When you are doing multi-country qualitative research in other English-speaking countries, you need to decide if you want to use a local moderator or have the home-country moderator do the work in the other countries.
As a Canadian-based researcher, I am often asked for referrals to good Canadian field services by researchers based in the UK or USA who are planning to travel here to conduct the research. Or they may be planning to do the research online from their home location, the no-travel option.
There are pros and cons to both approaches. Here’s our take on the issue.
Behavioral economics came about as a response to traditional economics, which assumed that, if a person had all the relevant information, they would make the rational decision. As market researchers, we know that’s not the case. Behavioral economics proves the point for us, providing scientific support to the concept that people are not necessarily rational.
A new qualitative methodology “Alive Dream” helps people get back to key moments connected to the product or category while in a meditative state of mind, or deep relaxation. This enables them to “live through” the key emotions connected to the brand or category and helps create a map of “emotional imprints” which can identify the brand’s emotional territory.
South Africa is emerging as a gateway to the rest of Africa’s markets; its market research industry is seen as highly developed and established and can be compared with the standards of other Western markets.
Despite this sophistication, there is an understanding of the needs of the grassroots level of the market and the challenges of doing research in a multicultural society. “We can speak the language of the ‘haves’ while understanding the world of the ‘have nots’,” says Matthew Angus of KLA.
We all have anecdotes concerning surprises in Asia, Africa or some other exotic locale, but in Western Europe we tend to believe that we are quite similar to our immediate neighbors.
But similar does not mean the same: There are differences.
Even when you can’t see the people you are communicating with online, you can pick up on their non-verbal communication cues — if you know what to “listen” for.
The harnessing of smart phone and internet technology among the vast base of ‘below middle class’ households of emerging markets is an acid test of innovation in qualitative research.
Interviews conducted in the usual home ethnographic manner yield surface information. Self-administered video recordings and cell phone pictures, taken by family members, on the other hand, yield amazing insights.
Managing time across cultures and languages is important. Some languages and cultures are faster, others slower. If you design in a “fast” language, you need to allow more time for “slow” languages.
Cultural differences between markets – even when all are predominantly English-speaking – can be large and important for marketing success.
Words matter in qualitative research since the goal is to elicit well-described experiences and emotions, as well as understand the reasons behind actions. This is best done when respondents can communicate in their native language.