Monthly Archives: January 2009

Narratives: Storytelling as a Research Art

Leap into Narratives

Narratives, or storytelling, allow research participants to tell their story in an unstructured way that releases them from our structured questionning that sometimes suppresses key findings.  Such “unstructure” can lead to powerful, unexpected insights.  During narratives the participant expresses him/herself in ways that are unconventional and revealing of context, behaviour, relationships and emotions.  The researcher must employ a research design that gives the participant such freedom of expression yet creates a structure for collecting the narratives for later analysis.  Only after the narratives are collected is the process subjected to the rigor of analysis necessary to mine the deeper insights often divulged through storytelling narratives. 

Research World Logo.jpgResearch World published an interesting article on narratives in its November, 2008 edition.  That article can be found at



2009: New Methods Gain, Traditional Qual Loses

Forrester Industry Report Executive Summary

From December 2, 2008

Tough economic times will actually serve to turbocharge the “faster, cheaper, better” changes that have been revolutionizing the business of market research — but expect an increased emphasis on “cheaper.” To save dollars in 2009, more firms will use online survey tools themselves instead of outsourcing to full service firms. Large research firms will increase acquisitions as medium-size firms’ valuations are hammered down. Traditional qualitative research will see erosion as market research online communities (MROCs) and fusions of quantitative and qualitative research from firms such as Invoke Solutions gain steam. In short, everyone will be looking for ways to gain insights to succeed in a troubling market in as cost-effective a manner as possible. This means that newer research modes will gain traction and grab more share of stable or declining market research budgets — even among research buyers who have been more traditional in the past.

For the full report, go to


Slaying the Metrics Monster

Marketing Execs: Researchers Could Use a Softer Touch

ARF Panel Talk Emphasizes Need to Ditch Surveys and Listen to Consumers’ Stories, Feelings

Published: January 27, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO ( — Long known for crunching numbers and being statistical gatekeepers of the marketing industry, market researchers need to shift their focus toward listening and developing ideas better on the front end and away from “feeding the metrics monster,” Kim Dedeker, market research VP for Procter & Gamble co., told an Advertising Research Foundation forum on the industry’s future.


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QualBlog is developed and maintained by 20/20 Research to provide a single source of information about all types of qualitative research.  QualBlog will have original posts and news from around the globe specifically related to qualitative research.  Check in regularly to skim the news and information to keep up to day on worldwide qual research.  We look forward to getting to know you.

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