Human beings make on average 35,000 decisions every day. Many believe that consumers make ninety percent of their decisions subconsciously and often in as little as one third of a second. So, in an ever changing world where brands are constantly appearing, adapting and innovating to fit the wants and needs of thousands of different audiences, how could you not be intrigued to know how? Why? What makes these people tick?
As a qualitative researcher at any agency you will be familiar with a range of techniques and approaches to finding the answers to your clients’ questions, but when it comes to taking a step forward and making that career move, the question is how do you choose between the hundreds of agencies all boasting to be leaders in something? Whether it’s innovation, their consultative approach, strategic minds or digital technologies; every agency has a hook, and let’s face it, you can’t possibly meet with all of them!
As a recruiter in this field I speak to researchers every day, all of them looking for different things and believing different methodologies are best suited to them and the way they like to dig around in the minds of the many. Some like to immerse themselves completely in the world of the consumer, and for these people the traditional focus groups and in depth interviews become less relevant, less juicy and generally unsatisfying. They are not content just speaking to people, they want to actually be them. For others the ever growing momentum of social media opens things up further, giving them new ways to engage with respondents who are often more open online. Similarly, the proliferation of other forms of online/digital research such as online communities, mobile ethnography, blogs and online diaries amplifies our ability to connect with consumer. Sophisticated techniques in data, text and content analysis are constantly being developed in order to handle massive amounts of data, leaving some researchers wondering how we ever uncovered such meaningful insights without these tools. Cognitive techniques are also becoming increasingly popular, with some agencies even go so far as to employ neuroscientists alongside market researchers….the list is endless and of course we can’t forget that virtual and augmented reality and its tech buffs are now also waiting in the wings to change the way we see the world!
Whatever your specialisation, interest or intrigue there are agencies out there that do it - you just need to know what it is you are looking for! So, when hunting for a new role in qual you need to be asking yourself - what methodologies have I used? Which ones do I know about and want to try? Do I want to use digital technologies? Do I want to be part of a company creating new methodologies or do I want to join a team that appreciates the value and importance of good old fashioned qual?
Alongside the task of answering all these questions, making a move in qual isn’t always the easiest task; particularly if you are comfortable in your role, getting a decent salary and the idea of squeezing interviews into your already rammed schedule fills you with dread. But, remember also to ask yourself how many of your projects really excite you? Are you consistently interested in your work? Do you feel engaged, inspired and valued? If not, what are you waiting for?
For further details contact Cate Biles at Resources Group firstname.lastname@example.org