Takeaway ideas from day 2 of #wwqual

Here are my highlights from day 2 of #wwqual, along with some takeaway ideas.

Luke Perry, from Jigsaw took us through The Importance of Moral Intuitions in Qualitative Research. This explored a framework of moral foundations from psychology which can be used to understand how people interpret the world. The perennial “better deals for new customers” relates to the “loyalty / betrayal” paradigm for example (see below).

Perry_6 moral foundations.jpg


Takeaway idea: Use this framework to step outside your own moral domain in analysis.


Sarah JayKym Loeb from Acacia Avenue were joint winners of the best presentation award with their paper Shifting Sands? Why Times Change But People Don’t. This lively pair gave made us laugh (and scream) with a wide ranging session on evolutionary psychology, exploring its explanatory power in relation to behaviour and cognitive biases.

Jay_Loeb_Belonging.jpgTakeaway ideas:

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is of course too simplistic, and ignores how we DON’T prioritise safety and security above all else. Belonging is a meta need. People frequently face danger in pursuit of this higher order goal.
  • Kendrick and Griskevicius’ 7 fundamental motives provide better explanation. These are our conflicting distal causes of behaviour (disease avoidance, status, mate acquisition, mate retention, affiliation, self-protection, care of kin). Again, a useful analysis framework. Kendrick and Griskevicius’ book is worth a read too, if only to find out why three out of four professional football players go bankrupt (hint: being inculcated into fast/slow success strategies).


Alex Gordon from Sign Salad talked at speed about an understanding of the culture surrounding consumers can generate fresh opportunities for business growth in his session Culturally Driven Brand Thinking as Insight Imperative. His view: “In a world that is highly irrational, there is a danger brands seek highly rational answers, focussing on the easy to measure rather than the important.” He urged us to conceive of brands as cultural totems which serve deeper needs. My brain is just about catching up!

Takeaway ideas:

  • Late capitalism: bloated corporations more concerned with themselves than consumer, interchangeable brands which offer no real choice, accompanied by a fractious political deadlock
  • Quallies need to be comfortable asserting why people think the way they do – not just what people they think. He set us 4 tasks before every project (see pic):

Gordon_4 steps to culturally driven brand thinking.jpg


Roben Allong from Lightbeam Communications described how brands can better understand and harness the current culture revolution in her session How the Language of Culture and Community is Reshaping Research. Social media has made the world small: people from all over sharing common experiences and cultural references. Minorities are setting the tone here: the mainstream is becoming transcultural. Brands want the cultural understanding as well as the research. But culture is a hard thing to understand.

Allong_cultural context.jpg

Takeaway idea: We don’t know what we don’t know. Cultural context is important because the same things don’t mean the same to different people. An example? For African American women, the princess emoji signifies achievement, empowerment, & strength. For Caucasians it connotes being spoilt (see pic).


Tom De Ruyck from Insites Consulting talked about insight activation. His view? 10% of client budgets should be spent on getting research acted upon. He used a host of examples. As well as Virtual Reality to bring the consumer to life in a debrief (10 customers from 10 countries in 10 minutes), I liked his example of doing a debrief with his Heineken clients at 9pm then going bar hopping at 10pm to see examples of the issues this in real life.

Takeaway idea: to inspire change our efforts should focus on memory & empathy.


Andrew Konya, from Remesh.AI took us through his vision of the future in his talk How the Future of AI Makes Moderators More Important
Andrew made us all think. Talking to a qual audience about machine learning and neural nets is like being a flamingo in a flock of pigeons. Kudos to him for being a joint winner of the best presentation award. His argument: AI is changing the value of labour. Tech changes what the market rewards. Take driving: being able to drive was a prized asset; this becomes immediately less valuable once driverless cars are adopted. He defined four stages to the evolution of labour distribution within research. You can tell he’s young because this starts in around the millennium (!)

  • Survey monkey, powerpoint – easier to collect and analyse data
  • Online qual, mobile data, smartphones, text analytics sophisticated multivariate analysis
  • The era of intelligence (narrow AI): automated sample by API, quant research in box e.g. zappistore
  • The era of AI: generalised artificial intelligence

Takeaway ideas:

  • Don’t worry, we’re not all doomed – this is about getting tools to help us achieve more
  • Machines will not replace humans fully when it comes to data collection or interpretation/reporting: these are the last vestiges of humanity.

About Simon Shaw

I'm a Director at an insight consultancy. I'm interested in marketing, market research & consumer psychology. The views expressed are not necessarily those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Conferences, Market Research, Marketing Research, Methods and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s