Using a “Whole Person” Approach for Better Data and Happier Respondents

Here at Southpaw, our mission is to help our clients understand what people think, feel, and do. In all the work we do, we apply a holistic “whole person” approach, by recognizing that everyone we talk to, whether they are department store shoppers, homeless youth, or elite professional audiences, are people first, with thoughts, feelings, expectations, hopes, […]

How Research Can Help You Weather the Great Resignation

Whether you call it The Great Resignation or The Great Reshuffle, the voluntary departure of 47 million people from their jobs last year has been a big deal for employers of all sizes. As a business owner and a researcher, I’m highly engaged in this trend on two fronts:1) How do I find, recruit, and hire the talented […]

Moderating Tips Learned at the Bar

I’m always looking for parallels between my research life and my non-research life. Just as playing the ukulele made me a better report writer and ordering decaf coffee influenced my questionnaire writing, I’ve gotten some valuable lessons on focus group moderating just from hanging out at my local bar. Don’t start with the hard stuff. Most people don’t do well […]

My Biggest Culture Shock Ever – And What it Means for Your Research

When I worked in research for public relations agencies, it was pretty typical for an account team to send a survey out to the office to get input on something (like a campaign idea or a tagline) that they were working on for a pitch or even for an existing client. More often than not, […]

5 Simple Ways to Write Better Surveys

Tomorrow is my birthday!! Instead of asking for presents, I’m going to give you all one: 5 ways to make your surveys better. 5. Keep the big picture in mind. Why are you doing this survey? Too often, people include a lot of “nice to knows” in their questionnaires. If you want to know what people […]

How to be a better client: Q&A with my favorite interviewers

This is Connie and Joe. They are amazing in-person interviewers who can get anyone to talk to them, whether it’s someone coming out of a store or a doctor attending a conference. I brought them in to help a retail client understand their shoppers’ behavior, and together we’ve been in half a dozen malls in as […]

Does Your Research Use All Five Senses?

One of my favorite clients is a large retailer that hires me for “shop-along” research: walking through the store with customers and asking about their observations and experience. Basically I get paid to shop vicariously. A few weeks ago, I was designing my screener for a shopping expedition; I wanted to make sure I had people […]

Putting Respondents on the Red Carpet

It’s award show season! Watching the Oscars and the Grammys isn’t my favorite thing to do, but I’ve learned that treating customers like stars can get companies robust insights. Before the holidays, I did a project for a major department store that was rolling out a self-checkout program. I conducted 1-on-1 shop-alongs with respondents, following […]

A Reminder that Data Denial Doesn’t Work

I recently gained 35 pounds without realizing it. Scratch that. I realized that my clothes didn’t fit and I felt like I was dressed up in someone else’s body.  But I didn’t actually know the extent of the situation, because for about two years, I resolutely refused to step on a scale.  “I’m better off not knowing,” […]

Getting People to Talk About Awkward Topics

After a three-day conversation with 12 strangers about peeing in their pants, I can now safely say I will talk to anyone about anything. Let me back up. Last month, I got an email from a new client. She’s coming up with a new adult incontinence product (think Depends) and wanted to do some audience […]