Category Archives: market research

the benefits of slow research

A little while ago I was invited to the launch event of boutique research agency Qual Street’s ‘Year in the life’ project. This was a year-long proactive piece of qualitative work where they spent lots of time with nine mums across London and Yorkshire who identified themselves as just about managing financially (JAM). With the […]
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Why agency projects need Agile research – and why that’s really hard to achieve

I was talking to a senior researcher who works for a research agency recently about how long research projects take from brief to debrief and how that doesn’t sit well with marketing agencies and clients increasingly working in agile, or at least agile-ish. When the project is in a constant state of flux, timelines are tight […]
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are hairdressers the key to measuring the pulse of the nation?

Sitting in the hairdressers the other evening I was reminded that people tell hairdressers things that they’d never tell a market researcher.  My hairdresser confirmed that his long-term clients tend to be more racist/ sexist/ homophobic/ politically extreme in his chair than is socially acceptable – it’s a ‘safe space’ where they say what they are really […]
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delivering in a distraction environment

I attended a great talk about making debriefs better by Andrew Vincent last night at an ICG / BIG event in Manchester. Whether you’re a researcher, planner, account handler or client-side there was lots of food for thought.  Andrew pointed out that we deliver reports and presentations to clients in a distracting environment with ever-shortening time […]
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it’s geting easier to recruit – but will they play along?

While moderating groups to cover off the qual for my own projects I’ve noticed that research attendance has gone up a lot in the last 9 months. I know we’re supposed to be coming out of recession, but attendance at my focus groups is now so enthusiastic that I think I’m going to have to […]
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do you really need to research this?

There’s been the odd occasion over the last few years when I’ve felt like I’ve been researching something in order to get that box ticked on the client’s project plan, rather than to use fresh insight to move things forward. There’s simply no point in spending money on research if the answer is staring you […]
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research report writing – straight from the client’s mouth

I was at a research debrief with an agency recently and the following is more-or-less exactly how the conversation went afterwards: Client: “I really liked your presentation” Agency-and-me: “Erm, thank you” Client: “Because it wasn’t all charts and numbers” Agency-and-me: *crosses fingers that client is being serious and not sarcastic about our report based on […]
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why transcripts are a brilliant learning tool for quallies

I’ve done more focus groups in the last 18 months than I did in the previous 5 years.  It’s been a steepish learning curve and one of the first things I realised was that I really hate listening back to hours of me moderating via Dictaphone for both analysis purposes and to find some good […]
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maximum marks for moderating manual

After putting out a call for some reading recommendations in July, I got some great suggestions and am still wading through them.   But the stand out winner has to be Sarah’s recommendation of Moderating to the Max: A Full-tilt Guide to Creative, Insightful Focus Groups and Depth Interviews. For qualitative research types who want to […]
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MORE words, more pictures please

I know I’ve been batting on for a while about why powerpoint presentations (and especially research debriefs) need to have less words and more pictures. I’d actually like to amend that assertion.  They should have more pictures – and more words. I got handed an ethnographic research report last week, which had travelled from client […]
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