In This Issue
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- Vol. 14, Issue 3, April 2019
In This Issue
Here in New England, spring has arrived: the forsythia is bright, the hyacinths are blooming, and Boston marathon runners, would-be runners, and spectators dominate the water cooler chat for the entire week of Patriots’ Day.
In all of our spare time this spring, my husband, Dan, and I have been packing up, preparing to leave the house we’ve lived in for 25 years. For anyone who has ever moved, maybe you’ll identify with my rallying cry, “My kingdom (or queendom) for a warehouse!”
Read on to see how this relates to market research!
My kingdom (or queendom) for a warehouse!
I’m moving, and am not happy with all of the decisions I have to make. Throw away? Give away? Keep? Over and over. I cannot escape these three options on a continuous loop.
If I had a warehouse, my problem would be solved. Just put everything in a box, bag, or bin and store it in the warehouse. My nonexistent personal assistant would create an indexing system so that I could find every single one of my belongings in the warehouse the instant I need it.
OK, so maybe you aren’t moving anytime in the near future. As a market researcher, though, here’s how this warehouse idea might apply to you:
1. Boxes and belongings everywhere
Similar to my house right now, working with qualitative feedback can be messy. It is not like quantitative data — it does not come to us in tables, downloaded from a survey platform.
Most often, we get qualitative information in the form of words — voluminous transcripts of one-on-one interviews, focus group interactions, or social media conversations.
And because it’s qualitative, research participants almost never mention their best ideas where they are “supposed” to, nor do they say those ideas in a way that can be found through a keyword search.
2. Heavy lifting be gone
As many of you know, CSR has a proprietary coding technology that allows us to label, count and store massive volumes of qualitative feedback.
For example, we can conduct 100 thirty-minute in-depth interviews among your customers or prospects, then label, count and store every idea mentioned across the resulting 1,600+ pages of transcripts.
It’s like having someone take your belongings out of your closets and garages and cupboards and desks for you, and put them into boxes where they are indexed and cross-referenced in every way you could ever think to look for them.
3. You’ll actually be able to find it later
In moving, it becomes abundantly clear that I only use about 5% of my stuff on a day-to-day basis. The other 95% is just waiting around for me to need it. But when I need it, it’s really important.
Market research can be a lot like that. Next week, your leadership team may suddenly have a new, very important initiative, for example, to improve your customer invoicing system. And they need all the information you have about what customers have said about invoicing immediately.
Voila! With a warehouse of qualitative feedback, ALL the thoughts, ideas, challenges, and recommendations that your customers have shared on invoicing — both in coded (idea-level, including with frequency with which ideas were mentioned) and verbatim (individual-level) form. Immediately. This is a service we’ve often provided to our clients, one that has proved highly valuable to them time and again.
Like an actual warehouse would be to me right now.
Here’s the Twist: Moving is hard, but qualitative research does not need to be. Code, count and store your qualitative information and you’ll never again have to dig through “boxes” of transcripts to find what you need!
Mixology (Putting Research into Practice)
Of course, we’d love it if everyone worked with us to create a warehouse of all their qualitative interactions. If, however, you are creating your own, here are some simple rules of thumb:
- Map it out: Create a qualitative data map (often referred to as taxonomy) as a starting point. While it should follow the anticipated flow of the qualitative interactions, it should also be flexible enough to incorporate any ideas that actually arise.
- Categorize each idea in multiple ways: Most research participants are not Hemingway. In our experience, the senior-level corporate leaders whom we interview are more like Joyce, likely to speak paragraphs, and packing a ton of thoughts, into each one. Capture all of the ideas you can, because you never know what you might need for later, and not just those most frequently mentioned or directly related to the topic at hand.
- Humans not robots: The ability of a human to categorize ideas remains unparalleled. Would a robot know what this means? “Nine times out of ten, I just punt them to my cube-neighbor. She takes the lead on processing and I can focus on EOIs and enrollment.”
Coming to the LIMRA Marketing Conference in Boston May 29th to 31st? Stop by our booth, say hello, and celebrate our 40th birthday with us!
The Center for Strategy Research, Inc. (CSR) is a research firm. The “Twist” to what we offer is this: We combine open-ended questioning with our proprietary technology to create quantifiable data. As a result our clients gain more actionable and valuable insights from their research efforts.