This page provides details on each scheduled session and other program highlights for Thursday, January 19. To see detailed information for the other days of the conference, please use the navigation links to the right.
ICON KEY: Select a track icon for description
Exploring the complex nature of consumers, including recall vs. actual behavior, generational differences, and their impact on research.
Learning from other professions who listen to identify ‘truth’ – doing what we do but in a different way.
Investigating change in global conditions and/or audiences and the impact on research.
Strengthening our expertise with both core and emerging methods
Knowing and acknowledging our full self and biases that can impact the research process, analysis, and reporting.
Sharing new perspectives and/or techniques for leveraging technology in qualitative research.
Thursday, January 19
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Healthy Connections: Getting Healthy in Hollywood Join us for a scavenger hunt in downtown Los Angeles featuring famous filming locations. Use this opportunity to see the sights of Los Angeles, and get some exercise and fresh air before the sessions begin. Thursday and Friday will feature different routes so each day you can see something new and exciting!
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast in the Marketplace and Optional SIG Meetings
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Memory's Murky Mysteries Presenter: James Forr
We like to think our memories are true-to-life snapshots of how an event occurred. In reality, our memories are more like a potter’s clay. They can be molded and shaped, and sometimes pieces drop to the floor and get lost.
Certain kinds of memories are particularly unreliable — and these are the kinds of memories that tend to be most salient to market researchers. What drove your decision the last time you bought that brand of juice? What was your experience like the last time you shopped at that store? These may seem like easy questions to answer — but they are deceptively difficult questions to answer accurately.
In this presentation, we will examine four key “sins of memory” that are especially relevant for market researchers. We will present research from psychology and social science that illuminate these sins, and will offer suggestions for how market researchers can circumvent the sins and get closer to truth.
Target Audience: Any market researcher interested in consumer behavior.
Bio: James Forr has led projects for Fortune 100 clients including IBM, PepsiCo, Bank of America, and P&G, along with non-profit and public sector clients such as the AFL-CIO, the Funeral Service Foundation, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He was an invited participant at a 2015 White House conference on research to advance equity for women and girls of color, and his publications include articles in the Huffington Post, Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, and Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.
What I Really Want to Do is Direct: Tapping into the Creative Storytelling Processes of Hollywood and Broadway Presenters: Dina Shulman and Marc Engel
We all crave entertainment because it reflects and refracts our reality in a way that everyday interactions may not. The best film, television and theater has incredible power to move us — to make us think, feel, laugh and cry. Its creators demonstrate a deep understanding of the human condition. Their perspectives offer much for us to learn as QRCs.
How do writers, actors and directors develop characters and plots that ring so true? How do they do their research to help them reveal these underlying truths?
We QRCs strive to access truth as well. We, too, are in the business of listening to people and deciphering true meaning, accessing memories and experiences, and telling stories. We deal with characters and settings and plots and resolutions.
Dina and Marc will draw from firsthand interviews with actors, writers and directors from Hollywood and Broadway (including award-nominees and winners); share perspectives from interviews done on shows like Inside the Actors Studio, Fresh Air, In Treatment and more; and dig into their own creative processes and those of fellow Quallies with stage and screen backgrounds to offer insights from the entertainment arts and creative development process that QRCs can incorporate into their work.
Target Audience: All QRCs passionate about deepening their storytelling skills or applying the core principles of great entertainment development to their work
Bio: Deep Dish is a qualitative research and strategy consultancy based in Santa Monica. Dina grew up acting and graduated with a degree in theatre from Northwestern University. While she hasn’t performed in years, she is an avid audience member and often goes to NYC to see Broadway shows (we’re talking 6 shows in 4 days), which nourishes her soul and inspires her work. In addition, she holds an MSW and worked as a therapist (specializing in teens/young adults) as well as a strategic planner at David & Goliath advertising. Dina is currently a co-chair for the Southern California QRCA chapter.
Bio: Marc’s practice involves qual, quant, strategic consulting and creative ideation. Marc is also a writer and comedian. He was in two improv/sketch comedy troupes with Kristen Wiig, wrote a screenplay optioned by a Hollywood production company, and co-wrote and co-starred in a theatrical play. He wrote scripts for public television (KCET, Los Angeles), worked at a major Hollywood management agency and at HBO, and had an externship with the Directors Guild of America. His experience in entertainment has largely shaped his work as a QRC, most directly in the improv-based ideation approach he developed called, Out of Focus Groups™.
The Power of Using Agile Market Research to Drive Innovation Presenters: Joy Steinberg and Jim Longo
Agile Research is a powerful and evolving strategy that leverages new techniques and technologies to make market knowledge more accessible, accurate and affordable. The true power is the ability to effectively adapt to what is happening around them — in a way that is innovative and consumer-focused.
Executive leaders of cutting-edge brands are challenging their marketing teams to leverage Agile techniques to become more innovative. One way insights and marketing teams can accomplish this is to run multi-wave projects using on-demand recruiting and webcams for live focus groups to quickly get feedback at multiple key milestones along the development process. This iterative approach builds upon knowledge from previous waves for optimized results. In addition, this Agile method establishes you as a strategic partner engaged with the client over the entire product development cycle — often illuminating additional research. In summary, this approach provides consumer-focused insights to inform and guide decisions from concept to launch and beyond.
Where Agile came from and why research teams need to learn more about this strategy.
How technology has automated the process.
Application examples for on-demand qualitative to reach its target audience faster and for less money that traditional methods.
Target Audience: Primary audience: Qualitative market researchers. Secondary audience: Supplier partners (particularly providers of rapid recruit and digital technologies).
Bio: Joy is President of JSI Marketing, a market research consulting firm providing consumer insights expertise with specific emphasis on qualitative research, brand and digital insights. She has extensive experience in qualitative moderation, social media listening, project management, product marketing, consumer affairs and marketing communications.
Bio: Jim is a thought leader with regards to online behavior and market research technology, often speaking at industry conference and events. He brings over 25 years of domain expertise in the market research industy and heads up Research Solutions at Discuss.IO, which provides Agile market research via webcams. He has consulted with brands and research agencies around the world on how to have insightful online conversations and was instrumental in building the first global online qualitative research practice at Harris Interactive. There, he led a team that conducted more than one thousand online groups in the first three years of its existence.
10:00 – 10:45 a.m.
Break in Marketplace
10:45 – 11:40 a.m.
Annual Meeting and Town Hall
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
ARE YOU INSTA-COOL ENOUGH FOR THE MILLENNIALS? - Reclaiming the Attention of a Distracted Generation Presenter: Raji Bonala
Here’s a fact: Millennials’ attention now spans a grand 8 seconds (As per Microsoft)! It’s more challenging to keep the Millennials’ attention through the entire consumer unit. Moreover, given the digitized world, the real emotions are buried deep beneath layers of social posing. In a world where ‘words’ are nearly obsolete, are traditional projective techniques working well with the Millennials?
We devised a research framework inspired by the visual social media platforms & tailor-made for the Millennials.
An audio-visual toolkit for digital auto-ethnography that can be conducted on visual platforms like Tumblr/Instagram and leverages popular culture art forms as stimuli. These stimuli, in turn, can be chosen to represent Christopher Booker’s 7 basic archetypical plots of storytelling (that symbolize the range of human experiences & emotions). Therefore, this toolkit can be a powerful tool to excavate those covert emotions that cannot be expressed through words.
Moreover, we will show how decoding the way the consumers choose among the 7 basic plots basis the stimuli can help you develop visual consumer portraits.
These portraits, in turn, can be presented via the 7 basic plots — making your findings much more “fun,” yet insightful to the client.
Target Audience: Researchers looking for creative and newer ways to engage with Millennials via newer methodology.
Bio: Raji Bonala has more than 23 years of experience on both the supplier and client side, which includes Kraft Foods in Dubai & Canada, and Johnson & Johnson in Canada. She founded Vox Populi Research in 2008 with her partner.
Her strengths include business plan consulting, strategic counsel, application of research in positioning, concept and advertising development, and innovation work. Raji is also passionate about applying social sciences to decoding consumer insights.
She has presented at conferences like QRCA's Worldwide Conference 2016, ESOMAR 2015, MRS 2015, AQR/QRCA 2014 and MRSI; and also published articles in QRCA VIEWS, AQR In-depth and WARC 2015.
New Perspective on Technology: Call Me Gumby: Molding 21st Century Tools into Your Genuinely You Offering Presenter: Pam Goldfarb Liss
Mobile Diaries, Online, Facial Recognition, Virtual Realities, In-Home Interviews, Telephone IDIs. Like Art Clokey (the creator of Gumby) did by creating Claymation in the early 1950s, it is how you effectively use these tools to get to the humanity of your client’s objectives that makes you a nimble consultant. Ask yourself, how can I use these tools as my “clay” to create a human face for my client’s research questions? In this session, Pam will demonstrate a philosophy about using 21st century tools as a clay for creating your human story. She will provide an overview of what new tools are on the horizon from both our attending conference vendors and others, good case studies that show how these tools work and a philosophy to understand what’s just “The Gingerbread Man” (Art Clokey’s inspiration, but not nearly as famous as his simple clay character Gumby) vs. your clay — a flexible, nimble tool that brings the story needed to your client with lasting impact — to be a great consultant. The result will be that you’re a long-lasting industry-breaking icon like Gumby with a perspective that is authentically and uniquely yours.
Target Audience: QRCs looking to grow their research toolbox effectively beyond the “I have a sexy new tool to use” — this session is great for everyone from the veteran QRCs looking for new tricks, new QRCs searching for lay of the land, to the QRCs already using these new tools looking for ways to improve their impact. Am also open to QRCs who want to share their successes not just using these new tools, but stretching them to meet client’s research needs.
Bio: Loving the never-know-what's-coming-next world of qualitative research, Pam Goldfarb Liss has been moderating for more than 25 years. She works with a variety of audiences, but loves the dynamics with kids, teens and their families. To meet her beloved “digital natives” where they are, Pam has been forced to be more adept at translating up-and-coming qualitative tools into comfortable avenues for conversation. Pam has moderated for many of the top Fortune 100 clients all over the world on subjects that vary from hamburgers and hygiene to smoothies and sex. Pam teaches a bi-annual course on moderating with kids and teens at RIVA Market Research Institute. She is also writing a handbook on that subject, out sometime in 2017. A warm and friendly Minnesotan at heart, Pam lives on the east coast of the US with her husband and two digital native daughters who continually give her more reasons to look at technology as a way to understand this new world.
Neuro-research. Brilliance or BS? Presenters: Jerry Berowne and Ross Pearson
We will discuss and debate the question: Is neuro-research brilliance or BS? We aim to give a non-biased viewpoint from people who are primarily strategic qualitative researchers. We are not peddling a neuro-research product, nor are we neuro-scientists. This will be an easy to understand session, not technical — with some substance, and a dash of Aussie humour.
The practical issue is that we need to adapt “traditional” tools to gain better insight into consumer mental responses and the emotional brain. We will cover:
A reminder of the key “neuro” methods available.
The theory underpinning these.
What looks useful for a qualitative researcher.
How we can adapt traditional tools to incorporate neuro theory.
Target Audience: Qualitative researchers, and clients who are interested in neuro-applicability outside expensive techniques to evaluate response to finished marketing communications.
Bio: Jerry is the principal of Hub Insights, a strategic research agency based in Sydney. He has worked closely with clients such as Toyota, Samsung, Clorox, McDonald’s, Campari, & Yahoo — plus a range of local Australian-based blue chip brands. With over 25 years’ experience in research and strategy planning, he is a genuine ‘dualist’, working across both qualitative & quantitative disciplines. Prior to research, he was a client in Marketing Management in the UK & Australia, plus has some US experience as a Strategic Planner for Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles. Along the way, formal education includes an MBA and a B.Sc. Psychology… which is where the interest in neuro-methods probably started!
Bio: Ross has an impressive professional pedigree, both as a client and also as an agency Strategic Planner. This includes stints as CMO for a global consumer products corporation and for a prestige retail group. As Director of Research & Strategy for an integrated communications group, worked with clients such News Corporation, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Australian Government, Sharp, BHP, CSR, Tourism Authorities (Thailand, Taiwan and Samoa) and ANZ Bank. He has practiced research hands-on though out his career, and describes himself as an explorer with the yearning to “boldly go where no man has gone before”… in research.
12:45 – 2:10 p.m.
Lunch and Awards
2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
A Framework that Works: Design-Thinking + Montessori Mindsets to Elevate your Practice Presenter: April Bell
Designing and executing a complicated research study definitely takes skill! But when you’re designing research that includes an “innovation” component, a whole host of additional tools and skills are required.
April Bell will unveil how she uses an integrated approach of Design Thinking + Montessori principles to tackle even the most complex innovation research project.
During the session, we will unpack the Design Thinking framework (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test) using a real world example. Attendees will be provided with a take-home workbook to trigger use of this framework in their own practice.
April will then share how integrating Montessori-based principles (Flexible Structure, The Art of Guidance, Imagination Sparked through Empathy, Radical Collaboration, Show, Don’t Tell) throughout the Design Thinking process not only creates a conducive environment to help clients thoroughly engage but also keeps them coming back for more!
Target Audience: Experienced qualitative research consultants who are interested in a new framework to apply to complex research projects, especially projects with an innovation component.
Bio: Raised on a West Texas cotton farm where the tumbleweeds can blow you down, it’s no surprise she is often described as a “force of nature.”
She started her career trading grain commodities but soon learned she was more curious about how people think.
For more than 20 years, including 3500+ hours of interviews, April has helped both large and small brands create consumer-driven products and services. Her natural curiosity + design-thinking approach has helped her build long-term relationships with many Fortune 100 clients.
While most of her experience lies in asking tough questions, her equally curious 5-year-old daughter is now giving her lots of experience answering them!
Stylin' & Profilin': Managing Audience Perception through (Efficient) Communication Presenter: Michelle Finzel
Our styles create profiles. Everyone we encounter forms opinions about us. Verbal and non-verbal communication cues are puzzle pieces that the world uses to frame who we are; however, we need to be in control of that process. This session will be an introspective journey through which attendees will discover their own communication-based habits and biases and learn to better manage them. We will also practice self-mindfulness when it comes to creating perceptions and how to control, through our communication styles, how we choose to be perceived by others.
Target Audience: This interactive and eye-opening workshop is intended for professionals who wish to improve upon their interpersonal, small group, and public speaking skills.
Bio: Michelle Finzel is President of Maryland Marketing Source, Inc., a full-service market research firm located in Baltimore, Maryland. She is passionate about communication in all its varied forms and enjoys the challenge of blending theory with practice, emotions with insights, and numbers with words. Michelle currently serves as the Chair of the Field Committee and assists with the QRCA LinkedIn Group as well.
Listening as an Act of Love: What We Can Learn from Others Who Listen and Observe for a Living Presenter: Laurie Tema-Lyn
Listening to Krista Tippett’s radio broadcast, On Being, this phrase caught Laurie’s attention: “Listening as an Act of Love”. It was articulated by her guest, David Isay, founder of Story Corp. David described how when people come into a Story Corps booth, they ask the questions they’ve always wanted to ask each other. The booth becomes a sacred space.
What we do as market research professionals is of a similar vein. When we are present we are witness/listener to human truths. It is a privilege and responsibility to do our work.
This session will explore listening and observing from the perspectives of a variety of professionals to uncover ways that we might listen and observe better in our market research practices.
Laurie will report on a series of conversations with expert listeners including a…
The presentation will interweave audio/video excerpts of the conversations, and workshop exercises. The program will encompass:
The distinction between “listening to…“ and “listening for…”
Listening through disagreement
Using Search Image
How we can apply these learnings to our market research practices
Target Audience: Market research practitioners of all skill levels who want to be better listeners
Bio: Laurie Tema-Lyn began conducting qualitative research when a client asked if she could apply the creative activities she used in facilitating client innovation sessions to consumer research.
In her first career she helped launch Self and re-launch Ms. magazine.
She worked at Synectics and then formed her first consultancy, IdeaScope.
Author of Stir it Up! Recipes for Robust Insights & Red Hot Ideas.
She’s an organic gardener, a cook and a Soprano.
She founded Practical Imagination Enterprises in 1995.
Laurie has served as co-chair of the Philadelphia Chapter and EIC of VIEWS and is now a member of the Board of Directors of QRCA.
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Break in Marketplace
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
In Their Eyes: How Respondents' Perceptions Can Help Us Improve the Research Process Presenters: Caroline Volpe and Abby Leafe
In the words of John Randolph, “Time is, at once, the most valuable and the most perishable of all of our possessions.” How do we as researchers compete for time? It has become an ADHD world — Vines are 6 seconds, Tweets are 140 characters, hitting the “like” button takes less than one second. But, we as researchers often ask people to share with us 60 minutes or more of their time.
On top of this, screening criteria are becoming more and more specific and specialized, limiting our pool of potential respondents. While every respondent is important, this makes them all the more valuable. So how do we make sure that we truly capture respondents’ attention, get them excited about participating, and ensure that they stay engaged throughout the research?
To answer that question, we undertook primary qualitative and quantitative research with research participants in multiple countries to understand what they think of the process from recruitment to participating to incentives.
The insights gleaned from this research will shed light on the respondent perspective about qualitative research, to help us understand how we might change our approach to ensure that respondents have the best possible experience, thereby enabling us to capture the deepest insights and provide the maximum value for our clients.
While Abby and Caroline will be presenting their ideas of things to consider, this will be an interactive session. The session will engage the attendees to think creatively about how we can do things differently at every step in the research process to better engage respondents.
Target Audience: This session is for any qualitative researcher of any level.
Bio: Caroline Volpe is president of Compass Market Research LLC, an independent market research consultancy focused on the healthcare sector. She has over 18 years of experience designing and executing custom qualitative and quantitative domestic and global market research for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device clients. She is a member of the Industry Relations Committee as the PMRG liaison and is co-chair of the Pharma/Healthcare SIG. Along with QRCA, she (or her company) is a member of the CASRO, ESOMAR, EphMRA, MMRA, MRA and PMRG.
Bio: Abby Leafe has been a qualitative researcher for 15 years, having started her career in advertising. In fact, a stint in graduate school was enough to make her run screaming from academia and she is forever grateful to the headhunter who told her that people would pay her to do research. She interviewed for a job in qualitative and the rest, as they say, is history. She is a past president of QRCA, and is currently the co-chair of the Philadelphia Chapter. She is the principal of New Leafe Research, based in Newtown, PA, and a frequent speaker at industry events.
Rethinking the Question Presenter: Chris Kann
Questions are meant to provide memory jogs, jump-start creativity, and to help someone consider or change their perspective. The best types of questions make us stop and think. Often as researchers, we can develop a routine of asking questions the same way, using the same words and phrases. But what might have worked before may need a fresh look and re-evaluation. What if we considered the ways we could update how we ask questions in order to disrupt the respondent’s thinking and lead to potentially more thoughtful and insightful responses?
This session is meant to give the audience reason to re-think the questions they are asking and how they can ask them in ways that will be more efficient and effective, both with clients and respondents. Chris Kann will share her perspective as a market research consultant with nearly 20 years of experience, as well as from her role as a Registered Corporate Coach™ and as a radio show/podcast host. She will also incorporate insights from professionals in the fields of business negotiation, forensics, psychology, and others. Join us to refresh your approach to asking questions in your next research project.
Target Audience: This session can be helpful to attendees with a broad range of experience. For newer practitioners, this can provide great foundational information on how they construct an interview. For experienced researchers, this is a good chance to revisit habits and patterns that might have been taken for granted and bring new thinking to their work.
Bio: Chris Kann has been an independent qualitative consultant and the owner of CSK Marketing, Inc. for 19 years. She has been a QRCA member since 1998, and has served in many leadership roles including President, Vice President, 2005 and 2015 QRCA Annual Conference Chair, PR Advisory Group Chair and Chicago Chapter Chair, among other roles. Chris is certified as a Registered Corporate Coach and Reiki Master, and is the host of the Mind Body Spirit Living radio show and podcast.
Think You Aren't a Designer? Practical Tips to Give Your Reports More Visual Appeal Presenter: Sidney Clewe
Graphic Design 101! Our world is becoming increasingly visual in its display of data. QRCs constantly are creating data that are displayed to clients and those data need to be presented in a visually compelling way to cut through the clutter. No matter how much we want to deny it, design and visual display of information are at the core of making people pay attention to research and data. This isn’t just for consumers or ad agencies, this is for our business consumers, the consumers of our research… our clients. This is not something that we can simply brush aside, saying it’s for creative agencies, designers or marketers. QRCs need to know how to present research in a visually appealing way in order to stay relevant and keep up with the business community. QRCs don’t need to hire a professional — with a bit of training and a practical approach to design basics, all QRCs have the opportunity and capacity to make visually appealing improvements to their end products that helps research get more traction and more play in the business world. Perspective just isn’t how we think and view the world, it is also the way that we output data back into the world.
Target Audience: For all QRCs who put reports and presentations in front of clients (for those who are are design inclined and for those who are not).
Bio: Not only a researcher, Sidney Clewe is a trained graphic designer with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. While studying business, she channeled her creative energy into receiving both a Drawing and a Graphic Design degree. She enjoys combining research and design and thinking through the visual presentation of data. Through her experience as a moderator, she understands the problems that face QRCs in the documents that they create and is able to bring a fresh perspective through her background in the creative field. Sidney has worked at TripleScoop Premium Market Research since 2013 designing, facilitating and reporting on both qual and quant projects. Sidney also is a contract designer who does logo, print, and graphic design in addition to her day job as a researcher. In the period between university and TripleScoop, she traveled the world picking up jobs where she could. The most notable is a stint in Antarctica washing dishes for scientists. During her time she created 60 individual art pieces displayed in station as a commentary on South Pole Station life. From those drawings, she was commissioned to paint a 6'x8' mural for the Norwegian Prime Minister who came to the station to celebrate the centennial of the exploration of the South Pole.