2018 Conference - Thursday Full Schedule
2017 Thursday agenda

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This page provides details on each scheduled session and other program highlights for Thursday, January 25.

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Thursday, January 25

7:30am - 4:30pm
Registration Open

7:30am - 8:30am

Healthy Connections

Sunrise Desert Discovery Walk

Invigorate your body and soul before a day of learning at the QRCA Annual Conference! Lace up your walking shoes and bring a bottle of water as you join local guide Meghan Guild, a doctoral student studying volcanoes at the School of Earth & Space Exploration at Arizona State University.


8:00am - 4:30pm
Marketplace Open

8:00am - 9:00am
Breakfast in the Marketplace and Optional SIG Meetings

9:00am - 10:00am

Breakout Sessions

Persuasive Storytelling Tips & Tricks
Presenter: Jim Berling

It’s time to embark on a journey that covers a variety of tips and tricks for writing and presenting persuasive storytelling reports. Learn how to tell the story, find the story and how to execute the story at the slide level including some before and after slide examples. The toolkit for our journey will include the From/To Think/Do matrix, Storyboarding, SCORE, Traditional vs Contemporary Storytelling, and other important factors when writing marketing research and insights reports. After the session, you should be able to immediately start applying these tips to your own reports; for those who can’t wait, you can even bring one of your own reports to the session and start applying what we are learning in real time.

Target Audience: QRCs who are involved with writing and presenting marketing research and insights reports. Even the experienced report writer will walk away with a few new tools for their toolkit.

Jim BerlingBio: For the past 20 years, Jim has been working with clients from a wide range of industries to help them better understand their customers, products and brands through the use of qualitative marketing research techniques. He loves to provide those stories behind the data that come through the use of projective techniques and other qualitative tools beyond the direct line of asking questions. He also has a passion for teaching and traveling as his work has taken him to 21 different countries around the world helping to train marketing research and insights professionals on how to conduct, analyze and report marketing research insights. Jim is a SVP at Burke and the Managing Director for the Burke Institute. He has an MBA from the University of Cincinnati and a BA with a concentration in Finance and Economics from Washington University.

Using Behavioral Economics to Elevate Your Qual Research Game
Presenters: Lauren McCrae

A leading wearables brand wanted to understand why some consumers — whose profiles indicated they were a target for wearables — were not interested in purchasing one. Getting to the bottom of why a behavior is not happening is one of the most difficult types of research we are asked to do — because often consumers themselves are not fully aware of all the factors influencing their actions (or lack thereof). Come to this session to learn 1) how applying a behavioral economics framework helped a leading wearables brand really understand what was driving consumer perceptions and behavior, so they could figure out how to change consumers’ minds, and 2) how you can apply the same technique to your research.

Target Audience: Qual researchers who already have a basic understanding of behavioral economics (BE), and who want to learn how to apply the principles of BE to qual research.

Lauren McCraeBio: As a Director at Lux Insights, Lauren oversees Lux’s qualitative research practice and is one of the firm’s leading moderators. Lauren specializes in brand and public affairs research in diverse sectors including technology, CPG, real estate and government and has helped clients such as Fitbit, WD-40 and Tyson Foods by developing the best research solutions, executing them rigorously, and ensuring clients understand what the findings mean for their organizations. In her previous life, Lauren was a public policy researcher in the UK where she learned how to apply behavioral economics lessons to public policy interventions.

Achieving the Unimagined: Discover the Secrets of Effective Workshops and Co-Creation Sessions
Presenters: Petra Víšková and Hana Kloučková

Is your client looking for innovation? Are they struggling to distinguish their product in the commodity market? Is the team bogged down, unable to solve some issues?
Come and learn some practical tips, tricks and hacks from real-life cases and discover the inspiration to supercharge clients’ workshops and co-creation groups.

During this hands-on session we´ll reveal the positive power of creative pre-work which is proven to stimulate innovative thinking. We´ll share our experience with inspirational guests and speakers who can elevate brainstorming. We´ll explain and practice some new, easy-to-use projective techniques. All of this will be illustrated using real cases from various categories (e.g. looking for unique positioning on table water market, creating concept-new consumer touch points, targeting the youngest audience with “my grandma cosmetics brand”, increasing consumer traffic in the retail store).

Target Audience: All QRCs of any level who need to stimulate the out-of-box thinking of their audiences.

Petra VíškováBio: After more than 10 years in marketing in Danone Group, Petra Víšková utilizes her experience (hundreds of concepts written, tens of media campaigns and product innovations launched…) on the "other side of the mirror" as Research Director and Marketing Consultant at CONFESS. She has been actively moderating since 2004 and is currently among to the top qualitative research moderators and workshop facilitators in the Czech Republic. Petra is often speaking at Czech marketing conferences and in January 2017 she led a roundtable session focused on facilitating workshops at the QRCA Annual Conference in Los Angeles.

Hana KloučkováBio: After 8 years in marketing at Procter & Gamble (covering regions such as Central Europe, South East Asia, Australia and India), Hana Kloučková decided to set up her own qualitative research agency CONFESS Research which she has led for the past 15 years. Hana is actively moderating and leading innovation workshops, mostly focused on new product and communication development. Hana is currently co-chair of Czech market research association SIMAR as well as co-chair of the QRCA International Chapter. She is often invited to speak at key local marketing conferences as well as important international marketing events such as Effie Slovakia.

10:00am - 11:00am
Annual Meeting and Town Hall (others can go to the Marketplace)

11:00am - 11:50am

Roundtable Discussions #1

  • Video and Research: Tips, Tricks and Pointers to Add Video to your Research
  • Getting Bigger by Getting Smaller?
  • Millennials: Mysteries, Methods and Marketing
  • Creative Techniques: Getting More, Going Deeper
  • Analysis & Report Writing Hacks – BringingMore Ease and Joy to Your Process
  • Street Research: Best Practices In-Store, At Shelf, On Location
  • Customer Experience for Quallies
  • Interested in Teaching?
  • Come On Get Happy
  • The Reality: The Multicultural Market and Our Role as Researchers

12:00pm - 1:20pm
Lunch & Awards

1:20pm - 1:45pm
Dessert/Break in the Marketplace

1:45pm - 2:45pm

Breakout Sessions

10 Tinder Dates in a Week!? In a World of Social, Who Needs Traditional Recruiting Methods?
Presenter: Tory Gentes

Are recruiting agencies necessary? Yes. Are they ALWAYS necessary? No.

Sometimes the people you need are right in front of you, but in a world of "traditional research," they can easily be missed. With a little creative thinking and an open mind we can use tools like Tinder, UBER, Couchsurfing.org, Meetup.com, Instagram, Facebook, Craigslist, Reddit, Workaway.info, and Helpx.net to access HIGH quality, authentic recruits.

These tools are available to anyone, but accessing them comes with some "know-how" and "insider" community tips. Semantics matter; authenticity matters; and timing matters. Listeners will walk away feeling inspired with fresh ideas and tangible tips on how to use each community effectively. Tory will share case studies ranging from using Instagram to recruit autologous stem cell transplant patients to using Couchsurfing.org to streamline discussions about beer. Deviating from traditional recruitment methods can yield surprising and rewarding results. You will take a journey with Tory as she talks about the delicate attention required to foster your own recruits. She will share effective strategies for not only tapping into various communities but also leaving with qualified respondents. The talk will leave you with tangible and specific tips that you can implement TODAY. Tory will share numerous case studies as well as facilitate activities designed to help you hack your tough recruits.The session will be insightful, but also humorous as she will “show, not tell" the practical lessons learned.

Target Audience: For both beginner and experienced qualitative researchers who are looking to find new, creative approaches to finding recruits.

Tory GentesBio: Tory has been throughout North America, Africa, and Asia collecting ground-level insights from individuals, CEOs, founders, NGOs, and community members that she leverages to solve business problems. With a background in entrepreneurship, leadership, and business, Tory has also managed numerous initiatives for academic institutions, NGOs, businesses and international organizations. Specializing in immersive methodologies, Tory has conducted focus groups, in-depth interviews, ethnographies, ideation sessions, surveys, and workshops.

Tory has completed a multitude of cutting-edge, award-winning domestic and international projects including several dynamic pieces for Cirque du Soleil. Her projects have literally brought her all over the world including work in Shanghai and Punta Cana.

Tory received the most respected honor in the industry from the QRCA, the Qualitative Excellence Award, in 2017. She is an expert at utilizing an unobtrusive and unassuming approach during interviews and has unparalleled expertise in working with a variety of audiences.

PKG 101: Packaging for Abecedarians
Presenter: Kate Watson

Clients love to show new package ideas in qualitative research, but getting great insights is more than just setting the stimuli on table and asking for feedback. Structured exercises and the right probes go a long way toward getting below the surface and providing the insights clients need to knock it out of the park. This presentation will serve as a primer for those interested in learning how to conduct packaging research about structure, graphics, or both. Conference goers will walk away with a solid framework on how to approach the sometimes tricky world of packaging research with tips on how to structure methodology, develop practical consumer exercises, manage seemingly impossible client requests, and set up your clients for success. There will also be an interactive component to the presentation starting well before the conference as QRCA members will be asked to share packages and feedback based on specific criteria that will be incorporated into the presentation.

There will also be a component to the presentation where packages will be shown that were shared by QRCA members prior to the conference and used to help illustrate the various insights.

Target Audience: People who have never done packaging research before or who are new to the wonderful world of qualitative.

Kate WatsonBio: In 1999 Kate started at PRS IN VIVO, a leader in packaging research, where she learned the ropes and was quickly immersed in all what makes packaging research great. In 2006 she started her own journey with KCW Global Research, where she has continued to hone her craft and has helped multiple Fortune 500 companies and over 100 brands with their packaging, branding, and other strategic decisions. She brings energy, empathy, understanding, flexibility, a keen ear, and creativity to the qualitative experience, which allows both the clients and respondents to fully engage in the process.

Using Data Visualization to Remove the CX Memory Barrier
Presenters: Alice Greene

Be inspired by case studies on how historical customer transactions, brought to life with data-visualization dashboards, produce more accurate and in-depth respondent recollection of emotional and rational triggers. By exposing customers to historical timelines of how they have personally have engaged with a provider or service over the course of months or years, the qualitative researcher overcomes the shortcomings of recall and is able to extract deep insights into the “why” — why the consumer acted when they did — and whether their experience positively or negatively affected their outcomes or perceptions.

Target Audience: Qualitative researchers will benefit directly from this approach to journey planning, as will those involved in data analytics and visualization.

Alice GreeneBio: Alice Greene’s career has spanned journalism, qualitative and quantitative research, executive-level account management, and client-centered, big-data solutions management. Her ability to elicit and identify needs/gaps across a broad range of industries (including packaged goods, retail and distribution, technology, healthcare, and higher education) and effectively communicate actionable findings has been cultivated through a career in listening and analysis.

Alice is skilled in focus group moderation, survey design and data analysis. Her experience with big data and user experience has sharpened her awareness of how overwhelming and siloed business-critical information can be — and the importance of keeping customer needs at the center of design and delivery.

2:45pm - 3:00pm
Break in the Marketplace

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Breakout Sessions

Millennials & Video-Ethnography: So Happy Together!
Presenter: Isabelle Albanese

Unless you’ve stopped conducting consumer research lately (LOL!), you’ve been conducting research among the Millennial target; according to Goldman Sachs, this is anyone born between 1980 and 2000 — 92 million strong! You may be a Millennial yourself. Or a Boomer. But either way, we are together in this — seeking insights in the most relevant ways possible. This session will present the sweet union of a relatively new methodology with a relatively new marketing target (video ethnography and Millennials) and demonstrate the perfect harmony between screen, mobility and social interaction/validation — all of which are tremendously valued by Millennials and are indeed woven through their everyday lives. The basis for the presentation will be referencing a couple of studies we’ve conducted on the topic, both of which were restricted by a tight budget. The presenter will also offer insights from other Millennial interactions, including several articles that have appeared on digital media as well as one in Quirks which presents a point-counterpoint perspective between a Millennial and a Boomer. Such fun! (She promises to keep her first-hand experience raising three Millennial children separate!)

Target Audience: Any QRC who is looking for a nugget of Millennial “truth” along with an interesting, relevant and inexpensive way to get into their worlds.

Isabelle AlbaneseBio: Isabelle Albanese launched Consumer Truth® in 1999 and has been seeking “truth” ever since. Before that she spent 15 years in the ad agency business in New York and Chicago mastering the fine arts of account management and strategic planning on prestigious CPG brands (Kraft, M&M/Mars, Pfizer, Unilever, Nestle). That led to publishing her first book, The 4Cs of Truth in Communications ™ and to speaking engagements, published articles and 5 appearances on a Chicago morning news show to critique Super Bowl ads. Isabelle served on DePaul University’s Driehaus School of Business Marketing Advisory Council and on two committees for QRCA (The Qually Award and Brand Comm). She has presented at QRCA conferences in 2007 and 2013.

Top 5 Projective Techniques … and How & When to Use Them
Presenter: Steve Kalter

This session will explore some of the most effective projective techniques that can be utilized in conducting qualitative research. It will explain them in detail, including how to use them, where to insert them in discussion guides, and the insightful moments that can be produced. Mr. Kalter will clearly describe five projective techniques, one at a time in a countdown format, providing examples of the design, implementation, and output of each. Attendees will come away with some concrete, new techniques to help enhance their traditional and online focus groups and other qualitative research sessions. Clear examples of set up, usage, and outputs will be provided.

Target Audience: Our intended audience is all QRCs interested in obtaining more visceral feelings and insights from respondents, as well as having their respondents more engaged in the research process.

Steve KalterBio: Steve Kalter has conducted qualitative and quantitative research across a broad range of industries for over 25 years, and established Acumen Marketing Research in 2002. His body of work encompasses customer and employee satisfaction, branding, concept testing, and advertising & packaging research for distinguished clients including Avery Dennison, CVS, and TJX.

Mr. Kalter served as President of the New England chapter of the MRA (now IA) from 2012-13, and has taught a graduate-level course on Research Methods at Emerson College for several semesters. Recently, he was a contributing author to a textbook on Qualitative Research Methods.

Semiotic Profiling: Research for "Wow" Effects
Presenter: Charlotte Hager

We mostly live in a world of glut. We have to make many buying decisions in our daily lives. On the one side we are driven by our needs, motives and experiences. On the other side our purchases are guided by brand messages and their advertisements.

“Semiotic Profiling” is a method whereby Semiotic Analysis is combined with Consumer Profiling. This means we analyze the language of advertisements, of products, of materials, the forms, the signals, the codes and so on to see what message and meaning lies beneath (the signs). This would be enough to optimize the product appeal. But we also include consumers in the process. Therefore we analyze consumer behavior, rituals and routines regarding a specific sector (e.g. lemonade, beer, wine, water, cosmetics, cars, baby products, gardening, shopping malls) to identify usage behavior, motives and individual needs, pains and gains. The centerpiece of Semiotic Profiling involves identifying different psychological user profiles. With these profiles we are able to provide advice for the product language and the signs that should be used to attract a specific user type. This includes naming, wording, visual language, material, gadgets, usage, etc.

Target Audience: Market Researchers, Marketeers, Product/Brand/Innovation Managers, Creatives.

Charlotte HagerBio: Charlotte Hager is the founder of comrecon brand navigation, an institute for qualitative research and consultancy in Baden near Vienna, Austria. She founded comrecon in 2008. She studied communication science and ethnology at the University in Vienna. She previously worked as Account Manager for an international media agency and an international media observer and also for another qualitative motive research institute in Vienna. With comrecon, she focuses on customer behavior, customer experience and the science of signs and therefore the Semiotic Analysis. She is expert member of Club 55 – European Community of Experts in Marketing and Sales.

4:00pm - 4:30pm
Break in the Marketplace

4:30pm - 5:30pm

Breakout Sessions

Elevate Your Deliverables: Build a DIY Website for Immersive Reports
Presenters: Susan Abbott

The amazing immersive study is complete; you have photos, videos, and journey maps. How can you help your client keep the insights alive long past the presentation? When a client asked for innovation, we proposed a new way of handling the deliverables: we would build them a website, then move it to their internal servers. Everyone from business line leaders to the digital design team could have access to any level of data they needed, from summary to detail. It would motivate, engage, and keep the learning alive. They went for it, and they loved it. So much that they asked our competitors to do it too. The website we built included a clickable journey map; more than a dozen video vignettes with supporting text; individual stories and photos for each participant; easy access to PowerPoint reports; and a full archive of project artifacts. This is NOT about proprietary software, this is about using readily available online website building tools. This session will provide details about a specific case study, then build to a discussion about ways to do this in your own practice. Elevate your deliverables by taking them online, and dazzle clients with your awesomeness!

Target Audience: QRCs doing immersive projects with extensive video/photos who want to compete with the big firms.

Susan AbbottBio: Susan G. Abbott has been a qualitative researcher and innovation facilitator for 15+ years, in her own firm, and as part of Think Global Qualitative. She has served on the QRCA board, and co-chaired the 2016 Worldwide Conference in Vienna. She is author/co-author of two books, including Qual-Online: The Essential Guide. Susan is passionate about customer experience, painting, stand-up paddleboarding and scooters. More importantly for this session, she loves digital innovation and DIY online tools. The case study for this session won the 2016 MRIA Award of Excellence for Qualitative Research for herself and her client.

Confessions of a Subcontract Researcher: Dirty Secrets and Winning Tips to Succeed in Subcontracting
Presenter: Marilisa Beatty

Business models in our industry are changing. Increasing numbers of independent researchers are gaining work through larger research firms vs. working directly with end-clients. This has been a hot (and to some, controversial) topic of late. Love it or hate it, the truth is that more clients are commissioning larger research companies for work, with independent researchers left frustrated. However maddening this may be, there is a silver lining! That is, these larger suppliers are looking to outsource and commission independent researchers at increasing rates, providing us with a new opportunity for business.

This session will highlight the pros and cons of working as a subcontract researcher to larger firms. The presentation will then focus on the “how to’s” of working with larger research firms, including business development and best practices. Importantly, the presentation will share feedback and “dirty secrets” collected from interviews with research professionals at large firms who are in the position to commission independent moderators. This session will not only to provide solid advice for moderators looking to grow their business with larger firms, but will also shed light on “the dark side” of this type of work (i.e., Fears around “client stealing”, backroom egos).

Target Audience: Moderators who are considering taking on subcontract work from larger research suppliers. (Most appropriate for those who conduct in-person/telephone interviews vs. online/digital.)

Marilisa BeattyBio: Marilisa Beatty is the Founder & Principal of Key Qualitative, Inc. which specializes in consultation and subcontract support to a variety of large global research firms in healthcare and consumer research. Prior to launching Key Qualitative 3 years ago, Marilisa worked for a number of large research firms, playing a core role in the selection and commissioning of sub-contract moderators in the US and abroad. Having been on both sides of this topic for the past 10 years, Marilisa is happy to share the insider information she has gained along the way.

When Qual Met UX: How to Combine Traditional Qualitative Methods and User Research Approaches to Satisfy Your Clients and Add Value to Your Findings
Presenters: Kinsey Gimbel and Jonathan Strohl

As the fields of user research and human factors research explode, qualitative researchers are being asked to integrate elements of user experience (or UX) research into their work. At the same time, UX researchers are working to understand how to incorporate the exploration of perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes into testing that has been more focused on observation and task completion.

As researchers at an organization that conducts all types of research — from mail surveys to ethnographies, focus groups to eye tracking — we have had a unique opportunity to see how UX and qualitative research are different, the places where they overlap, and how a study can weave together elements from both to provide the richest, most actionable data.

In this session we will:

  • Examine what makes up user research and what are the key differences between it and more traditional qualitative work.
  • Discuss examples of projects that were focused on either UX or qualitative methods and could have used input from the other method.
  • Explore ways to blend UX and qual methods in a project to get the best data and meet the client's needs.

Target Audience: New and experienced qualitative researchers who are interested in learning more about user research and how to integrate it into their practice.

Kinsey GimbelBio: Kinsey has over 15 years of experience conducting applied research for federal and private clients, focusing on qualitative research, survey design and administration, data analysis and reporting, and program evaluation. As the lead moderator at Fors Marsh Group, she trained in focus group moderation at the RIVA Training Institute and has led focus groups with populations including middle school, high school, and college students; veterans and active-duty military members; medical professionals; and federal employees. Kinsey also worked at ICF International and at the Center for Creative Leadership, where she coedited the sourcebook Leadership Resources: A Guide to Training and Development Tools.

Jonathan StrohlBio: Jon has over 5 years of experience conducting applied research for federal and private clients, focusing on usability, user experience design, and human factors research. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Factors & Applied Cognition from George Mason University. At Fors Marsh Group, Jon supports organizations in the improvement and creation of exceptional websites, apps, and products for consumers. Jon leads trainings on the use of eye tracking technologies in applied research and is a co-author of the Mobile chapter in the book Eye Tracking in User Experience Design.


Thursday Evening Event

Sponsored by:
Shapiro & Raj

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