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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Better AND Faster? It can be Done!

Posted By Peggy Moulton-Abbott, Thursday, May 16, 2019
Updated: Monday, May 13, 2019

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Better AND Faster? It can be Done!

Summary:

In the dynamic, fast-paced environment in which we all operate, innovation is crucial. During the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference, Allison Rak of Vatoca Partners presented practical methods to take our businesses and offerings to the next level. Allison gave us Quallies so many methods to lighten our work loads and speed up our outputs including a method for report writing that will literally cut days off of your turnaround time, while taking your deliverables up a notch!

Key Takeaways:

Follow these steps:

  1. List everything you do in the course of your work.
  2. Identify tasks you love.
  3. Identify tasks ONLY you can do.
  4. Find someone to whom you can outsource everything else.
  5. Build the costs into your overall budget and do not break it out to the client.

There are many great, efficient and inexpensive resources are available to help us with our work, we need to tap into these resources!

 

Putting it into practice:

It’s a great self-examination exercise to identify everything we’re doing and concentrate on outsourcing the time/labor intensive tasks we could pay someone else to do so we can concentrate on what we love to do.

A-ha moment:

There are so many sites and apps that can provide qualified people to do our drudge work and even assist our clients with theirs. Everyone should look and listen to this sage advice!

QRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Peggy Moulton-Abbott

Newfound Insights

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peggymaatnewfoundinsights/

 

 

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  qualitative research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: What Qual Can Learn from Coaching

Posted By Meghan Lazier, Thursday, May 9, 2019

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: What Qual Can Learn from Coaching

Summary:

In this session at the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference, Jay Zaltzman of Bureau West talked about his experience and training as a coach to demonstrate how coaching can provide a new perspective for qualitative work.

Coaching has gained in popularity in recent years. Coaches used to only be hired by athletes and other performers who wanted to go beyond average to excellent, but many have realized they don’t have to be performers to benefit from coaching and become more effective. Qualitative researchers can use coaching principles to stand out and provide even more value to clients.

Key Takeaways:

As a qualitative practitioner, you already have skills that the coaching profession values, according to Zaltzman. You're comfortable speaking, you can listen without judgment and you know not to interrupt or impose your own point of view. Coaches are very good at helping clients look at issues in their own lives through different perspectives, and if quallies can bring multiple perspectives to their work, they will provide a lot of value in a lot less time. 

 

Putting it into practice:

Having worked with a coach previously, I know that many coaches do initial exercises with their clients to help them clarify their values. Jay recommended starting with clarifying values to help inform various parts of qualitative research, including creating a discussion guide and further probing the values of the brand using a similar approach.

 

A-ha moment:

The best coaches know how to ask great questions. Jay introduced us to what he calls the miracle question during his session:

Imagine you go to bed tonight and sometime in the middle of the night, while you are sleeping, a miracle happens and the challenge that we are discussing is resolved. When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first small sign you’d see that would make you think, “Well, something must have happened” the problem is gone! When was the last time you saw a little bit of the miracle, even just for a short time?

Not only is this a useful question personally, but it's a question that delves into the heart of Zaltzman's belief that taking on a coaching attitude and asking better questions can help you go deeper and gain more insights for your clients.

If you're interested in more resources on coaching, Jay recommends checking out Co-Active Coaching textbooks or the work of Steve Chandler.

QRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Meghan Lazier

https://www.meghanlazier.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meghanlazier

Twitter: @meglaz

 

Tags:  Coaching  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative Research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: UX Live! Revitalizing the Customer Experience

Posted By Kayte Hamilton, Thursday, May 2, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: : UX Live! Revitalizing the Customer Experience

UX Live!

Summary:
At the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference Shaili Bhatt and Nancy Baum, both from C+R Research, gave all of us quallies a live, interactive demo of mobile usability testing. Through small group work on writing effective mobile User Experience (UX) questions and a Q/A session that had the room buzzing, we gained helpful practices to help us execute digital user experience sessions.

Key Takeaways:
I was thrilled to learn there are several easy-to-use applications that can be used to conduct digital usability testing on the market. While the available platforms range in pricing and features, many of them combine live video recordings, task based assignments, and real time updates that QRC’s can utilize to conduct more usability testing sessions nationwide while working remotely.

C+R Researcgh

Putting it into practice:
I am excited to utilize the tools we tested in session to conduct remote usability testing sessions!

A-ha moment:
Being able to see the live video with screen animation was a revelation. It really does replicate what you see in person, but allows you to be in more than one place at a time as a moderator

The presented platforms and hands on application in session was extremely useful for many of us in the room to understand the impact these platforms could have on our work. The question and answer session was lively, with many questions that sparked insightful conversations, it’s clear these tools are going to make a big impact on how many of us work!
 

Kayte HamiltonQRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Kayte Hamilton
Issues & Answers Network, Inc.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaytehamilton/

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative Research  user experience  UX 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: 20 lbs. of Potatoes in a 10 lb. bag; Managing Client Expectations

Posted By Peggy Moulton-Abbott, Thursday, April 25, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: 20 lbs. of Potatoes in a 10 lb. bag; Managing Client Expectations

Facts to Truth

Summary:
Kate Wagenlander Watson of KCW Global Research, LLC gave a super practical presentation at the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference that provided strategies and hacks to manage overly-ambitious client demands. Throughout her presentation, she covered tactics and tips to help all QRC’s become savvy consultants at all points in the process from the first client call to the creation of the moderator guide and finally the actual execution of the groups for application across a wide variety of research objectives.

Key Takeaways:
Kate takes a realistic, but lighthearted approach to scenarios we can all relate to when clients continually over-stuff the study sack with more content than it can logically hold. With years of experience and an indefatigable spirit, Kate advises us to:

  1. Set the Foundation so clients' expectations are aligned with reality.  Do this starting with the proposal.  Protect both parties' interests by clearly stating how much of the client's goals/objectives can be accomplished within the methodology, time frame, and budget they're offering.  Offer alternatives, set boundaries and enforce them contractually (in writing).  And don't be afraid to say no and save yourself if it becomes obvious that no reasonable detente can be achieved.
  2. Manage the Stimuli and Guide Early and Often – continuously reinforce what is realistic within the amount of time available.  Kate provided strategies for shrinking/refining concepts, both in size and number.  She also demonstrated how to illustrate the time crunch in quantitative terms clients can understand, along with many other clever and insightful methods to manage scope-creep and over-stuffed guides.
  3. Controlling Potential Fieldwork Issues – before, during, and as groups are ending.

Offering the "nuclear option" – Kate demonstrates how just "giving clients what they ask for" can be the magic bullet to making them truly understand what they're demanding is unreasonable and unrealistic.

Putting it into practice:
I want to tattoo this presentation on the inside of our eyelids and implement it EVERY time we bid, field, and report a project!

A-ha moment:
Make your clients participate in a mock-session BEFORE fielding so they will see for themselves exactly how much content fits in a given time period. This way they really comprehend the limitations of the "time-space continuum"!

This presentation should be required-reading and standard practice for all QRC's, as well as clients. A first-timer from the client-side told this reporter that Kate's presentation was the most eye-opening of the entire conference!

Peggy Moulton-AbbottQRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Peggy Moulton-Abbott
Newfound Insights
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peggymaatnewfoundinsights/

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  qualitative research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Superqualitative! Using Your Skills Beyond Marketing Research

Posted By Janet Standen, Thursday, April 18, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Superqualitative! Using Your Skills Beyond Marketing Research

SuperQualitative!

Foster Winter, who is Managing Director of Sigma Research Management Group presented stimulating ideas for opportunities to leverage typical qualitative skills into new arenas to all in attendance at the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference. The presentation provided an opportunity for qualitative researchers to expand thinking into new and future directions. Winter’s presentation included video testimonials and interviews of professionals who are utilizing their qualitative skills in new careers including urban planning and training medical professionals. For those who are thinking about new directions for their business, the case studies and the ensuing discussion helped provide a dialog for expanding ones' current practice or developing a new business model. For those just starting out, he provided a broader platform for thinking about a business model.

Key Takeaways:
The core skills of great moderators have many different and diverse applications. Their usefulness abounds! From using them to help train doctors by acting as a patient dying of a disease, to moderating mommy and baby groups, to managing interactive community outreach sessions, to facilitating internal project team meetings, to interviewing interviewees for high level jobs, and more. The skills translate well to any environment where empathy, thinking on your feet, reacting quickly in the moment to evolve the conversation, and where interacting as a human who is staying on track while listening and empathizing with the audience is needed.

Putting it into practice:
I know, like many in attendance, I will be looking further into broader applications to apply my moderating skills.

A-ha moment:
There can be many audiences and target segments that can benefit from qualitative skills, it’s important to take the opportunity to explore how we all can expand our field and practice.

There's life after being a qualitative researcher, and many ways to enrich the diversity of projects as a qualitative researcher!

Judithe AndreQRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Janet Standen

Scoot Insights
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janetstanden/  
Twitter: @SCOOTInsights

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  qualitative research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Go from Facts to Truth with Neuroscience and Storytelling

Posted By Judithe Andre, Thursday, April 11, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Go from Facts to Truth with Neuroscience and Storytelling

Facts to Truth

Summary:
There is no one thing more powerful than the power of a good story. 

Ask someone a direct question and they'll try to give you an honest answer. But have them tell you a story and jewels will emerge that will be surprisingly illuminating. Professional storyteller and CEO of Story Strategies Lisa Lipkin shared her storytelling experience at the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference. Lipkin shared original storytelling techniques for extracting emotionally honest information in a safe and effective way and how to interpret those narrative responses.

Key Takeaways:
At the most basic level, humans are hardwired for stories because our brains thrive on wanting to know, “will this information help me survive?” When we share information, e.g., what we as moderators tell respondents or clients and what we hear in return, the information gets translated neurologically in ways that are undoubtedly powerful, although, not fully understood. We do know, however, the benefits of storytelling are multifold. Lipkin shared that storytelling promotes healing, increases dopamine and decreases stress levels.  If we tell an emotionally-inducing story, not only are we the storytellers producing oxytocin, but so does the listener. Storytelling creates a neuro-coupling affect that results in greater connection and resonance between and/or among listeners.

Tips and tricks for delivering and eliciting stories:

  1. See the story in everything. Every object and person, even the most mundane of things has a story.  We may have to stare at things for uncomfortably long periods of times, but staring long enough will reveal the story.
    Tip: Have respondents use the things and objects around them to tell their story.

  2. Fact is not the truth. Never start your presentation to a client by stating what the important facts are.  Instead, consider what fascinates, compels and/or moves you the most, and start with that.  Due to neuro-coupling, if you are not engaged or moved by t.he story, nor will your audience be engaged.
    Tip: The key to compelling delivery is to start with the emotion and it can be a totally random emotion but make this the core story, then follow with the facts.  Let the facts hang on the core or the emotionally punchy story for more impact.

  3. Know when your chapter is over. Be mindful of your audience and timing so that you know when your story has run its course.  Listeners and audiences will know if the storyteller is not being authentic
    Tip: It is important to regularly recharge emotionally to ensure your storytelling stays effective.

Three specific techniques to help with eliciting stories from your participants: 

  1. Ask them where did they play as a kid?  Have them be very specific as they answer.
  2. Use objects. E.g., tell me the story about your accessory. Objects are vehicles that allow participants to not know that anything is being expected of them so that they can share deeper nuggets of truth.
  3. Use the invisible. For example, hand an imaginary box to your respondent and ask her to reach in and take out any object that was precious to her grandparents. Asking the participant to speak about her grandparents and not herself helps remove the direct association to the respondent; allowing her to be more honest. This approach almost always, and subconsciously, reveals what is ultimately truly meaningful to the respondent.

Remember: There is no one thing more powerful than the power of a good story. 

Putting it into practice:
I really enjoyed the session and appreciated Lipkin sharing her experience with all of us at the conference. I thought the elicitation tips were spot on and will incorporate them into practice.

A-ha moment:
We are all neurologically wired for a story, so let's start telling stories.

There’s no way to prepare for what we are going to hear, but as moderators we have to release some control and trust that these questions will go somewhere and lead to some very insightful information and jewels! 

Judithe AndreQRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Judithe Andre
Verbal Clue Qualitative Research

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  qualitative research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Marketing Technology + Human Insights = Untapped Opportunities

Posted By Daniela Rubio, Thursday, April 4, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Marketing Technology + Human Insights = Untapped Opportunities

Marketing Technology Tools

Summary:
New technology vendors are popping up every day offering CMO’s marketing automation tools that promise ‘smart data’ and improved analytics. For QRC’s these emerging technologies can provide new opportunities to provide services and expertise that augments this data. Lisa Horwich of Pallas Research Associates took attendees of the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference through how AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), BI (Business Intelligence) and other parts of the Marketing Technology (MarTech) stack are transforming the market research industry.

In her session, we explored how these tools are being used, and most importantly, their limitations. Marketing technology does provide businesses opportunities for greater return on investment (ROI) and growth, but they don’t do enough to provide human insights. This presents an important opportunity for us, qualitative consultants, to not only utilize these technologies, but share how our qualitative service offerings will enhance our customers’ marketing efforts.

Key Takeaways:
As of 2018, marketing departments spent as much as IT departments on technology solutions. Marketing technology is selling the promise for ROI in a fast and more efficient way, including Real-Time Analytics, Business Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence (translation, speech recognition, decision making), and Machine Learning (the capacity for an algorithm to learn and improve its performance and output). All these tools provide solutions that help understand customer journeys in a more personalized way, increase customer retention and loyalty, and increase customer lifetime value.

These technologies also allow having multiple touch points of data (for example, if a customer is using a specific website through their mobile and then switch to an app but then decide to browse on their computer.  While all these technologies are promising “better, faster, cheaper” results, there are some big limitations that for qualitative consultants presents an opportunity. The most important of these opportunities is that big data can tell you the WHAT in a very specific way, but the technology is not developed yet to explain the WHY behind those insights to marketers. Horwich presented these additional limitations (L) and opportunities (O) for qualitative consultants:

  1. (L) Decisions are made solely on data --> (O) Use the data as a launching point for deeper qualitative analysis
  2.  (L) Existing data is not predictive enough --> (O) Create and maintain communities to identify predictive behavior
  3. (L) Need exponentially more content --> (O) Assist in narrowing target messaging
  4. (L) Insufficient 'training' data --> (O) Provide personas and other descriptive metrics to help 'train' algorithms
  5. (L) Lack of 'domain specific' attributes --> (O) Create feature lists to describe the data
  6. (L) Dimensionally inhibits predictive modeling --> (O) Help narrow down number of variables with human insights.

Putting it into practice:
Learning what these technologies can bring to the table and identifying where my qualitative expertise fits can help anyone during a sales pitch!

A-ha moment:
Despite how we have learned to utilize it as a resource, Google does not have all the answers!

What we do as qualitative consultants is incredibly valuable for business growth. Understanding the technological capabilities and their limitations are key for us to improve our sales pitches and present where our value lies to our clients.

Daniela RubioQRCA Reporter on the Scene

Daniela Rubio
The Intercultural Studio
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielarubio/

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative Research 

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2019 QRCA Annual Conference: “Charting Your Best Course” – So much more than a slogan

Posted By Annette Esquibel, Friday, March 29, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Step Back to Move Forward: Developing Customer Journey Maps

I came to the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference with diverse experiences, an interest in qualitative research, a love of people, and a lack of direction.  I’m not going to say that attending the 3-day conference at the end of January magically fixed all my professional woes, but I will say that it gave me the resources, a community, and a direction that I had been looking for.

Before attending, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I had undergone a career pivot a year before and had been feeling my way through the research world largely on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I had been networking my booty off, attending workshops, getting certifications and generally making a name for myselfbut it turns out I had siloed myself into one small niche of the research world without realizing it.  Luckily, during this time, I met Janet Standen, an amazing qually and big advocate for QRCA who encouraged me look into the upcoming conference.  Boy, am I glad I did! Participating in the QRCA Annual Conference opened my eyes to the abundance of opportunities in the qualitative research world. I was able to find more in terms of a network, career directional opportunities, and resources in three days than I had found in a year of searching on my own.

Annette Esquibel Meeting

Using the Young Professionals Roundtable to learn from each other's experiences and strategize solutions. Photo by Annette Esquibel

Annette Esquibel Meeting

Another “a-ha” moment in the works courtesy of genuine and ample networking opportunities. Photo courtesy of Babbletype

The conference was chockfull of diverse learning opportunities: 

  • Conference Sessions: There were a variety of conference sessions focused on five themes: honing methodologies, expanding thinking, refreshing convention, building business, and tackling technology.  There were sessions that could be of value whether you were a novice or expert, and with videos and materials from each session available after the conference, you didn’t have to worry about missing out on something incredible. 

  • Roundtables: Presentations not your thing?  There were also multiple small group and roundtable sessions to participate in. The Young Professionals Roundtable, called The Young Professional Exchange: Career and Life Hacks to Super Charge Your Growth, may have been my favorite learning opportunity. Recognizing that my peers face similar concerns and issues in our professional pursuits was reassuring and I gleaned actions from the solution-focused discussion that I am still applying in my day-to-day.

  • Case Studies: Tired of only hearing about things in theory?  Then the case studies presented by the Qually Awards finalists were for you!  With a real-world challenge set, these researchers presented pitches of creative, thorough, and diverse methodologies. 

  • Exposure to Tools & Vendors:  The marketplace was always an interesting place to spend a break.  Seeing all the tools and vendors that are available to us as researchers on exhibit was very helpful in figuring out the most effective way to work. 

  • Structured & Informal Networking: Last but certainly not least: the people! As a Young Professionals Grant winner, we were given multiple scheduled events to get to know each other. And what a great group of professionals to be a part of.  I also learned a ton just through conversations with other attendees. Coffee breaks, meals, evenings out, and even chats in the lobby led to a-ha moments and genuine connections that are invaluable.  QRCA is made up of qualitative researchers of all walks including independent consultants, researchers at agencies and in-house researchers so there was never a lack of interesting people to get to know! Speaking of interesting people - let’s talk about the First Timers program for new conference attendees.  Ambassadors are available for all first-time attendees and help make your time at the conference more productive and less stressful. I was lucky enough to be paired with Kate Wagenlander Watson, a QRCA rockstar and overall amazing human being.  Before the conference, I connected with Kate and we created a game plan to make sure I was able to get the most out of my time in Savannah. 

The beauty is that I know attending the conference is just the tip of the iceberg.  Since the Young Professionals Grant includes a year membership to the QRCA, I have access to all the online archives of past discussions, blogs, and articles as well as current posts, newsletters and webinars. The online community is a welcome and welcoming resource that I am so excited to put to use. I am joining my local chapter as well as Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to continue building my community and engage in learning that I am especially interested in. Plus, I can continue to grow my toolkit and support this great organization through the ample leadership and volunteer opportunities available. Really, the only thing limiting how much I can be involved is myself.


An amazing breakfast for the Young Professionals Grant winners served as a warm introduction for the group. Photo courtesy of Shannon Danzy

In case it isn’t clear yet, the people are what make QRCA and its annual conference so great.  I was absolutely floored by the genuinely collaborative and supportive attitude of the members I met.  One phrase I heard that perfectly describes their attitude is “There’s plenty of room in the sandbox.” While many of my past conference experiences have been tinged by an undercurrent of competitiveness and transactionality,that was not at all the feel of this gathering. I am confident in saying that because of the YP grant, I am now a member of a community.  I have found kindred spirits that are more than willing to act as mentors and friends in years to come.  I am confident that this network will be integral in finding my niche in the wild world of qualitative research.


Comradery was abundant from the get-go with both first-time attendees and long-standing members. Photo courtesy of Babbletype

So, thank you QRCA for welcoming me into your fold and for providing the generous Young Professionals Grant that made it possible for me to attend.  I’m so excited to continue my qualitative research journey as part of this amazing community. If you are questioning the value of joining QRCA, are starting out in the research world, or would like to hear more about the annual conference and funding opportunities, please reach out! See you all in Austin in 2020!

  

Annette EsquibelAnnette Esquibel
Anthropologist turned research strategist, Annette’s global experience is based in people-centered research aiming to do the most good possible. Currently located in Minnesota, she is now an active member of QRCA and invites you to connect.

Website: ThePeoplePerson
LinkedIn: Annette Esquibel

Tags:  QRCA  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Young Professional Grant  Qualitative Research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Step Back to Move Forward: Developing Customer Journey Maps

Posted By Farnaz Badie, Thursday, March 28, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Step Back to Move Forward: Developing Customer Journey Maps

 

Customer Journey Map

Summary:
Crafting a customer journey – reflecting both practical and emotional behaviors and attitudes – can illuminate more nuanced marketing and product development path for our clients. In this session, Aliza Pollack of Aliza Pollack Consulting, elegantly and patiently unpacked the steps required to create a customer journey.

Key Takeaways:
There are five key steps to creating a customer journey map: Benchmark, Discovery, Synthesis, Visualize and Action Plan.

  1. Benchmark: is essentially a stakeholder's download, in order to identify who the client team is, what they already know, and how they view the issue at hand. This step can be achieved in many ways, including using stakeholder interviews, client workshops, online surveys, etc.
  2. Discovery: is finding out what motivates the customer. This step ideally involves in-depth interviews with current users, lapsed users, as well as non-users of the brand, service, or category in question.
  3. Synthesis: is about analyzing the information acquired during the Discovery phase. The idea is to use the learnings in order to put the customer journey map together in a way that helps the client the best.
  4. Visualization: is about bringing the journey map to life, often using visuals / graphics – the final output could take several forms, e.g. poster, podcast, video, etc. Aliza often uses a designer to create the final map.
  5. Action Plan: is taking the created map and thinking about how to best utilize it. This step often takes the form of a client workshop led by Aliza, where the customer journey map results are debriefed and reviewed, and the client team discusses next steps.

Putting it into practice:
After this session, the creation of a Customer Journey Map is yet another qualitative service that I can now offer my clients, and in doing so, add value to their business.

A-ha moment:
The process of creating a journey map is imperfect, in that we are trying to shore up consumer's memory. As a result, we should do whatever we can to tap into the key journey moments in real time, through utilizing research techniques such as shop-alongs, respondent diaries, ethnographies, mobile research, etc.

Aliza was incredibly generous, precise, open and good-humored in delivering this session. She was able to answer multiple questions and better guide the audience through the process, making sure that attendees walked away with a clear understanding of what it takes to create a Customer Journey Map. Thank you Aliza for a great presentation :)

QRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Farnaz BadieFarnaz Badie
The Thought Bubble
LinkedIn

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  qualitative research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Discover & Deploy Design Thinking

Posted By Liza Carroll, Friday, March 22, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Discover & Deploy Design Thinking

 

Design Thinking

Summary:
During the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference, Sofia Costa Alves of Mindbrand demonstrated how to lead a full Design Thinking Process from Stage 1 of Insights Gathering to Stage 5 of Product Testing. She illustrated the process through real case studies of process in action, from beginning to end. Costa Alves provided each attendee with a toolkit template that we can incorporate into the methodologies we offer to clients.

Key Takeaways:
Throughout the presentation we saw the divergent, integral thinking that characterized the process. Costa Alves shared that there are many different ways to put the Design Thinking Process into practice – it is about understanding the consumer and problems we are trying to solve.

The case study that Costa Alves provided was a great example of how to utilize the Design Thinking Process. The first step that was deployed was to have participants write down what they found “new, interesting, or surprising” in findings from consumer visits prior to the live session. Participants were instructed to lay out their opinions with three different color Post-Its:
Green = What’s Working
Red = Need to Fix
Yellow = Meh

The key to this process is to make sure that every participant is heard. After the Post-It exercise, the information was organized into major themes and then written on blank cards. These cards were placed on the wall and the post-it evidence was put on a flip chart where the team looked for strong evidence that there was something going on. All of this information was then converted into problem statements with priority being given to the key identified problems.

The participants next got into the ideating stage of the process. For each problem, participants were asked to create four radical solutions and then started generating ideas through drawing and writing. The work was shared with the group and feedback was given by all present participants. From these steps, the teams built prototypes and decided how to test the solutions they came up with and present them to consumers.

Throughout the whole process it became very clear to me that the key to successfully utilizing the Design Thinking Process is the charisma and energy of the moderator. Through the key use of energizers, ice breakers and breaks, the moderator can keep momentum throughout the process and find success.

Postits

Putting it into practice:
Personally, after this great in-depth presentation I will be carrying the recognition of how deeply the consumer needs to be understood in qualitative research into all my thinking and dealings with clients.

A-ha moment:
I found it funny and insightful that in the case studies presented, the moderators were able to gain the participation of the executives by giving up their phones for chocolate. Finally, the solutions/prototypes were focus-grouped with consumers. I loved the idea to "create 4 radical solutions" for each problem statement and will use that in my practice.

I was excited by the sheer number of Post-Its used in the various stages of the case study. They vividly conveyed the creative thinking and collaboration that went on throughout the Design Thinking session.

QRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Kendall Nash Liza Carroll
RDTeam, Inc
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizacarroll/

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  qualitative research 

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