A Case for Expert Qualitative Research Moderators 

Have you had a conversation with your consumer?

It is an enlightening and humbling experience to really get to know who they are, what they think, how they experience your product or service, and what they need from that experience. It can be very beneficial to be face to face, having conversations with consumers to build your intuition and empathy. However, often it is more valuable to leave the interviewing to expert moderators, allowing you to focus on the answers, rather than how to pose the questions.

Expert qualitative research Moderators are skilled at conducting qualitative research to uncover the “why” behind the “what” of consumer behavior and preferences.  Experienced Moderators apply a range of specific research techniques, with nuance and finesse, to get beyond consumers’ top-of-mind thoughts. This allows them to identify the underlying needs and motivations that drive behaviors and choices.   

Specifically, Moderators can help teams across four key learning dimensions: 

  1. Discover Feelings & Emotions: Delving deeply into consumer thoughts, feelings, and emotions, going far beyond surface level observations.
  2. Understand Motivations: Uncovering the underlying motivations, desires, and needs that drive consumer behavior. 
  3. Explore Perceptions: Understanding how consumers perceive brands, products, or services to shape marketing strategies and improve brand positioning. 
  4. Gain Context: Gaining conceptual understanding of consumer behavior through exploration of the social, cultural, and environmental factors that influence consumer decision-making. 

With certifications from organizations such as, RIVA, QRCA, and  the Insights Association, great Moderators have a broad toolkit, employing specific qualitative research techniques to achieve their research objectives.  These research techniques include: 

Open-Ended Questions: Starting with open-ended questions that encourage participants to provide detailed responses. These questions typically begin with phrases like “Can you describe…” or “Tell me about…”  

Comparative Questions: Asking participants to compare or contrast different aspects of their experiences or opinions. For example, “How does this compare to your previous experience in a similar situation?”  

Timeline and Sequencing: Exploring the chronological aspects of experiences by asking participants to recount events in a specific order. This can help create a detailed narrative. 

Sensory Exploration: Encouraging participants to describe sensory aspects of their experiences, such as what they saw, heard, felt, or smelled during a particular event. 

Metaphorical or Analogical Questions: Asking participants to describe their experiences using metaphors or analogies. This can help participants express complex concepts more vividly.  For example, “If this brand was a shoe, what kind of shoe would it be and why?” 

Projective Techniques: Using projective techniques like storytelling, drawings, or role-playing to access participants’ subconscious thoughts and feelings. 

Whether it is through in-depth interviews, in-context missions, ethnographic research or through online community bulletin boards, great Moderators will employ these techniques to discover underlying insights about the consumer that they could not otherwise articulate through simple conversations.

Trust SIVO with your Qualitative Research 

Contact SIVO, Inc. at Contact@SIVOInsights.com to discuss how SIVO can provide you with the insights you need, via our team of expert Moderators to lead your qualitative research projects.  Also, check out SIVO’s On Demand Talent Profiles to learn more about how a fractional Qualitative Research Strategist/Expert Moderator can be an asset to you and your team.   

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