While some best practices for communicating with consumers—like having a clear and consistent brand voice and honoring your brand’s values—are timeless and universal, how the marketing world carries out its objectives has evolved. The growth of social media platforms has caused a shift in the location of advertisements, and marketers need to be aware of the differences, strengths, and weaknesses of each platform in order to choose the best tool for effective communication. Having a clear understanding of an industry’s objectives can also help determine which platform to use.
In order to transform consumers into long-term advocates, it’s essential to learn strategies that can be applied on each platform to attract, engage, and convert consumers. Of course, attracting an audience is all about grabbing their attention long enough to further engage them, so striking visuals and brief copy are essential. Engaging your audience goes hand-in-hand with understanding what they find important and demonstrating that your brand gets it. Once the audience is hooked, compelling them with actionable content and an emotional connection will convert them into advocates.
Interested in learning more about how to effectively communicate with consumers in this digital world? Visit our Insight Library to download the full report.
March 20, 2019 | Creative, Research
Here at Fusion Hill we are passionate about keeping up with industry trends and ensuring our methodologies and deliverables keep us ahead of the curve and providing successful outcomes for our clients. Where better to brush up on our skills than at the 2019 Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) annual conference in Savannah, Georgia, with over 250 of the industry’s top qualitative researchers? Here are some of our key takeaways from this year’s event:
Neuroscience: Using behavioral science to understand decision-making, elicit deeper truths and be more memorable
From storytelling to design study, a basic understanding of neuroscience and behavioral economics provides the rationale for our best research practices, ensuring that we are communicating the most valuable findings in the most memorable way.
People will forget 90% of what you tell them, so it is critical to be intentional in crafting your content and the 10% your audience will remember. Framing key takeaways in familiar mental models and heuristics ensures they will strike a chord with your audience. Bonus points for adding small twists and surprises that balance familiarity with novelty and leave your audience intrigued.
Consumers also expect to communicate within familiar mental models. When in the field, researchers must be aware of the various outside factors that color a participant’s behaviors and responses – everything from the words we use in our questions to current events can affect how participants respond.
Even more than mental models, behavioral science tells us that emotion is a key driver for adding meaning and getting to deep truths. Good researchers know that fact does not necessarily equal the teller’s truth and that by following the emotion, we are able to evoke meaningful and rich insights that are invaluable for strategic business decisions. One way we use the power of emotion is through storytelling. Studies have shown that storytelling creates emotional resonance and produces high levels of oxytocin for both the audience and the storyteller, leading to a more unforgettable presentation. By seeing the story in everything, we are able to provide meaningful and memorable detail that may be unavailable otherwise.
Design thinking: Moving from moderating to strategic facilitation
Design thinking is a method of analyzing research findings and turning them into actionable business opportunities using collective, solution-focused thinking. In design thinking, researchers are more than just moderators; they are strategic partners and facilitators who use their experience and empathy skills to keep the ideation process rooted in the consumer’s needs. Design thinking is an increasingly popular insights method as clients face ever tighter deadlines and shifting business targets. At Fusion Hill we have always had a strong focus on actionable insights and have facilitated ideation sessions that allow our clients to quickly translate customer feedback into here-and-now business strategies.
Creative approaches: Thinking outside the question-and-answer box
Our team is always on the hunt for creative, new qualitative research techniques. This year’s QRCA sessions focused heavily on refreshing tried-and-true techniques, from theater games and improv to quick get-to-know-you activities. Good qualitative moderators know that even a 5-minute activity can have immense benefits – energizing participants, shaking up group thought, breaking down self-censors, and triggering new ideas and connections. When used correctly, these out-of-the-box techniques help us push both clients and respondents out of their comfort zones and illuminate previously inaccessible connections and insights.
Role-play is another creative approach for getting deep insights when dealing with sensitive topics. Role-play helps us get to truer conversations while protecting privacy and avoiding the logistical hurdles associated with on-site ethnographic research. This is especially true in health care, where gaining access to confidential patient-doctor conversations is not only tricky but also sometimes unethical. Our team attended a fascinating session on using medically trained actors as a methodology for interviewing doctors. This creative approach allows researchers to better understand language around a topic or product, as well as explore decision-making in the moment and test how variables may shift it. If you are interested in pursuing this methodology, let’s talk!
Keeping the conversation going
Reach out to us at Fusion Hill to learn more about our approach to qualitative research and how we are continually improving our ability to answer your most pressing questions.
March 18, 2019 | Research
Imagine yourself at age 15. Where were you living? What fashion mistakes were you embracing? What goals did you want to achieve in your lifetime? These questions have been on our minds as we reflect on our own 15 years of insight and imagination at Fusion Hill. And in honor of our anniversary, we’re launching our Quote-to-Self project. The goal is to hear how people answer this one question:
What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?
What would you say to younger you? We hope you’ll participate by filling out this form. Bonus points if you ask your friends, family and coworkers to complete it too!
As we travel the country – and the world – in 2019, we’ll ask the same question of our research participants we meet in the field. It’s all part of our drive to discover what similarities connect people and what traits make them unique.
We’ll share responses and insights throughout the year on our Quote to Self Instagram account. Be sure to follow us to see the project grow!
February 19, 2019 | Creative, Culture, Quote to Self Project, Research
Sharing our good fortune is a core belief at Fusion Hill, and over the past 15 years we’ve done pro bono work to help children, families and aspiring creatives. We also invite employees to volunteer for causes they believe in on company time – for a total of 2,000+ hours last year alone.
As our company has grown, we’ve been fortunate to participate in a companywide initiative that brings employees together to volunteer on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For the third year in a row, we spent Monday at Open Arms of Minnesota, where we cooked and delivered nutritious meals to individuals with life-threatening illnesses, their caregivers and their dependents. With our staff of 40+, we assembled our team into two groups, which enabled us to package 288 meals and deliver 492 meals.
As always, we’re grateful for the opportunity to give back to our community. And for the great people and welcoming atmosphere at Open Arms.
January 22, 2019 | Culture
While New Year’s is typically a time of anticipation for what’s ahead, 2019 is also a year of reflection for Fusion Hill. That’s because we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary.
January 7, 2004, marks the official day Kerry and Kasey launched what has grown to a team of 40+ employees. But we’ll be celebrating all year long with a year of giving, an anniversary party this fall and more.
We kicked off our year of giving with a holiday gift that included hat donations to charities that serve the homeless in the Twin Cities and other locations where Fusion Hill employees live. At the same time, we gave financial support to help launch 15 women-owned small businesses through Heifer International.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’ll once again volunteer our time at Open Arms of Minnesota, helping bring nutritious meals to people dealing with life-threatening illnesses.
We look forward to a year of giving – in our community and beyond. And we’re excited to celebrate our 15th anniversary with everyone who’s helped make Fusion Hill what it is today.
January 18, 2019 | Culture