Since our last blog, where we recommended beginning with the
end in mind (thank you, Mr. Covey), we’ve completed another project. In this
case, we were working on some new messages with one of our clients and their
agency. We all gathered together for two days of mock sales presentations, each
followed by an in-depth interview. As with every project, we were tasked with
delivering our recommendations as quickly as possible.
Each of the sessions, both the presentation and the
interview, was video-recorded. Ideally, we like to go back through each
recording and watch for visual cues we’ve missed, and to be sure of we’ve
heard. We’re often asked, is all that time really necessary? Here’s what we
found: there were several key areas where what everyone in the room thought
they had heard or seen, wasn’t exactly what had transpired. So how can you be
sure that what you learned from qualitative research was right?
Here are a few steps that can help:
- Have someone attend the research from your team who doesn’t work on that brand (they’re less likely to frame what they hear based on their pre-judgements, assumptions, or wishes for the product).
- If it’s a business-to-business project where the respondents are known to you, resist the urge to promote or discount remarks based on how you feel about the respondent.
- Make sure you record the sessions or, at a minimum, have a note-taker who is an objective third party.
- Take time to review recordings and/or transcripts, asking, “When I make a conclusion, can I back it up with a specific verbatim or visual example?”
- Then, and only then, finalize the conclusions and decide what they mean for the project.
Practicing active listening,
Megann and Steve