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Abbott Research


Creating Immersive Qualitative Reports

No matter how strong your PowerPoint skills are, the richness of today’s immersive qualitative reports is not fully captured in slides. Using a website to deliver the report allows for the incorporation of high-resolution images, audio and video clips. And it means you still have room for lots of text to deliver nuanced analysis.

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How to Read the Minds of Competitors: Ethical War Games!

When you launch in the marketplace, how will your competitors react? A facilitated war game is a way to (ethically) get inside the minds of your competitors and determine their most likely actions.
It will energize your middle managers, it will improve your launch strategy, and you can do it in a one-day session with some advance planning.

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8 Key Takeaways from the 2017 Women’s March

The Women’s March of Jan. 21, 2017 was among the largest demonstrations of peaceful protest that has ever occurred, with as many as 5 million participants. The march captured the imaginations of people in 80 countries.
Images of the march dominated the news cycle and social media. Relaxing on a few days’ vacation after a conference, a few of us were talking about the women’s march. We wanted to know what impact the march had on the individuals who participated, or were simply interested observers. Why not launch a flash study to learn more? So we did.

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Customer Experience: Mapping the Customer Journey

Forming a deep understanding of the end-to-end customer experience is a powerful tool for developing a stronger competitive position. We live in an experience economy. Competitive advantage is difficult to come by. The low-hanging-fruit of innovation has been exploited already.

Journey Mapping can help you dive deep and find new territory for innovation. Journey Mapping will put your team in the experience, giving them empathy for the customer, and compelling reasons to mobilize change.

Defining the scope

Our experience with Journey Mapping strongly supports defining the scope of a journey in customer terms, not company terms. The start of the journey begins before the customer touches your web site, your product, your staff or your stores. Extending our enquiry to the natural milestones customers experience often uncovers new territory for innovation, either before or after the traditional boundaries of the experience.

Customer journey studies are well served by hybrid research methods. We can bring in insights from many sources, including a Knowledge Harvest of previous research and public data. Employee Insights can help guide the development of the project, and also enlighten about internal processes and policies that impact the customer experience. Subject Matter Experts that are external to the company can often bring a different perspective as well. We can look at Competitive Intelligence Shops, Social Media Mining, and other tools to fill in specific parts of the picture.

Deep Discovery at the core

Regardless of the other tools selected, individual Deep Discovery Interviews are at the core of Journey Mapping. We want a one-on-one interaction with the customer for a couple of hours on the topic, so we can deeply probe into their experience.

High-definition video is an important part of the record keeping. As we work through these interviews, we will start to develop a rough journey map and test our ideas with customers. By the time fieldwork is done, we will know what the key Moments of Truth are.

Creating the Journey Map

Condensing dozens of ethnographic interviews into a one or two-page Journey Map is a major challenge of analysis. The map is the core deliverable of the project, but we provide full analysis of each Moment of Truth.

Journey Maps will show the stages of the journey in customer terms. At each stage, you will see what customers are doing, what they are thinking, how they are feeling, and what the overall experience is. Pain points and frustrations will be identified.

At this phase of analysis, we also assemble themed Video Vignettes from the many hours of video. For each Moment of Truth, we let the customers tell the story. This is a huge job for the research team, but crucial for your project. Only a few people will experience the customer interactions first hand, but everyone on the team can gain empathy from the video.

We can also work with you to facilitate working sessions to map out a Future Journey, identify and prioritize opportunities. Or our consultants can create an Ideal Journey, and the internal team can refine it.

The Web-Report and Archive

We offer clients a secure, web-based reporting format for multi-media projects. It’s a single archive that contains all project elements, including documents, graphics, and videos. Everyone from executives to the design team can dive a little or a lot into the detailed insights using the web report.Once you have a multi-media report, you will wonder how you ever lived with PowerPoint alone.

We’ll host the site for you during the project, and you can move it to your own internal servers on completion, where it will keep the insights alive.

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Conference panels: Boring or brilliant

Conference panels can either be the highlight of the day, or a yawn-fest with a room full of people checking their handhelds.

What a shame that so often these bright and accomplished individuals are not showcased better. From my point of view, it’s all about the moderation.

I’ve had some success moderating panels, and I’m here to share my Top 10 Tips to make your panel fantastic.

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Rethinking Brand Positioning

A new model for mapping brand strategy has been published by Niraj Dawar and Charan K. Bagga in their HBR article, A Better Way to Map Brand Strategy.

This model promises greater simplicity, as well as a strong relationship to real-world results. And it still fits into the familiar quadrant chart!

I love that this model builds on the distinctiveness idea, something that Byron Sharpe set forth as a better alternative to the traditional way of thinking about brands, seeking differentiation

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Actively Moderating Bulletin Boards and Discussion Forums

In extended online projects, quite a bit of the moderating actually happens during the design phase of the project. No matter how good your online discussion guide, the group does not moderate itself any more than an in-person focus group does.
Many of the same approaches, such as praising people’s contributions, building rapport and deciding whether to probe or not and ask followup questions, are used to generate great contributions, but they are used a little differently.

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Exploring the Landscape of Online Qualitative Research

There are so many forms of online qualitative research, you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the choices. Fortunately, there are some key characteristics to all methods. Once you understand what these are, you can easily determine how to categorize anything new you hear about.
One big difference has to do with the dimension of time. Synchronous methodologies all happen at the same time and within a set schedule. Asynchronous approaches are scheduled as well, but over a longer period of time and participants may come and go.

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Online Qualitative Research: Tried, Tested and True

You might think online qualitative research is new and leading edge, even though it’s been around in some form for roughly two decades. As with many technology developments in commercial marketing research, our industry repurposed and modified technologies to meet our own needs.

Online qualitative really started with the online focus group, live text-chat sessions that were conducted in AOL chat rooms. The first known such session was conducted by Marian Salzman in 1992, but competitors quickly followed, and private chat rooms were not far behind.

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Facilitation, research, co-creation: What’s the difference?

photograph of beach houses used to illustrate similarityThe skills of group facilitation and qualitative insight hunting aka research are very similar. Which is why many qualitative research consultants, including me, also facilitate. But there are a few important differences. (Which might explain why so few facilitators also conduct qualitative research.) Co-creation is a fusion of the two.

Some skills are common to both

When I think about the researchers and facilitators I know, these skills and orientations are generally common to both groups. Continue reading

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