As we approach our 6th Christmas and the decade draws to a close, Mark and I have taken a moment to look back over the past 12 months and thought we would share our top three highlights in the wonderful world of ampersand research!
&…recognised by the industry
We were over the moon to be short listed, and then finalists, and then Highly Commended by the Association for Qualitative Research (AQR) for our submission for the AQR Qualitative Excellence Award.
Our case study was a piece of research we conducted with Nottingham Trent University titled “Coloured pens and sticky notes triumph in the digital age” and was a fabulous project to work on. This study allowed us to stretch our creativity and approach whilst interviewing teenagers looking to pursue a vocational pathway. We will be posting an overview of the case study in 2020 so watch this space!
We would like to say a big thank you to Nottingham Trent University, the AQR and the distinguished judging panel which included representatives of AURA (Association of Users of Research Agencies), MRS (Market Research Society), ESOMAR (European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research) and APG (the home for planners and strategists).
&…delivered challenging insights
Earlier this year we worked with a local housing association to help them build a customer service offer that was relevant, appropriate and met the needs of their customers.
Given the strategic nature and importance of the project, as it would shape our clients planning and infrastructure for years to come, it was crucial to design a methodology that would hear the voices of all customer types. Inclusivity was key – the research had to ensure all customers, regardless of their age (the profile ranged from 20 years to 90 years), education level, access to technology, proficiency in technology, working status and so on, would have a voice in the research. We conducted a blended approach of qualitative and quantitative interviews and in total spoke to customers for over 122 hours!
During the analysis stage interesting findings started to emerge which were consistent across all customer segments. Whilst we can’t share the details of these, what we can share is that they significantly challenged internal thinking and hypotheses.
At ampersand research we work closely with clients (updating them regularly by dropping into their offices for a quick catch up meeting, sending weekly update emails and summary telephone calls) and our approach to analysis is meticulous (listening to every qualitative recording in full and pouring over every cross break in quantitative data tables) so, at the presentation stage, when delivering unexpected or challenging results, the client is expecting them and confident in our evidence to back up the insights.
The response from the client to this project was phenomenal – they referred to the final report as their “bible” going forward, and we were asked back to present the findings to the Board of Directors!
&…worked with some lovely clients on fascinating projects and received amazing feedback
We started ampersand research with the simple aim of providing considered research delivered with a fantastic customer research and it never ceases to amaze us the breadth and range of projects we get to work on! From baby bottles to digital marketing strategy, from pizza to electric cars – again, we have seen it all this year!
It has also been great that most of these projects have been combined qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It is so satisfying to explore and then measure attitudes, behaviours and opinions and provide clients with a robust and full “answers” to their burning research questions.
Our clients this year have ranged from global players to small start-up companies to local charities. It has also been fantastic to see the number of clients we have been working with in the East Midlands growing as well as the number of repeat clients returning to ampersand research.
You may have seen in other blogs the importance we place on our how clients rate our work. We send out a short survey at the end of each project and ask clients to rate their experience of working with us on a scale of 1 to 10. This year we achieved an amazing average of 9.5 overall, which we are jumping for joy about!
So, these have been our highlights of 2019. Although there have been a few challenges that we have overcome (for example, fieldwork with pregnant mums falling on the hottest week of the year!) all in all it has been an awesome year!
This year we have decided not to send out Christmas cards but instead make a donation to charity. We have chosen Prevent Breast Cancer in memory of Vicki Thomas. We worked very closely with Vicki at BEAM fieldwork on a number of projects and were deeply saddened when she lost her brave battle earlier this year.
To all of our clients, suppliers, partners, friends & family, thank you all so much for your continued support over the past year.
We couldn’t have done it without you!
We wish you all a wonderful Christmas & a fantastic New Year.
Sarah & Mark