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!