Have you ever attended a music festival?
"Something crazy happens often and happily at festivals"
The two institutes Séissmo and mo’web are both sponsors of the first week of market research. In an interview, Natacha Dagneaud, Séissmo, and Herbert Höckel, mo’web, talk about their craziest festival experiences, how the two institutes have got through the Corona crisis so far and how they see the future of market research. And of course which events both institutes are planning as part of the WdM.
The week of market research is designed as a festival. Since the last festivals were a while ago: What memories do you have of your last festival visits?Herbert Höckel: The last festival I visited was the Ruhr Reggae 2019 in Mülheim an der Ruhr. I was there with my wife and two sons on the family campsite. When I think back on it like that, I almost get a little wistful; a few days break from everyday life, to see the favorite artists perform live and just relax ... It is the sense of community that I particularly like about festivals and what is currently being neglected due to Corona.
Natacha Dagneaud: In spite of everything, my last memories are only a few days back when a rock band played in the middle of the Auvergne in the great outdoors between volcano and river and some long-haired fans got together - with the appropriate distance. Live is not only better than canned music ;-)
What was the craziest thing you've ever seen at a festival?Natacha Dagneaud: It was precisely with this fresh experience that I was fascinated by the completely attentive cows in the neighboring field, who stared at the electric guitarists and singers and suddenly ran all over the field. It was not clear whether they danced or were disturbed. Behavioral observation is not everything: sometimes you have to ask!
Herbert Höckel: Something crazy happens often and happily at festivals. I had my strongest goosebumps many years ago at a SEEED concert near Aachen. In the middle of it all, the sound failed for about a minute. But you didn't notice anything in the audience because everyone was singing along loudly. It only became obvious when Peter Fox thanked him for the support and commitment. You can certainly imagine how the mood boiled over afterwards.
What will you be presenting at the WdM? Why not miss your events?
Natacha Dagneaud: We will talk about the consumer climate and the changed shopping habits. But we also want to think towards the future, with creativity techniques as a turbo for generating insights. We want to remind you of semiotics: Most communication is still done by packaging. Here and with all new communicative measures, we should question the meaning more often. With our example of the use of AI in the evaluation of qualitative individual explorations, we would also like to set an example. Here, too, we are looking for a deeper meaning with the help of the machine - in our experience automated insights are a chimera. Our Brazilians in the team provide entertainment and mix cocktails.
Herbert Höckel: Since we do not organize a webinar, we will present less, but rather offer something. Namely our first live event, as an attempt to digitally depict the party character. Everything is going digital these days, so we thought: why not parties too? At the moment the whole thing is still completely new territory for us. Right now we have 1,000 good ideas and 1,000 potential problems. However, we see it in a sporty way and look forward to every interested and curious guest who would like to dare to experiment with us and set up the market research industry's first online party.
Which events will you take part in as part of the WdM yourself?
Natacha Dagneaud: Tell me about the program ;-) All of us in the team here want to learn from the many intelligent colleagues in the industry and, of course, have fun. I personally find the professional exchange with the many young providers of text analysis (especially natural language processing) interesting. The provider of our tailor-made SaaS has been working on its solutions for almost two decades.
Herbert Höckel: Since we are currently still with our heads in the party planning and really have our hands full, I have not yet got around to studying the calendar of events more closely. As soon as we have our event in the towel, I will of course make up for that. But I am already sure that there will be a lot of interesting lectures.
How did you as an institute get through the Corona crisis so far?
Herbert Höckel: As an online institute, we have been digitized and set up online since it was founded, so we are basically doing well. Nevertheless, we noticed some reluctance and skepticism on the part of the client. After all, the last few months have torn many companies out of their familiar and functioning systems. Fortunately, we cannot complain and look to the future with optimism.
Natacha Dagneaud: As with many colleagues, the studies were stopped abruptly with us. Qualitative research has often been associated with "real people". On the one hand, that's great because it shows that we stand for empathy and holistic perception. But it is fatal because "digital qual" works wonderfully - at least at the individual level. And because we have the necessary core competencies in semiotics, upcycling raw data and evaluating public conversations. We see and use the crisis as an opportunity for our customers and, of course, our field partners to jointly advance the many digital possibilities at qual - it works much better than is generally known.
What things have changed for you as a result of the pandemic? What opportunities did the crisis open up for you?
Natacha Dagneaud: We see the opportunity for a modernization of the Mafo in Germany: Due to the business model "studio" (i.e. rooms + recruitment) there were logically great inhibitions in this country for the implementation of online interviews. Since 2016, we had only found a few willing partners in demand from our Anglo-Saxon partners. Even though we were prepared to pay more for the recruitment to compensate for the loss of the rooms. The opening only came with the crisis. The field studios learned very quickly, did a great job and are now our "Guardians of the MR Galaxy" - regardless of whether in real or digital space.
Herbert Höckel: What we have noticed again and again in recent months is that the demand for consulting services has increased. In addition to market research, the need for individual advice is growing, especially in these difficult times. We see great potential in this, which we would like to expand further in the future.
The home office concept has also turned out to be a growth opportunity for us. We actually only use our office for meetings, while day-to-day business is carried out from home. That is why we decided to take a new path, to completely dissolve our office, to redesign it and to reopen it as a co-working space after appropriate renovation work.
We also see a greater willingness on the part of our customers to deviate from familiar paths and to try out new, modern methods. In the field of digital research, for example, qualitative methods such as online group discussions or online in-depth interviews are increasingly being asked for, which of course makes us happy as an online institute.
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Where do you see challenges for the market research industry in the next few years?
Natacha Dagneaud: I want us to get out of the silos: Why are fragmented MR worlds currently emerging in companies that are in artificial competition with one another? CX / UX on the one hand, insights on the other ...
We all investigate how people tick, act, think and feel. Because consumer centricity has always been the primary mission of market research - hasn't it? As you have already stated in your "Everything is market research" dossier, we need a strengthening of the overall position rather than a further division.
I think the increasing cooperation among the players in our industry is great and long overdue. But I also fear a loss of "bio-diversity" due to another wave of concentration. This applies to the recruitment of test persons, the platforms used, the rooms, the events and much more.
Herbert Höckel: On the subject of representativeness: I'm sorry if I step on the feet of some, but Corona in particular shows how difficult the claim to representativeness actually is. It is currently very difficult to go from door to door, and we are also faced with new challenges in the call center. I think that there is a high corona-related willingness to switch from offline to online methods. And this will inevitably restart the discussion on the subject of representativity and sooner or later ask the question of how we can guarantee representativity digitally.
If you had three wishes for your institute: What would you wish for?
Natacha Dagneaud: Exciting questions that motivate employees. Courage to leave gaps because we want to remain specialists. And that we are positively infected with our empirical passion and are really breaking new ground. Was it more than three now? Qualitative researchers can't count ...
Herbert Höckel: First of all, I would like that we will continue to be ready and courageous to open up to new circumstances, new challenges and new solution strategies and also that we never lose our necessary curiosity as market researchers.
Second, looking back on the last three months, I hope that we at mo’web will also approach all future challenges with this willingness and courage and continue to master them.
For some years now we have noticed an increasing demand for management consulting that goes beyond the approaches of pure market research. Last but not least, I hope that we can further expand our competencies in this regard in order to increase the value of market research for our customers.
What is Séissmo doing at WdM?
In addition to the content-related participation, you have also chosen an entertainment format in the evening. What can the participants look forward to with you?
Natacha Dagneaud: For authentic Brazilian cocktails and remixed versions of them. Everything with a pre-recipe booklet to buy the right ingredients. In between we serve tips for a successful Mafo in Brazil. We are also giving away 5 places to experience the hybrid event live in our seminar room!
You coined the term shopping experience during the Corona crisis. What is the current situation with the shopping experience in Germany and France?
Natacha Dagneaud: Yes, the term came to the fore after just a few pilot interviews in France. Between April and June we did see an improvement in the situation, but the still high proportion of negations in the reproduction of grocery shopping surprises us very much. This suggests a deeper negative attitude towards shopping. We will start the third wave of surveys in a few days. This means that the WdM audience at our seminar can enjoy the latest results exclusively before anyone else!
What is mo‘web doing at WdM?
The interview with you on the subject of "bogus interns as observers" as part of our Mystery Shopping dossier caused quite a stir at the time. Is the method currently feasible at all?
Herbert Höckel: Unfortunately not due to the current hygiene measures and the noticeable effects of short-time work. However, we try to compensate for the mystery employees as much as possible through online individual interviews in companies and also through direct discussions with employees.
In addition to the content-related participation, mo‘web has also chosen an entertainment format in the evening. What can the participants look forward to?
Herbert Höckel: Actually, we are the ones who look forward to the participants. To people who are willing to dare to think outside the box, to get involved in "future celebrations" and to dare to experiment with us. At the end of a certainly interesting week, networking and fun should be the top priority at our event and offer each participant something that is often neglected due to the current situation: a chat corner for a cozy get-together, a dance competition for all those who like to party and a cocktail seminar for the cocktail drinker. The main thing is that everyone has fun. And that's what makes a good party.
At your event "We love Research! - The Live Network Event" there will be a virtual dance floor and a photo competition in the virtual photo studio. How will that work exactly? Can you reveal more so that dancers and photo artists can prepare mentally for it?
Herbert Höckel: No, unfortunately I can't do that at the moment. We are currently working flat out to implement our ideas and wishes. Unfortunately, there is currently no standardized solution for our concept. We are therefore still working on the technical implementation of our ideal ...
Much has already been defined and initiated, some still require something "Daniel Düsentrieb". We will all find out what the end result will actually look like on October 8th, 2020 from 6:00 p.m.
About the interview partnerNatacha Dagneaud is Managing Director of Séissmo and has been committed to method development and accurate diagnoses in qualitative market research for 25 years.Herbert Höckel is managing partner at mo'web. He has been a market researcher for more than 25 years. In 2004 he founded mo'web GmbH, which he still manages today as the owner.
Here you can register for the events of the market research week.
Note to editors: Both interviews were conducted independently of one another and then merged.
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