- Doing research with just your internal team can amplify bias.
In today’s competitive business climate, it’s often desirable to go at it alone rather than hire outside consultants. Even a superb in-house staff can’t safeguard you from potential internal bias. For example; one of the top three global contact lens makers conducted a $500,000 study to determine what makes a great contact lens brand. They came back with 17 key brand qualities and narrowed the list to the top three. Six months after implementing the program based on this research, there was no movement in sales. Why? Because they forgot to ask what contact lens brand respondents currently use. How many people know which contact lens brand they use? The answer is less than 18%.
- Analytics are great, but they don’t tell the whole story.
Analytics are invaluable, and we use them in our research, but they can miss critical information. Case in point, we were testing creative for a high-end almond maker whose products that had been primarily purchased as gifts. The strategy was to reposition almonds as an everyday energy snack and as its primary audience targeted health-conscious women. The agency created ads with a series of vignettes featuring women biking at the park, playing with kids, riding a rollercoaster. The agency decided to test the ads both qualitatively (with our team) and quantitatively (with another team). The quantitative team reported that the ad didn’t test well. When asked why, the quantitative team theorized that there were too many vignettes. But a second look at the data from a qualitative perspective pointed to two other reasons: a. Some of the vignettes didn’t emphasize activities that required energy, and b. The women in the video were thin and caused the target audience to feel judged. The numbers told one story, but it was only by looking at the human elements that we were able to pick up on the true motivating and inhibiting factors in play.
- We help you get inside your customers’ world.
It’s not enough to know what your product does—you have to know how it’s used. For example, we were working with a giant tech company on smart home technology. Because the client thought we could just ask, “What do you need?” we did. Guess what the biggest “pain points” were for smart homes… a) Smoke alarms going off in the middle of the night because the batteries need changing, and b) Lights that are no longer in synch. Not a lot to work with, right? But then we asked respondents to describe a “good day” and a “bad day.” By asking an open-ended, qualitative question, we were able to get a glimpse inside a consumer’s typical day and better help our client understand how to target their advertising toward customers’ daily challenges.