Getting results is first and foremost about clearly knowing the business and the brand issues together with the behavioural space we are trying to understand and engage. Methodology is always a distant second. At DeltaMV we pride ourselves on being method neutral. Our processes engage you, our client, differently also.
When making decisions on research methodology there are clear reasons why and how we use them. Importantly behavioural economics, neuroscience, together with leading technology (which is changing rapidly) and social media are creating new frontiers in the areas of research methodology. So not only are we learning new ways of understanding behaviour we have new methods too.
Qual or Quant?
The question “Do you do qual or quant?” seems somewhat antiquated with what we know today. Yes, we may still employ some of these methods to explore how consumers behave. However, to uncover both the emotional and the rational side of decision making, we do not hang our hat on a single method.
We are continually refining our research methodology as new technology and new thinking about ‘how the brain functions’ emerge. With that said, we employ an assortment of methods that are supported by strong analytical frameworks.
This does not necessarily make research more expensive, but it certainly does make it a lot better.
To make Behaviour Strategy work for our clients’ business we have had to take a hard look at what we do as researchers. To this end, we have developed a clear, methodical process for applying this new thinking
- Identify the behavioural brief; what are the desired behavioural outcomes the business is seeking
- Use Behavioural Lenses to identify the research questions and how we go about answering them
- Identify the Behavioural Levers that will deliver behaviour change
- Share the learning in a way that ensures results for the business
We have also taken a hard look at the traditional range of research techniques. Some research techniques we don't use anymore and others we have had to revise. We are also continually looking to new technology to help us unravel the complexities of human decision-making.
By way of example; one of the key insights from this new thinking is the critical role of emotion. Traditional research techniques (such as rating scales) that require thinking (engage the thinking, pre-frontal cortex) are not going to be good measures of what really matters – emotion. However we also need to accept the reality of online research as the principle vehicle for quantitative research. Sticking electrodes on people’s heads is just not practical (never mind whether it even works or not!)
For our online research we have developed a set of visual metaphors to measure both brand love as well as the strength of association in quantitative surveys. We do this without recourse to semantic scales.
Behaviour Strategy also instructs as to the how research needs to capture the Moment of truth as it really is (not how a consumer reconstructs it later). Latest technology such as Point of View video with eye tracking lets us see what is really happening as it happens rather than how it is remembered.
We need to re-think our research toolbox to take in this new reality. There is no magic bullet (don't believe the neuro-hype) but new technology together with best practice from before brings us much closer to fully understanding consumers than we have ever been before.
At DeltaMV our expertise lies in understanding the combination of emotion, thought and action. This enables us to move beyond using research to just measure behaviour to really understand what drives it. From this perspective we are able to deliver behaviour strategy rather than just data.