Research Conference

Reflections and Learnings from the Quirks Event

A couple of weeks ago I returned from the bi-coastal experiment called the Quirk’s Event. One was held in Irvine, CA, and one in Brooklyn, NY.  I attended them both.  The consensus among attendees seemed to be that the Brooklyn event was stronger, but maybe this is because it is the older sibling to the new Irvine event.  Even so, Irvine gets the award for most exciting since the hotel lost all power on the conference’s final day, even though it was a beautiful SoCal dKermitay without a cloud in the sky.  Maybe the Californians were just being “green.”

Even without power, I heard a few things that made me stop and take note around the evolution of brands, the pace of business, and the keys to product development.

BRANDING

Some thought-provoking quotes on branding.

  • “Has the world changed more rapidly than your model?” — Amy Levin, Benenson Strategy Group
  • “What is the important (to the customer) benefit that only you can enable?”  Corollary, “First, talk to the customer, then talk internally.”  — Lori Laflin, Cargill
  • “One of the top 3 reasons people trust brands is because of their vulnerability or reciprocity” — Baileigh Allen, BrandTrust

SPEED

Speed, it seems, reigns supreme.

IBM shared details about their “Always On Intelligence Program.”  This program is driving their transformation “from a project-driven to a program-driven information system with continuous feedback.”  Reported results at IBM, “providing engaging insights at the pace of business and improved client perceptions of IBM.”  Think about the implications of this if this radical thinking becomes industry standard.  It will change everything.

Meanwhile, “We conduct fast turn concept testing all the time” was a comment from Simone Schuster of Dannon – further confirmation that we live in world where we want information, and we want it now.

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

At its core, product development is about understanding the consumer. Jenni French Cyrek of Microsoft shared five questions that product managers should ask.

  1. Where are the gaps in the customer buying and use process?
  2. Where do important needs and low satisfaction intersect? That is opportunity.
  3. What concepts actually work for the customer, not the company?
  4. What is a strong value proposition for the market?
  5. How to improve the product over time? Match survey and behavioral metrics.

Hats off to the Quirk’s team for taking risks and trying some new techniques.  Maybe the West Coast event will grow to be as good or better than the Brooklyn event.  Regardless, they have re-invented a tradeshow/conference format that works. I admire smart risk-takers.

I plan to be in Brooklyn next year. The jury is still out on Irvine.  However, I might be swayed by the prospect of a few days in SoCal in February.

 

 

20|20 and Resource/Ammirati Partner for Mobile Award

This week, 20|20 won the 2016 Award for Best Mobile Qualitative from Market Research in the Mobile World (MRMW).  We are honored to be recognized.  The MRMW Awards celebrate excellence in market research and those who contribute to achievements in mobile market research.  The awards were presented July 19 at the MRMW North America Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

We also want to recognize our partner Resource/Ammirati for being willing to take a risk and try something new.  The winning project was conducted in partnership with Resource/Ammirati, a digitally focused creative agency. They approached us to assist with a study centered around baking, with the goal of tapping into the motivations of the modern baker.

20|20 used the QualBoard® discussion platform and QualBoard®Mobile™ app so that respondents could use pictures and videos to document their time in the kitchen throughout the week-long study. With the app, participants were able to upload an unlimited amount of media, which not only led to greater in-the-moment feedback, but also much more detailed insights into their experiences. So much so, in fact, that the findings were contrary to what was expected before the project began and resulted in completely different messaging for the creative work after the fact.

In accepting the award on behalf of 20|20, my colleague Isaac Rogers said it best, “Thank you to our clients for their willingness to take risks with us.” After all, the best innovations and forward momentum for the market research industry are born out of these sorts of partnerships.  It is through close collaboration and a willingness to try new things that we can uncover unmet needs and address them with new approaches.

So thanks to MRMW for the recognition, to all of our clients who support our innovation, and to the team at 20|20 who put so much effort every day into supporting our clients.  And, a special, heart-felt thanks to Resource/Ammirati for stepping out to partner with us to try new and revealing techniques.

To read more about the 2016 MRMW Awards and the other honorees, please click here: http://na.mrmw.net/blog-post/winners-of-the-2016-mrmw-mobile-research-awards-announced

 

Simple Stimulating Statements: AQR/QRCA Conference in Tweets

Sometimes, the best reading is simple reading that makes you think.

Last week, I attended the AQR/QRCA World Qualitative Conference in Budapest, Hungary (a fabulous city by the way).  The Twitter feed (#aqr/qrca)was very active.  Here is a collection of tweets.  Maybe one or more will stimulate a thought that will change your day.

Relish Research[email protected] May 2

Interesting to use the word respondent. We only say participant now to see them more as an involved part of the process. #aqrqrca

Jim Bryson[email protected] May 2

Peter Totman “you owe it to your client to focus on the respondents” not the back room #aqrqrca #mrx Read More…

“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.

Topline Report from ESOMAR 3D Conference

The ESOMAR 3D Conference was held in Boston this week.  20|20 CIO Isaac Rogers attended and provided some key take-aways.  Here is his post-conference report.

Major themes were Big Data, the Problem with Researchers, and the Reality of Mobile.

Big Data:

1.  Still a lot of debate on exactly what this term means for the industry; both in a literal sense and what its long term impact on research will be.  ATT mobile did a case study using mostly CRM data sources mixed with survey responses and even qual.  Good example of how to use big data as a “third step” in the process; (1) Qual to uncover insights; (2) Quant to verify them and size them; (3) Big Data to double-check your hypothesis.

2.  Even in the ATT example, I didn’t see anyone present a direct way to use Big Data to generate insight independently.  But it’s clear researchers are seeking a way to turn Big Data into a new resource for insight and innovation.  How best to apply these principles is still a mystery to most.

3.  By the end of the first day, people were groaning about the fact that everyone’s talking about big data, few people are really doing it.  In fact, when you really get down to it— outside of social media resources, most market researchers don’t seem to even know where to find big data.  I was part of a lively discussion about the most obvious source we can tap— point of sale data.  But weren’t we ALREADY using POS data?  So what’s “new” about this whole Big Data idea?  Most people are still scratching their heads (outside of seeing social media as a source).

Problem with “Researchers”

1.  Over and over we heard about how MR agencies have to change.  The clients claim to be “done” with 600 page research reports nobody reads.  They want a strategic partner, delivering real advice and being an expert on the voice of their customers.  But, when you start to ask about how MR firms can build a business around that… the room gets quiet.  Nobody wants to pay a research to be another voice at the table— they pay them to do research.  So MR firms are ill suited for the task today, and it’s not clear that Clients will begin to pony up the $$$ required to pull in a real strategic partner.  So the MR firms hear what clients are saying (more strategic partnerships), but they only win business today by delivering traditional research results.  Somebody has to be willing to change the paradigm.

2.  MR firms agree they’re poorly staffed for tomorrow.  Lots of discussion about how they will need to hire “techies, IT people, and data wizards” to be relevant in the future.  They don’t have those people on staff now, and don’t even know how to begin the transition.

3.  Clients want “storytellers” who craft the story about their consumers.  I heard that over and over the last two days.  They’re tired of boring research and want Agencies to deliver insight they can sink their teeth in to.

Reality of Mobile

1.  Mobile is still a hot property, but the flames have tempered somewhat.  Now that researchers are starting to actually use mobile, they see it’s not the “holy grail” that makes all other methods obsolete.  Great presentation from Vision Critical on some real-world testing they’ve done with AOL.  They found that participants tend to dislike doing mobile surveys (Vision Critical expects that mobile cooperation will only get worse as the novelty wears off); that 80+ percent will choose to do surveys from a PC vs mobile when given a chance; and that it take participants 50% longer to complete online surveys from phones.  They feel the data is valid coming from mobile, and that it correlates nearly perfectly with traditional data (so no bias, etc), but that it’s more difficult to do surveys from mobiles and that the “halo effect” of neat mobile surveys will die off and participants will actually engage in mobile surveys less.

2.  QR codes came up a few times.  Pretty much dismissed as novelties.  Consumers don’t get them.  There’s not standards.  Funny— 2 years ago everyone thought QR codes were the future, and I remember one firm printing their business card ONLY as a QR code… woops!

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