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Designing Virtual Research Methodologies That Get Your Answers

When developing communication intended to achieve a specific business objective, it is essential to understand how to bring it to life in ways that truly resonate, that connect and that move your target audience to action.  No matter how you are seeking insights, here are a few ground rules to keep in mind to maximize success:

1.   Start with a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve
  • Why you’re doing research and what do you need to get out of it?
  • What is the ultimate business challenge you need to address? 
  • What are the most important questions to answer?
  • How will the results be used?
  • What information do your internal stakeholders need to make decisions? 

2.   Understand your audience’s visceral reactions
  • There are many ways to ask questions and gain insights. Advances in behavioral science show that people’s visceral reactions to language and messages are often just as important as their logical, thought-out ones. This is why welook to capture people’s emotional as well as rational reactions to ideas and stimuli.
  • Examples include our virtual Emotional Response technology allows us to measure people’s word-by-word emotional reactions in real-time to build a picture of the most effective language and framing. And our quantitative implicit testing approach that measures people’s subconscious System 1 associations with given material as well as their more rational System 2 preferences.

3.   Capture the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’
  • The best research doesn’t only answer what, but why. Many approaches – both in-person and online – are effective at getting us the ‘what.’ A few help us answer the why. Our job is to find the best combination of both so that we receive the richest possible feedback to fuel our Language Strategies.
  • Examples include augmenting quantitative research with qualitative interviews to dive more deeply into reactions and sentiments. Or coding open-ended responses to get a deeper understanding of what’s going on under the surface.

4.   Understand the role of not just WHAT you’re saying but HOW you’re saying it
  • Language and framing is what we do, so evaluating a wide range of diverse approaches with your target audiences is essential whether offline or online. Which is why we have developed a wide range of research methodologies that allow us to truly understand what drives effective communication – and what gets in the way.
  • Examples include our Corpus Analysis surveys which analyze open-ended survey responses as big data to uncover emotional responses and associations. Or our AI-assisted online Listening Sessions that allow us to facilitate group discussions with up to 150 participants, analyze responses in real time and uncover insights at scale, instantly.

While there’s no perfect research method for a given business challenge. Through a little creativity and a deep understanding of what you’re trying to solve for, we can help you design an approach that delivers exactly what you need – virtually.