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Doing more with less: Crossing the boundaries of qualitative research to increase business impact (by InSites Consulting and AirFrance KLM). Recession can prompt unusual levels of creativity. With constraints to deliver more impactful research within a shorter time frame and lower budget, qualitative researchers need to take maximum advantage of their creative skills by crossing the boundaries of their discipline. The staged innovation approach of Air France and KLM to develop new transfer concepts illustrates how to move beyond the barriers of time, methods and professions.

Doing more with less: Crossing the boundaries of qualitative research to increase business impact (by InSites Consulting and AirFrance KLM). Recession can prompt unusual levels of creativity. With constraints to deliver more impactful research within a shorter time frame and lower budget, qualitative researchers need to take maximum advantage of their creative skills by crossing the boundaries of their discipline. The staged innovation approach of Air France and KLM to develop new transfer concepts illustrates how to move beyond the barriers of time, methods and professions.


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  1. 1. Recession can prompt unusual levels of creativity. With constraints to deliver more impactful research within a shorter time frame and lower budget, qualitative researchers need to take maximum What to expect? advantage of their creative skills by crossing the boundaries of their discipline. The staged innovation approach of Air France and KLM to develop new transfer concepts illustrates how to move beyond the barriers of time, methods and professions.
  2. 2. Introduction: difficult times require a changing mindset
  3. 3. Turning the threat of recession into an opportunity The start of the global recession is characterized by the fall of Lehman Brothers on September 15th, 2008. The on-going economic uncertainty we have been facing since, is affecting business and public sector alike, causing both threats and opportunities. The wave of bad economic news is eroding confidence and buying power, driving consumers to adjust their behaviour fundamentally and perhaps permanently. Throughout the recession, consumers sought out and were exposed to a growing array of tools, techniques, programs and emerging technologies – from list-making and comparison sites to stepped-up loyalty and rewards programs – to help manage spending and maximize savings. This more thoughtful approach to buying has evolved into an appreciation for cheaper brands, new channels and formats while consumers are even learning to do without whole categories of purchases (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Kantar Retail, 2010). In every recession marketeers find themselves in poorly charted waters because no two downturns are alike. Companies need to understand changes in consumer behaviour and fine-tune their strategies according to evolving consumption patterns (Quelch and Jocz, 2009).
  4. 4. The confrontation with many uncertainties increases the need for research, as business is seeking every bit of data to close a deal or find lucrative markets. In addition to the severe threats caused by recession, opportunity also abounds, as economic downturn can be the catalyst to make organisations even more relevant, producing a return for the business. Srinivasan, Rangaswamy The direct connection between uncertainty and Lilien already introduced the construct of and the need for research is changing the „proactive marketing‟ in the International Journal of expectations of organisations towards Research in Marketing in 2005. Their research researchers; they need to do more with less. indicates that firms who develop an intense The challenge of providing better results marketing response during recession can actually faster and at a lower price is prompting improve both market and business performances in comparison to firms who cut back, waiting for the unusual levels of creativity in the research recession to pass. Brad Bortner perfectly articulates industry. the paradox market research agencies are facing as a result to the economic downturn in a Forrester report written at the beginning of the recession (Bortner, 2008):“Fewer dollars will be available for new studies, while the business will demand new ideas more than ever.”
  5. 5. Increased expectations confront researchers with their boundaries Although the uncertainty affects market research Reports from moderated research blogs and as a whole, we believe qualitative researchers communities are not representative according to the definitions of market research, but naturally can play a central role in increasing the cannot be ignored on account of the numbers business impact of research, not only based alone. With constraints to deliver more impactful on their skills, but also because the focus in research within a shorter time frame and lower research is shifting from representative to budget, qualitative researchers need to tap relevant (Verheggen and van Slooten, 2011). into the opportunities provided by new The rise of Social Media generated a move technological tools and take maximum towards the use of data which has not been advantage of their creative skills by crossing collected in accordance with traditional market research methods. New tools allow researchers the boundaries of their discipline. to connect with more consumers, over a longer period of time, and to integrate a variety of In an innovation project to improve the transfer techniques to generate a holistic view on the lives experience for frequent flyers of Air France and of consumers. KLM, we challenged the following boundaries to increase the business impact of the research:
  6. 6. • Boundary of time - How can we build a bridge between past research on a topic and the current information needs? How to design the approach for impact now and in the future? How to conduct research faster and at the same time increase the opportunity to truly connect with consumers? • Boundary of methods - How to transcend the boundaries between qualitative and quantitative research? A hybrid methodology allows you to approach the research question from multiple angles and gain more knowledge from the same project. • Boundary of professions - How to learn from other disciplines on communicating results for maximum impact? Which techniques can we apply to really get to know our stakeholders? In the redefinition of roles, we even broaden our scope to evaluate the role of consumers in research. With this paper we want to trigger qualitative researchers to move beyond time, methods and even the boundaries of professions by sharing examples of the approach we applied in the co-creation of transfer concepts for Air France and KLM.
  7. 7. Case: My Transfer for Air France and KLM
  8. 8. For most travellers the „transfer between The kind of insights which can inspire ground- connecting flights‟ is a phase in their journey breaking consumer-relevant innovation can be timely and costly to generate. Traditional methods they would happily skip. Transfer flights are often require a lot of observations or face-to-face chosen mainly because there is either no other option time with consumers and run the risk of merely available or travellers need to make a trade-off giving specific answers to known questions, rather between time and costs. It is crucial for airport than exploring peoples‟ lives looking for inspiration. and airline companies to understand the needs, expectations and emotions of those travellers. The backbone of this project, a Market This is particularly relevant in developing delight- Research Online Community (MROC), evoking moments and in adding something positive to involves different types of frequent flyers and moments like a transfer, which is characterised by negative emotions. Increasing the focus on the integrates a variety of plug-ins like a personal Multimedia ethnography blog and an Ideation tool customer experience is relevant for Air France and to match the specific objectives of each stage. An KLM, as major airlines continue to struggle in the MROC is a relatively cost-efficient answer to more recession. In addition to further improving this complex research questions as it connects more experience to increase loyalty, there might also be an people over a longer period of time while facilitating opportunity to develop additional business activities in in-depth discussions. MROCs were developed as a the transfer journey. To gain insight and to develop research methodology to take advantage of the and validate new concepts to optimize transfer characteristics of modern consumers, matching services, the Customer Insight team and the their social media behaviour and emphasizing the R&D Customer Ground Experience team of dialogue between brands and consumers. Air France and KLM connected with their frequent travellers in a staged innovation approach.
  9. 9. InSites Consulting defines an MROC as “a small group (up to 150) of highly engaged people joined together by a common passion, connected online for a longer period, who are systematically engaged by applying various social media techniques for different business objectives, especially co-creation or even collaboration”. By definition, MROCs are not representative, as they work best with participants who identify with the topic and/or the brand hosting the platform (De Ruyck et al., 2010). In the co-creation of new transfer concepts we applied the following 3 steps: Figure 1: Overview of the staged innovation approach
  10. 10. 1 Insightment In a first stage, the research community was used to detect new needs and frictions from transfer passengers. We started with Multimedia ethnography (Verhaeghe, Van den Bergh & Colin, 2008); 39 frequent flyers reported their transfer experience on a personal blog on the community. Through 400 observations in text and pictures we were immersed in the world of the transfer passenger. The meaningful observations from this blogging stage were further shaped in the discussions on the research community. The blog stories and community discussions were analysed through info structuring and pattern detection while visual analysis principles (Pink, 2007) provided understanding in the pictures. This phase resulted in 68 insights combined into 10 insight platforms.
  11. 11. 2 Ideation and concept development During a 3-week ideation and concept development community, another group of 46 frequent travellers joined forces in generating over 450 ideas and comments, resulting in 32 new transfer concepts. The MROC environment is particularly stimulating for idea-generation exercises; consumers receive challenges based on the detected insights and can build further on each other‟s ideas to make them more relevant. With these creative consumer tasks, it is crucial to provide a stimulating environment by also discussing trends and best practices . As gamification elements have proven to increase participant engagement in MROCs (De Ruyck and Veris, 2011), we added a countdown to the challenges, addressing the competitive nature of people to come up with as many ideas as possible in a limited time frame. No competition without a reward: the most popular ideas were visualized by the industrial designer in our project team.
  12. 12. 3 Quantitative validation During a concept selection workshop, the four consumer-generated concepts showing the highest relevance for both travellers and Air France and KLM were integrated in a quantitative idea screener. The results guided a workshop to re-write the concept boards and develop the final proposition. In every stage, we challenged the current status quo, making this case a perfect illustration of how qualitative research can re-invent itself. Throughout the paper we‟ll refer to specific elements of this case study to show how qualitative researchers can move beyond the boundaries of time, methods and professions to increase the business impact of research.
  13. 13. Crossing the boundary of time
  14. 14. Increasing impact by going back in time There is no lack of data in the business world; in addition to research reports from the past and consumer- generated content on social media, an increasing number of organizations is also retaining information from their customers as a „by-product‟ of their activities. Customers do not only know that data like flight bookings and preferences are collected, they also expect airline companies to use this knowledge; for example by applying a personalized approach or feature recommendations. It is important to address market research as an element of this „big data‟ reality; research studies are set up in isolation too often. At the research agency‟s side, the challenge is to keep surprising clients with even more results and recommendations. To move from „insight‟ to action, research should not only focus on the here and now ; it should close the gap with the past to understand how to be successful in the present. In order to be truly impactful, results from one project should built on existing knowledge. However, a database with all existing insights on a topic is often lacking. It is key to link parts of unstructured information and qualitative researchers have the skills to cross this boundary. Figure 2: Illustration of how we crossed the boundary of time
  15. 15. The Customer Insight team and the R&D Customer Projective techniques, typically applied to reveal emotions Ground Experience team of Air France and KLM are of research participants, can also be applied to our clients. conducting research in order to provide its Based on personification techniques we developed a passengers with the best service at a continuous board game to place the Air France and KLM team pace. Although previous research was not focussed in their customers‟ shoes, allowing us to map all the on the transfer process, there already was a lot of current assumptions about their needs. The team members knowledge available spread across different reports. were all assigned a persona representing a typical Therefore we organized a workshop at the passenger. During the board game, they had to come up beginning of the project to connect the dots with needs and problems their persona could have during with previous research. In fact, we applied similar transfer. In order to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking, they techniques that qualitative researchers use in info were given probing cards revealing more information about structuring: each participant to the workshop was the persona. This could be both a more intrinsic asked to go through the previous research and had characteristic of the persona (e.g. always being up to date to pick the three most important transfer learnings with the latest technologies) and contextual information from each report. For each finding, we further (e.g. returning from a 3-week long business trip and probed to detect the insight explaining the finding. missing the family). This exercise was wrapped up by clustering the insights based on the findings across research reports. It is an illusion to think that all information is explicitly captured. Often, marketing decisions are made based on the assumptions marketeers have about their client. In order to also capture this more implicit information within the company, qualitative research can help us by bringing marketing assumptions in the organization to the surface. Figure 3: Board game
  16. 16. The workshop lead to a knowledge map summarizing all existing insights, knowledge and assumptions present in the organisation before starting the actual insightment (phase 1). The Connecting the dots workshop resulted in 26 insights leading to the definition of 5 consumer insight platforms. As a result, we could focus on the blind spots in the knowledge map during the research. Given that it‟s not always obvious to proof the ROI of such research studies, this approach also allowed us to indicate the added value of new research by comparing the knowledge present at the start of the project with the insights gained during the observation with frequent travellers. This observation phase helped us to discover 68 insights, 42 of which were new, which is a 61% increase. Five more insight platforms could be added. Moreover, the research also rejected 6 of the 26 assumptions which were generated during the workshop. It is clear that by tapping into knowledge and assumptions from past research, we can increase our added value in the present.
  17. 17. Faster, better, stronger Market Research Online Communities are typically conducted for a longer time span (3 weeks to on-going). The asynchronous longitudinal nature of communities has several advantages: First of all, it allows us to go Secondly, it allows us to get The transparency of the beyond one single feedback more out of the moment. methodology allows stakeholders moment of our customer. There is an increased opportunity to follow the conversations of the Knowledge gained in a first stage to connect. As not only the participants and to probe on can be applied immediately, consumers but also the Customer important topics. which automatically gives the Insight team and the R&D Tools like Daily Consumer News, discussions more depth. Customer Ground Experience Highlight Mailing and Intermediate Moreover, it is also a faster way team at Air France and KLM have Update Sessions manage the to turn around research results. access to the MROC whilst it‟s efficiency of staying in touch with your Based on the initial findings, live, this increases the community. By engaging actions can be defined and engagement within the team. stakeholders with these tools, they immediately also checked and are more likely to act upon the results improved by consumers. of the study (De Ruyck et al., 2011).
  18. 18. Daily consumer news Highlight mailing The Air France and KLM team was kept up to date During the Ideation & Concept development, the with the most striking and refreshing consumer involvement of the client team was vital to stimulate stories of the day. Seeing pictures of transfers and the frequent flyers in their generation of relevant reading the transfer stories from the minds of ideas. A communication plan was set up to evoke consumers allowed them to better connect with curiosity and motivate the Customer Insight team their target group. The „opportunity to engage‟ was and the R&D Customer Ground Experience team of also extended by allowing each team member to Air France and KLM to clear some time in their follow a passenger from packing his luggage all the busy schedules to visit the community and join the way to his/her arrival at destination. Intermediate update sessions. This communication plan took full advantage of the excitement generated during live interaction moments, by sending debrief pictures and quotes of participants, while also sharing teasing insights. Figure 4: Example of highlight mailing
  19. 19. Intermediate update sessions To keep in touch with the ideas and discussions on the Ideation & concept development community, InSites Consulting organized weekly update sessions, sharing top level results with Air France and KLM, facilitating an online brainstorm to focus and probe on surprising elements. This close connection allows us to tap into another advantage of MROCs: given the longitudinal connection, we can adjust the conversation guide at any given moment in time based on what we are learning, supporting an agile research design. In conclusion, qualitative researchers should embrace longitudinal research approaches allowing you to not only conduct impactful research in a quicker way but also to get more out of this valuable moment of consumer connect.
  20. 20. Crossing the boundary of methods
  21. 21. The roots of marketing research lie in the US polling While differentiating between quantitative and industry of the 1930s and George Gallup‟s conviction qualitative skills is favourable for the quality of that one could anticipate the voting intention of millions the research, we can‟t be limited by thinking in of voters nationwide by asking a representative cross- silos. Too often we think in terms of types of data section of the public (Worcester, 1983). Qualitative (textual, visual and numeric) and data collection market research as we know it also originated in the methods (surveys, discussions, observational US under the title „motivational research‟ in the 1940s, research), while the strength is often in a fusion of based on psycho-analytic principles of identifying research techniques (Verhaeghe et al., 2010). But how unconscious or repressed needs, notably through in- to make a quantitative researcher comfortable with depth clinical-style interviews with small samples of qualitative research and vice versa? Are we - as consumers. After emerging with promises of psycho- qualitative researcher - not too often afraid to cross the analytic insight, it succumbed to warnings about its boundary with quantitative research? In our search for statistical unreliability and subjectivism, before entering new innovation during the transfer process, we created the era of love and understanding, and the time of the two hybrid research design; the one where we creative consumer. It then expanded, but some argue analysed qualitative data with a quantitative „dumbed down‟, until it had reached the current stage mindset and the other where we integrated where the multi-source, interactive, emotional, ethical emotions, typically a goal of qualitative research, consumer-cum-king has taken over (Cooper, 2007). in a quantitative concept screener. Figure 5: Illustration of how we crossed the boundary of methods
  22. 22. Quantitative skills in qualitative research Although qualitative research is conducted on a non-representative sample, is it still possible to quantify the data. For example: during the observation (blogging) stage of the research, we collected over 1000 consumer stories, each highlighting different aspects of the transfer experience. Each of the stories was tagged according to an analysis framework. This was not only the start of the info structuring, but a deliverable by itself. We uploaded all the tags on post level in a Consumer story dashboard. This is an online reporting tool for visual & unstructured information which allows the qualitative researcher to intuitively analyse qualitative data in a quantitative way. Once the results were uploaded, we could easily compare the rich input on many dimensions like type of airport, stage in the transfer process and type of frequent flyer traveller, without the need of any statistics. With a simple drag & drop, the different dimensions were visualized, making a very intuitive tool for qualitative researchers to work with. Moreover, it allowed us to quantify which need was most prominently present in the consumer feedback but also to compare the stories of for example Air France vs. KLM passengers. Analysing the results with a quantitative mindset via this dashboard allowed us to prioritize qualitative insights and compare them for different target groups in a much easier way considering our large sample of Figure 6: Consumer story dashboard observations and consumer stories.
  23. 23. Qualitative skills in quantitative research Similarly to the previous challenge, we also looked for Both the dual-task methodology as the time ways to bring qualitative aspects into quantitative pressure measurement find their grounds in neuropsychology. Recent evidence in this domain research. We closed the research project for AIR teaches us that our brain has two parts: a France and KLM with a quantitative idea screener of the reflective and rational route – which is involved new concepts that were developed based on the when we are really „thinking‟ – and an automatic gathered insights. One of the main goals in qualitative route – which makes very quick effortless research is to grasp the irrational, more emotional decisions based on past behaviour and the customer. But what about measuring emotions in emotional evaluation of past actions (LeDoux, quantitative research? In many cases, measuring 1996). Through quantitative research, we emotions in quantitative research is done in a very question the rational part whereas in order rational way by asking people to indicate which emotion they feel. Also, one can wonder to what extent to get a thorough emotional measure, we consumers are aware of all their emotions and if they should connect to the emotional brain. One are even able to answer this question directly. However, way to do so is through the dual-task methodology in this project we experimented with three (Gilbert, 1989; Pashler, 1998; Baddeley, 2000), a technique from cognitive psychology. While alternative ways of measuring emotions, in order indicating all emotions they experienced with a to see whether we could also reach this emotional certain concept, participants were asked to depth with quantitative research; through „dual remember a set of symbols shown prior to the tasks‟, „indication under time pressure‟ and a „picture emotional measurement. collage‟, benchmarked against a direct indication of emotions.
  24. 24. Previous research (Kahneman, 2003) has shown that We benchmarked the tree alternative emotional this cognitive load will put more pressure on the measurements with also the traditional quantitative rational part of the brain and will therefore allow measurement where we asked consumer directly to participants to answer with their emotional brain. In a indicate which emotion they felt in a predefined list. neuropsychological technique we asked participants to Also, during the idea and concept development indicate their emotion per concept under time community, we presented the same ideas to pressure. Bargh (1997) and LeDoux (2000) reported consumers and probed for emotional reactions. that the emotional route in the brain is much faster This allowed us also to compare the results obtained than the rational route; by limiting the response time to by a quantitative method with those from the milliseconds, one can avoid giving the rational brain qualitative method. the time to answer. A third technique was not based on neuropsychology, but again on tapping into projective techniques where participants were asked to make a collage with pictures expressing their feeling towards a certain idea. With this last method, we wanted to see if we could apply a very common technique from qualitative research on a massive scale in quantitative research. All pictures were previously validated among a subset of 20 coders. Per emotion, we selected pictures that were uniquely identified as being part of one specific emotion. By doing so, we wanted to check if we could „quantify‟ the results at the end of the survey to their emotions.
  25. 25. The results showed that measurement of emotions is definitely not only restricted to qualitative research. Including emotional and implicit measures in quantitative testing can help us detect emotional differences between groups and may help us complete the picture that we obtain qualitatively. It also helps us reveal emotions that consumers may not be aware of or that consumers find hard to admit. In conclusion, qualitative researchers should embrace quantitative methods. Analysing qualitative results with a quantitative mind-set can help prioritize findings and compare them between different groups. Moreover, quantitative plug-ins can help us reveal emotional (and social desirable) differences which can be difficult to admit in the social setting of an MROC.
  26. 26. Crossing the boundary of professions
  27. 27. Changing role of researchers We should leave our ivory towers as researchers by learning from related disciplines, like strategic consultancy and advertising. Current presentations and materials produced by researchers fall far short of the mark. As a result, research buyers are currently still dissatisfied with the impact that research has on their business with one in ten verbal presentations and as many as one in seven written documents evoke discontent (Langer and Banks, 2011). Clients do not want a simple presentation of results and surface findings which are superficial, linear and one-dimensional, but demand a much higher level of consulting which assumes deeper analysis, non-linear and multi-dimensional assessments of the respondents (Alioto, 2007). Davison (2011) is also acknowledging the lack of research output in driving change and motivates researchers to know, understand and talk to their audience. “Clients are consumers too and they are confronted daily with slick forms of information daily on the Internet”. Figure 7: Illustration of how we crossed the boundary of professions
  28. 28. Qualitative researchers tend to be better storytellers Therefore all consumer-generated concepts were and, critically, are better at structuring their stories than their quantitative counterparts, perhaps because they integrated in a Deck of Idea cards, providing Air don‟t have a wealth of statistics to fall back on and have France and KLM with a playful way to review to put more of “themselves” into their stories, according and apply the findings. Although it may not be to the experience of Langer and Banks (2011). feasible to implement them in the short term, the Therefore they are the ideal partner to take the lead in Customer Insight team and the R&D Customer Ground setting new communication standards for the market Experience team of Air France and KLM will start every research industry. The storytelling approach is not only meeting on the project by discussing one of these applicable to qualitative data, but can also inspire our cards, its potential and the implications on existing quantitative counterparts to be more creative and services and communication. The Deck of Idea cards generate more impact. In the transfer co-creation of Air embodies the afterlife of this project and is a trigger France and KLM, we did not only focus on our role as referring to the other deliverables. consultants by organizing internal workshops, we also advertised the research results during the project. Although only 4 consumer-generated concepts made it to the final phase of Validation, the other 28 transfer concepts also expressed answers to relevant consumer needs. Figure 8: Deck of Idea cards
  29. 29. Although the research methodology is already moving beyond the boundaries of time and the deliverables of the research can make a lasting impression, there‟s a role for researchers to think along with clients in translating findings into implementation in the business. As we started the project with an intensive workshop to create a knowledge map, we also organized a workshop after each phase to move from „insight‟ to action and define the next steps. 1 Workshop after insightment The results of the insightment were not only highlighted in a presentation where we indicated how our research had added to what was already known, we also took advantage of the power of creative techniques in an Immersion and ideation workshop. All insights were presented in an Insight museum – the walls of the workshop room were covered with insight platforms, consumer quotes and pictures – allowing marketeers to discover the consumer stories behind a certain insight themselves. Through various projective techniques like the Brand alphabet (Coming up with solutions as if we were another brand, e.g. Google or IKEA) or the Crazy round (Losing all sense of reality to come up with the perfect solution), people were probed to come up with actions and new product ideas based on the insights.
  30. 30. 2 Workshop after ideation & concept development A successful concept needs to fit both the strategy and objectives of Air France and KLM and the needs of consumers. During a Concept selection workshop the most popular consumer-generated concepts were reviewed with these factors in mind, resulting in the composition of 4 concepts to move forward with to the next phase. 3 Workshop after quantitative validation To generate true impact and surprise with the results from the quantitative and emotional validation, we didn‟t just present the results, but we organised a Concept casino, requiring all the attention of the Customer Insight team and the R&D Customer Ground Experience team and providing them with a positive disruption. Each member of the teams received a number of poker chips. By presenting the scores of the different concepts for one KPI at a time, they could place their bet on the concept scoring the highest on unprized buying intention, for example. Not only did this stimulate a competitive, informal and creative atmosphere, it was also impactful in translating the results to a rewrite of the final concepts. Figure 9: Concept casino
  31. 31. Changing role of consumers In challenging the boundaries of our professions, We gave up our expert status by involving there are opportunities to reach out and also to consumers to take part in the analysis of the redefine the role of consumers in research and research results through crowd interpretation. innovation. Business success is contingent upon the The crowd interpretation takes place in a game adoption of innovations, new products, services, embedded in the insightment community. Participants processes and ideas. In turn this is dependent upon are presented with the transfer stories from their consumers‟ acceptance and perceptions of an peers and are asked to analyse them with the innovation. Traditionally, the consumer is treated as a research questions in mind. For this study, we „passive‟ player in this process, mainly because challenged the transfer passenger to detect new consumers are often relegated to the role of „validator‟ needs and frictions in the consumer stories of the through traditional methods of consumer inquiry other participants. After the analysis, the original (Roberts et al, 2005). Following the emerging view contributor of the post could judge the interpretation (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2000 & Van Belleghem, and provide additional feedback. Previous research 2012) that organisations should extend their search (Verhaeghe et al, 2011) has taught us that applying for competencies by co-opting consumer competence crowd interpretation leads to 20%-40% of additional as a competitive strategy, our frequent flyers were insights. In the case of this study, involving consumers challenged to take up the role as researcher and as research lead to an extra 21% of additional insights innovator in this project. from the same data.
  32. 32. And that‟s not all! In addition to reaching out to research participants to improve our analysis in the first phase, we also involved consumers in taking research to the next stage by using it as the starting point for an ideation journey. 46 frequent flyers joined a 3-week Ideation & Concept Development community; half of them were selected based on their innovator profile – challenging the norm and in search of what is unique and original – combining a focus on functional benefits with social independence. The other half were influential – accepting the norm and in search of what is relevant – being team players with a focus on social benefits. These two target groups collaborate on concepts which are both new and relevant (Van Belleghem and De Ruyck, 2012). Figure 10: Ideation tool
  33. 33. Although gamification is already fully embedded in online research communities (De Ruyck and Veris, 2011), we took it to the next level by addressing the participants‟ collaborative spirit. Instead of attributing rewards to a participant or community level, based on the achievements, each and every idea initiated by one of our frequent flyers received a status. By commenting on the idea, participants were challenged to improve it and up the its status from mining, rough diamond, cut diamond to diamond ring! As a reward, the most feasible ideas with the highest status were visualised by one of the industrial designers in the project team. Figure 11: Example of a concept board visual
  34. 34. Conclusion
  35. 35. The goal of our quest to cross the boundaries There are two business implications we can of our qualitative research is to increase the already share, while other exciting innovations are business impact of research. We moved beyond still pending. One of the final concepts which the boundaries of time by digging into the past upon made it to the final phase, the Mobile the start of the research project. By taking transfer application, is currently being advantage of the longitudinal nature of research investigated by Air France and KLM based communities we were able to create an impact not on the insights and ideas of their frequent only more rapidly but also in a better way. We went travellers. Since even travellers with a lot of beyond the boundaries of methods by experience are looking for more control on their analysing our data with a quantitative mind- transfer process, several minor improvements will set and by taking advantage of (new) ways of be carried out, like a new in-flight transfer video measuring emotions implicitly. We left the anticipating the information needs of transfer boundaries of our profession behind by using best passengers. In addition to the final propositions practices of related disciplines like advertisement or and the 28 other consumer-generated ideas, the journalism in the presentation of our results. formulated guidelines on how to approach the Moreover, we welcomed consumers as co- transfer journey of frequent travellers will be the researchers, allowing us to get more out of the starting point for many other new initiatives in the same data. future.
  36. 36. In times where researchers are challenged Qualitative researchers can further develop their to do more with less, qualitative researchers skills and apply them not only to interact with can take full advantage of their skills by participants, but also to create more impact crossing the boundaries of their discipline. towards clients. There is a need however to broaden The examples provided in this paper don‟t have these skills; from advertising research results to the ambition to provide a complete answer to the providing consulting to take research from „insight‟ to barriers we‟re currently facing, but are designed action. We should familiarize qualitative research to be a source of inspiration in order to trigger with quantitative techniques. On the other hand, we other researchers to think outside the box. Every also need to let go and reach out to empowered research project has the potential to reset the participants who are willing and able to add value to our boundary of time, methods or professions. analysis phase. With this change in expectations, the profession of qualitative researcher becomes an option for people with a background as varied as industrial design and general management. The composition of multidisciplinary teams will not only fuel the cross fertilization of skills, it has the power to bring projects to the next level and do more with less.
  37. 37. Acknowledgement
  38. 38. The authors would like to thank Bas de Luij (project manager of the Insightment phase), Renée Van Dalen (community manager of the Ideation & concept development community), Rosa Cruells (for analysing the Quantitative validation), Thom Rommens (for analysing and comparing the emotional measures) and the other InSites Consulting employees who contributed to the success of this project. Special thanks to Mike Friedman, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Université Catholique de Louvain for sharing his expertise on emotional measurement and last but not least to the complete Customer Insight team and the R&D Customer Ground Experience team of Air France and KLM for their enthusiasm and passion for taking this project forward.
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  43. 43. Research team Tom De Ruyck Thomas Troch Annelies Verhaeghe +32 9 269 14 07 +32 9 269 12 26 +32 9 269 14 06 @tomderuyck @thomastroch @annaliezze tomderuyck thomastroch anneliesverhaeghe
  44. 44. Thank you! @InSites