It’s An Exciting Time

While the business of gathering information, uncovering insights and guiding the creative process has always inspired me, being in the midst of this qualitative (r)evolution is quite stimulating!

How fantastic that, at our disposal, we have an ever-expanding toolkit to engage consumers.  Whether information streams in via face-to-face interactions, online platforms, community boards, google hang-outs, social media, to name a few sources – the key to effective qualitative hasn’t changed:  We still need to ask the right questions to evoke key, often nuanced, insights, make sense of this information and package it in a way that best serves our clients.  I’m definitely a fan of the various ways that we can now reach, connect with and gather information from consumers.

With so much change, doing business as usual has been challenged.  Nothing new there!   Qualitative research has been in the mature stage of the business cycle so, along with the new tools, we need to evolve.  As a result, it is even more critical for qualitative consultants to be nimble, adopt a new mindset and consistently seek out dynamic ways to navigate this new environment – after all, isn’t that what we are often called on to do for our clients?

While this might be daunting, viewing this process through the lens of opportunity for discovery and creativity leads me to believe it’s an exciting time to be in the qualitative business!

What’s up for 2010!

2010
We’ve had fun bringing our twist to those trends that got our juices flowing in 2009. And now we cast our attention to 2010. There are so many happenings that are showing up and we think they will be changing the way we all look at the world.

In addition to updating past posts when it makes sense, here are a few themes we are following:

  1. The New Value, it’s not just about price. It’s experiential, it involves conscious decision-making – so marketers might have new chances to make a first impression. For established brands, could this development be a boon?
  2. Transparency. The 2008 election highlighted how critical it was to voters to be authentic. Now we see marketers like Domino’s Pizza jumping on board, taking “truth in advertising” to a whole new level. What else is next?
  3. Has outreach to Ethnic & Urban consumers become yesterday’s news? The economics of advertising and promotion is giving companies pause and there have to be casualties. How will this dollars and cents issue affect marketing decision-making?
  4. The End of Civility. If 2009 told us anything, political correctness seems to have taken a back seat. You remember Kanye West’s public dissing of Taylor Swift at the MTV Awards and Representative Joe Wilson calling President Obama a liar during the live broadcast of his health care speech to Congress and the American people. How far is this going?
  5. Career Path, meet Career Streams. Distrust of corporations has been growing for some time. Mergers and acquisitions, unemployment, job attrition, to name a few factors, are forcing us to think of new sources of earning potential. Could single payer income sources be a thing of the past?
  6. A New Twist on the “Water Cooler.” With more people moving to flexible work schedules and with work teams comprising people from different locations and time zones, the pop culture discussion around the “water cooler” has practically disappeared. What will drive the mass culture word-of-mouth when mass culture seems to have fragmented completely?

We look forward to bringing our take on these ideas and more so keep an eye out for some new views from New-Take in 2010!