Qual’s future lies in helping brands to understand people on a true human level

Qual360 Europe is taking place in Amsterdam this May. In the run-up to the event we are talking to some of our speakers about their presentations and the state of Qual. Kicking off this round of interviews is Jaguar Land Rover’s Customer Insights Senior Manager, Steve Hill.

Qual360: Without giving too much away – what is the core message of your talk and what would you like delegates to remember?

Steve: Qualitative research is about getting to know people – their stories, the things that make them who they are and the shared experiences of groups of like-minded individuals who make up society, if we can tap into those stories then we can break down the barriers of fear that are normally at the heart of our inability as businesses to reach out to diverse and new audiences.

Qual360: Why did you choose the topic of your talk? (Reaching out to BAME, LGBTQ+ and Disabled audiences – how qualitative approaches will always lead to greater authenticity)

Steve: As a gay man you might have thought that diversity and inclusion has always been high up on my agenda, but in reality it’s been a relatively new revelation, I’ve always until recently been one to shy away from what business can do to support minorities and seen it as more of a governmental responsibility. However as the world goes through difficult times at the moment, and as I watch people drifting into social media silos it becomes more important than ever for brands and business to put forward the faces and stories and lives that reflect back real life, and give younger generations the “mirrors” that help them feel good about themselves

Qual360: What motivates you to join QUAL360 Europe and what are your expectations?

Steve: It’s been some time since I came along to QUAL360 Europe but I always remember that it’s one of the more stimulating and inspirational conferences on the circuit. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the other great stuff that qual researchers are doing across Europe.

Qual360: There is a lot of talk about the current state of qualitative research – how would you sum up the current state of qualitative research in 1-2 sentences? And what do you think QUAL360 Europe as a conference can contribute?

Steve: I received an email today that made me laugh – “Dear Steve, Amazon recommends “The age of surveillance…” – now isn’t that the very definition of irony, a global corporation using artificial intelligence and my previous purchase habits to recommend a book to me about the dangers of surveillance society! I think artificial intelligence is going to revolutionise marketing over the next decade (or less) – but just like this email it runs the risk of being a vicious feedback loop on itself. True innovation and true human understanding relies on really understanding people on a true human level and for that reason I believe qualitative research has a great future, but it is important that conferences like this exist so that we can get together and keep the faith!

Qual360: Thank you very much Steve, we look forward to your talk at Qual360 Europe!

You can catch Steve’s presentation along with 20+ other case studies, workshops and discussions at the upcoming Qual360 Europe conference, May 15&16 in Amsterdam. Book your tickets now!



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