As part of our pre-conference interviews, we recently spoke with one of the speakers of QUAL360 EU 2020 Virtual, Josh Ayto, Strategic Insight Manager at Google. He told us about the highlights of his challenging session and the current state of market research industry.
Question #1: Without giving too much away – what is the core message of your talk and what would you like delegates to remember?
Josh: The current environment has made qualitative research more important than ever while it’s also made it more difficult to attain high results, especially for more difficult/nuanced hypotheses. That said, if the net result is spending more time upfront getting the design of research as great as it can be – Then regardless of what the future holds, this is something that will be a key muscle memory to maintain going forward.
Question #2: Why did you choose the topic of your talk?
Josh: We’re a company with a lot of quantitative data, and use it a lot to guide decision making. However qual while makes up a smaller % of our dataset it’s easily something we spend the most time on – this year has only further highlighted its value.
Question #3: What motivates you to join QUAL360 2021 and what are your expectations?
Josh: Interested to hear and learn from others. Making connections and being open to how others have faced and resolved similar challenges.
Question #4: There is a lot of talk about the current state of consumer insights and the impact of technology. How would you sum up the current state of the industry in 1-2 sentences?
Josh: Quant data is great for telling you What is happening right now (or in the past) but as technology and new platforms create more quant data points. Then the more we need high quality qualitative data to tell us Why and how this may impact the future.
Question #5: Looking back on the past months please share your thoughts on the impact of COVID-19 on qualitative research and the consumer behaviours in general.
Josh: It’s been a challenging but also rewarding year to be in a role dedicated to understanding consumer behaviour changes. While the rollercoaster of 2020 may seem quite unique, actually the underlying long-term trends are pretty consistent, many only accelerating a few years rather than being completely new.
You can also read: Effective Insight Communication Remotely: Making Qual Insight Actionable