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AXA PPP Healthcare: Nurturing symbiotic intermediary relationships
Farzana Qadir and Barbara Wright, MRS Awards, Finalist, MRS Awards, December 2013
This article describes how AXA PPP Healthcare, the insurance company, uses an annual research programme to gain in-depth understanding of how the company is perceived by insurance intermediaries.
This article describes how AXA PPP Healthcare, the insurance company, uses an annual research programme to gain in-depth understanding of how the company is perceived by insurance intermediaries. Understanding this perception is important to the company's success as its products are sold through them. Previously, data was gathered through online quantitative surveys, but small sample sizes and lack of diagnostic evidence limited the usefulness of this method. A new approach included quantitative and qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews. This approach has led to changes including: how accounts are serviced, training updates, the development of a new communications strategy, a new online portal, and improving turnaround times.
Money Advice Service: Improving financial behaviour
Ali Pugh, Luke Perry and Michael Healey, MRS Awards, Finalist, MRS Awards, December 2013
This article explains research by the Money Advice Service, the UK government agency which provides advice for the public, which sought to understand the attitudes towards finances of a defined group of people and how this could be changed.
This article explains research by the Money Advice Service, the UK government agency which provides advice for the public, which sought to understand the attitudes towards finances of a defined group of people and how this could be changed. Focus groups, behavioural diaries, household case studies, customer journeys and further ethnographic methods were used. The insights informed the organisation's strategy at its establishment and continues to be used as a reference point.
Investec: Embarking on a voyage of discovery - Crafting a market-leading premium financial product
MRS Awards, Winner, MRS Awards, December 2013
This article describes research by Investec, the financial services company, which was used to change the way new products are designed and launched globally.
This article describes research by Investec, the financial services company, which was used to change the way new products are designed and launched globally. With tight deadlines, the research needed to reach high net worth individuals (HNWs) in different parts of the world. The project had six stages: ensuring Investec teams across the world were on-board with the decided approach; defining the segment of HNWs that should be targeted; working with the marketing team to recruit participants; creating a luxury research experience; facilitating peer-to-peer conversations; and delivering insights to Investec through a workshop. The research informed a new product launch targeting HNWs.
Ease of drive installation, commissioning and maintenance: An international study
Joseph Walker and Kate Leckie, MRS Awards, Finalist, MRS Awards, December 2013
This article describes international qualitative research by Control Techniques, the industrial technology company, in order to understand how the installation, commission and maintenance of its products could be made easier.
This article describes international qualitative research by Control Techniques, the industrial technology company, in order to understand how the installation, commission and maintenance of its products could be made easier. Structured, in-depth face-to-face interviews were conducted with two groups: those who were involved in 'hands-on' work with the company's products and those who do not have a hands-on role, but have an influence on specification decisions. Over 100 usability issues were raised during the research, allowing the company to develop new product ranges to meet these needs.
Qualitative research: Take your pick
Michael J.McDermott, ANA Magazine, Spring 2013, pp. 32-42
This article looks at how brands are using qualitative research and how the methods employed are changing.
This article looks at how brands are using qualitative research and how the methods employed are changing. It highlights some of the drawbacks of traditional focus groups, including rogue participants who skew research sessions, cost and the variability in the quality of moderators. However, new ways of approaching focus groups are emerging which include holding focus groups in friendlier locations and drawing out more meaningful responses by engaging participants in forms of artistic expression. Brands are also showing strong interest in alternative qualitative methods, such as mobile research applications, social media research and online application methods, as well as ethnographic deep dives that use face-to-face interactions in new ways. The article also looks at the current trend in mobile ethnography and looks ahead to the future of focus groups.
Mythbuster: Killing the conversation
Les Binet and Sarah Carter, Admap, February 2011, pp. 9-9
In their regular column, Les Binet and Sarah Carter of DDB expose the myth behind a commonly held tenet of marketing wisdom.
In their regular column, Les Binet and Sarah Carter of DDB expose the myth behind a commonly held tenet of marketing wisdom. In January they get a little bit angry on hearing the idea that focus groups have had their day
Merry Baskin, Warc Best Practice, November 2010, pp. 36-37
Poor focus group technique has undermined the usefulness of a potentially valuable research tool - particularly abuses of two-way mirrors.
Poor focus group technique has undermined the usefulness of a potentially valuable research tool - particularly abuses of two-way mirrors. Focus groups do not behave ‘naturally’; they must be moderated and interpreted by trained professionals, not taken literally. Focus groups are also inhibited by the presence of shadowy people behind a mirror. There are huge benefits for clients in seeing and hearing what their customers say and do first-hand, but they should not disrupt the group by sending in notes, or treat it as a sort of entertainment.
Unlocking response from young people
Nancy Macdonald, Admap, April 2009, Issue 504, pp. 12-13
The article discusses the problems of researching among young people. Controlled focus group environments can be forbidding.
The article discusses the problems of researching among young people. Controlled focus group environments can be forbidding. Generating comfort and confidence is crucial, e.g. allowing younger respondents to come with a friend, working with existing friendship groups. Be aware of possible `tribal’ clashes. In a group, girls engage quickly, boys take longer and need a longer warm-up period to get to know each other and establish their own sense of group structure. Give opportunities for group members to talk as individuals, e.g. a separate `diary room’ (described) or visual diaries or scrap books. Projective and indirect techniques (examples described) can be very useful. Do not try to be cool – they will see through it. Ethnography is useful: you can learn more by accompanying them (e.g. on a shopping trip) than they will tell you. In interpreting, it is important not to take what they say at face value: the motives behind what they say are equally important. Young people are tricky to research, but can be very fulfilling to work with.
Reinventing qualitative research
Belle Frank and Anne Manning, Admap, February 2007, Issue 480, pp. 32-34
Belle Frank, executive vice president, brand planning at Y&R, and Anne Manning, from the Innovation Practice, argue that we are misusing research - particularly qualitative research - in the development of advertising ideas.
Belle Frank, executive vice president, brand planning at Y&R, and Anne Manning, from the Innovation Practice, argue that we are misusing research - particularly qualitative research - in the development of advertising ideas. They describe the illusions that kill creativity, and then outline five steps for research to adopt to encourage and stimulate ideas.
How to run a better brainstorming session
Janet Grimes, Admap, November 2005, Issue 466, pp. 25-28
Janet Grimes discusses the two critical parts of any brainstorming session from the facilitator's point of view - process and content.
Janet Grimes discusses the two critical parts of any brainstorming session from the facilitator's point of view - process and content. First she looks at organising the session, then moves on to how to manage it in order to facilitate idea generation.
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Focus groups, workshops
Bricolage and semiotics
Projective and collage techniques
Qualitative theories and methods
Reliability of qualitative research
Research analysis and reporting
Specific uses of qualitative research
Qualitative and verbatim data
Quantitative data collection
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