Instilling creativity and improvisation into qual research for (even) better results

QUAL360 North America 2019 will take place on 20th – 21st March in Washington D.C.  An exclusive mix of speakers from international clients and leading agencies including  Expedia, Pinterest, McCormick & Company, Dow Jones, Hanes Brands, Bank of America, TH Foods will discuss the latest trends and innovations in qualitative research.

Also joining will be Engel Research Partners and Patenaude Research & Communications. We recently interviewed Marc Engel, Founder & Principal at Engel Research Partners and Pascal Patenaude, Founder & Principal at Patenaude Research & Communications  to hear more about their unique approach that got them selected as speaker for the Qual360 2019 conference.

Q: Your presentation centres around a call to researchers to “embrace improvisation” – an unusual call for researchers. What would be the core message of your presentation at QUAL North America 2019?

Marc:    By embracing an improvisational mindset, you can get more out of your research projects.
Pascal: And that you should hire us to lead your next study to experience the mindset to the fullest!

Q: Why did you choose this rather provocative message?

Marc:   We love that we’re able to integrate our creative interests and experiences in the work we do. We’ve really seen the value of having an improvisational mindset to help our clients, while having fun and empowering others to come up with solutions to their marketing challenges. So, we wanted to share our perspectives. 
Pascal:  When we saw the theme for this year’s conference, we wanted to share our learnings and developed approach to deliver authentic insights.  With the past 15 years of conducting qualitative research, merged with our performers’ background, we observed the value of an improv mindset in accessing the ‘Authentic Self’ and uncovering those ‘moments of truth’. 

Q: What motivates you to join QUAL360 North America and what are your expectations?

Marc:    I’ve heard (good things!) about the conference over the years, and we’re grateful and honored to be part of it.  I do truly look forward to experiencing other presentations and meeting fellow speakers and attendees.
Pascal:  I’m always on the lookout for thought-provoking conversations and approaches. It is at conferences that we can share and learn by exchanging with other ‘quallies’. I’m looking forward to experience QUAL360 for the first time and hope that I’ll get inspired and be able to inspire others.

Q: There is a lot of talk about the current state of qualitative research – would you sum up the current state of qualitative research in 1-2 sentences? And what do you think QUAL360 North America as a conference can contribute?

Marc:    I can name that tune in two words: still relevant.
Pascal:  …and if you buy us drinks, we can talk your ear off about it. Okay, we’ll take an IOU for the drinks… Qualitative research is more vital than ever for ensuring that companies, brands, products and services address human wants and needs.

Q: How must researchers/content creators prepare and innovate for the future?

Marc:    To build on Pascal’s point in the previous question, we must remember that even with all the technological advances, we must always be mindful that we are human beings communicating with (not just selling to) human beings…at least until the singularity, when we are overthrown by our machine creations entirely. 
Pascal:  Everything is constantly changing…adapting is essential to evolution (and survival). An improvisational mindset can be one way to remain flexible, adapt and uncover innovations. 

Thank you Marc and Pascal – we look forward to hearing more from you at Qual360 2019!

Join Marc and Pascal together with key speakers from Expedia, Pinterest, McCormick & Company, Dow Jones, C. Mondavi & Family, Gallup, Echo Qual, Kantar IMRB and many more at QUAL360 North America 2019!

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