Category Archives: 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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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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more green shoots but also gatecrashers

I posted a few weeks ago about what I hoped were the first green shoots of recovery I’d spotted.  And since then I’m pleased to report that the local firm who are fitting our new bathroom tell me their enquiries and orders have doubled over the past two months and they’ve had to take on […]
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the new BBC class calculator doesn’t get full marks from me

Have you had a play with the BBC’s new class calculator yet? Looking at the categories, most of the Planners I’ve met would slot neatly into the Technical Middle Class box: But when I tried with my own data, I came out as Established Middle Class, probably because thanks to my horsey friends I could […]
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end of an era as Research gets serious

The last ever issue of Research magazine landed on my doormat this morning.  It comes as part of my MRS membership, but will now be replaced by the Research-live website and a quarterly printed magazine that’s going to be full of big, serious thinky stuff as far as I can tell.  So it probably won’t […]
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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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