So we’ve dusted off the RealityCheck crystal ball to see what’s in store for qualitative research in 2015. Here are our top 5 qual trends for this year.
1. From Research to Experience
More and more clients will seek methods that deliver experiential learning that immerses them in their consumers’ worlds. For these clients, focus groups will be less and less relevant. They won’t be content to just passively observe their consumer; they’ll want to experience what it’s like to actually be them, even if only for a short while.
2. From Insights to Empathy
Related to this, the trend toward engagement and empathy will continue to gather steam. Increasingly, clients won’t want to just understand their customer on a cognitive level. They’ll want to connect with them on an empathic and emotional level and will demand innovative approaches to help them do so.
3. From Researchers to Translators
As client organizations get more stretched, they will depend more on smart qualitative translators to give insights meaning for their brands. They’ll expect their research partners to not only report the findings, but to also show them a clear, relevant pathway forward for their brands.
4. Big Data Comes to Qual
Leading-edge qualitative researchers will increasingly use more sophisticated analytics (coding, text analytics, etc.) to manage and mine the avalanche of data that can now be captured through online qualitative techniques. Big data has hit the qual world and you need to be equipped to handle it.
5. People are More Willing to Share
Thanks in large part to the age of social media, people are more willing than ever before to share their lives with us. Smart qual researchers will figure out new ways to leverage this trend to benefit their clients.
Thanks for reading. What are you thoughts?