stylized light bulb on cyan background drawn with splashes of colored paint. Concept of innovation and creativityBefore we hit the ground running with new topics for 2021, we want to say thank you to our authors, readers and advertisers. It has been an amazing experience seeing the marketing research and insight community come together and find innovative ways to collect data and use it for good. 

Below, you will find a selection of our editors’ favorite articles from the last year. Trust us it was hard to narrow our lists down to just these few! From blogs sharing career advice for those struggling during the pandemic, to magazine and e-newsletter articles discussing COVID-19’s impact on marginalized consumers, we’ve received so many quality submissions that we were proud to publish in 2020. 

Quirk’s Marketing Research Review

(listed in no particular order) 

Using CATI to survey unauthorized Hispanic immigrants

The population of unauthorized Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. is considerable and ranges between 11 and 22 million people1,2,3. However, there has been a lack of nationwide quantitative studies based on the perspectives of unauthorized Hispanic immigrants regarding their immigration stories, life, perceptions and attitudes towards American culture and society. As a result, it is hard to understand the main problems created by this social phenomenon and to find plausible solutions. Read more. 

Rethinking win-loss to increase sales

Traditional win-loss programs continue to provide significant value to organizations that sell to other businesses (B2B) and represent an untapped opportunity to improve win rates for those that have yet to implement such a program. However, there are three distinct ways that win-loss efforts can deliver even more value. Read more. 

COVID-19’s impact on African American, Asian and Hispanic consumers

COVID-19 has been a jarring wake-up call. While the idea of traditional research on ethnic consumers and their disparate COVID-19 experiences is certainly not a groundbreaking proposition, what clearly will be evident post-COVID-19 is that one size does not fit all. As infection numbers and death tolls from the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. are tallied, racial breakdowns show that the pandemic has had different impacts on communities of color. Read more. 

Study underlines the importance of clarity in doctor-patient communication

Health literacy (HL) is normally thought of as a patient skill that allows them to understand important written information about their health care. In fact, HL spans both written and spoken words and effective health care communication requires that it be used not only by health care users (i.e., patients) but by health care professionals as well. Read more. 

How brands can bend the rules of pricing with premiumization

How much would you pay for water? Would you pay more if the water was bottled? What if it had an artistic label on it? While very few people admit they would pay for water, many do. Asking questions about willingness to pay is deeply flawed but still commonplace in pricing decisions. Not only do people pay for water – which is freely available to most households – but they pay two to five times more for premium variants of water. LIFEWTR, Fiji, smartwater, Essentia – these are just some of the brands that took freely available water and captured premium margins through understanding how customers perceive value. Read more. 

Quirk’s e-newsletter

(listed in no particular order) 

8 tips for conducting research on a budget 

In my short Q&A with Quirk’s in early 2020, I mentioned that our research budget at PBS is not large.  That is a somewhat vague statement and I suspect the size of research budgets depends largely on company size, revenue and other organizational aspects. 

When I talk about conducting research on a budget, I want to be clear that I am not suggesting a limited budget is the equivalent to no budgeted money. Read more. 

Collective grief and qualitative research: Navigating the impact of today's heavy news cycle 

Wake up to another frightening headline this morning?

With all the negativity that is happening in this world from a global pandemic to social unrest to parents becoming homeschool teachers overnight, don’t we all want to do what Lenny Kravitz declares in his song, “Fly Away?” In that iconic song, he suggests ‘I want to get away … I want to fly away.” But most of us cannot just get away with all the travel restrictions in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. Read more. 

Caregiving and special needs support in the time of COVID-19 

As client-side researchers, we are often provided with numerous e-mails and data sources from third-party research suppliers. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the amount of information coming our way increased tenfold. For the most part, these resources focused primarily on how the general consumer is fairing, or in some cases, differences by age, gender, ethnicity and so on. While these still remain significant demographics to consider and many Americans have been impacted in various ways (notably younger and ethnically diverse consumers), there is another important group that is often overlooked: the disabilities and special needs community. Read more. 

Infection preventionists: Having more than a moment 

Years ago a friend was hired for an entry-level job at a government agency. Her first role was pretty mundane – she was assigned to study satellite images of caves in Afghanistan. A few months into the job, 9/11 happened and Osama bin Laden was thought to be hiding in one of those caves. Suddenly, much to her surprise, my friend’s obscure expertise became one of the most relevant skill sets around. Read more. 

The value of research beyond ROI

As we start a new year, it’s time to step off the treadmill of our daily to-do list and think beyond the next deadline to see how others (partners and leaders) perceive the value of our work. With this in mind, we recently interviewed corporate researchers at Cox Automotive, asking how they view the value of the research they provide. What is their criteria for success? Read more.

Quirk’s blogs

(listed in no particular order) 

3 ways diversity and inclusion drive the empathy economy 

The empathy economy has accelerated since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and social justice movements impacting the global community. But what is the “empathy economy” and, as it implies, how can showing empathy have economic benefits? Read more. 

Craving conversation: Conducting research during the COVID-19 pandemic 

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world of market research and unleashed:

  • The rush to move previously planned in-person studies to online platforms.
  • The cancellation of many already planned in-person, as well as online studies.
  • Questions of whether we should proceed with the research studies previously scheduled during this current time of uncertainty.
  • Concerns on whether findings would have any long-term relevancy since peoples' states of mind or perspectives may change as COVID-19 becomes less of a threat.

Read more. 

Supporting and sustaining relationships in a new reality

The circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have shaken many companies to their core. As we emerge from the initial waves of the crisis and settle into a new reality, companies are faced with the task of providing sustainable long-term support for both employees and customers alike. Whether you are a market researcher or customer experience (CX) professional, it’s likely that now more than ever, you will need to move away from reactive responses and focus on building programs that will support both employees and customers in this new work environment. Read more. 

Correcting racial inequity: What should you do? 

I’m not a street protester. No judgment, it’s just not my way. Maybe not yours, either. Besides denouncing police brutality, supporting racial justice organizations, donating money and voting, what else can you do? What should you do? As a Black woman in America, I have felt an insidious vulnerability in the last few years because of the clear support of racism messaged down from our president and have felt powerless to stop it. Read more.

The impact of COVID-19 on women in tech

At the beginning of March this year, TrustRadius published the second annual Women in Tech Report in celebration of International Women’s Day. The report addresses critical issues for women in the technology industry in 2020, based on a survey of over 700 tech professionals. 

Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused abrupt changes around the world. We’ve decided to publish an update to our initial report with crucial data about how the pandemic has changed the lives of women in tech. Read more. 

Deep listening: 10 ways to nurture relationships while social distancing

Standing on a busy corner in LA with a “free listening” sign was a humbling experience. This was not an experiment in rejection – though I experienced much of that. It was an experiment to engage in conversation with perfect strangers on the street with no other goal than to listen deeply. This required stretching my listening muscles into uncertainty and ambiguity. Read more.