Qualitative Industry

“7 Deadly Sins” Key to Brand Building

I had the opportunity to go to the ESOMAR Qualitative Conference in Valencia Spain this week.  They put on a good conference.  Kudos to ESOMAR and the Conference Committee for an excellent conference.  I also discovered a wonderful city in Valencia.  If you ever get a chance to visit, do it.

One of my favorite presentations was, “The Power of the Dark Side” by Shobha Prosad.  Congratulations to Shobha as she was awarded “Best Paper” for the conference.  

Essentially her premise was that the seven deadly sins are the key to brand building.  Since branding is essentially emotional and personal, these emotional characteristics are central to the brand.  Indeed, a central theme running throughout the conference was the need to capture emotional as well as rational content when conducting qualitative research.

The seven sins can be divided into two categories:

  1. Psychological:  Pride, Greed and Envy
  2. Physical:  Lust, Gluttony, Anger and Sloth

She believes that these are the 7 “sins” that drive brand building.  However, she also stated, “For every behavior there is an equal and opposite expiratory behavior.”  Therefore, she identifies opposite motivators or needs.   She distinguishes the two types by the descriptors “Devil” and “Angel.”

Devil
Angel
Pride
Humility
Envy
Compassion
Greed
Generosity
Lust
Chastity
Gluttony
Abstinence
Anger
Peace
Sloth
Alacrity/Diligence

 

 

 

 

 

Shobha states that successful brands stand strongly in one or more spaces.  In fact, in each of her examples, brands occupied at least two spaces a “Devil” space and an “Angel” space.  This is consistent with the notion that brands often have a core driver that is most often self-serving to consumers (Devil motivator) and a secondary driver (Angel motivator) that is often used to rationalize purchase.

Though there was nothing ground-breaking in her overview of the “7 Deadly Sins” and their corresponding “Angel” motivators, the clarity of the concepts and admonition to keep these in mind during our brand research was a strong and needed reminder.

In summary, the presentation encouraged me in several ways:

  1. Remember to consider emotional and behavioral feedback at least as strongly as rational results in qualitative research.
  2. When confronted with an altruistic or “Angel” motivator behind a brand or action, look a little deeper for one of the more self-serving “Devil” motivations that might be the actual driver while the “Angel” is the outward rationalization.
  3. How are the various brands that I am responsible for represented here?  Time for a little self-analysis.

20|20’s Newest Innovation: Virtual Intercepts

One thing I love about working at 20|20 is that we are always working on something new for the marketing research community.  Its really fun!!!

Tuesday, 20|20 introduced “Virtual Intercepts.”  Very simply, its a method for moving respondents from one online space (think about social media such as Facebook, a survey, or any other place) to a screener where those who pass the screener can be invited to participate in a live webcam interview with a moderator.  Like mall intercepts, there is even a waiting room where they can hang out if the moderator is busy.  A technician/host moves them from the virtual waiting room to the interview room for their interview so the moderator stays busy with one interview after another.

Here are some ways researchers can use Virtual Intercepts that are very fast and extremely cost effective.

Interview Facebook followers.  Now researchers can utilize the pool of fans that flow through a brand’s Facebook page.   20|20’s proprietary technology makes the process simple:  (1) Embed a link on a brand’s Facebook page, (2) Screen the participants for specific attributes, (3) Participants opt-in and are allowed to wait in a virtual lobby for an available researcher (4) Researcher conducts live webcam interviews with eager, qualified participants.

Go Deep with Survey Participants.  20|20 has patent pending technology that allows researchers to interface with virtually any survey so only respondents providing specific responses are invited to participate in a webcam interview.  For instance, if a researcher only wants to talk to dissatisfied males between 18-34, those are the only respondents who are intercepted and invited to participate in the webcam interview.  No longer do researchers have to depend on a third-party or on text-baed chat techniques; the researcher controls the interview and conducts the analysis.

Interview Employees or other High Involvement Groups. An embed a directional link to a screener or to an opt-in invitation can be provided in a simple email.  The respondents click on the link, opt in, and presto!, they are in the virtual lobby ready for the moderator’s interview.  Its so easy.

Virtual Intercepts allow the researcher to gather depth from quantitative or otherwise difficult to access sources.  The researcher is in complete control of the live interview and each interview is recorded for analysis.  20|20 can even provide a video clipping service if desired.

In the past 3 months, 20|20 has introduced QualMeeting 2.0, Mobile In-Home Ethnography and Virtual Intercepts.  The ideas in the hopper are even more exciting.  We hope you are able to use our innovations to create better research leading to better products that enhance people’s lives.

 

Current and Emerging Trends in Qualitative Market Research

One of my passions is to ponder the future to understand industry trends and where the industry will be in the years to come.  The following guest contribution by Willie Pena of Insights in Marketing provides his take on trends in qualitative.  Willie Pena writes about qualitative market research and other popular forms of market research for IIM. Connect with him on Google+LinkedIn.

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Current and Emerging Trends in Qualitative Market Research

Just as marketing is changing in recent years, technologies are also changing the way that market research is conducted. Traditional qualitative research methods, like study groups, polls and observational studies, are going digital and expanding the ability for researchers and businesses to target participants and collect information. Successful businesses expect innovative research solutions that offer more than just data.

Adapting Qualitative Research Methods to Social Media and Mobile

Focus groups, observational studies and other traditional tools still have functional uses and are relevant in the digital world, however their costs are substantially higher than many of the emerging and maturing research methods available today. Deliberative and participative research methods are gaining popularity due to their increased ability to discover information on a larger scale.

However, the largest growth is found in social media and mobile market research. Across the globe, the Internet and mobile technologies are providing unprecedented access to markets and individuals. This provides a wealth of information that can be obtained without the need to secure a facility or spend months qualifying participants.

From high-definition video conferencing and instant communication around the world to the ability to reach participants on their mobile devices and access to demographics that are traditionally hard to reach, the Internet is providing technology based  research methods like the kinds seen here by IIM the likes of which has never been seen before.

Five Trends Gaining Traction in Digital Qualitative Research

  1. Market Research Online CommunitiesMROCs combine a mixture of social media, online discussion and qualitative research to provide long-term benefits, in-depth insight and an unparalleled level of access to program participants. The format is flexible enough to suit nearly any audience, through gamification, live chat, bulletin boards or other methods, to provide a powerful tool for researchers at a fraction of the cost that hosting in-person events and similar studies would cost.
  2. Social Media and Qualitative Research Social media is one of the driving forces in new methods of technology based qualitative research. From qualifying study participants to conducting research on the plethora of platforms available, there are near-endless options for optimizing your research methods, reaching new audiences and gathering mass quantities of data quickly and efficiently. However, these platforms are also ideal for long-term research due to their low-cost, easy management and instant communication features.
  3. Mobile Ethnography Ethnography was once a research method reserved for large projects and businesses with big budgets. With the penetration and instant-access characteristics of mobile research, mobile ethnography allows for ethnographic studies with lower costs and compressed timelines. Through video chat, mobile polls and other tools, it is possible to conduct contextual and immersion studies without the need for constant on-site supervision and many of the other characteristics that make traditional ethnography daunting and expensive.
  4. Increased Automation and Accelerated Speed to Market As the amount of data available to researchers increases, artificial intelligence, data mining tools, trends analysis algorithms and other research software are improving the ability to uncover trends, collate data and achieve results. This, in turn, is reducing the overall time need to conduct thorough research and produce results for clients. Both are fueling a surge in research-related spending within businesses and creating an ideal market for researchers in the years ahead.
  5. Increased Emphasis on the Customer ExperienceStudy reports including interactive elements, such as word clouds, video clips and storytelling, help to provide information with increased insight. Geo-location targeting, mobile surveys and other tools help to conduct studies in the moment as experiences are occurring to capture a truer sense of the study participant. The result is that traditional question-and-answer and static report formats of qualitative research are losing ground to new technologies at a rapid pace.

Qualitative research is evolving from rigid, complex structures to dynamic, real-time studies. With the help of mobile technologies, social media and other advances, qualitative researchers are enjoying a period of research advancement where greater market penetration, increased consumer willingness and skyrocketing business demand are pushing research to previously unseen heights. These current and emerging trends are likely to influence qualitative research and market research as a whole for years to come.

Nuggets from Best Practices, LLC’s Innovation Report

Research Business Report’s latest issue highlights a study from Best Practices, LLC titled, “Consumer Marketing Research Innovation: Assessing New Tools, Technologies and Approaches to Understand and Communicate with Consumers.” With a title that long, I was a bit scared to try to read it. So, I was glad Bob Lederer at RBR provided some summary points. A few of those stood out to me since I’m a qual guy and we do technology.

While only 8% of client companies believe a lack of innovation is a major obstacle, pharma companies reported it as an obstacle in 40% of the cases. Apparently, a lot of pharma researchers believe they are simply not getting it done with current practices and their companies are loathe to change things. If you do what you’ve always done…

“Having quantitative and qualitative researchers work as a team on select project can reduce study timelines.” Faster research is only one of the benefits of the yin and yang of quant and qual. Many times, such teamwork is simply better research. In today’s world of similar online formats for quant and qual, the benefits are easier to access than ever before. Unfortunately, most research firms built the Great Wall of China between quant and qual functions. Often, researchers in one function so not even know their counterparts in the other function. Going forward this has to change.

“Online qualitative research offers advantages over traditional qualitative studies (because) the online format removes the geographical boundaries that can make the creation of a representative sample so challenging in focus groups. Online qual (also) makes it easier to do asynchronous studies. It gives participants more of a feeling of anonymity and thus makes them more likely to talk about how they really feel.” True, yet only part of the story. The Best Practices report might add saving time and money and giving researchers additional tools to do better research through the use of longitudinal, ethnographic or diversity research methods.  Online qualitative has exploded the researcher’s toolset.  An expanded toolset challenges researchers to be smarter and more knowledgeable.  It also enables them to produce better research with more and deeper insights than ever before.

Announcing QualMeeting 2.0: Easier, Better and More Options than Ever

Sometimes innovation is a disruptive breakthrough.

Sometimes innovation simply makes existing technology easier and more practical.

Last week, 20|20 announced the release of QualMeeting 2.0.  Though not as “disruptive” as some of our other software, is is a dramatic step forward for the research industry since webcam interviewing will be easier, more reliable and have more interviewing options than ever before.  qualmeeting-2.0

Here is some info:

Overall, webcam interviewing is a fast-growing qualitative research methodology because it allows the researcher to interview people without geographic restrictions and it is very cost-effective, particularly since travel is eliminated.  It is a real-time use of technology that relies on the coordination of recruiting, project management and four technology nodes:  QualMeeting technology, participant’s webcam, moderator’s webcam and the audio conferencing system.  20|20 has developed new technology and processes to eliminate glitches and provide a stress-free user experience for researchers and clients.

Here are some of the updates that make QualMeeting 2.0 the industry’s best video interviewing platform.

Advanced Interviewing Toolset.  New interviewing tools such as drag-and-drop card sorting, polling questions and storyboarding bring added  richness to interviews.  Results can be aggregated across interviews or groups giving the researcher powerful new analytical tools.

Virtual Lobby.  20|20 developed a separate room, like the waiting room in a focus group facility, for respondents to await their interview time.  While waiting, a 20|20 technician checks their video and audio to ensure a good interviewing experience for the moderator and clients.  New transition technology ensures a smooth transition to the interviewing room.

“Behind the Glass” Client Audio.  Clients can watch and listen to interviews from multiple locations.  They can even hold discussions during the interview without worrying that respondents will hear their conversations.  This feature can also be used for real-time translations.

Real-Time Transcriptions.  Provides a simultaneous text record of the interview. Though not perfect, this feature can dramatically speed analysis by allowing the researcher to search key terms and play the video from that point.  Reporting, and even video editing, becomes much faster and easier.  Of course, post-interview full transcriptions are always available.

Video Clip Editing.  The researcher provides direction; the QualMeeting team creates the video clips for analysis or a montage you can use as a video report.

QualMeeting+Plus Service.  You take care of the Study Design, Moderating and Analysis.  20|20 QualMeeting experts take care of the rest.  Period.

For more information on the new QualMeeting 2.0 platform, click here to go to the 20|20 website page.  Or you can email advice@2020research.com or call us at 1.615.777.2020.

Passing of an Industry Icon: Bill Weylock

Today I learned that a friend and research industry icon, Bill Weylock, has passed away.  Lenny Murphy did a very good obituary on the GreenBook blog that gives a detailed outline of Bill’s legacy.  Here are a few of my recollections meant as a tribute to a leader and a friend.

Bill was brilliant and an industry pioneer.  He was a founding member of the Qualitative Research Consultant’s Association (QRCA) and served as its President.  When I first came to know him, he was trying to get QRCA members to participate in a QRCA interactive forum using CompuServe.  He was leading the adoption of the online forum and having a difficult time finding followers.  That was then.  Now, QRCA has a widely used and read forum.  LinkedIn and other websites utilize thousands of forums for discussions of various topics.  Plus, a major qualitative research methodology, including 20|20‘s own QualBoard, has been built on the threaded forum technology.  Bill saw the power of the Internet before the Internet was cool.  He led the way for all of us.

When I was President of QRCA, Bill took me under his wing.  He helped me to understand the history and the dynamics of the organization.  He helped me to see the importance of planning for the future and creating a QRCA that would lead the industry.  Bill had strong opinions and was not afraid of a little disagreement.  He encouraged me to live with the power of my convictions, even when some members disagreed.  He liberally shared his experience and wisdom, but always expected me to go my own way.  He was fiercely independent and expected others to be so too.  He was a mentor then and became a friend.

Bill Weylock had a tremendous influence on our industry and a tremendous influence on many people.  Miss you already, Bill.

Isaac Rogers: A Researcher You Need to Know

Here at 20|20 we are proud that Isaac Rogers has been selected by Survey Magazine as “A Researcher You Need to Know.”Isaac Rogers

Isaac has been Chief Innovation Officer for 20|20 since 2008.  We may be a little biased but we truly believe he is a rockstar in the application of technology to market research.  Isaac is the chief architect for QualBoard(R) the industry’s leading global online qualitative discussion platform.  His most recent innovation was to conceive and manage the development of QualTranslate virtually instant translation for global QualBoard projects.  You need to know Isaac because he is changing the way we all do qualitative research online.  Keep an eye out since he has more innovations in the pipeline.

Congratulations Isaac.  An honor well-deserved.

“April Fools” Joke Becomes Technology Breakthrough

“They said it couldn’t be done… that there was no way to get a software platform to translate from one language to many others on the fly, but the technology team at 20|20 has done it. They’ve cracked the code and have added an amazing new feature to our QualBoard platform.”

This was the opening line to a now infamous “April Fools” email sent out by 20|20 on April 1, 2010.  At that time, we thought the idea of instant translation so far-fetched that no one would really take it seriously.  That was then…this is now.

Today, 20|20 announced its newest innovation in online qual research, QualTranslate.  What does it do?  It translates QualBoard posts from one language to another “on the fly.”  Today’s announcement echoes the joke from 2010, “the technology team at 20|20 has done it.  They’ve cracked the code and have added an amazing new feature to our QualBoard platform.”  Now, its true.  For us, the irony is stunning.  This is truly a Back to the Future moment.

So, what is the breakthrough?  QualTranslate uses a sophisticated language algorithm to translate one language into another within 60 seconds of it being posted to QualBoard.  In the asynchronous QualBoard environment, this is virtually instantaneous.  This machine translation will be hugely helpful for clients or project managers interfacing with multi-national, multi-language projects.  Now, from anywhere in the world, they can keep up follow the discussion in real time waiting for the post-project translation to be completed.

The virtually instant translation was a breakthrough, but the 20|20 team did not stop there.  They realized that machine translation is great for following a discussion, but is not best for analyzing it.  So, they added an on-the-fly native-speaker translation capability as well.  When this feature is activated, each post is sent directly to a native speaker for translation.  When completed, that speaker sends the translation back to QualBoard. The system immediately inserts the translation into QualBoard for viewers.  The entire process usually happens within 3-6 hours of the original post.  On a multi-day QualBoard, a viewer is never too far behind the discussion to draw insights and make course corrections.  Also, no more waiting days or weeks for translated transcripts.  The entire transcript will be translated within a few hours of the final post.

Speed is crucial in today’s business environment.  Waiting for transcript translations often slows down multi-national projects by weeks.  No more.  Also, project directors often cannot monitor research in many countries because they cannot simply follow the discussion.  When things go wrong, no one knows often until the project is over and its too late.  That problem is now solved.

We are constantly amazed at how fast technology advances.  What seemed impossible just three years ago, is reality today.  I could not be more proud of the 20|20 Tech team.

 

Facility Shake-Out on the Horizon?

Is a shake-out looming among focus group facilities?   Its definitely a topic among researchers at conferences and wherever “old quallies” gather.  The conversation usually revolves around the obvious fragmentation of our industry with all the new methodologies and capabilities popping up.  The speculation is that many facility owners may simply be holding on until their expensive, long-term leases expire so they can close down the facility.  There is no way to know if this is true.  If so, it represents a major shift in our industry.

The specter of a facility shake-out was raised anew with Leibowitz Market Research‘s announcement that it sold its facility building in Charlotte after 50 years in business.   They are “retooling” to better meet today’s needs.  Stay tuned.  Even so, it reminded me of other friends who have closed and moved on.  I wonder if there are more closings just over the horizon?

I don’t expect the facility business will completely go away any time soon.  But, we have to ask the question, “Will there be enough business to go around?”  If not, “What will the surviving industry look like?”  I think we will see many more closings.  The trends suggest it.  Business is fragmenting.  Owners are aging.  Leases are expiring.  Big firms are flexing their muscle.  Schlessinger keeps growing, Focus Pointe Global had a capital infusion. Fieldwork seems to be maintaining its network.

MRA’s 2012 Blue Book lists 424 facilities in the U.S.  The 2013 edition will come out soon.  I wonder how many will be listed then?

Fortunately, at 20|20, our facilities have been healthy and are adding capabilities to “retool” for the times.  So, its a little difficult for me to judge.  However, the signs point to a new age in the facility business.  If a shake-out is coming, lets hope for a soft landing.

 

Mobile: “The Pocket Ethnographer”

“Mobile is an ethnographer in their pocket.” said Chris Jones of BrainJuicer today at the ESOMAR Qualitative Conference.  He was speaking of their success using mobile phones to conduct “self-ethnography.”

His case study highlighted the differences between a brand’s segmentation definitions and how that people interact with that brand in real life.  For example, an oatmeal brand may think of oatmeal as being consumed in at the family breakfast table  in a cereal bowl with some fruit on top and a sprinkle of sugar or cinnamon.  In reality, that oatmeal may be consumed in a plastic bowl direct from the microwave and eaten in front of the television while the consumer also catches up on facebook posts.   Digital ethnography is becoming so much easier and less expensive that brand teams can use it to create a much more robust understanding of their brand segments.

A Nokia case study presented by Sharmila Subramanian of Face and Katherine Gough of Nokia also demonstrated the power and capabilities of mobile diaries used as ethnography.

These case studies support a trend we are seeing at 20|20 with LifeNotes mobile app.  Mobile is finally gaining the capabilities and penetration that we have been expecting for some time.  Researchers are taking advantage of these tools to take ethnography research methods to a much broader consumer base.  The triad of mobile limiting issues consisting of cost, capabilities and reach have now intersected and the research community is embracing it.

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