The Need for Speed: Overnight Qual

To stay in touch with the sheer pace of information delivery, we’ve created a fast and lean qualitative approach – Overnight Qual – to deliver insights at speed.

The Need for Speed: Overnight Qual

The author(s)

  • Natalie Kearse Ipsos Marketing, UK
  • Katherine Jameson-Armstrong Ipsos Connect, UK
  • Amy Thomson Ipsos Marketing, UK
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Do you ever act on gut feeling? That sense you know what to do or how to act without much conscious thought? The more experienced we are at something, the more reliable our ‘gut’ reactions are. Studies have shown that acting on your experienced ‘gut instinct’ can prove valuable when making decisions. An ‘expert gut feeling’ is something to foster in a world that values instant gratification, information on tap and where fast is never fast enough. 

It’s not just news and information that is being consumed quickly. Businesses are missing out financially by not getting their ideas into the market place on time. 

In this reality, where our clients are juggling tight timelines to address business questions and meet internal deadlines – fast decision making is key. It’s not uncommon for our clients to apologise for the speed with which they want us to deliver insights, but we prefer to embrace rather than apologise for the need for speed.

We’re harnessing our expert gut reactions and have created a fast and lean qualitative approach – Overnight Qual – to deliver insights as quickly as we can. It capitalises on the visceral reactions of consumers in response to different stimuli, whether product or communications, echoing their instant decision-making in store or at home to help with optimisation. No more apologies for limited time. We endorse it. And so have some brands.

A global household cleaning brand had an urgent need to explore why New Product Development (NPD) concepts were not performing well post a quantitative study. Over the course of 24 hours, consumers were exposed to three concepts, responded to each, and provided suggested improvements. This gave the client clear guidance on which concept to move forward with and how to optimise it in time to meet their internal deadline.

Overnight Qual is also beneficial for multi-market studies. A well-known electronics brand had a twoweek deadline to assess and optimise a campaign across six markets including Japan, Netherlands and USA. Consumers were exposed to television and print assets. Our client was able to meet the demanding two-week deadline and understand the impact the new campaign would have on their brand and how to strengthen these assets.

How is this possible? We’ve streamlined the process from recruitment to reporting and leveraged our educated gut feeling to extrapolate what’s critical. This approach is ideal for a quick qualitative steer on various stimuli – from creative ideas and scripts to NPD concepts and media content. Clients can expect diagnostics of stimuli and a sound understanding of which stimuli is stronger and why.

Critically, this is all conducted at breakneck speed – with fieldwork often while our clients sleep – and the whole process, from brief to delivery of debrief being possible in just five days . This feat, using traditional qualitative approaches, is very challenging. But it equally demands speed within clients’ organisations – logistical details such as having stimuli ready in time, fast internal sign off procedures and the ability to capitalise on quick consumer feedback to translate into quick decision-making.

Whilst Overnight Qual is not the answer to all qualitative research needs, it’s great for testing and optimising a limited number of concepts or quickly sanity checking ideas across multiple markets.  

The author(s)

  • Natalie Kearse Ipsos Marketing, UK
  • Katherine Jameson-Armstrong Ipsos Connect, UK
  • Amy Thomson Ipsos Marketing, UK

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