adopters, can lead us to crisp, long-lasting innovation platform with "product legs" beyond instant buzzes. This approach takes into consideration of the ecosystem innovation will live in, whether it"s a new product, service, business model, or communication. On top of building the platforms, how we can leverage the early adopters again, at this stage possibly from lateral fields, validate and strengthen the platforms horizontally (spotting the parallel to test validity and strength) to ensure we have innovation possibilities in the far terms as well. One of the cases I will present is a recent project on perfect skin for a multinational cosmetic brand. We have worked with two groups of early adopters: one group is with avid cosmetic early adopters who were the first to try new products such as CC cream and micro-facial surgery. The second group is with early adopters in other fields: photography, painting, ceramics, and etc, who know all about the finishing touch. Together, we not only generated new product ideas, but also successfully re-positioned an existing product line with a new and exciting communication toolkit. In addition to demonstrating the process through cases, I will also cover creative, fun and engaging tools, stimuli and exercises for each stage of this innovation journey, if time permits.
» Think locally, act globally: the changing face of inter-agency collaboration in international qualitative research
In our presentation we will argue that the traditional model of 'centrally controlled' cross-border qualitative research should be turned on its head, with the roles of both central/local agencies re-defined to better meet clients' business challenges. We will share the results of an experiment recently conducted amongst a number of our close research partners across the globe - from the Middle East, Africa, LatAm, North America and Europe. Each agency was presented with the same brief, and asked to propose an approach best suited to harnessing the cultural, behavioural and attitudinal traits unique to their market. The diverse set of responses received powerfully showcases the pitfalls of making assumptions as to what will and won't work in a culturally varied set of international markets.
We will share these fascinating differences, as well as the unexpected similarities with the audience, substantiating them with broader learnings about conducting research in each market. We will use these findings to demonstrate the value of taking time to consult local researchers at point of design, and even 'hand over the reigns' to them in terms of both informing methodology as well as re-framing project objectives on international studies. We will conclude the presentation by making the following assertions: - The current 'one size fits all' model for international research is broken - Deeper insights can only be found though empowering partner agencies to engage with consumers in a way that makes cultural sense for that specific market - A centralised research project should be able to flex in terms of look and feel to best adapt to market nuances encountered in global studies this applies to all facets of the project, including methodology, discussion guide, briefings and stimulus - We need to work harder upfront with our clients to ensure research objectives are framed appropriately within different cultures, whilst never losing sight of the overall business question
» One Size Doesn't Fit All: How Our Approaches to Qualitative Research and Analysis Don't Always Fit the Same Mold
As a qualitative researcher that has relocated across cultural borders, I am often engaged in conversations regarding the differences between French and American approaches to research objectives. But why would you recommend that? Why do you analyze the results in that way? How are your reports so much shorter... where do you put all the analysis? And these questions aren't limited to only the Franco-American differences in qualitative research, but are expressed on a global scale. This presentation would share insights from some essential Research On Research that will be conducted on the different qualitative (and analysis) styles and approaches that are common in some of the major markets in the world.
» Playing Snakes and Ladders on Upgradations in the Developing World
With the evolving economic climate in developing countries, the upgradation process becomes more dynamic. Maggi noodles, once a premium snack, is now a basic product for some social classes. L'Oreal products, at one time, were considered to be an indulgence; now, they are a regular product for some social classes. We will study this evolving process through an understanding of Indian housewives an important and strategically valuable consumer for our clients in India. The frugal housewife - "save money no matter what- has transitioned into the prudent housewife "I am willing to spend where it matters.But, "what mattersis not what will appear to be a very practical/rational decision. 'Value for money' is an attempt to justify one's decision to make it look 'practical'. The ppgradation process isn't consistent across categories. Decision making is not a simple matter of product attributes. And a brand doesn't just compete against other brands in the same category. A decision to choose a premium personal care product might well result in rejection of a (seemingly more important) home-care product. A social class B1 housewife in a non-metro might be buying L'Oreal products, which she considers essential, but finds an essential cleaning product an irrelevant indulgence! An A1 housewife in a metro might be investing a lot on personal care not just shampoos, lotions, but also compact powder, other makeup - but using a generic product for cleaning which she considers sufficient for hygiene maintenance. She might be buying premium cereals to maintain her children's health, but using a traditional, bottom-of-the-pyramid coil format for pest-control. This doesn't mean that the 'other-orientation' has transitioned into 'individual orientation', but just that the nuances of our collectivistic culture have led to a reclassification of the housewives' decisions on a continuum of acceptability. This continuum too shifts shape every 3-4 years and is vital to understand. A housewife's choices are a part of a larger ecosystem that transcend the product attributes. While the high-price of a product is not an impediment, the question a researcher has to solve is, "What is the relevance of this brand in the consumers' grocery list? How can this brand fit in?and there has to be a consequential answer to the question: "What will I derive if I upgrade? I need to feel vindicated for my choices (yes, even for a hair smoothening shampoo), so does this product give that vindication?In this presentation, we will attempt to help International researchers decode how upgradations happen; and define - "what is value for the Indian consumer? What appears to be irrational behavior is actually carefully considered decision-making, impacted by socio-cultural & emotional factors, which in interaction with the product benefits (reinterpreted in the context of outside influences) can lead to choosing, rejecting or lapsing from a product.
12:40 - 2:00pm
Break and Lunch
2:00 - 3:00pm
Millennial Matters with the Young Apprentices
» Frandship- re-thinking social media strategy and how we connect with people through digital
Over the past year, Firefish have been closely observing the social and digital media behaviors of people around the world on behalf of brands including Unilever and the iab. Using cutting edge observational and ethnographic techniques including FishEye life-logging and digital historical timeline trawls we've been able to view hundreds of hours of behaviours and learn how brands are really engaged with through the digital medium. In our presentation (title TBC) we will share some of our key observations on how brands are interacted with on social media and explain the problem with brands trying to be and behave like friends on sites like Facebook. Through the application of social psychological theory and by drawing analogies between real world social interactions and digital ones, we argue that it's time for brands to re-think the way they behave and form relationships through social media. It's time to accept that a 'Like' means very little, much branded content gets ignored and that by imitating the actions of real friends, brand authenticity can start to come into question. Our presentation will champion observational qualitative research and the latest in digital capture techniques as a way of understanding digital impact and engagement. As brands assess the success of a digital campaigns using metrics including views and likes, qualitative research helps us understand these metrics better by revealing the true meaning of digital gestures from the perspective of those that make them. Although not confirmed yet, we are hoping to co-present with one of our clients (a global Ice Cream brand) who would talk about how our research has shaped their digital strategy- showing our thinking on digital in action.
» Growing Up Digital: Changing the face of Qualitative Research to engage iKids
Our presentation will explore how kids and teens who are growing up as digital natives' are challenging traditional qualitative research methodologies. Key ideas we will explore will be: Kids are growing up digital: the online world is it is a skill-forming, social experience essential to a child's development in a digitally focused world. The world has expanded with experiences online having as much value as those which occur in the ˜real' world. Are we as researchers fully immersing ourselves and engaging in this world? Other industries are catching up with this and beginning to adapt: Coding is also beginning to be prioritised by educators if kids can create their own digital experiences will quallies be able to keep up? Brands are also beginning to catch on the value of creating immersive digital experiences to create closer affinity with their users but have qualitative researchers recognised this and adapted? Our methods suit us, but not our respondents in this changing world. We want to challenge the role of traditional face to face research and online methods designed with researchers rather than respondents in mind.
We need to be digital ethnographers, immersing ourselves rather than imitating: It's not as simple as creating researcher led apps, communities and platforms we need to stop trying to play catch up and start meeting digital natives on their level. o
The first step is ˜show and tell': getting in touch with kids and teens and observing how they interact with new devices and content will give us the best chance of thriving in this brave new world.
We need to engage with digital natives digitally in worlds they recognise: We need to be where kids and teens are in the digital world. For example tapping into existing communities, playing games and apps they are playing and using these to start conversations and probe for insights.
Qual specific platforms need to mirror other digital experiences: In creating our own platforms, we need to take elements kids and teens recognise. We have seen that kids want to have a sense of ownership over content online and will reject experiences that don't meet their high quality standards or development needs. To meet these needs, we need to partner with technology companies or to develop these skills ourselves.
We need to have an eye to the future: For example, being the first to trial and understand the potential role of wearable technology.
The Millennial Generation are emerging as a cohort of ambitious and information-hungry communicators who are using their online savvy to help shape their lives, their futures, and – importantly - decide how and with what brand they spend their hard earned money. This is a generation which is incredibly influential – their social circumstances (often ‘boomeranging’ back to their parents’ homes for extended periods) mean they influence those around them at home in a way which is unknown to preceding generations. And the digital context which forms the backbone of their daily lives leads them to be taking part in numerous online conversations every day, with the potential to influence people far beyond their immediate family and social circle.
All this so eloquently summed up by one of our research participants:
“I think business leaders, writers and Fortune 500 companies need to stop thinking so much about how ‘Millennials are lazy’ and think more about how they, as Baby Boomers, can exploit the millennial generation's natural talent for social connectedness, technology, ambition, and creativity”
One MS embarked on a 6 week self-funded project, with only one over-arching objective – to understand how brands can engage with this audience. The primary research tool was an online community with 12 Millennials, but this was supplemented with an ethnographic angle – using the respondents’ Twitter, Blogging, Facebook (and other social media) activity – and video/photographic content from participants.
A fluid and mixed methodology approach allowed us to conduct the entire study ‘in the moment’, sparking debates which took inspiration from news events; articles in the press and online as well as material from respondents’ Twitter feeds and Facebook timelines.
Touching on topics as diverse as viral ad campaigns, the impending Royal Birth, the relative importance of breakfast, and the pitfalls and challenges of daily life for a 20-something, over 500 individual posts were generated, covering over 125 different brands across 19 categories.
And from this emerge 5 key Rules of Engagement for brands, which are illustrated by case studies arising from the community.
This paper shows how a fluid, responsive and flexible approach, with an online community at its heart, can unearth new and surprising insights about an audience, and the way in which they engage with brands.
3:00 - 3:30pm
Networking in the Sponsor Hall
3:30 - 4:10pm
Inspiration Zone: Lucky Dip Posters
» The fast and the furious - How interactive research design can meet the challenges of market research today.
As marketers are under pressure to innovate faster and faster, market research is challenged to deliver answers ever more quickly. But we all know, consumers' thoughts, behaviors and attitudes are often multifaceted and can change with an instant and may not even appear logic. Even more so if research work is international if campaigns and products have to work in many markets, the differences in consumer thought make the task more complex. Who among research clients has the time and nerve to understand this complexity? Who wants to read detailed reports or listen to presentations for hours? Super-Summaries or video presentations were invented as a reaction. As research output, they are short and still deliver sufficient depth to create an understanding among company clients. They leave an engaging impact of the results and findings and in this way activate clients to implement and drive forward. They are entertaining and compelling. Researchers are aware that the positive effects can easily wear off as soon as moving images become the common standard.
Re-Designing our research reports therefore cannot be the final answer. We believe that we need to re-evaluate the way we do research. By study designs, methods and approaches that are less time-consuming and more interactive we can add value and relevance while increasing clients' engagement This will allow us to make an even more meaningful contribution to decisions and strategies that drive our clients' success. Our most successful approaches employ ethnographic events our Experientals or half-day workshop-style mega-sessions our Panorama Groups used to develop understandings, derive insights or create ideas. Key is to let our research clients play an active role by meeting and collaborating with their targets of their different key subgroups or stakeholders directly. In this way we ensure a broad perspective on the issues and allow cross-checks.
Our role as researchers is to structure the process and coach clients and consumers in this collaborative effort. The research questions are segmented into different sequential tasks that help them to achieve the next level in understanding and each time getting one step closer to deriving actionable results. The first-hand experience of consumer-led discussions is inspiring. During the process clients gain a deeper understanding for their consumers' or stake holders thinking. A single mega-session delivers results which take into account the different perspectives, allows our research partners to derive concrete actions based on a first hand understanding of their different targets. Typically half-day Panorama Groups are followed by a Concept Writing Workshop in which we develop test-worthy concepts with the clients. On day 2 these concepts are validated and finalized in the quant-qual sessions of our eTrack® tool. With eTrack® we electronically collect individual structured data from a larger sample of targets. These results are available in real-time and subsequently qualitatively explored and fine-tuned with a part of the respondents. The synergy of quantitative data and qualitative thought provides the basis for rapid and good decision making, and identifies areas of optimization and refinement.
» Be Prepared - A Rough Guide to applying behavioural economics to qual research
On February 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison and the piecemeal dismantling of restrictive legislation began. Political groups started negotiating the end of white minority rule, and 1994 signaled the ushering in of a new era for the South African people.
Mandela's presidency was characterized by the successful negotiation of a new constitution; a start on the massive task of restructuring the civil service and attempts to redirect national priorities to address the results of apartheid and investigate the wrongs of the past.
20 years later, South Africa sits with one of the most liberal constitutions in the world, and one of the most unique and fragmented consumer markets.
A somatic expression of oppression had occurred in the black market, resulting in a consumer market that virtually played by it’s own rules, became increasingly immune to stereotypical marketing and increasingly driven by social identity affirmation.
This resulted in the emergence of what has been called social identity politics, a social politics that stresses strong collective group identities as the basis of analysis and behavioral action.
As political engagement with the society as a whole was increasingly perceived to have produced insufficient progress or solutions, and in the absence of a compelling model of a society worth struggling for, many retreated into a focus on their own "self" and into specific cultural and ideological identity groups which made rights, status, and privilege claims on the basis of their unique collective identity.
Particularly in the last decade, there has been an explosion of groups vying with one another for social recognition of their identity and proof of their retrospective oppression emancipation.
Identity social politics is centered on the idea that behaviorial activism involves groups' turning inward and stressing separatism, yet embracing strong collective identities, and consumption goals focused on psychological and personal self-esteem (which is often misdirected)
Jeffrey Escofier, writing about the gay movement, defines identity politics in the following fashion:
"The politics of identity is a kind of cultural politics. It relies on the development of a culture that is able to create new and affirmative conceptions of the self, to articulate collective identities, and to forge a sense of group loyalty. Identity politics - very much like nationalism - requires the development of rigid definitions of the boundaries between those who have particular collective identities and those who do not."
These political and social identities do not respond to traditional marketing techniques, are not driven by observable peer pressure, and relationship marketing. They operate on a separate set of wheels, a structure we have coined, ‘trend pressure’.
Waking up from a veritable 20 year coma, the black consumer market holds true to the mantra “alive with possibilities” but what do these possibilities look like? What drives their choice, motivations and behaviour? How have these consumers reacted and internalised to their relatively new found freedom/s?
This paper will explore the dynamics, trends, and unique nuances of conducting research in the South African market and how this market is truly the only one of it’s kind in the world.
» How to Shock & Awe Your Clients with Participants They've Never Seen (or heard from) Before
To yield the best insights in our ever-evolving world, QRs need to be innovative in their research methods. Over the past decade, scores of new approaches have been introduced for how to conduct research and present and share results. Shockingly, however, the vast majority of researchers continue to rely on the same recruiting techniques that were developed decades ago. All QRs know that high-quality, highly-engaged participants make for a better study. While good screeners and recruiters can help ensure that participants will be solid, relying on a database of past participants and a monetary incentive is inherently limiting. There is a better way. By leveraging existing communities and relationships, and appealing to desires that are far more powerful than an incentive check, QRs can find superior participants, which will of course lead to better, richer results. This presentation will share an innovative approach to conducting qualitative research. By leveraging existing organizations (non-profit, trade and interest-based), researchers will be amazed at who they are able to recruit and how engaged and comfortable their participants will be. Allison will share several several case studies -- in both the consumer and B2B space -- where traditional recruiters and recruiting techniques were replaced with a new approach. In each case, participants were drawn in through an organization that they already belong to (and respect) so credibility was already established. Monetary incentives were relatively low or took the form a donation to their non-profit. The draw for the participants was something inherently valuable -- In B2B, it was the opportunity to connect and share with peers while influencing future products for their industry. In consumer research, it was the opportunity to help a non-profit they care deeply about in exchange for some time sharing their thoughts and ideas, often in a comfortable, familiar setting. In each case the quality of recruit was exponentially better than what is typical through traditional methods, leaving clients in awe of who they were able to hear from and how comfortable and engaged they were.
Searching for health and healthcare related content on the internet is the fastest growing field on the internet. Consumers not only browse for information online but use thousands of medical apps on their mobile devices. We think and act digitally to a great extent. The suggested paper would deal with a segment of online content, web 2.0 text on healthcare.
4:10 - 4:30pm
Tea Break in Sponsor Hall
4:30 - 5:45pm
Updating Your Toolkit: Gamification and New Approaches
» Improv-ing Your Moderating: A QRC"s guide to improvisation in the workplace
Ever wondered how to handle that client more masterfully? Want to keep challenging yourself to find new and unusual ways to solve problems and interact with the world around you? Want to laugh for 20 minutes straight? If you answered "yes" to any of the above, join Missy Carvin "“ qualitative researcher, improv actor, director and all around good-time gal "“ for a rollicking and rousing session. Learn how the rules of improv work in your life at home, with respondents, for clients, and in the world around you. Move from "No, But"¦" thinking to "Yes, And"¦" thinking and unlock your personal creativity and potential.
Building on gamification theories to add fun and competitive elements to qualitative research projects to enrich the process for everyone involved; beginning with the recruiting process and including, at home work, waiting room exercises, and in-person/group session.
Nowadays it is more and more difficult to receive high quality, deep insights. Looking for a solution we were inspired by games because there is nothing more engaging than a well-designed game. Using a simple board game and applying game mechanics (such as context, feedback, challenge) to a Focus Group Interview we create an amazing experience for the respondents. During our research-game study participants are so involved by having fun that they forget the passage of time. When playing games the level of emotional engagement is so high that it opens up the respondents and makes them less resistant to tell the personal stories. Thanks to that, we are able to gain better insights and consequently make better decisions. Developing the researchâ€“game does not need to be a lengthy process. The game can be quickly set up from ready-to-use elements. Moreover, the research game is an universal tool than can be applied for various research purposes. It can be widely used in everyday research practice. It is recommended for explanatory research, brand research or co-creation.