The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

AURA day goes north and south

AURA conferences are a great day out of the office and the 'What's Fresh in Qual' event was no exception. This year it was repeated in Manchester to 35 AURA members.

Eight 20-minute sessions covered a broad range of topics from Brexit and personal finances to VR and indulgent treating moments. It also prompted some great conversations over breaks around the role of qual with the increasing development of analytics and how we convince stakeholders of its validity in our organisations.

Sessions were divided into three key themes, starting with ‘Finger on the Pulse’. The Continuity Company, a loyalty programme provider to retailers, energised us through a tale of conversion to believing in qual when working in a data-driven organisation. Rich, qualitative insights helped them enable clients to drive more meaningful connections through their loyalty campaigns worth far more than simple discounts.

Razor and BritainThinks then shared their recent studies into millennial parents’ attitudes and how Leave and Remain voters feel a year on — giving us all valuable context on the cultural shifts that are shaping modern consumers’ lives.

The ‘Ethnography’ part of the day followed: perhaps the jewel in the qual crown, and a space that has most benefited from the evolution of digital technologies. The key take out here was the value of a longer-term approach to capture the changing nature of consumers’ moods and experiences.

Jigsaw and The Money Advice service shared an emotionallycharged story of Julie and her relationship with money, always on the verge of slipping into a crisis. On a totally different note, the Behavioural Architects and Diageo discussed using ethnography to explore the treating space and create a commercially successful campaign to drive usage of Baileys. Then, on a totally different tangent, the BBC and Ipsos Connect shared their experience using ethnography to understand users’ experience with VR and make industry-wide recommendations. Ethnography’s uses, it seems, are wide ranging indeed.

The final section of the day took a different tone. A thought piece from Incite showed how we need to integrate Behavioural Economics principles into our approaches and our every day work — both as agencies and clients. We finished with a demonstration from FireFly MB of how it has worked with improv comics to encourage consumers to let down their guard and uncover new insights in workshops, that had us all in fits of giggles. A technique that, if all else fails, certainly looks like a lot of fun!

 

Anna Loughran
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2017