Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Tuesday - Telling it like it is

A recent course leader specialising in social media suggested that I was over-thinking when it came to decisions such as who to ‘allow’ into my social network. ‘Consider quantity not quality’ was his mantra for the day.

Well I’ve been pondering on this ever since and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m right and he’s wrong.

Because the quant v qual question has played a large part in my working life and for me the qual word has always held sway.

It’s about the quality of the research, the quality of the researcher that counts; just as it is the quality of the connection and the quality of the relationship that matters in the longer term.

And yes, it’s good to build on these quality contacts but surely the bullet approach will always be an improvement on buckshot.

So I’ve decided to stick to my guns (ha ha) and continue my journey on the qual over quant pathway.

We will continue to suggest to clients that they don’t just ask how many groups or depth interviews they can buy for a certain amount of money but to also ask who exactly will be conducting those interviews and how much experience do they have of engaging with customers, of dealing with clients.

We’ll also continue to argue that whilst some quant researchers can turn their hand to qual, there are times when qualitative specialism counts, and so too experience.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Spice of Life, Variety

When asked what I like about my job a stock response over the years has been on the theme of variety.  Variety of clients, variety of people interviewed, variety of topics addressed. 

It was musing on the third of these areas recently which urged me to look for evidence as to whether I could still justify this response these days.  So I’ve looked back just to the start of this year and have been genuinely taken aback by the variety of subjects already tackled in 2011.

I started to imagine a weekend during which I might connect with the products we have been asked to look at, the services we’ve been asked to consider, and the projects we’ve been commissioned to work on.  Here’s how the weekend might pan out.

Friday evening fancied a treat, reached for a dessert whilst flicking through some brochures trying to choose our next holiday.  Should we go camping this year or maybe a package holiday in the sun?  We’ve enjoyed holidays with Keycamp and Eurocamp over the last few years so that’s always a safe bet.

My wife found she was having trouble with the small-print in the brochures so had to wear her reading glasses for a while.  She went for Foster Grant this time, bought them at the same time as her sunglasses. 

A friend has a caravan we might borrow but he’s often talking about cleaning his caravan and the shampoos he has to buy for it.  He says Mer products are great and they work on cars as well.  Personally I’ve just discovered G3 so that’s my brand of choice these days for car shampoo. 

Of course camping might involve investment in new equipment; the airbed is looking a bit shabby and the sleeping bags also need replacing.  As for the tent, we’ve had that for years and it still does the job.  I’ve always trusted in the Coleman brand when it comes to camping equipment.

Saturday and up early, thinking about the dinosaur exhibition which might be coming to National Museums Liverpool later this year. 

Instead headed for the shops and Aldi first off – needed tea, mayonnaise, peanut butter, bread, biscuits, jam, cereal, fish fingers and some bread for toast

Shopping done, called in at Millie’s Cookies for a muffin and a cookie.  Wondering about a barbeque tomorrow so maybe get some quarter pounders and frankfurters too – should I choose a branded option or go own label instead?  Wondering about a cake mix as an option too, or shall I just go to the M&S bakery?

Saturday night needed to sort out finances before settling into the evening.  Have been thinking about switching banks for a while and wondering about one of those Co-operative Bank Privilege accounts, or is it Privilege Premier, can’t remember.

Sunday morning, we’re off to the show homes down the road.  We fancy a new home this time, probably from Redrow Homes; less maintenance and it would be nice to be the first into a property. 

Weekend nearly done, I just need to do some online shopping before bed.  Oh and I keep meaning to check next weekend’s arrangements for our theatre trip with Superbreak.

It’s been a busy weekend.  And so have the last six months. 
Here’s to an even spicier second half of the year.