One could say that I was raised on projective techniques. When I went to college and chose the market research path - and yes, I actually chose this rather than falling into it like many of my peers - I had a professor who came from a traditional research background that loved projective techniques and incorporated it into most qualitative exercises. I mastered the craft of projective parties and magic wands and the creative ability to pull deeper insight out of respondents by avoiding the straightforward route.
I entered the research world right when digital methodology was ramping up and starting to steal share from the traditional methods that many, including myself, had been so accustomed to.
Digital research is awesome. It is so much more efficient and reduces my chances of being stranded in a Midwest airport while trying to connect to more fieldwork.
The one drawback to digital research that I have noticed is that most of the industry associates the digital approach with 'quick and dirty' results. While the ‘get in, get out’ approach works, the art of creative questioning can sometimes get lost in the mix. A projective party can be hosted online too! We’ve had our consumers writing love letters to their favorite brands while others describe how a certain brand would interact at a party – anything to bring the insights to life!
At Tonic, we pride ourselves on being creative - it's part of who we are, and we are good at it. The problem with the word creative is that most associate it with deliverables and output. To truly be creative, one needs to start at the beginning. To have a stellar research report, there needs to be stellar research design - and this takes the confidence of clients to know that our creative approach is not just 'out of the box' (and yes, I hate that saying just as much as the next guy), but it works to achieve something better and more robust for everyone involved.
So clients, strategic partners and anyone else that has a say in the research process, let this be the year that you trust the unique approach. 2015, the year of the projective! While we may not have all of our respondents waving magic wands, this is the year to get creative from the start. Let's drop the 'quick and dirty' mentality and achieve something innovative and insightful.
And don't worry, we completely understand the need for quick results, but let's insert a little creativity. Speaking of, have you checked out Tonic Express?