Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) - QRCA Views Magazine, Fall 2019

12 QRCA VIEWS Fall 2019 www.qrca.org n GLOBAL n I’ve been conducting research for youth brands for over twenty years and in that time kids’ worlds have changed and evolved dramatically. For research- ers, it’s a constant battle to stay on top of the latest trends in this space and develop research methodologies that help us tap into young peoples’ worlds and lives. Add to this the complexity of conducting research in a foreign market, and it can feel like getting insights from an international kids’ research study is a difficult area to tackle. So I thought it might be worthwhile to share some of the areas we think about when planning an international kids’ research project with the hopes of start- ing a conversation about how we as researchers can better create compelling, global youth research projects. This includes the bigger, modern issues impacting young lives today as well as some practical considerations when running this type of research. Kids’ Media Worlds Are Now Global in Nature Kids are now beginning to develop a common content language that spans across borders and time-zones. Context has always been important when shed- ding a light on the brands, products, and content resonating with kids— where does each piece of media sit in a young person’s media landscape? How does it complement/compare with other TV shows they watch? Apps they down- load? Games they play? In the past, these media environments were much more localized—a youth proj- ect always began with an exhaustive profile of each media market and the resonant brands within each. While there were a few overlaps between countries and markets, you could count on each market having a robust set of distinct children’s shows with whom a researcher would need to come up to speed before each project. R esearching young people is enormously rewarding and fun. Kids are enthusiastic about the things they care about, they’re passionate about the details, and they’re honest. Young people certainly aren’t afraid to tell you exactly what they think and this can be difficult for client teams having to listen to sometimes brutal and unfiltered responses! But researching young people also presents some challenges; they rarely sit still, they have short attention spans, and they (fairly regularly) contradict themselves. Conducting a research project with kids is like untying a big ball of string—it can be trying at times and patience is a must; and that’s just in markets where I speak the language. How to Structure Breakthrough International Kids’ Research Connecting with Young People Around the World: By Debbie Bray n Co-Founder n Hook Research n London, UK n debbie@hookresearch.co.uk