In This Issue
It’s been six months since CSR has published our last newsletter — time has flown! During that time, we’ve been extremely busy, and each month, prioritized the dedication of our resources to “live” research engagements rather than to this newsletter. That said, we are still busy, but we’ve missed the opportunities to share our views with you, and hear from you. So, we plan to resume our practice of publishing at least one newsletter per month for the foreseeable future. “See” you all soon, and thanks for sticking with us!Questions? Click here to send us an email with your request.
- Vol. 16, Issue 1, May 2021
In This Issue
At CSR, we are big fans of Jeopardy!, and have loved watching the lineup of guest hosts filling the shoes of the beloved Alex Trebek. In particular, watching guest host Aaron Rodgers was a delightful intersection of nerdiness and football legendry (and we would welcome his many talents at the QB position on our local team, too!).
In that spirit, we hope that you enjoy this edition of Research with a Twist, What is, “Aaron Rodgers for $1,000?”
What is, “Aaron Rodgers for $1,000?”
In New England, we believe that we are connoisseurs of excellent, and excellent-looking, quarterbacks. In honor of Aaron Rodgers guest-hosting Jeopardy!, we offer a series of questions that we would have liked to see him read, all related to our favorite topic, which is obviously market research.
Mr. Rodgers did such a great job as host, we think he reflected some of the most important principles that we value in our team members who conduct executive interviews. Plus, he’s so adorable! We hope he gets the job. Our category is “Great interviewing techniques” — we hope you’ll play along:
All market research is designed to avoid this four-letter word
The correct answer is: What is bias?
For someone who literally takes a side for a living, and has to relentlessly attack his opponents, Aaron Rodgers did a great job of staying neutral during his stint as host. Just as Jeopardy hosts have to stay neutral in order to be fair to the participants who are competing, interviewers must remain neutral in order to ensure customers and prospects are sharing their honest opinions. Everyone wins when hosts, interviewers, and moderators ask participants questions in an unbiased, un-leading way.
This guideline for 1:1 interviewing is also central to Boy and Girl Scouts, and to the making of a steak dinner
The correct answer is: What is being well-prepared?
While Aaron Rodgers may not have been well-prepared enough against the Buccaneers (and New England’s sorely missed Tom Brady) in the NFC Championship this past year, he was incredibly well-prepared on Jeopardy! Like great research interviewers, he did his homework, and flawlessly pronounced “streptomycin,” and “pharyngeal” on his very first night as host. Like all good interviewers, he knew the importance of maintaining the flow of Q&A, undistracted by fumbling (football reference intended) for the correct pronunciation.
In order to keep research discussions spontaneous, and on point, what quality must every moderator or interviewer have?
What is being ready for anything?
On Rodgers’ first night as host, a contestant didn’t know the correct answer in Final Jeopardy. Instead, he wrote a question for Aaron Rodgers on his screen, “Who wanted to kick that field goal?”, referring to the monumentally stupid decision to kick a field goal instead of go for a touchdown on fourth and goal when the score was Tampa 31 to Green Bay’s 23 in the fourth quarter of the aforementioned NFCC game. Just like our interviewer who conducted a Zoom interview with an interviewee dressed in a skimpy tank top over a very hairy chest (great participant otherwise), Aaron Rodgers did not allow the game to get sidetracked. He smiled charmingly, played on, and showed he was ready for anything, as was our interviewer.
Here’s the Twist: As Jeopardy! host, Aaron Rodgers impressed us with his ability to be unbiased, well-prepared, and ready for anything. These are qualities that we value in our interviewers because they help us to better understand our clients’ customers and prospects, and their needs. In fact, now that Aaron Rodgers is waiting for football season to start (and perhaps to join a different team?), maybe he’d like to help us out with some of our qualitative interviewing?
Mixology (Putting Research into Practice)
Here are some practical tips we share among our teammates for being a good research interviewer:
- Reducing bias: Read guides and surveys out loud before finalizing them and conducting initial interviews. This helps to uncover problems with tone, or areas with assumptions or subtle leading, that you might not identify when initially preparing and reviewing these documents.
- Being well-prepared: Hold training meetings with interviewers before each engagement, addressing project goals and reviewing key concepts and ideas that could come up during interviews. Review the pronunciation of important words and phrases. Encourage and hold follow-up meetings so teammates can coach each other and alert them to challenges that may not have been identified up front.
- Being ready for anything: There’s no substitute for experience — hire seasoned interviewers who feel comfortable in a wide variety of situations.
It’s been six months since CSR has published our last newsletter — time has flown! During that time, we’ve been extremely busy, and each month, prioritized the dedication of our resources to “live” research engagements rather than to this newsletter. That said, we are still busy, but we’ve missed the opportunities to share our views with you, and hear from you. So, we plan to resume our practice of publishing at least one newsletter per month for the foreseeable future. “See” you all soon, and thanks for sticking 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.