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November 1, 2017

A friend of mine once told me, “The enemy gets a vote.”  His point is that you can have the best plans, but variables beyond your control will arise and require you to rethink your approach.  “Adapt to win” he would say. 

This principle can certainly come into play during market research.  You have to always be thinking and working with what is given to you.  You may have to change the order of your questions or the questions themselves.  Respondents will need rescheduled.  Stimuli will evolve from one market to another. 

We could go on and on how this principle applies to market research, but frankly I would rather write about something else, and its my blog.  So I will illustrate the principle with a recent adventure of mine, and you can apply the principle, as you see fit, to your work, life, etc..

Background:  2 phases of research planned in Tokyo separated...

September 18, 2017

Let me start off by saying that I thoroughly enjoy what I do on a daily basis. What I get to do every day is chat with interesting people about interesting topics. I get to learn about people, what makes them tick, what excites them, and what might keep them up at night.  As a former pharmaceutical sales representative, I never imagined a career that would allow me an opportunity to have interesting conversations for a living.

I have never considered myself a “moderator” per se but more of a person that gets to have interesting conversations about a variety of topics.  If I get to have a conversation with people versus making them feel like it’s 20 questions then I’m hopeful I can have a candid and real conversation. Everyone has their own style when it comes to moderating and having conversations, mine just happens to be more conversational in nature.

Here a few things I’ve picked up alon...

August 28, 2017

Like most kids, a bicycle was my first step to independence and freedom.  Growing up, it connected me with friends, new experiences and exploring my surroundings.

I’m one of those people who kept cycling when I became an adult — perhaps to maintain that independence, certainly to remain active, but also for the many lessons cycling has taught me over four decades. And I think many of these lessons apply to daily living, and certainly to my work in qualitative research.

There are four basic principles from cycling that I apply to qualitative research implementation, whether one-on-one interviews, on-line communities or any of the many ways we interact with respondents:

1. Hey moderators… it’s not a sprint to the finish line!

For most of the bike rides I’ve taken in my life, there is a beginning and end. I’ve had a few that ended-up on the ground, and once in an ambulance, but the goal is to r...

August 17, 2017

I was recently in the backroom with a group of clients and I took on the arduous task of submitting the group’s online order for dinner, which should be a simple task but always tends to be the exact opposite. People inevitably have questions that can only be answered by calling the restaurant directly and those answers lead to changes on the orders that have already been added to the cart and so on — you know how it goes.  In this instance, after the order was finally placed, one of the clients jokingly told me that he wished he could nominate me for one of their company’s recognition awards for successfully navigating my way through ordering dinner.  Though he was only joking, his comment started a conversation about our various companies’ internal recognition programs. All are different programs with a common goal of recognizing employees for attitudes and behaviors that go above and...

April 27, 2017

On my most recent business trip to Japan, the immigration official completed the entry card that is affixed to my passport for the duration of my stay. On closer examination, I noticed that he had listed my employer as Harper Globule – but I digress.

I have to confess right here that I have something of a fascination — nay, obsession with the wonderful world of Japanese automated bathroom fixtures. More specifically, I am drawn, all moth to flame-like, to the remarkable Toto Washlet S350e – that prince of computer-controlled toilet technology.

Prior to my ‘initiation’, I was a little intimidated by this washroom marvel that invitingly opens its lid as you approach and courteously and quietly warms its seat to insure that your repose is comfortable and without shock as you settle yourself.

Initially, the wondrous array of gender-specific buttons and commands on the adjacent key-pad made me n...

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