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Essential Remote Research Pivots to Make in 2020

Posted by Conifer Research on May 15, 2020

Topics: Ethnographic Research

Adaptability and flexibility are the core needs of today’s research and insights teams. In the shadow of COVID-19, teams everywhere are asking new questions and changing course on long-established practices. To align your organization’s need to respond effectively and efficiently to rapidly evolving consumer needs, perceptions, and routines, Conifer has designed a set of lean research offerings that match the new questions brand leaders everywhere are asking in these times:

Monthly Research Sprints
How can we keep up with how our customers are changing and adapting?

Monthly Research Sprints: Change is a daily reality, and keeping up with it requires a new approach to project planning. Instead of bounded timelines, teams will find they need to spread out learning to take in the full effect of tidal shifts. Targeted monthly qualitative research with a small set of users will help take the pulse of consumers’ changes in emotions, spending, behaviors and attitudes. Planning for monthly sprints means continuous inspiration, lean investment, and building a body of research over time. Each month brings the opportunity to pivot to ask new questions that emerge as “urgent” requests from leadership, and to deliver human-centered insights on a regular and rolling basis. Over time, this will help insights leaders get ahead of new consumer behaviors that are here to stay and identify which ones are temporary.

Digital Shopalongs
How do people make decisions at the shelf, now that the shelf is gone?

Digital Shop-Alongs: Online shopping is being forced to make a leap into categories and occasions where in-person retail was still the default. The quick errand, an immediate need, evaluating something by feel, scent and texture — these are experiences that have become inaccessible to us, yet consumers still shop. Using remote screencast tools we shop-along with customers digitally to determine: How are your customers navigating these new digital purchases? Where is the online experience still letting them down? What will be some of the first things they crave for in-person retail? When we have more "time" than ever, decision fatigue STILL exists - what parts of the online shopping experience are causing friction? 

If This Than That Futures
How have my customers’ plans and expectations changed?

IFTTT Futures: We have been thrust into an “if-this-then-that'' world. Qualitative research is one of the best tools for the futurist, who today must explore many futures, not just one. Your teams, as well as your customers, are trying to assess what tomorrow (and tomorrow’s tomorrow) will bring. By bringing your visions of the future together with theirs, we can learn how customer expectations have evolved, imagine new experiences, and plan scenarios and use cases to bring these ideas to fruition in a changed world.

Synthesis Projects
How can we get the most out of the work we already have?

Synthesis Projects: Organizations are under increasing pressure to extend the value of the work they have already done and make future projects more targeted. This might seem daunting in a world where basic truths seem to have been upended — what IS even still true? Looking across your body of past work, we can synthesize new, far-reaching insights that may have been compartmentalized by siloed projects and identify the most critical knowledge gaps or consumer mindset shifts that exist post-pandemic.

Emotional Provocations
How do we tap into the intense, complex feelings that consumers are having right now?

Get Emotional: Short surveys and Likert scales will not be sufficient to unpack the nuances and unprecedented experiences accompanying COVID-19. People are ready to share (and even vent), given the chance to be expressive. Over the years, our team has developed unique creative provocations while running remote research programs. They can take the form of mad libs, mood boards, tantrums and other generative activities, that inspire consumers to share what is really on their minds and initiate rich authentic discussions and explorations.

Communication Planning & Testing Sprints
How do we best connect with customers to rebuild a sense of hope and safety?

Communication Planning & Testing Sprints: Everyone has heard that “we are all in this together.” It is a true message, but when everyone is saying the same thing, what happens to differentiation and authenticity? Marrying remote ethnographic techniques with concept testing methods, we can help you tap into new brand narratives and insights about how your message can rise above the rest and make a real impact in the lives of your audiences.


Click below to read more from our ongoing synthesis of COVID-19 insights from our internal study.

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