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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Winning the Future of Qualitative

Posted By Ilka Kuhagen, IKM GmbH, Thursday, August 20, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Winning the Future of Qualitative

Presenter: Holly O’Neill, Talking Business, LLC


Summary of Conference Session

Holly O'Neill summarized her take-aways from various marketing research conferences over the past three years. As we have entered a new era in MR with changing needs, increased speed of turnaround and new tools, we not only need to be aware, but embrace the future of Qualitative Research!

Key Session Takeaways

It is not the market that is changing. Rather, all players in this market face challenges that have changed their behavior. Smaller budgets, shorter research cycles, innovation sprints, interactive learning needs, and more strategic thinking clients—all scream for different research approaches and open new opportunities for researchers.

Consumers are looking for experiences and relationships with brands and develop their social selves rather than just individual selves. Family landscapes have changed. Populations are increasingly diverse, and internet and mobile are ubiquitous. Technology (including AI and VR) offers new ways to do data collection, segmentation, tracking and even summaries. But we still need the human to learn, interpret, and define insights.

How I Will Use this Information in My Practice

We must find new ways to deliver insights faster and in ways that are quicker to digest; we need to embrace new technology and dare to be creative with study designs! Let us use technology and the Qual Researcher’s expertise to design projects according to the culture of the respondents. We can twist our tools to new technology and create new methods like storytelling sessions and online shadowing.

Aha Moment

Holly says: Let go of the old in favor of new paradigms. This was a great summary of changes the industry is facing and needs to embrace!

           QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Ilka Kuhagen, IKM GmbH

Tags:  new research paradigms  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  the future of qualitative research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Wandering or Wondering about the Future of Qual: Forging New Paths to Deliver Value in Uncertain Times

Posted By Roben Allong, Lightbeam Communications Corp., Thursday, August 13, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Wandering or Wondering about the Future of Qual: Forging New Paths to Deliver Value in Uncertain Times

Presenters: Randi Stillman, Bottom Line Market Research & Consulting, and Rick Weitzer, Prell Organization


Summary of Conference Session

Examination of key challenges identified through a round of IDIs with various stakeholders that they consider impactful to the future of qual:

  1. New competitors
  2. Client-side bias
  3. New competitors with full range of services
  4. Technology

Key Session Takeaways

The competitive landscape is changing—but qual is not going away. The session identified perceived challenges from various stakeholders including client-side research buyers and non-QRCA quallies, and outlined three key areas of opportunity for quallies to investigate to help them stay abreast of the market, attract new clients, and maintain their practice. These key opportunity areas are:

  1. Sharpen business problem-solving skills—focus more on business objectives and how research insights impact business outcomes.
  2. Lean into agile solutions by creating and experimenting more with mix-and-match hybrid methods to get the best insights efficiently.
  3. Engage in continuing education and elevate ability to demonstrate the value of qualitative research.

How I Will Use this Information in My Practice

Quallies have already begun instituting deliverable practices that report insights more as potential business strategies rather than just “research insights.” We are also engaging clients by advising them on the potential business applications of insights as they come to the surface during debriefs. Researchers are becoming faster, increasingly nimble, and we are always on the lookout for technology that can speed up the data collection and analysis process.

Aha Moment

Clients are under the gun to produce results, beyond insights, especially given the current economic climate. Quallies can help them achieve business goals and remain relevant by evaluating their individual research toolboxes. Looking with new eyes and learning how to optimize existing skillsets and technology can be instrumental to achieving successful outcomes, for both client and qually.

        QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Roben Allong, Lightbeam Communications Corp.

Tags:  business strategies  insights  market research  online research  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  research deliverables  technology 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: The Torch Is Yours: Agile from the Hands of Engineers to the Researcher

Posted By Nancy Hardwick, Hardwick Research, Thursday, August 6, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: The Torch Is Yours: Agile from the Hands of Engineers to the Researcher

Presenter: David W. Tuffy

credit:thanks to You X Ventures for sharing their work on Unsplash

Summary of Conference Session

David Tuffy started his presentation by sharing the history of agile. The concept of being agile initially started in the software industry. Developers learned that they could be much more effective if they built a basic version of the software program and then tested it with customers. This allowed them to make sure the program met the needs of customers before developing all the features. If successful, the programmers would then go back, make the necessary changes (based on customer feedback), and then release an updated version. This ongoing, iterative process is very popular as programmers do not waste time on something that has no appeal to customers.

Key Session Takeaways

As you apply agile in the qualitative research world, keep in mind:

  • Agile does not mean doing more, faster. It’s about starting with a working product (minimal viable product) and testing it with consumers. Based on their feedback, you can add more features then go back to test it again.
  • Agile is iterative. The idea is to build on your knowledge and improve the product each time.
  • Qualitative researchers are naturally experts at being agile. We are able to probe and shift direction on the fly. This same principle, quick course correction, is the backbone of being Agile.
  • Being agile will likely mean you cannot gather the depth of information you would normally. Due to the quick turnaround, you will likely need to test fewer things or use a narrower focus on the type of information gathered. Research used during the agile process is meant to be a check-in for course correction purposes.
  • Consumers cannot tell organizations what they need. However, agile allows you to test an actual product with consumers. The information garnered will help to make changes before the next release. And of course, qualitative research is ideal for testing an idea with a small group of people before launching the next version into the world.
  • Agile is collaborative. Being agile is all about collaboration. Daily check-ins and working closely with all stakeholders are critical. At the end of each cycle, the process must be reviewed critically for improvement, as this process will be repeated over and over again.
  • Good, qualitative research is the foundation of successful innovations.

Using this in Practice

As an independent qualitative researcher, you may run into some obstacles implementing the agile process. Unless you are embedded in a company, being involved in daily updates may be challenging. Clients are not always good about sharing information and keeping you in the loop. You will need to insist on being included or the process will not be successful. You also need to think “scrappy.” Propose a study that includes a small group of participants. Design it to be an iterative check-in rather than an in-depth research study. Consider providing a bullet list of takeaways rather than a full report. It will save time and money—and because the client team is so highly involved, they will likely not feel the need to have a detailed report.

Aha Moment

Agile is a process, not a technology. You do not need to be technologically savvy to implement agile in your research approach.

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Nancy Hardwick, Hardwick Research

Tags:  agile in qualitative research  agile process  iterative process  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Digital and Human — Not Mutually Exclusive

Posted By Michaela Mora, Relevant Insights, LLC, Thursday, July 16, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Digital and Human — Not Mutually Exclusive

Presenter: Jennifer Cuthill, Clearworks

Summary of Conference Session

Digital ethnography is observational research that's done through self-reported events or responses by people in your study that they then upload to a digital platform. Engaging exercises, experienced recruiters and a platform with features that support the research objectives are needed to successfully conduct digital ethnography.

Key Session Takeaways

Digital ethnography allows us to capture behaviors at times when in-person observation may not be possible (e.g. odd hours into the night, very private spaces such as a bathroom or bedroom, or sensitive topics). Instead of a discussion guide, digital ethnography is driven by a set of exercises with specific objectives in mind.

If you have used online bulletin boards, you will find similarities with this approach. However, there are some differences, mainly about when we give access to the exercises to participants and the absence of activity dependencies.

In digital ethnography, all exercises are made available to participants at once. They are not scheduled on certain days as is standard in online bulletin boards. Participants do the exercises at their own pace. The goal is to capture certain occasions when we don’t know what they are and when they will happen. Exercises are independent activities that don't need to be completed in any particular order.

To be successful in digital ethnography, Cuthill recommends:

  1. Carefully design exercises that elicit the right insights: Create engaging exercises but limit their number (3 to 5) and the questions associated with them. Too many can overwhelm participants and increase mid-study drop rates.
  2. Work with recruiters who can support the project to ensure compliance: Recruiters need to go beyond recruiting participants and provide follow-up services to make sure participants complete the assigned exercises and answer the questions.
  3. Start the analysis and gathering of reporting artifacts when the fieldwork starts: Don't wait until the end to start looking at the data for analysis and reporting. Streamline the process by monitoring results from the beginning and gathering artifacts to support reporting.
  4. Combine this approach with other qualitative research methods, such as IDIs and focus groups, if the limited number of exercises and questions don't allow you to cover all the research objectives.
  5. Choose a platform with the right features for your research objectives.

When choosing a platform for digital ethnography we should consider:

  • Types of exercises and questions the platform supports (e.g. diary/journal, ad/concept testing, community ideation, surveys/polls, live chats, discussion boards) for the research objectives.
  • Types of responses it captures (e.g. text, video, pictures, screen capture).
  • Level of support offered.
  • User experience/design.
  • Devices supported.
  • Pricing and what’s included.

Digital ethnography can be a more cost-effective option than in-person observation, assuming you work with experienced recruiters and streamline the reporting process. Cost also depends on the number of participants and the platform used. Incentives are comparable with in-person observation studies. However, you may need to add more to ensure compliance.

This approach can be used to gather insights needed in the exploratory phase that often precedes many of the quantitative research projects we do related to new product development, pricing research, and market segmentation.

Aha Moment

A big aha moment was realizing we need to find engaged and experienced recruiters to ensure participant compliance. This can really lighten the burden of the research team and give them time to focus on the observation work.

Final Comments

Digital ethnography is an interesting and viable alternative to in-person observation when the latter is not feasible due to the research topic nature, cost, and timing concerns.

A person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera Description automatically generated

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Michaela Mora, Relevant Insights, LLC

Tags:  Digital Ethnography  Ethnography  Observational research  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Research Methodologies 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Beyond Storytelling: When, Why and How to Work with Stories

Posted By Farnaz Badie, Thursday, June 25, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Beyond Storytelling: When, Why and How to Work with Stories

Presenters: Criscillia Benford and Anna Marie Trester, PIER Consulting Group


Summary of Conference Session

This session's speakers are both social scientists, focused on linguistics and humanities. Their powerful session at the QRCA Conference looked at the use of narrative inquiry and storytelling in order to facilitate workplace conversations and help organizations build better work environments and relationships with their customers.

Key Session Takeaways

There's nothing more deeply human than stories. As long as humans have been able to talk, we’ve been telling stories. We process what’s happening to us and catalogue it in the form of stories. In Silicon Valley, storytelling is now starting to replace traditional methods, such as surveys, in assessing employee satisfaction. The speakers use narrative inquiry to help organizations learn how communication is experienced within their cultures, and how these experiences shape their cultures.

There are three key steps to the process of a narrative inquiry:

Step 1 – collect stories

Step 2 – process stories

Step 3 – look for patterns among the stories

In the case of an organization looking to better understand its current culture, step one involves meetings with stakeholders in order to consider what the experience of a young employee in their organization may be like, and ultimately formulating two to four themes. The speakers then use a story circle whereby 10 employees/peers sitting in a circle share their stories about the organization. An example of a prompt for the story circle: "Think about a time when a supervisor gave you some advice—it may have been in a formal setting, like in their office, or an informal setting, like in a coffee shop. What did the supervisor say and how did you feel about it?"

In step two, a group of 10-30 stakeholders review the stories collected from the employees, and start to make sense of them by considering the emotions, feelings, actions, and dialogues expressed in those stories.

In step three, the stakeholders start to cluster the ideas emerging from the stories and look for repetition and patterns of behavior within their organization.

In summary, narrative inquiry is used to identify what’s working and what’s not working in a culture. From there, the team helps the organization create intervention initiatives. Storytelling can be used in many ways to help our clients better understand a challenge they are facing. For example, storytelling can be used in new product development projects, where moderators can ask respondents to tell us the best and the worst stories they have had with a particular category or brand.

Aha Moment

The presenters emphasized that as facilitators during the narrative inquiry, we have to be as invisible as possible—if you intervene in the stories being told, you won’t hear the details.

Final Comments

Stories contain worlds... but it's just as important to hear what isn't being said (referred to as a Noisy Not), as it is to hear what is being said.

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Farnaz Badie, The Thought Bubble

Tags:  human behavior  humanizing research  listening  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative Methodologies  Qualitative Methods  Research Methodologies  types of research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Cultivating Connection: Helping Decision-Makers Understand the Humans Behind the Data

Posted By Marta Villanueva, Thursday, June 18, 2020
Updated: Thursday, June 18, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Cultivating Connection: Helping Decision-Makers Understand the Humans Behind the Data

Presenter: Cory Davison, 4Xperience


Summary of Conference Session

At the QRCA Annual Conference presenter Cory Davison of 4Xperience asked attendees, “How do you connect the qualitative findings with the decision makers, to further drive action?”.

One of the biggest challenges for qualitative researchers is to deliver insights to the different audiences and promote a common understanding of who the humans are providing input in the research. Driving action makes our research meaningful. Action starts with “humanizing” the data and connecting with the decision-makers who may interpret the research from many different perspectives.

During her presentation and utilizing real case studies, Cory Davison shared a simple framework with 5 steps (Relate, Speak their Language, Understand their Audience, Walk in their Steps, and Focus on the “So What” which can be the bridge to connect consumers and the humans interpreting the data.

Key Session Takeaways

I really enjoyed Cory’s session and had many “takeaways” including the heart of her presentation which was that as qual professionals we need to find a way to relate to clients through stepping into their world and remembering that they deal with varying thoughts, feelings, emotions, just like us. They are deserving of our empathy.

The boardroom dishes out many challenges including shorter attention spans, dealing with big data, many versions of the truth, etc. By remembering that our clients are human like us, we can make presentations interactive, build bridges from an experience perspective, and use tools like the Insights Discovery Tool to understand what clients know, believe, and do can break down barriers to connection.

On the topic of presentations, we need to make sure that as practitioners we are speaking the same “language” in order to connect with our clients. Focus on what matters to them, including the metrics client uses, emphasizing the story the data creates, developing a process map with interval views (product/brand path from beginning to end), and an experience map (showcases what happens when the human factor is involved). Understand their audience and bring it to life through personas. Most importantly, Cory reminded all of us to “be clear about what you know and don’t know”.

Present the data in a way that can be understood. Researchers and qual professionals need to remember that journey maps are different from process maps.

  • Journey maps are about what customers do vs. what a brand wants them to do.
  • Journey maps answer: what does the persona do, think, say, feel? “So what?”

We must direct clients in what to do with the data. The “so what” must include the persona, company, and solution. Coming up with a mantra or agreement statement can aid understanding - something clients can go do. For example, we can use an action phrase to make the connections for clients: "Therefore we recommend/enabled by/ and if we do this…."

Aha Moment

It’s very easy to get caught up in the research and forget that clients are “human” too. This presentation was a great reminder to take the time to understand the client pain points, their stakeholders, and ways to connect with their preferences using a tool like Insights Discovery.

Final Comments

We forget the power behind the creative techniques used with consumers. Our tools can easily be adapted for relationship-building with clients.

Moving forward, I will be adapting my deep dive techniques developed for consumers to connect with clients.

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Marta Villanueva, NuThinking

Tags:  actionable insights  Humanizing Research  Insights  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative  Research Methodologies 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: FG BnB!

Posted By Brooke Bower, Thursday, May 21, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: FG BnB!

Presenters: Abby Leafe, New Leafe Research and Laurie Tema-Lyn, Practical Imagination Enterprises

Summary

At the 2020 QRCA Annual Conference, presenters Abby Leafe and Laurie Tema-Lyn asked all of us “What happens when you bring the sharing economy to the world of research?” Turns out, a lot of exciting things! Throughout the session, Abby and Laurie creatively (and practically!) presented how we can use alternative venues for conducting qualitative research such as AirBnB and Peerspace and how to ensure that a project is a success once the right space is identified.

The engaging session provided real world instances of this method. Both Abby and Laurie utilized their own experiences using unique spaces to conduct qualitative research throughout, including an instance where an LA mansion proved to be the ideal setting for three days of focus groups and client innovation sessions for a start-up client on a budget, leading to development of a pipeline of new product ideas, some of which are now in the marketplace. As they pointed out, not everything is sunshine and roses when utilizing these spaces. Both Abby and Laurie highlighted some hard-earned learnings about how to avoid problems and ensure our sanity when working in a new space that may not be set up for our research.

Key Takeaways

Non-traditional locations can be great for the right project. The project should have a very specific reason for choosing a non-traditional venue and all logistics associated with the venue need to be explored and planned for. The general elements to consider include:

  • How to get there: for clients, respondents, and the researchers.
  • Comfort: what is needed to make the research comfortable and is there enough privacy for the structure of the research.
  • Technology needed: can be the biggest factor to consider.
  • Budget: sometimes non-traditional locations can be a cost saver, but researchers must think through everything you need to bring that might be in a traditional facility,  i.e. multiple types of creamer, buying easels/office supplies, bringing in snacks and meals, staffing the location to have a facility manager.
  • The intangibles: the ambiance fit for the project, your gut feeling.

If all of these are considered and it is a fit for the project, the right place can help stimulate creativity and engage the mind in different activities, communicating to clients and respondents it is not business as usual!

A key tip from both Abby and Laurie was to thoroughly prepare the clients and respondents for the venue. Overcommunicate about it. Write a letter to the respondents introducing yourself as the moderator, telling them about the purpose of the research and why it is being held in the non-traditional location, and how to get there with special parking instructions.

Aha Moment

The fun, non-traditional location can strengthen the depth of your connection with your client as it takes you out of the standard business setting (i.e. debriefing in a luxury LA mansion by the pool after the respondents have left!). This presentation really broadened my mind and encouraged me to think more creatively when I am looking for research venues!

Final Comments

The topic of this presentation was creative and provided fresh ideas to re-energize research projects!

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Brooke Bower, Independent Research Consultant

Tags:  focus groups  human behavior  Humanizing Research  market research  marketing research  mobile research  Moderating  outreach  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative Methodologies  Research Methodologies  research methodology 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Street Research: Learning from Humans at the Intersection of Authenticity and Insights

Posted By Aimee Caffrey, Thursday, May 14, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 14, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Street Research: Learning from Humans at the Intersection of Authenticity and Insights

Presenters: Kelly Heatly, Heatly Custom Research, LLC and Jill Matthews, Bright Cactus, LLC

Summary

In the session on Street Research at the 2020 QRCA Annual Conference, Kelly Heatly and Jill Matthews introduced place-based or street research. Discussion centered around effective applications for place-based research and best practices for successful execution, including low- and high-tech tools for on-site data collection and analysis/reporting. Utilizing a series of case study examples, Kelly and Jill demonstrated the unique value of its inclusion in the qualitative researcher’s toolkit.

Key Takeaways

With applications ranging from understanding the consumer purchase journey or shopper experience to visual merchandising, signage testing, sensory testing, or simply meeting hard-to-reach participants where they are, street research is about identifying opportunities to capture meaningful customer feedback in the moments that matter. Some key points I took away from this engaging and informative presentation are:

  • Street research is often one of three types:
  • Live, interactive, in-person (the most traditional)
  • Synchronous, tech-mediated (virtual moderation via video conferencing software or a research-specific platform while a participant is in-store, at the shelf, etc.)
  • Asynchronous, tech-mediated (participation via mobile app or browser).
  • Regardless of whether one is leveraging an in-person approach, a wholly tech-mediated approach, or something in-between, it is crucial to plan with the end in mind and align with your client as early as possible on the following:
  • Objectives
  • Participation/responsibilities in the field
  • Reporting and deliverables
  • Timing
  • Inclusion and quality of video recording
  • While traditional, in-person research is often the most logistically complicated, each approach requires deliberate design and preparation. This entails thinking carefully about where the research will/should unfold, relevant legalities, issues of permission and recruitment, staffing on-site, and technological preparedness (e.g. packing chargers, having a plan for storing videos, etc.). Entertaining as many “what if’s” as possible and devising contingency plans accordingly is essential.
  • When it comes to in-person research with pre-recruited participants, clearly communicate an exact meeting place and, for any in-person street research, always dress appropriately for the environment.
  • Successful street researchers accept that the chaos of the real world is a double-edged sword. It can serve as both the greatest evidence of authenticity and the greatest interference to the best-laid research plans. Remaining flexible and prepared to improvise can mean the difference between being thwarted by the unexpected and using it to propel one toward meaningful insights.

Aha Moment

#1: Having participants wear Snapchat Spectacles to collect in-the-moment data?! LOVE it!

#2 Reminder: Always consider local laws around capturing video/photo without permission.

Final Comments

In addition to helping me think through some of the fundamental considerations to be made when conducting street research, Kelly and Jill offered some great tips on the fly that I will definitely keep in mind the next time I’m involved in or supporting this kind of research! These include having a pre-paid phone just for research purposes (e.g. calling/texting with participants) and finding simple but meaningful ways (e.g. bring in a box of donuts!) to build rapport with front-line staff whose work the research may be disrupting.

As expected, an informative and fascinating presentation by two inspiring Quallies. Thank you, Kelly Heatly and Jill Matthews!

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Aimee Caffrey, Bain & Company, Inc.

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Reporter on the Scene  Research technology  Research Methodologies  research methodology 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: WhatsApp, the Front Row Seat to Consumer Engagement

Posted By Allyson Sovinsky, Thursday, May 7, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: WhatsApp, the Front Row Seat to Consumer Engagement

Presenter: Mpho Mpofu, Masutane Consulting Services

Summary

With an eager desire to connect with, feel and understand the lives of consumers in South Africa, Mpho Mpofu set out to find a way to gain a front row seat to their world. In a county confronted with a host of limitations – low levels of education, unstable connectivity, limited access to and use of computers, the intimidation of technology, high cost of data, and language barriers – “traditional methods” of conducting qualitative research would prove to be unviable. So, what was the answer? WhatsApp.

Her quest led her to a platform that would offer a multidimensional but non-intrusive lens to consumers’ lives using text, audio and video connections. WhatsApp has become the preferred form of communication in emerging markets around the world with individuals using it on a daily basis to share all the different moments of their lives. Compared to traditional research platforms, this is something these consumers already relate to, making them feel comfortable and in control, setting the stage for a greater willingness to share. WhatsApp is an agile, intimate and affordable method that allows us to be a part of a consumer’s day from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. It allows us to experience in real-time the influences and circumstances that shape their decision-making, capture consumer emotion and provide a degree of anonymity for consumers. While it is limited to exploratory research, it offers a greater geographic reach and remote engagement capabilities for unlimited insight gathering.

Key Takeaways

In order to step inside the lives of humans around the world, we must leverage the familiarity and relevance of the current methods they are using to engage in their everyday lives. WhatsApp is always there, especially when computers are not. It’s not without its limitations, but it is a step in the right direction in our efforts to keep qual human and engage with our responds in their own context.

In a time where unique ways of doing research are becoming more relevant, WhatsApp is a current, agile, familiar and affordable method of research that we should all be adding to our repertoire of methodologies.

Aha Moment

What I learned in Mpho Mpofu's session has opened my eyes to the world of possibilities that are out there for qualitative research. I will keep the WhatsApp method in mind, as well as search for others, for when we need familiar, accessible and affordable means of reaching key consumer targets. While we don't do a ton of global research currently within my company, this method may open doors to making it more possible than ever.

In the world of qualitative research, we don't have to be confined to the people or places we can reach in person. With advancement in technology, we can get to the places we never thought we could reach.

Final Comments

In our quest to keep qual human, we must make take conscious efforts to meet people in their own context, in the depths of their world, in their everyday moments. WhatsApp is just one of many tools that we can use to reach the places we never thought possible.


QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Allyson Sovinsky, MarketVision Research

Tags:  Market Research Technology  marketing research  marketing technology  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Research Methodologies  research methodology  technology solutions 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: 2020 Qually Award Final Presentations

Posted By Rodrigo dos Reis, Thursday, April 16, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: 2020 Qually Award Final Presentations

Finalist Presenters:

Barb Paszyn and Mike D’Abramo, Sklar Wilton & Associates

Jillian Domin and Leah Lowe, Hypothesis Group

Maria Virobik, ResearchScribe

Summary of Conference Session

Since 2011, QRCA has found a way to honor fellow creative problem solvers with a unique industry award affectionately known as the “Qually” Award. At the 2020 Annual Conference all in attendance had the excellent chance to hear from the finalists for the 2020 Qually Award.

Centered on the theme of alleviating traffic congestion in the world’s busiest cities, the three presenting groups presented three great takes on how qualitative practices can be leveraged to improve quality of life for many while overcoming stakeholder barriers and ultimately generating behavioural change. This session gave all attendees great perspectives and tools that they can utilize in their own practice.

Key Session Takeaways

While there were many takeaways from the three sessions, some of the key highlights for me included:

  • Technology, even hardware, as a better way to connect clients to consumer needs and real pain point.
  • Find the real decision makers and understand real world solutions and barriers so premature death of ideas can be prevented.
  • Exploring big ideas like luxury on a conceptual level so they can be leveraged to me more enticing.
  • Mixing demographic, behavioural and attitudinal segmentation — a complex combination of barriers calls for a more thorough approach.
  • Leveraging longer term data collection through communities so participants have time to reflect on the subject after repeated experiences, giving them second and third chances to provide further insight.

I personally liked how utilizing recent technology (but hardware rather than a new platform) was considered as a better way to connect clients to consumer needs and real pain points.

One of the presentations highlighted how important it can be to involve the real decision makers and specialists and having an in-depth, technical perspective of what has been tried and what can really be done in order to avoid ideas being killed too early on. I also enjoyed the idea of exploring wide concepts like luxury, so they can be leveraged to be more enticing for those interacting with future products and services and drive how these will be designed.

For complex subjects with a lot of nuance, it's a great idea to mix demographic, behavioural and attitudinal subgroups — a more thorough approach can cover more particular pain points more effectively. For some issues, it's a great idea to leverage longer term data collection through communities so participants have time to reflect on the subject after repeated experiences, so they potentially offer more insight.

Putting it into Practice

While the presenters were competing for the Qually Award, their takeaways were key and had me thinking about how I can elevate my own qualitative practice. I intend to combine more of my own experience with consumers' — simultaneous ethnographic and observation. I value the approach one presenter took of taking longer on data collection for subjects involving repeating, daily experiences so participants have longer to reflect. This was also the most relevant use of 360 cameras applied to qual I have seen until now.

Aha Moment

There were many “aha moments” throughout the presentations, but my favorite was that a great way to immerse clients in the user's context is using 360 cameras through the commuting journey.

Final Comments

All three presentations were great in their own ways and each had a fresh perspective for taking on the transit issue. I appreciate all the time each group took to put together their presentations. I can’t wait to see what the 2021 Qually Award challenge is!

Read more about the Qually Awards: https://www.qrca.org/page/qually_award

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Rodrigo dos Reis, Zeitgeist

Tags:  market research  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative Methods  Qually Award  Qually Award Winners  research methodology 

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