Technology

Reflections from IIEX: Agility in Research is No Longer an Alternative Approach

Myself and several members of our team recently had the opportunity to attend IIEX North America. Over the course of two and half days and countless sessions, a clear theme began to emerge. Agile research – also referred to as iterative, always-on, or on-demand – is no longer a mere concept but instead a necessary reality for brands and their insight organizations.

Why is that? In many of the companies represented at the conference, insights teams are still smaller than they once were, and budgets continue to be on the decline. But rather than get hung up on having to do more with less, these organizations are framing it in terms of doing more differently. They are looking for ways to work within the constraints they have, while still delivering what their business stakeholders need. This can mean different types of studies, different types of vendor partners, and even different ways of looking at existing research.

The idea of agility in research also relates to another focus of the conference, which was helping insights teams gain or regain their seat at the table. In order to do this, these teams are putting more of their focus on providing tangible impact on the business, and this is achieved by delivering meaningful, actionable recommendations. To keep pace with business partners and deliver the data needed to inform the decisions they are being asked for every day, many are finding that good enough is better than perfect and that multiple small-scale studies that build upon each other are better than one or two longer ones. Said one insights manager during a presentation, “Good, bad or otherwise, I just need data in a week.”

On a similar note, one client panel, comprised of representatives from a technology company, media network, and two CPGs, was unanimous in the idea that ROI, which has been a hot topic at conferences in years past, is also now measured in terms of business outcomes. “It’s about accountability, not research dollars,” said one of the panelists. “Did the data we provided help retain customers? Drive activations? Support all the cross functional groups we work with and help them meet their goals?”

In light of these shifts, how can we as industry partners support our client brands in the quest for faster, more efficient research? Much as corporate insights teams have shifted their thinking, we need to do the same, looking for ways to streamline our own processes to meet the need for the right insights at the right time.

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

 

The Research Hype Cycle

Gartner recently released its Emerging Technology Hype Cycle for 2014.  The cycle phases themselves are as interesting as the technologies depicted.

  • Hype Cycle

Gartner’s research shows that there is an “Innovation Trigger” followed by the following four stages

  1. Peaks of Inflated Expectations
  2. Trough of Disillusionment
  3. Slope of Enlightenment
  4. Plateau of Productivity

Read More…

Qualitative Facial Expression Recognition Technology: How to use it

20|20 is very proud to be selected as the preferred partner for Affectiva’s new technology for qualitative research, Affdex Discovery.  Why is this important to qualitative researchers?  Put simply, it provides the first vivid, easy to use behavioral analysis tool that can be used in qualitative research in real time.  The technology actually informs the interviewer in during an interview allowing the interviewer to probe thoughts and emotions behind the reactions. Read More…

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…

The Qualitative Explosion

The following excerpts are from an article that appeared in RW Connect on March 12.

Welcome to the most exciting and challenging era in the history of qualitative research!

Qualitative research has experienced more change in the past 10 years than in the previous 50.  And there is no sign that the pace of change will let up any time soon.  For qualitative research professionals, the ride is exciting, but it is fraught with challenges and pitfalls.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that online qualitative research may have hit a tipping point in 2013.  The tenor and tone of our conversations with clients has changed.  At 20|20, we have passed from creating awareness of online qualitative to expanding the knowledge and applications for researchers already aware of — and interested in — the methods.  Only 2-3 years ago, much of our user training centered on the introduction of digital qualitative methods to researchers with little awareness that these methods even existed.  Today, virtually all researchers are aware of the basic digital methods and many are eager to learn how to use and apply the methods’ various strengths and weaknesses.  It appears that online qualitative research as a research category became mainstream in 2013. Read More…

The Looming Smartphone Research Crisis: Meeting the Challenge

Mobile.  Mobile.  Mobile.  Everyone wants mobile research.  Mobile access can put research in context like never before.  It’s the ultimate in meeting the consumer where they are rather than bringing the customer to where we are.

For years, researchers have begged for more mobile.   We researchers see the promise and we love the idea of just-in-time feedback.  There is a beautiful synergy between researchers and respondents since both groups want to utilize mobile devices more.  Even so, mobile research is growing but it has never boomed.  Why not? Read More…

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.

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