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.
» Read full session descriptions by clicking on the session title below
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? 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. This session will discuss the appropriate solutions for building trust in brands, leaving delegates with a clear set of principles and action points to take away.
In Ken’s capacity as AQR Chair, he was invited to be a panellist at two events. One was on the topic "Qualitative Research is Dead" and at another a question posed 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 and referred to System 1 thinking and Implicit Memory. They both challenged qualitative research in terms of our ability to address the issues. This session will look at the wider issues before honing down into our qualitative response. For example, how is the advertising industry responding? Qualitative researchers have changed: widening our data collection methods, using different questioning techniques, integrating online with offline; utilizing ethnography/ self-ethnography and updating 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. This session will cover these issues and the different approaches that are used today. While the industry may be a long way from fully addressing the complexities surrounding System 1 thinking and Implicit Memory, 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.
Doerte was recently told, "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. This session will examine three key ideas on how to unlock our discipline's true potential and take it one step further by re-sparking our professional passion and becoming the inventive drivers behind the marketing of the future. Why us? Because the future is human centric. This session will discuss how to reclaim the 'magic of qual', activate human-centric thinking in marketing and adopt a magpie attitude. A key driver behind excellent insights is curiosity. Let us set off and prove that the future is ours to claim.
10:15 - 11:30am
Moving from Theory to Action: Behavioral Economics in the Real World Session Host: Susan Sweet
Behavioural economics is not a new subject. 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 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. This session will share a model and approach that ensures that behavioural economics is used and not just considered and talked about. It will include a case study along with a lifelog film of current behaviours that were used as stimulus in 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.
This session will demonstrate how we can leverage learning from the behavioural sciences; specifically 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. The presenter 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.
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 Session Host: Darren Harvey
Today's society doesn't cater well for people with no access to a bank account or a means to pay electronically, and as a result, these people can be financially excluded in numerous ways. 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. The research approach was designed with breadth and depth in mind. This presentation will highlight the research process and two key points of interest based around the ethnographic methodology: ethnography challenging our preconceived perceptions of the world and working together to produce great outputs.
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
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; those 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. Their lack of confidence means that they are still unable to assert their presence as citizens or consumers in the digital space; and as such represent considerable untapped potential. The aim of this 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.
1:00 - 2:15pm
Break and Lunch
2:15 - 3:30pm
Digging Deeper: Real-World Examples, Real-World Insights Session Host: Pat Sabena
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 and 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 inform how journalists can best explain complex stories in this new media landscape. 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 news and information consumption across media platforms.
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 a significantly deeper understanding of a consumer experience that is far greater that can be attributed to just using a conventional technique. 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.
This presentation will give information about Consumer Collaboration methods (Co-creation) for "Concept Inspiration” (early stages of new product or positioning work) and "Concept Advancement," (for feedback, building and refining concepts and prototypes). This work falls under a wider umbrella that the presenter calls "Smashing Mirrors." These programs break down traditional barriers of qualitative research in methodology and collaboration between consumers and the client teams. This session will illustrate design approaches, guidelines and how to's for conducting Co-Creation programs using case studies.
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. Susan began this journey by trying to figure out how some providers were able to offer seemingly massive insights projects at very low cost. She was also seeking to show clients a way to compare different alternatives in proposals: what is really the difference between the five day online discussion and the six day focus group option? This session will briefly explain the simple metric Susan devised, 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.
Market research clients generally do not want to be the 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. As QRCs, we have a number of ways to do so, including partnering with others who have experience with the methodology or undertaking a case study of our own, which is what Caroline did. The study was designed to simulate a market research study for which she could actually be engaged to execute. This presentation will leverage this case study to allow others who have no to limited experience with mobile qualitative research to shorten their learning curve and increase the likelihood of a successful project.
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 and 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 developed with the support of the community over a longer period and on an ongoing basis. 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 Session Host: Graeme Trayner
This will be a provocative session on how very often qualitative researchers, in order to follow the most updated techniques of the moment, trend away from some “classic”, sturdy methodologies. This session will 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. Following the “Theory of Clouds”, written by one of worldwide most important semioticians of Art, Hubert Damish, Luigi will apply a semiotic analysis to the icon of Cloud, supporting it with Heraclitus’ principles of interconnectedness of contrary. This session will demonstrate how through a semiotic analysis signs on one hand reveal some hidden archetypes, meanings and insights and 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.
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.
This session will be 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 session will 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 Session Host: Susan Sweet
This paper will outline origins of qualitative research in the therapeutic relationship for contextual reasons but will not be a 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?
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.
This presentation will summarize the scientific research about detecting lying, and it will also draw upon the knowledge of professionals in relevant fields such as police interviewers. Jay will then discuss how we can appopriately utilize this knowledge in qualitative settings in order to go beyond participants' deceptions and uncover the truth.
10:30 - 11:00am
Coffee Break in Sponsor Hall
11:00am - 12:40pm
One World, Many Cultures: Going Beyond Maps and Guidebooks Session Host: Pat Sabena
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? In this presentation, Jinguan explores how marketers, innovators and insights practitioners can and should look beyond the personal fervor of early adopters to spot real innovation opportunities. She will 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. In addition to demonstrating the process through cases, this session will also cover creative, fun and engaging tools, stimuli and exercises for each stage of this innovation journey, if time permits.
This presentation 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. It will feature results of an experiment recently conducted amongst a number of 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.This session will 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.
As a qualitative researcher that has relocated across cultural borders, Nikki is often engaged in conversations regarding the differences between French and American approaches to research objectives. And these questions aren't limited to only the Franco-American differences in qualitative research, but are expressed on a global scale. This presentation will 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.
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. This session will study this evolving process through an understanding of Indian housewives, an important and strategically valuable consumer for clients in India. This presentation 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 and 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.
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. This presentation will share some 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, Kat and Bob argue that it's time for brands to re-think the way they behave and form relationships through social media. The presentation will champion observational qualitative research and the latest in digital capture techniques as a way of understanding digital impact and engagement.
This presentation will explore how kids and teens who are growing up as digital natives are challenging traditional qualitative research methodologies. Key ideas explored will include that kids are growing up digital and that the online world is a skill-forming, social experience essential to a child's development in a digitally focused world. Current methods suit us, but not our respondents in this changing world. This session will challenge the role of traditional face to face research and online methods designed with researchers rather than respondents in mind. Researchers need to be digital ethnographers, immersing themselves rather than imitating, and qual-specific platforms need to mirror other digital experiences. Katherine has 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, researchers need to partner with technology companies or to develop these skills ourselves.
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. This session will discuss a project that set out to understand how brands can engage with this audience. The primary research tool was an online community with 12 Millennials, that was supplemented with an ethnographic angle. This presentation 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 Session Host: Foster Winter and Simon Patterson
As marketers are under pressure to innovate faster and faster, market research is challenged to deliver answers ever more quickly. This session will argue the need to re-evaluate the way research is done. By using study designs, methods and approaches that are less time-consuming and more interactive researchers can add value and relevance while increasing clients' engagement. The most successful approaches employ ethnographic events to develop understandings, derive insights or create ideas. Key is to let research clients play an active role by meeting and collaborating with their targets of their different key subgroups or stakeholders directly. This ensures a broad perspective on the issues and allow cross-checks. The researcher’s role is to structure the process and coach clients and consumers in this collaborative effort. During the process clients gain a deeper understanding for their consumers' or stakeholders thinking. The synergy of quantitative data and qualitative thought provides the basis for rapid and good decision making, and identifies areas of optimization and refinement.
This session will briefly explore the relationship between behavioural economics and qualitative research, touching on the broader context of the theoretical basis of qualitative methods. It will identify when usage of the framework is an appropriate and powerful tool, as well as when it is not, highlighting some of its limitations and confines. This presentation will discuss how and when to apply BE to our everyday qual projects using an interactive approach to decide which course we take. The stages covered will range from initial design through interviewing techniques to analysis and recommendations.
On February 11 1990, Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison and the piecemeal dismantling of restrictive legislation began. 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 its own rules, became increasingly immune to stereotypical marketing and increasingly was 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. 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).
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’. This session 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 its kind in the world.
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. People think and act digitally to a great extent. This session will deal with one 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 Session Host: Darren Harvey
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.
Nowadays it is more and more difficult to receive high quality, deep insights. Looking for a solution, Michal and Anna 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 they have created an amazing experience for the respondents. During research, game study participants are so involved having fun that they forget the passage of time and the level of emotional engagement is so high that it opens up the respondents and makes them less resistant to tell the personal stories. This leads to better insights and consequently better decisions. Developing the research game is not a lengthy process, can be quickly set up from ready-to-use elements and is an universal tool than can be applied for various research purposes.
This session will build on gamification theories to add fun and competitive elements to qualitative research projects. The goal is to enrich the process for everyone involved, beginning with the recruiting process and including, at home work, waiting room exercises, and in-person/group sessions.