Archive for the ‘Qualitative General’ Category



Four Reasons to Consider Outsourcing to a Qualitative Strategist

Posted on: November 9th, 2018 by doyle No Comments

I have been noticing a trend among clients who want to bring some qualitative and quantitative research in-house. I get it. It’s expensive. You know what you want, so surely you should be able to do it yourself.

And the truth is, you probably can! But should you?

Absolutely. Some of the time…

But here are a few reasons to consider outsourcing, and perhaps they’ll help you decide when to DIY and when to go the full-service route.

  1. An outside perspective can yield insights that the internal team is too close to see. A qualitative strategist can spot trends you might miss or help you connect the dots in new ways.
  2. Full-time qualitative researchers know how to maximize the value of the research. Through clever/efficient study design, guide development and the use of specialized techniques, they can get beyond surface responses and group bias.
  3. Going the full-service route allows the client team to concentrate on listening, note taking, and convergence activities. This moves next steps along further and faster.
  4. We hear from clients who have tried DIY that “It’s harder than it looks!” There are myriad details that can make or break a project, and we’ve learned them all the hard way. Why should you?

Still thinking about tackling your project on your own? Email me at Kathy.Doyle@2020research.com. My team is happy to offer advice on how to get the most out of the research you are conducting. And we hope you’ll remember us kindly the next time you do decide to outsource!

 

 

Mining the Depths: Unlocking System 1 Responses

Posted on: October 23rd, 2018 by doyle

When talking to clients, I continually hear concern that traditional qualitative research methods may not be helping them understand what really drives human behaviors. And it’s a legitimate concern.

Many qualitative (and for that matter, quantitative) methods involve asking questions and waiting for answers (“look at this, and tell me what you think”).  And what we get are rational, considered responses, but that is only a portion of what really drives human behavior.  It is therefore critical to use qualitative approaches that can tap into System 1 thinking in order to better understand the subconscious influencers and drivers of human behavior.

Here are three ideas to consider:

  • Utilize projective techniques. Personification exercises, brand obituaries, picture sorts, collages, word associations, deprivation exercises, and a whole host of other projective techniques are designed to get below surface responses to uncover subconscious attitudes, feelings, and behaviors. When thoughtfully incorporated into a group session or interview, they can break down barriers, foster communication, and mine emotional depths that simply wouldn’t surface with a basic Q&A approach.
  • Incorporate an observational component. This allows you to observe discrepancies in behavior between what someone says they do and what they actually do. Many behaviors, particularly those that are repeated day after day, are automatic and sometimes totally subconscious. By discussing what we have observed after the fact, more nuanced answers are elicited.
  • Capture “in-the-moment” behaviors using mobile technology. For example, we’ve used mobile intercepts with panel members whose location services are on and who enter a geo-fenced location. This allows us to capture respondents’ reactions to an experience as it takes place and before they’ve had a chance to consider their response.

It is our responsibility as qualitative researchers to continually seek ways to get below surface responses, uncover a more complete story, and gain insights that are grounded in consumers’ actual behaviors rather than their reported ones.

Decoding Disruption: A New Research Series from 20|20 Research

Posted on: October 2nd, 2018 by doyle

“A disruption isn’t an improvement or advancement, but a radically different approach to a consumer need.” – Female, 22-35

We can all think of some buzzwords we use without even thinking, whether we’re rattling them off during meetings or chatting with a colleague over lunch. Sometimes we use them and hear them so much they become almost meaningless – just filler. 

The word on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days is “disruption.” Which made my colleagues at 20|20 Research wonder – what exactly does “disruption” mean to consumers? Is it a meaningful term? Or is it just a term that we market researchers and marketers toss around among ourselves?

Being curious by nature, the 20|20 Insights team set out to do more than just define disruption – we set out to demystify it. The following is a sneak peek of the findings from our new research series Decoding Disruption, which will be released in phases over the next several months.
To kick things off, we asked 500 consumers from 20|20’s nationwide panel to weigh in on the topic of disruption. Our survey findings show that while consumers may not know the textbook definition of disruption, they know it when they see it, and it’s beginning to impact how they think about brands.

Initial findings reveal three key insights:

  1. Disruptive brands are here to stay. Nearly 7 in 10 consumers do not believe they are just fads, although they acknowledge that the majority of brands still do not rise to the level of being disruptive.
  2. The majority of consumers believe disruptive brands care more about creating products and services for “people like me.” Agreement with this statement is consistent across gender and income levels, making the case for brands to prioritize identifying and aligning with consumer needs.
  3. “Innovation” and “risk” are the key ingredients that signal to consumers that a company is disruptive. They believe that these elements, along with technology, are critical to a brand’s ability to think outside the box and build more customized solutions – particularly those products and services that meet the needs the consumer may not even know they have.

Our findings have also revealed that consumers value and have distinct expectations for both disruptive and traditional brands. Disentangling these expectations along with brand preferences will be the next focus of 20|20’s findings about disruption.

If disruption is here to stay and consumers have unique expectations for disruptive companies, what does it mean for your own brand or the brands you work with? Stayed tuned as we tackle this question and others in our research series, Decoding Disruption.

No: One Simple Word for Better Research

Posted on: September 10th, 2018 by doyle

My friend and colleague Julia Eisenberg over at 20|20 Research published an article addressing why when it comes to research, more isn’t always better.

In these days with every methodology at our finger tips, it can be harder than ever to find the right balance when designing a study.  After all, we can reach our audiences and collect insights so many ways. But when does too much of a good thing become a bad thing?

In Julia’s piece, found here, she suggests that the best way to gain the full picture and meaningful insights may mean we sometimes have to say no, keeping the scope of a project tighter or breaking it into phases.

At high level, she suggests the following:

  • Reduce. Limit the scope of the project to two or three objectives and be overly critical of everything else.
  • Identify. Proactively discuss any potential issues and clearly identify expectations before research begins.
  • Protect. Guard your work and don’t let other stakeholders add unrelated objectives that draw attention away from the main focus.
  • Verify. Value the quality control process as much as the methodology being use. Check-in early and check-in often.

Three Tips to Avoid Surprise Objectives

Posted on: August 21st, 2018 by doyle

We’ve all been there. We ask thoughtful and detailed questions upfront to understand the business needs and the research objectives.  We use this information to create a study design and craft a targeted discussion guide.   And then suddenly, brand new objectives pop up and derail the carefully conceived plan. 

Here are three tips to help minimize the unwanted appearance of surprise objectives:

  1. Define success at the beginning of the project – and write it down. The definition of success varies from person to person, leaving room for misinterpretation so make sure all key stakeholders are in alignment on their expectations of a successful outcome.  Document this in writing and be sure the definition of success is clearly stated on all collateral.  If objectives change as the project evolves, update them and be sure they’re clear and present at each stage of the project.
  2. Press for details. No question is a stupid question, especially when it comes to forming a partnership based on mutual agreement and understanding. Ask for as much detail upfront as possible—moderators of the client, and the client of their team members. When stakeholders and researchers begin to assume, we run a considerable risk of misalignment when the project ends.  As curious, inquisitive researchers, our job of collecting information begins well before the first respondent engages – we must engage our stakeholders from the start by asking smart questions, clarifying any lingering assumptions and confirming that we are meeting expectations.
  3. Check-in early and often. Throughout the project, plan check-ins at key milestones where important information is shared efficiently. This gives ample opportunity for reaction, response, and redesign if needed, or to bring attention to initiatives that aren’t aligning with expectations. When everyone participates in a well-designed, efficiently executed process, we can all share in the successful outcome and diminish the potential of surprise objectives coming to light too late.

Have any tips that have worked well for you? We’d love to talk further about how to avoid or manage surprise objectives.