A question I often get when discussing online qualitative exercises is: what does the output look like? It’s true that qualitative data doesn’t come as easily packaged in a nice graph or chart as quantitative data does. In fact, how you analyze and captivatingly display qualitative results is a process that requires not only an analytical and logical mind but also a creative touch.
In particular, if you lack experience with qualitative data, it’s hard to find the story behind all the quotes and opinions you've received. I’ve put together a simple three-step process that you can use to begin synthesizing this information and creating your output.
Step 1: Bring order to the chaos. It’s important to know what the majority of your participants are saying. Start by creating a list of key themes as you read through the data, then tally each response that falls under that theme. You are not aiming to report numbers or percentages in the results, but this is the only way to begin to make sense of the wealth of information that you have at your fingertips.
Step 2: Stay focused and logical.You can’t create a sequential story if you let off-topic comments derail you. It's easy to focus on the negative comments — even if they don't reflect what the majority of participants are saying. Mark interesting comments or points, for example, by color-coding them, and come back to them after you have categorized the responses and answered the questions that underpin your main objective. Creating “callouts” in your report is a great way to highlight elements that aren't key parts of the story but that are interesting enough to share.
I recently published a report on The European eCommerce Landscape; it shows that more than two-thirds of European online consumers are shopping online, but there are big differences among the different countries. The top categories bought online are travel, clothing and accessories, leisure and entertainment, and consumer electronics. Forrester’s European Technographics® data also reveals that European consumers increasingly prefer the Internet to high-street shops for purchases of music, computer software, event tickets, and videos:
In recent years, the Internet has become the leading channel for media products. In 2012, more European online consumers bought videos/DVDs, music, event tickets, and computer software online than offline. These online media purchases fall into two categories:
1. Digital (sold direct as a download).
2. Physical (a product that an Internet retailer delivers).
We live in a world filled with technology-empowered consumers who have access to more information on brands than ever before. Armed with this information, they are telling brands where, when, and how they want to engage. This new world has sent marketers and the brand’s they support into a tailspin — they are losing control of their brand message and are losing trust with consumers. My colleagues Tracy Stokes, Chelsea Hammond, and I have developed a framework that helps marketers stop their free fall and chart a new course for their brand to win mindshare and market share in this new world. We call it the TRUE Brand Compass Framework.
In this framework, we take the stance that for marketers to succeed in building a 21st century brand, they need to focus on a new set of metrics that capture brand resonance. Professor Kevin Lane Keller perfectly states what brand resonance is: “where customers feel a connection or sense of community with the brand and they would miss it if it went away.” In our research and advanced analytics on brand resonance, we identified four key dimensions that each significantly influence brand resonance. These four dimensions are TRUE: trusted, remarkable, unmistakable, and essential.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the value of 16 billion pictures? According to Instagram, whose 130 million active users had shared this number of photos as of June 2013, the answer is “priceless.” Individuals’ enthusiasm for capturing and sharing photos shapes our media consumption as much as it does our co-creative potential; with the launch of its video capability, Instagram’s platform may become entwined with our social futures.
Online photo and video sharing continues to gain momentum as an emerging method of communication. Internationally, Instagram plays the role of news channel by turning local perspectives into global awareness. In fact, the role of media-sharing sharing technology is so significant that the Chicago Sun Times Newspaper laid off all full-time photographers, including a Pulitzer Prize winner, with the intention of moving toward more online video provision.