There’s often a perception that the different phases of a mixed methodology approach—a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques—need to occur in a pre-determined fashion. For instance, qualitative first then quantitative second, or that you can’t make changes in the techniques once the project begins. The beauty of having a large toolbox of techniques is that is allows a brand and insights team to shift the order of phases or add new phases depending on how the consumer learnings are playing out. Not only is mixed methodology a very custom approach to a brand’s specific issue, but it is also highly agile throughout the project.
Not only is mixed methodology a very custom approach to a brand’s specific issue, but it is also highly agile throughout the project.”
The agile nature of a mixed methodology approach is particularly beneficial when a brand team is looking for broader guidance from their target audience. There are times when a brand needs to quickly assess whether initial ideas are on the right track to meet target consumers’ needs. Having six or eight people gathered in an “on-demand” session will allow a quick, but deep dive into the motivations behind adoption of these early idea seeds. After this session, if there is a need for more context, or a need to iterate on how a certain trend impacts a certain product or offering, the brand team can decide to run an online, real-time bulletin board among a larger group of people. The strategic guidance from these qualitative, immersive techniques lays the foundation for a more effective quantitative study that truly gets at the heart of the thinking and behavior to guide future brand innovations and development investments.
This type of iterative learning also applies to current portfolio issues where the brand team is assessing why a product or offering isn’t performing. A food client recently faced potential de-listing of one of its products by key retail partners. The product had not been revamped or restaged in years, and the brand team was under pressure to determine relevant “news” to keep it viable. Fifty different concept statements were developed to address different ingredient preferences among consumers. Radius recommended multi-day concept optimization sessions to iterate the most compelling ideas. From the original fifty, seven ideas were put into an overnight screener, and four of those were explored in a rapid prototyping session facilitated in-person by our insight strategists along with members of the client time to vet the ideas and optimize prior to final qualification testing.
The investment of time and resources in agile and iterative immersive techniques such as one-on-ones and group discussions provides rich, contextual learnings that give a brand team more confidence in what to validate in a larger quantitative study, as well as determine the strategic direction that will lead to brand growth.
Want to learn more about agile mixed methodologies?
Read this Best Practices: Iterative Communications Development
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