Qualitative Industry

Qual: A tool for peace in Mindanao

Sometimes qualitative research can be inspiring.  For me, it has usually been in the midst of a focus group when a participant makes a comment and the light bulb goes off.  At those moments I nearly gasp with delight and wonder at the insight gained.  This is inspiring but in a totally different way. 

This post includes two articles.  The first is a background article from Reuters.  The second is from MindaNews at www.Mindanews.com on how Mindanao residents plan to use qualitative research as a tool for peace.  It makes me wonder about more ways to use qual for good.



The Philippine government’s decades long confrontation with Muslim separatists on the southern island of Mindanao and a second conflict with communist inPhilippinesmap.jpgsurgents across the country have left 160,000 dead and displaced up to 2 million people.

  • 700,000 uprooted in 2008 fighting
  • More than a third of population live in poverty
  • Mindanao situation attracts Islamic extremists

The Mindanao conflict first flared in the 1960s when the Muslim minority – known as the Moros – launched an armed struggle for their ancestral homeland in the south.

But the campaign for self-rule is not the only source of bloodshed on Mindanao. There has also been a long Maoist insurgency, violence linked to militant Islamist groups with pan-Asian aspirations, bloody ethnic vendettas, clan wars and banditry.

Fighting escalated in 2008 after a decade-long peace process between the government and rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) collapsed.

Politics and religion aside, much of the violence is fuelled by deep poverty rooted in decades of under-investment.

Read More…

Primer for Qual End Users

The QRCA Professionalism Committe headed by one of my favorite people, Bob (J.R.) Harris, has developed a white paper for qualitative viewers.  The stated purpose of this paper is to:

  • Enhance the learning of backroom viewers, thereby maximizing the value of the research
  • Preempt the risk of making potentially costly viewing and/or listening errors
  • Provide QRCA members with a solid business-building tool.

QRCA has given me permission to post this in the hope that it might be helpful to you and/or your clients.  You can access this document at:  http://www.qrca.org/associations/6379/files/Observing%20QR%20ProCom%20final.doc

Winning Clients: An End User Perspective

Regina Lewis.jpgRegina Lewis, PhD and VP of Global Insights for InterContinental Hotels Group gave an “End User’s Perspective” at the MRA’s CEO Summit.  Here are some notes from her presentation that you might find helpful the next time you try to land that big account.

During a recession, end users are often understaffed but still have to get the work done.  Therefore, any assistance a supplier can give that can help is usually greatly appreciated, regardless of how small.  In these times, end users are often forced to rely on suppliers more than usual but they will also tend to rely on those they trust the most.

Dr. Lewis identified four stages in developing a client relationship along with some tips at each stage. 

Read More…

Simon Chadwick on the MR industry

Simon Chadwick is CEO of CAMBIAR, a change management company.  He is also affiliated with Peanut Labs and is the Editor-in-Chief of Research World which I happen to think is a wonderful publication from ESOMAR.  He spoke at the opening session of MRA’s CEO Summit.  Here is a summary of his comments according to my notes.

In 2009 marketing research will likely see its first contraction since 1982, estimated at 7-9%.  Even with that historic contraction, online research will grow 5% bringing online to a total of about 49% of all research. 


Read More…

WPP to Emphasize “Insights”

This comes to us from www.mrweb.com.  Implications for qualitative?

Insight at the Heart of New WPP

January 22, 2009

Global communications group WPP is planning to move away from its role as a traditional media and advertising supplier, to concentrate on becoming a more insight-led organisation, says CEO Sir Martin Sorrell.

Sorrell says this change of direction will move the company away from the business models of rivals such as Omnicom, IPG and Publicis, towards those created by Nielsen, IPSOS, GfK and even Thomson-Reuters and Bloomberg.

Following last year’s buyout of TNS, WPP revenues currently stand at around £15bn, of which £4bn is generated by its consumer insight group of companies, which sit under its Kantar brand.

Sorrell supported the move by quoting recent research from IAB which highlighted that 87% of clients are looking for their agencies to provide value by offering ‘strategic consumer insight’.

‘Clients won’t move in the future unless they get quantitative justification for what they do,’ stated Sorrell. ‘We may not like it – creative departments of ad agencies certainly don’t – but that’s the way the world’s going.’

Sorrell founded WPP in 1985, and the group is now present in 106 countries with more than 150 companies.

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 www.forrester.com


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