6 Ways to Involve Stakeholders in Qualitative Research

While quantitative data enjoy a warm, positive reception across most businesses — engaging decision-makers with qualitative insight can often prove a greater challenge. Lacking in statistical rigour, the individual and human perspectives that qualitative research brings to the table are easy to overlook for many. However, to do so is to ignore an important, contextual basis for decision-making. As insight professionals, we know this. We understand the balance between qual and quant that leads to an in-depth, rounded view of customers, consumers and behaviours.

1. Research Design Sessions

Perhaps one of the most common scenarios we encounter is where decision-makers have issued a request to a research department, the question is scoped and accepted, but the next time that the decision-maker is consulted is when the data is ready to be presented. Naturally, this leads to a huge disconnect between the methodology and the results. Questions become answers with nothing in-between. And the more certainty those answers can provide, the better.

2. Video Close Connections

This method is simple, powerful and effective. A video close connection is a virtual focus group in which stakeholders form part of the discussion. Close connections flip the script on traditional focus group convention. Rather than the clean, clinical presentation in which decision-makers sit behind a (physical or digital) two-way mirror.

3. Customer Immersions

On the topic of immersion, a customer immersion can be a fantastic way to demonstrate the value of quality qual. While the term customer immersion is broad and can apply to a number of actions, one format that this tends to work well in is a workshop.

4. Self-Ethnography

A more challenging, but rewarding, option is to involve stakeholders themselves in research tasks. This is particularly relevant to diary studies and ethnographies. If a research brief involves using a product or going through a particular experience, a creative way to connect decision-makers to qual participants is to have them go through the same thing.

5. Insight as Art Workshops

Another tactic the FlexMR team have had recent success with is through presenting insight as art. We demonstrated this in action during a 2020 campaign in which we transformed qualitative opinions from consumers into unique works of art delivered through a variety of mediums. We created qual-led brand representations through digital illustrations, oil paintings, physical papercraft, charcoal sketches and more.

6. Emotive Storytelling

Lastly — never forget the power of emotive storytelling. This incredibly powerful mechanism engages audiences and takes them on a journey. It provides a memorable alternative to dry reports and presentation. But most importantly, it builds empathy.

We empower brands to inform every decision at the speed of business by delivering on-demand insight and enterprise grade research technology. www.flexmr.net

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