Posts Tagged ‘The Quirks Event’

The Quirks Event Brooklyn: An Esprit de Corps Experience

Posted on: March 2nd, 2018 by doyle

From the desk of Laura Duguid

This week I attended my first Quirks Event. Having submitted an application and been accepted to speak at the event in Brooklyn, NY, my emotions prior were a mix of nervousness and excitement. Of course, as we all know, work doesn’t stop when we decide to attend these gatherings. And, if your job is anything like mine, project work has a tendency to multiply the closer the conference date – and the planned time away from the office – gets. To this end, I began to ask myself, “Should I still go?” “What to do?!” (Everyone has those moments, right?)

Well, of course I didn’t bail. I was proud to have been invited to speak, and certainly wanted to fulfill my commitment. So off I went, from Chicago to New York for two days – and it was wonderful! The exhibitors and session speakers were all abuzz about innovative tools, platforms and approaches – mostly digital – that raise the results bar in the research game. I felt immersed in the future and it looked fantastic!

But the thing that stands out most about my experience at the Quirks Event Brooklyn was the sense of camaraderie I felt that transcended industry relationships. Exhibitors, marketing researchers, insights directors and managers, academics, and ad execs – just to name a few – had all gathered for a common goal: exploring how to achieve new heights in top quality research. Refreshingly, I found the tone of the event to be more like a great big information share instead of all about networking. It was an inspiring experience that served to remind me we’re all on the same team and have the same goal: to produce insightful, actionable information at the highest level.

And speaking of the highest level, what conference would be complete without a swag bag? The Quirks Event Brooklyn did not disappoint. Here’s a closing story that reveals some of the goody bag highlights:

Sitting at one of the high-top tables in the exhibit hall, I use my jar opener to uncap a fresh bottle of water. I slip the bottle into my new coozie to keep it chilled and scan the speaker schedule with a magnifying glass so as not to miss any important details. I circle several options with my puzzle pen. I have a bit of time before the first speaker, so I indulge in some levity and read a book of witticisms. Time’s up so I pack my notebook and head to the conference room. The speaker is wonderful – informative and engaging. But wait! My turn to speak is just around the corner! I pop a piece of gum into my mouth and grab the stress ball to tame my nerves as I dash to Conference Room One. Up at the podium I use the lens cloth to wipe down the laptop screen. With two minutes to go I apply a swipe of lip balm to assure the words come out smoothly. And three…two…one…show time: Emotional Engagement Through Customer Empathy—Tapping the Power of Live Streaming Mobile Interviewing.




ZOOM! 6 ways to cultivate attitudinal and behavioral insights faster

Posted on: March 23rd, 2016 by doyle

From the desk of Carole Schmidt

At the recent Quirk’s Event and in subsequent workshops, one recurring message for research practitioners was loud and clear—brand managers and marketing directors want SPEED SPEED SPEED! Decisions need to be made yesterday. Pressure to get to market sooner is stronger than ever. Can we really produce valuable and actionable insights, faster? And just because we can, should we?

Admittedly, the tendency among us qualitative strategist types is to balk at such a notion. Isn’t real insight–that latent gem or “aha”—discovered through distillation, incubation, reflection, analysis, and consideration?

Speed-of-LightIn truth, real behavioral or attitudinal insight can be expedited with an agile moderator and a collaborative team spirit. Here are 6 ways you can gain rich, actionable insight in a hurry:

Be laser focused: Instead of the conventional “narrowing funnel” approach to discussion, generate 3 specific hypotheses (not questions) before the research to optimize the recruit and focus the discussion on specifics first, to get to that revealing understanding sooner.

Go small: Individual interviews or mini-groups readily enable “laddering” or the use of projective techniques for higher order understanding, and reduce/eliminate respondent posturing.

Embrace the iterative approach: Question the need to mechanically repeat content from interview-to-interview in favor of debriefing after each mini-group to identify remaining gaps in learning, then, narrow the discussion scope in subsequent groups to gain clarity and richness.

Divide and conquer: Splitting your research design into two methods conducted simultaneously (e.g., an online community and a series of depth interviews) taps into different perspectives tackling the same hypotheses. Following up fieldwork with a robust, joint debrief leverages the contrasts for introspective insights.

Do your homework: Put your target respondent (and your team!) to work before you engage with them. Even the simplest exercises (an image representing everyday YOU and where-you’re-going YOU) captures emotional depth that grounds responses (and your team’s perceptions) in your target’s reality.

Look beyond the obvious: Examine social media first to observe conversations that surface language, imagery, and pertinent topics on which to probe further. Check out “dark social” too: peruse fans’ profiles and their “liked” sites/brands. Post a key question in your own social media channels and follow the positive and negative buzz to round out–or challenge–the insights gained in primary research.

There is no doubt that thoughtful design + incubation + comprehensive analysis = insights. But, to say that valued insights cannot be obtained through speedier approaches is hogwash. I’ve witnessed (and led) 4-days-to-the-finish-line projects. Admittedly, these projects take passion, energy, and rigor to focus narrowly — “go deep or go home.” Yet these sessions produce! And we all know that the cost of not doing research always exceeds the cost of doing it. So whether it’s 4 days or 4 weeks, with real insights come smarter business decisions.

The Quirks Event: Recapped

Posted on: March 4th, 2015 by doyle

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 10.44.07 AMFrom the desk of Kathy Doyle

Quirk’s had a great idea – offer a low cost alternative to the super pricey conferences packing our calendars –and so many people agreed with them that the event was sold out and the venue was packed.   Here is my review of the inaugural Quirks Event, after a week’s incubation (or procrastination!).

The emphasis was clearly on the exhibitors.   It was one of the larger exhibit halls I’ve been in, and chock full of mobile solutions, panel providers, online platform providers, and software providers for all things data management.   To me, most notable was the fact that more and more exhibits are tech focused; less and less are focused on facilities and other “human” services firms.   It is clear that tech-driven market research is here to stay.   For me, it was a great opportunity to evaluate resources that our team can vet and test to help us execute our custom qualitative study designs.   Exhibitors, how was it for you?

Though I don’t believe the presentations were intended to be the primary focus of the conference, most rooms were packed, which tells me that attendees still do view presentations as a main draw of the conferences they attend.   A couple of my key take-aways were that:

  • new technology is driving the conversations in MR
  • the lines between quant and qual are blurring, with both industries leveraging methods and tools from each other to craft dynamic research designs
  • there is an increasing emphasis on understanding the consumer’s journey, using mobile and wearables, to come as close as possible to actually “walking in their shoes”.

With all of the upsides of technology, it does have its downsides. The conference’s Presdo Match app was controversial.   Word on the street is that clients hated it.   They felt pestered by potential research partners trying to set up meetings.   I liked it (of course, I’m a research partner).   I was able to see who among my clients was attending, and it gave me the chance to seek them out for a face-to-face conversation.   This dichotomy is not unique to The Quirk’s Event.   More and more, clients are keeping a low profile; not registering on conference apps, not wearing their name tags, not attending networking events.   Their goal in attending conferences is to learn, while suppliers have begun to view conferences as significant marketing opportunities.   Somehow a balance has to be achieved, so everyone’s needs are met.

All in all, I think Quirks did a great job of executing their vision for the first ever Quirks Event.   And I have no doubt that any problems experienced (did I mention the scavenger hunt to find food?!) were duly noted and will be addressed.


In With the New: New Qualitative Methods, New Apps, New Year

Posted on: January 21st, 2015 by doyle

New Qualitative Methods

2014 was an innovative year at Doyle Research Associates. We continue to find and refine effective ways to use the latest technologies to enhance qualitative research methods.

  • We launched a new product called Geo-Stories,℠ real-time geo-validated phone interviews conducted at the moment of product experience. In 2014 we intercepted and talked to people as they shopped at convenience stores, grocery stores, and even car dealerships!
  • We devised a strategic framework showing how qualitative research adds value throughout each stage of the product lifecycle. Check it out here.PaulVideoGlasses
  • Ever wanted to see exactly what your customers see? Try video glasses. These glasses take shopper insights to a whole new level, as this video clip illustrates. 

New Apps

Here are some apps that we have discovered in the past year:

  • There are some good apps to help participants create collages, like Moldiv with many visually interesting layouts;  and to organize photos like Mosaik and Skitch by Evernote that allows participants to mark-up and annotate PDF images.
  • For the travelers and road warriors out there, check out Waze. It is a map with crowdsourcing or “real-time help from other drivers.” The app will reroute you around construction, alert you of accidents, police on highways and vehicles stopped on the side of the road, as reported by other users.
  • TweetDeck makes using the fire hose that is Twitter more informative and manageable by organizing followees into categories of interest.

New Year

  • Doyle Research will be presenting “Fire the Moderator! Why You Don’t Have to be There“ at The Quirk’s Event on February 23-24, 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.  We hope to see you there!