Paul Hudson on Engaging Stakeholders in QRCA Views
In the latest edition of QRCA Views, published in Spring 2020, FlexMR CEO Paul Hudson poses a question that many insight professionals will resonate with.
Have you ever sat through a boring research report? Slide after slide of data, quotes, and analyses. For the average researcher, data is where we thrive, Paul says; where we find enjoyment and satisfaction. However, for many of those outside our sphere…not so much.
Presenting research results, and qualitative projects in particular, in an engaging way has always been a challenge. Words and feelings are tough to translate into infographics, and even video only begins to scratch the surface.
Paul continues, explaining that it was this question and challenge that spurred FlexMR on to finding out if there was a way to stop stakeholders from glazing over and start actively discussing the facts in front of them. And in that search, the firm turned to the most creative of mediums: art.
A Curious Case Study
In the article, Paul explains how FlexMR worked with brands across the US and UK to test artistic formats, completing a process of data gathering, interpretation and creation. The process involved a range of skillsets that encompassed research, copy, design and strategy. It aimed to distil the complex themes that emerged around each brand in the data gathering stage into the two key aspects of each artwork: subject and style.
The article showcases two examples of this process in action, and the resulting artworks FlexMR produced for Screwfix and B&Q. These two pieces – and their subsequent use – demonstrate how unexpected and unusual reporting formats stimulate conversation among stakeholders. But it is still vitally important that this debate is steered by researchers with a deep understanding of the data to ensure accurate interpretations.
Practical Steps to Engage Stakeholders
Paul concludes with three key recommendations for engaging stakeholders in qualitative research and creating active interest in results:
- Results are significantly more impactful if delivered in a way that requires a degree of cognitive effort to understand (a well-documented phenomenon in advertising). In fact, we’ve found where issues are highlighted in a more challenging style, stakeholders are more motivated to engage in a search for solutions.
- Unexpected and unusual reporting formats stimulate conversation among stakeholders, but it is still vitally important that this debate is steered by researchers with a deep understanding of the data to ensure accurate interpretations.
- It’s possible to make important insights more accessible and memorable by taking them outside of their typical report or presentation context. Posters, coffee cups, clothing, desk decorations, and other everyday objects are prime real estate
About QRCA VIEWS
QRCA is a global association of the world’s most innovative, collaborative, and passionate research professionals dedicated to maximizing the power of qualitative. The VIEWS magazine is one of the ways that the QRCA help you to stay at the top of your game, by providing articles on new research techniques, results of case studies, and interviews with thought leaders.