Introduction Qualitative research is regularly used widely by companies to provide insight into customers’ true needs and wants. These insights go far beyond standard quantitative work like surveys.
Here’s why… 2 The Power of Qualitative Research firstname.lastname@example.org
Qualitative research is one of the two major approaches to research; the other is quantitative research, which relies on surveys and statistics. Qualitative work provides more: • Involves an in-depth understanding of human behavior. • Categorizes data into patterns as the primary basis for organizing and reporting results. • The need is for smal er but focused samples rather than large random samples. 3 The Power of Qualitative Research email@example.com
• Investigates the why, how, what, where, and when of decision making. Quantitative research cannot address “why” and “how,” yet “why” and “how” provide the actionable results and the reasons behind people’s actions. • Ethnographic methods are the most powerful of the qualitative techniques. 4 The Power of Qualitative Research firstname.lastname@example.org
Famous Results… Mini Cooper Fridge pack Mil er Lite Huggies Pull-Ups 5 The Power of Qualitative Research email@example.com
A Comparison You want to know how your customers use voicemail so you can refine your marketing strategy. You are thinking of creating an automated voicemail system to deliver messages to customers. To find out about voicemail use, you hire both a quantitative researcher and a qualitative researcher. 6 The Power of Qualitative Research firstname.lastname@example.org
A Comparison The quantitative team pul s together a 10-question survey about voicemail use and sends it out to 1000 customers. The team comes back in two weeks and shares these results:
• 85% of customers use voicemail at different times; some listen during the morning commute, some around lunchtime, and some throughout the day. • 90% of customers listen to voicemail in different places; some in their car, some only at work, and some anywhere. • Over half of customers sometimes don’t listen to their voicemail at al .
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A Comparison A qualitative researcher has been asked the same question: How do customers use voicemail?
• The researcher recruits 15 participants in three regions of the country to participate. Each respondent is “shadowed” for an entire day, and for the week fol owing the shadow sends a text message and snapshot of where they are at that moment to the researcher every time they answer voicemail. • After completing the fieldwork and analyzing the resulting 200-pages of transcripts, 50 hours of video, and 1,000 photographs, the qualitative team comes back with these results… 8 The Power of Qualitative Research
A Comparison • Customers nationwide go through a very detailed decision-making tree when interacting with their voicemail, though there are some regional differences. • Many customers don’t like to listen to their voicemail simply because it’s too much of a pain. Instead, they just look at the cal log to see who they missed, then cal back directly. There are business exceptions to this. • Customers who listen to voicemail while commuting avoid talking to some people by instead leaving a return voicemail in the early morning hours. • Customers who need to listen to voicemail for business purposes prefer to listen to it either throughout the day, or in one chunk. The deciding factor is needed responsiveness (i.e. sales people feel that they need to get back to customers more quickly while cubicle jockeys feel they can wait a few hours). 9 The Power of Qualitative Research firstname.lastname@example.org
A Comparison • The main conclusion from the qualitative team was that using voicemail for marketing wouldn’t be useful since customers might not listen to the message. In fact, they would probably be irritated at you for doing such a thing. • However, during the study it was noticed that text messaging was something that customers responded to immediately because it was easy and perceived to be non-confrontational. And al text messages were read. • In the end, the results from the qualitative team moved the marketing strategy away from voicemail and towards text messaging. In addition, voicemail was redesigned to better meet the needs of customers. • Overall, the extra time investment and cost of the qualitative work helped avoid a costly mistake and also provided “double-duty” by addressing other important customer needs. 10 The Power of Qualitative Research email@example.com
Customer Contact Hours The qualitative researcher studied 15 customers around the country intimately. This “deep-dive” approach produced twice as much data, al of which was actionable. 160 140 120 act 100 80 ont s C 60 40 Hour tomer 20 us 0 C Quantitative: 1000 Qualitative: 15 customers customers 11 The Power of Qualitative Research firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefits of Qualitative Work… All qualitative research is not created equal. Ethnography is the most intensive of techniques but provides the most valuable information. Group discussions (or focus groups) are quick and easy, but provide much more limited information: Ethnography On-site Group Interviews Discussions Level of Insight In-depth Generalizable Overal Area of Innovation and New & Modified Evaluation of Application Planning Designs/Services Existing Products Time & Cost High Medium Low 12 The Power of Qualitative Research email@example.com
Benefits of Qualitative Work… • Avoid costly mistakes by addressing real needs and wants before you take action.
• Know what the people you serve want before they do.
• Improve speed to market for products and services.
• Realize greater innovation potential. 13 The Power of Qualitative Research firstname.lastname@example.org
Working with You Everyone does “ethnography” these days. So the reasonable question is, how does this approach differ? • More than the interview.
• Uncovering the unexpected.
• Not just interesting information, but actionable findings.
• Research and analysis grounded in 30 years of experience.
• Research grounded in actual social science training. 14 The Power of Qualitative Research email@example.com
Working with You People Path wil work with you to select the best method and deliverable based upon your research question, time constraints, and budget. 15 The Power of Qualitative Research firstname.lastname@example.org
People Path Provides… • Ethnographies • Needs assessments • Customer modeling • Personas & profiles • Cultural profiles • Semiotic analysis • Cross-cultural comparisons • Neighborhood characterizations • Outreach & development plans • Life-stage overviews • Shopping behavior and trigger analysis
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Some Methods… • Participant observation • Contextual inquiry • Individual interviews • In-home activity mapping • Environment/neighborhood activity mapping • Ethnographic videography • Material culture analysis • Usability Studies: in-context • Design research • Online journaling • Photo journaling • Behavioral patterning 17 The Power of Qualitative Research firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina Keibler, MS, MA Anthropologist & Principal
Gavin Johnston, MA, MA Anthropologist & Principal
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