The Value of Research, with Felicity Moore

July 3, 2020
PRODUCED BY POLLY YAKOVICH

Felicity Moore is a global consumer/customer/user insights and brand strategy specialist, with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She has been working for Microsoft for three years in product development for Mixed Reality and AI and, and she is currently on the strategic storytelling team for Dynamics 365.

Felicity has also worked extensively across fast-moving consumer goods, alcohol/beverage, and athletics industries, among others. Felicity believes in getting out of the bubble and pushing herself to see all sides of the story. There is no distance too far or methodology too challenging for her. She has worked with brands all over North America, Europe, Asia, and globally. She is obsessed with different cultures and generations and has lived and worked in five different countries.  

Felicity loves speaking engagements to take an audience on a journey and get them excited about cutting edge methodologies and thinking about the world differently. She has spoken at Cannes Lions, Esomar Berlin and various conferences across North America.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Felicity's inherited her curiosity and love of research from her father, who literally “wrote the book” on modern qualitative research
  • What key marketing insights Felicity has gained over the course of her diverse career, and why research is a powerful and valuable business tool that is worth the cost
  • Why finding and working with the right partner agencies can help you refine your scope and maximize your return on investment from research
  • Why clear, open communication is critical for working with your research partner, and why research should be "built into" the life cycle of your development process
  • Felicity shares specific examples of how research can provide new insights that can result in key product pivots
  • Why research provides important insights and additional context that can help you better understand consumers and meet their specific needs
  • What tips Felicity has to help you identify and prepare for new trends and new advancements in marketing

Additional resources:  

 

Show Transcription: 

Intro:

Welcome to A Brave New Podcast, the podcast all about how brave entrepreneurial companies are unlocking their business potential using inbound marketing. Here is your marketing expert and host, Polly Yakovich.

Polly Yakovich:

Hello, welcome back to A Brave New Podcast. I am super excited to introduce my guest to you today, both because she's a super interesting and fun person, but also because she's an expert on a topic that I think most of us have a really complicated relationship with. And that is research. So Felicity, thank you so much for joining me today.

Felicity Moore:

Well, thank you so much for having me. I'm so glad to be talking to you.

Polly Yakovich:

I really want to just pass it over to you and have you give a little bit of your bio, what do you do, how would you describe yourself, what are you working on right now? Give us the whole meal deal.

Felicity Moore:

Yeah, okay. So my name's Felicity Moore and I am a, I guess I would say I'm a trained qualitative researcher. My background, I was in market research for a decade, and market research is a bit of a loaded term. So to break it down, I was in consumer insights and brand strategy. I spend a lot of time in an agency called The Sound that was really sassy, they tried to push the limits, do things differently. And now when you look around the kind of research we were doing ten years ago, a lot of people are doing it now. But they were very provocative. Our tagline was smart as f**k and never boring.

Polly Yakovich:

That's amazing.

Felicity Moore:

Yeah, so smart as f**k and never boring. But you would be going in and talking to a CEO, and that would be the first slide. Sometimes it would work and we'd get the business, and sometimes it wouldn't. But it made sure that we were getting the clients that made sense and that were willing to go there with us. About three years ago my husband and I moved from London in the UK to Seattle. We both work at Microsoft now. I was supposed to be on something called the Future Bureau Team, but then there was a big reorg, as happens in tech companies, and I found myself doing research for product development, which I never thought I would end up doing. And it was actually, product development for mixed reality, specifically for a hologram application, where it was trying to reinvent the way that people are trained, specifically within manufacturing. So I went from talking to teams about soda or 25 year old guys about beer, to talking to people that worked on assembly lines to figure out what we should be building in a 3D sense, which was kind of crazy, but a really sharp but awesome learning curve.

Felicity Moore:

I have a little boy named Wyatt, he's actually turning one on Sunday, so when I came back from that leave, there was another big reorg and it really gave me an opportunity to think, do I want to continue doing what I'm doing here, or is there an opportunity to really leverage my background and do a bit of a pivot? So I'm now working under a team called INC, which really stands for Industry and Customer. And we are focused in on E 365 products, which are, if you think about Microsoft, there's really three clouds. There's Office 365, your classic Teams, Word, PowerPoint, that kind of thing. Then you've got Azure, the cloud, and then E 365, which is a lot of solutions that really ignite what a lot of companies are doing with all of this data we're finally able to access. But it's very complicated, and so my job is to get in there and chat with customers and understand what they're doing, and then be able to tell the stories about their digital transformation in a really human and approachable way.

Felicity Moore:

So it's really leveraging all of the stuff I was learning in the mixed reality days and thinking about the future and the future of the workplace, but then also thinking about really customers and strategy and what's really going to be pushing businesses forward and what's the stories that they want to tell. So that's me in a long winded nutshell.

Polly Yakovich:

I love it. Tell me a little bit about... Well, we're going to get into research, because research is so complicated, and I think something that everyone wants but never can get funded. We're going to talk a little bit about that. But how did research interest you as a career? What was the professional growth path? What were some of those initial impulses that made you feel like it would be a good place for you?

Felicity Moore:

Yeah. It's really interesting, I think when you talk to people in research, nobody grew up thinking that they wanted to be a researcher.

Polly Yakovich:

Right, right.

Felicity Moore:

You don't come and get talked to about it when you're in school. Nobody even tells you that it's a career path. And so it is, everybody finds their own way into it. My story is a bit of a unique one, because my dad is actually one of the grandfathers of qualitative research. He was in London in the 60s, he was in the advertising world, and him and a guy decided that... They were doing this bespoke research and it didn't really have a name. It was there in academia, but it really wasn't there in marketing. So they started one of the first qualitative research agencies in London. So growing up, I heard words like focus groups and I-

Polly Yakovich:

That's amazing.

Felicity Moore:

It's really cool. And I had no idea really what my dad did, and it was very hard to describe to anybody. I just knew that he was always on airplanes and he was always talking to people and he always came home with really good cookies.

Polly Yakovich:

I love it.

Felicity Moore:

So I did my degree in psychology and creative writing, and then I traveled for two years. I taught English for a little bit, I thought do I want to be a teacher, do I was to... There was so many different things that I was thinking about doing, but I really had no idea what I wanted to do. And I was told again and again with a degree like that, there's really nothing I could do unless I went back to do my master's or got my PhD. So I came back from two years of traveling and feeling a little bit flaily, and my dad sat down and applied all of these qualitative methods to a conversation and really laddered down to some key aspects of things that I loved doing, whether it was from my degree or day to day. I spent a lot of time behind a bar listening to people. We had a really long, deep conversation about my strengths and what I would love from a career.

Felicity Moore:

And he had retired a couple years before this and he was writing a training manual on qualitative research. He said, "I might regret this, but I think you should read it and come back to me and tell me what you think." So I read to page to page, and I was like, "What is this?" Front to back, what is this? He was like, "Well, this is what I've been doing." So he was doing a bit of freelance work, so I got to come along with him on a shoestring. We were literally staying in hotel rooms in Edmonton and I was sleeping on a cot, or we would get a room with two beds. I was very clear to be like, this is my dad, we share a last name, but I'm not his... It was a very interesting way to get into it, but it was very supportive. It was so cool seeing somebody that had been in the industry for so long, had seen it transform.

Felicity Moore:

He was in it just before the digital transformation on research took off, and so his methods were traditional, but he is so young at heart that even now I'll get on the phone with him and we'll talk about methodologies and to look at things differently. Because I think with research there is some really core truths to it, but then there's a lot of real ways to play. So that's why I got into the industry.

Felicity Moore:

But then I realized I didn't want to be underneath my dad's shadow. He understood that completely. He was also not in the industry really anymore. So I went and spent a little time working with a couple of different places for very cheap just to say, listen, I'm super green. I didn't want to go back to school. I wanted to absorb as much as I could. So I was working for free, or for about ten dollars an hour. But I went after people that I admired, that I saw being talked about, and I was living in Vancouver at the time.

Felicity Moore:

And then eventually I got a call a couple years into that from a company that I'd done an internship with called The Sound, and they had grown from two people to 12. They had grown from just being in Vancouver to being in London and New York at the time. And they said, "I think we're in a stage now where we'd like to bring you on." And it was awesome. So I was in Vancouver, I moved to Toronto and helped them open an office and build the business out there. I did a lot of travel to and from New York to Chicago, and then I went out to London and I was director there with them, before moving to Seattle.

Felicity Moore:

So I think the big thing that I learned from The Sound is that their whole thing was making sure that we were going to speak to real people, spending time with real people, and understanding clearly the context and the world that these products and brands were living in. Because I think you always think you know your consumer or your person, but the reality is, you don't. Early on in my career I remember sitting around a board room for Kellogg's, and we were chatting about teens and we were working on a product for teens. And a guy said, "Well, my teenager has never even seen this." I challenged him a little bit. I said, "Well, where does your teen go to school and what do they like to do on the weekends?" The teen went to a very posh, private school, they rode horses on the weekend.

Felicity Moore:

I said, "Listen, your target audience is not your teen." So your world is still a bubble, and in order to understand where your product is and the way that you should be talking to these people, you need to enter their shoes, you need to spend time with them, and you have to be open to having these assumptions challenged as much as possible.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah. I love that. That's also marketing training 101. Just because you don't answer your phone or open a piece of mail or have a certain behavior does not at all mean your audience doesn't. You can't market to yourself. You just literally can't.

Felicity Moore:

100%. No.

Polly Yakovich:

One of the things you said leads me to my next question, and also sort of an interesting challenge, is I think for those of us who are more on the broad marketing side, we're always advocating for research for just the reasons that you talked about. But it's really hard to make the business case.

Felicity Moore:

100%.

Polly Yakovich:

I think people are always really tempted to skip it, and they always make excuses, like, well, we already know our customers, or we get this feedback from them, or I have teens. Or whatever that may be. What to you is the business case for research? How could you make the point of the value of research?

Felicity Moore:

Yeah. Especially coming from the consulting worked, that was the first thing we had to do to get in the door. Often we would have our direct client would be advocating for research, but it was our job to convince the person that held the purse strings that this was the right thing to do.

Polly Yakovich:

Because it's expensive. Yeah.

Felicity Moore:

It is expensive. And especially if you're dealing with qualitative, but if you put it down to brass tacks, often speaking to one person can be $300 plus. And that's just getting incentives in the door and organizing and all of that kind of stuff. You're like, well, it doesn't really match out in terms of the budget and what I want to be spending. I think the trouble is that if you don't spend the time to do your due diligence and really do some research, whether... I always advocate for doing research upfront before any pen to paper starts to happen, because otherwise you can down a rabbit hole, you can also get super committed to an idea, and then it's too late to really wheel it back and come back to it. So I think there's lots of different reasons why. I think the key is that it doesn't have to be as expensive as you make it out to be. A lot of consultants out there are going to hate me for saying this, but I think you don't even necessarily need to go out and hire an outside agency to be your researchers. Because I think everybody has the capacity to be curious and to ask questions and to do secondary research.

Felicity Moore:

I think if you build the essence of curiosity into the things that you're building, whether it's brands, whether it's applications, whether it's actual products, I think there is, if you start that as part of your MO, then you're already a leg ahead. I think there's also some really fun things you can do apart from doing a long winded, three to six month research study that helps get you to a place that's way more interesting. There's some really great sprints out there right now where you start on a Monday with some ideas and hypothesis, you bring some secondary research or some speakers or some experts into the process to help teach you about, whether it's the customer, the context, all that fun stuff. Then you build an ad, build a product, build an idea. And then you can even bring a couple people in to go through the idea, go through the product. And by Friday you've gone from really having nothing, to having an integrated, thoughtful product, idea, campaign that you can then start to build out and really work with.

Felicity Moore:

I think the biggest thing for me is there's the cost commitment with research, there's also the time commitment with research, and then there's also the concern that what if you're not talking to the right people or doing the right research? So I think that's where leaning on experts, leaning on people that know the industry, they can help point you to where you should be looking. And good consultancy or any good partner, agency that you're working with, you should be able to say to them, "You know what? I've got five grand, or I've got 500 grand. What's the best approach to get me to the best insights to help us do the things that we need to do?"

Felicity Moore:

That's a long winded way of saying that's the business case, but I think you're only as good as the data that you have. And if you haven't taken the time to fully understand the world that your product is going to be living in, or the way that your advertising is going to be seen, then you're really going in blind. And it would be like asking somebody to paint a portrait when they've never seen a picture of an ocean or been by the sea. You know when somebody understands deeply the problems and they're solving for it, and you can tell when it's been a rush attempt. I think society's been getting better, but I don't know if you remember when everything started to get a little bit... This is probably eight, nine years ago where it was like, you know what? Women buy things too. And then all of a sudden there was this crop up of pink whiskeys and-

Polly Yakovich:

Yes.

Felicity Moore:

Pink Bic pens. It was just like, you guys haven't done your research to understand... It just felt like there was a group of, sorry to say it, men in a room that were like, "Let's just throw some pink, or bedazzle it, and then they know that we're thinking about them." And I also feel like, if you are in marketing, it means that you are innately curious and you have to have some kind of love for people. And research allows you to feel so much more connected and strategic. I think you feel more confident moving through and navigating the channels that you're trying to get through to get to the end and really be able to get to that impact.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah. And I would say, too, this is true in any field. When marketers talk about impressions, I almost always cringe, because it's just such a invaluable KPI for most part. I think people can make jokes about focus groups and talk about money wasted, but really, truly, when you're creating something, whether it's an idea or a product or a campaign, you are too close to it to make good decisions. And when it gets air in the marketplace and starts to breathe and live, you're going to have missed a lot.

Felicity Moore:

100%. And I feel like the reality is, you might not find the answer that you're looking for in research. Because say something's moving through, it has to happen. We know that. Some of this stuff, it's happening whether we like it or not. Don't you want to know what's going to happen? I think everybody wants to hear the good news, but if you're armed with, okay, we have an idea, this might start to bristle people in a certain way, or... At least you're anticipating that.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, it's more a calculated risk.

Felicity Moore:

Totally. Whether going in there, and then it's out there in the wild and it's raw, and you're like, oh man, you didn't see it happening. You can sleep better at night, even if it doesn't change the decision of moving things forward. Because I work with a lot of creative directors and creative people, and there's a real feel that research kills good ideas. And one of the good things that I loved about The Sound is that we would go in with a creative idea into a focus group, and focus groups really have a place, but they're very specific. Focus groups are used in the wrong way all the time. But they can be great to just get a read on a creative campaign. And often we left the focus groups when we were talking to the team that created it and we said, "Listen, we heard some stuff in there, but the reality is, this idea has legs. It's a good idea. I think we should move forward with it. But let's talk about some of the challenges or the watch outs that you should be ready for. But it doesn't mean that because Nancy didn't like it, that this idea goes cold."

Polly Yakovich:

Oh, Nancy doesn't like anything.

Felicity Moore:

Nancy's a tough one. So it's making sure that when you are making that investment in research, that you're feeling comfortable with the team that you're going to be partnering with. And you can really have those up front conversations. As the person that's spending the money on research, you need to make sure that you're giving them as much background and information as you can. You need to help them understand some of the politics at play, the journey that the campaign or the product's been on to get to where it is, so that they can really help make sure that the insights that they're giving back to you are understanding of that, and helping you make those decisions.

Felicity Moore:

The saying is, you're only good as the data you have. Research is only as good as the information you give them. So if you don't partner with your research agency and you make it feel like we'll just go off and we'll talk to you in five weeks when it's done, it's never a great outcome. It's really important to make sure that your research partner is actually a partner and you don't treat them like a vendor or somebody that just goes away and comes back with a report.

Polly Yakovich:

So I think for those of us who believe in research, and this is probably even true for myself, we can see a lot of value in doing the research up front. Talk about the best place for research to live as a continuous part of your product or service?

Felicity Moore:

Yeah, that's a great question. I think research should continuously be built in to the life cycle. And I always think about it from the form of you've got context, you've got consumer or customer, you've got category, and then often you look at the actual solution or the brand. And if you think about it in that way, as you move through each stage of your process, you need to be aware of where it stands underneath of those umbrellas. I think for me, with context, the context is really important up front because, especially in the world of technology, I've seen a lot of incredible ideas die because you have a great idea for something that's super cool, and then you bring it out into the market and you don't realize that it's going to go over the majority of people's heads. And even if it gets to that early adopter stage, if society isn't ready for a feature or a product, then it's going to die on the vine. It doesn't mean that that wasn't an amazing product or an amazing vision, but you haven't taken the time to understand the context and the baby steps that people needed to take for that adoption to make sense.

Felicity Moore:

So you're constantly going back to the idea of, what is the context that I'm working with? What are the things that I should be thinking about? And what has shifted and changed from two weeks ago, three months ago, a year ago when we started kicking this off. I think where we are right now with COVID is a great example of nobody saw this coming. So if you're working off of a research report or a strategic document that you received six months ago, it's important to go back to that and say, in the context of where we are now, what still stands true, what can we move forward, and what's starting to adjust and change? I think with anything, the moment it's said out loud, things start to shift and change. So change is the only inevitable thing.

Felicity Moore:

It's the same thing with research. In order for those insights to really make sure that they're strong and real, they need to be continuously going back to and challenged to understand from each of those four buckets, how have things changed and shifted from where we were to where we are now? I think one of the hardest things is seeing a beautiful research report go and live on a shelf and die. Some people will write 50 pages and be like, here is a beautiful piece of research. Nobody's going to read it, nobody knows what to do with it.

Felicity Moore:

The strongest piece of research is impactful. I really do believe in leveraging to help make your insights pop, and if you can bring in some kind of video that helps really take things from the customer or the consumer's voice, that starts to inspire and really ensures that people are living and breathing the customer when they're thinking about the product or the challenge that they're working with. Yes, that up front research piece is really important, but you should continuously be going back to it and challenging it to say, what has changed, and what do we know now? Sometimes it's like, yup, it's as relevant as it ever was, but often there's even just tweaks and changes.

Felicity Moore:

So going back to the idea about an investment in research, if you spend the up front money for a research report, it's so much easier to go back to it and challenge those insights because it's there as a base and you've already got it. You're getting years out of one research report, when often people say, "Well, it's good for this project and then it's gone." A really good research report allows you to continue going back and feeding into the funnel of the learnings that you're getting out of that.

Polly Yakovich:

That's great. And you said a little nugget in there that made me think so much about the way that I've delivered information even to clients or internal audiences over the year, whether it's a content strategy or a big branding project. You think, particularly when people are paying you a bunch of money, oh, I have to deliver this 50 page report so that they see the value. But nobody can read that or spend time with that or take the key insights out of that. So really thinking about how you're packaging things up so it's useful and impactful to people. I think that your note about video is so great. Because you can tell people what customers said, but if you can show them something specific, that's going to stick with them so much more.

Felicity Moore:

100%. I remember going through the process of really learning how people wanted to be delivered insights. I think as the person that was generating those insights and talking to so many people and spending so many countless hours, everything feels like gold and you're trying to stuff it in. You're like, oh, this is so much good stuff. But really, the more you can drill it down into one sentence or something that's super pithy that will stick, the easier it is.

Felicity Moore:

I always think about, when I'm writing a research report, if I was in an elevator with somebody, what are the three key things that I want them to know?

Polly Yakovich:

That's fantastic.

Felicity Moore:

That's what you focus on. The appendix is a great place to-

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, here's a 50 page appendix that you're never going to read, but that makes you feel good about your ten grand.

Felicity Moore:

Yeah, it's still there. But the reality is, people can really only hang on to three or five insights from a presentation. And you've got to remember that and let some of the other stuff go to hear all the stuff that really matters.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah. Can you tell us, can this bring to mind a pivot that you remember that came out of the research that really changed the product or changed the delivery? Is there anything that stands out to you?

Felicity Moore:

Yeah. I think that's kind of the beauty of research is that it always changes the hypotheses, or takes us all in a different direction. I think the biggest thing most recently for me, so I'll put this in the context of the product I was working on is called [inaudible 00:29:08]. It's actually live now and starting to be, in the right environments, be implemented. We came into this idea of, we had received this strategic document and they said there's an opportunity around supporting and adjusting the way people are trained in the workplace, for various different insights. We know that there's an aging workforce, younger people aren't interested, really, in getting into a job, manufacturing or on an assembly line. And there's a lot of churn in factories. So you're trying to ramp 30 people up super quickly, it can be really difficult. You want to make sure that you're supporting them in these super dangerous environments, but often it's really expensive to have someone coaching them or training them on the line. But you also don't want to spend too long in training because that means you're losing money.

Felicity Moore:

So we were going off of these insights that we had, and we flew out to lots of different places. We spent time at 3:00 AM at Alaska Airlines studying and learning the way that people work fixing airplanes. We went out to Chillicothe, Ohio and spent time at the Kenworth trucking plant and just studying and learning how people were being trained on the job, chatting with people that were new. It really reframed the way that we were thinking about how we would build the product, all the way from if you're going to be authoring a guide, we were seeing this as somebody who would be a specialized person that understood technology. The reality is, those people weren't necessarily on the floor. They didn't really know how to work a machine or fix an engine. So we wanted to make sure that the person that was able to write this guide was going to be able to do it in a really facts, easy, quick way, that was taking their workplace knowledge and easily translating it into the solution.

Felicity Moore:

If we just stayed in Redmond, working in the basement, tinkering around, we would never have understood really what needed to happen to make this an accessible solution that was actually going to get adopted. And these were people that were going from paper manuals, trying to then convince them to start thinking about things in 3D, all of a sudden have a hololens on their head. It's a huge leap, which I think when you're living and breathing technology every day, you think that leap isn't so huge. But then once you put yourself in that environment and you see how people are actually doing things today, it helps you really understand, what are the things that need to be in place for this to actually work and be adopted?

Polly Yakovich:

That's great. So every time I talk to you, or we've co-lead a couple exercises together for fun, you always have such amazing questions. Can you give us a few of your favorite qualitative questions?

Felicity Moore:

Yes. I love asking questions. I think asking questions are important, listening is just as important, which I'm always working on as well. I think the way that I like to think about questions is like a funnel. There's always pointed key questions that you have that you want to ask somebody, but the reality is, if you ask them right away, you're going to take them off guard and they'll probably give you a bit of a rushed answer that feels a little bit cold, not very complex, not very deep. And it doesn't really get you where you want to go.

Felicity Moore:

So if you think about the funnel, think about starting as wide as possible. So if you think about, if you're asking a question about somebody's drinking habits, you want to take a few steps back and you start to talk to them about, how do you spend your day? Who do you like to hang out with? Where do you like to hang out? When you were little, what was your favorite stuff to do? What kind of drinks did you love drinking when you were little? Where did that come from? Share stories with me, bring that to life with me. And then you can start drilling down into why they selected the things that they do, what do they put in their shopping cart. What day of the week do they shop? Does that impact some of the stuff that ends up in their shopping cart?

Felicity Moore:

You have to start as broad as possible. And often, if you really think about it, if you're looking at a subject, what's that 100 foot vision of the question? What circles the context around that question? And often those questions feel so silly or ridiculous or a little out of place, but they can often take you to these beautiful, golden, rich places that spark these ideas that never would have come if you had just gone and asked somebody, "Well, what do you like drinking and why?" And when you finally ask that question, they may answer that the exact same way they would have if you'd asked it right up front, but you have so much more knowledge and context and understanding of why they're selecting that product or the drink that they're drinking.

Felicity Moore:

I think the big mistake that people make with research is that they think that the customer or the consumer is going to tell you the answer. Our jobs as researchers or marketers or strategists is to really help understand the context and the depth and the understanding and the why behind that. Because nobody is going to be able to tell us that. We have to glean that, and that's why we get paid to do what we're doing. But if you just ask these pointed questions that tick boxes, you're never going to get those rich insights that are going to be able to help give you an edge and take you further and really understand that human truth behind the answer.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah. I think, as somebody who also loves to interview, it's about that story behind the answer and not just the answer to a question, right?

Felicity Moore:

100%. And it's about challenging somebody to bring their reposes to life. Just to your point. Can you tell me an example of that, or what were you doing yesterday? Bring that to life for me. Even, can you talk me through the way that you build a bowl of cereal? It sounds silly, but it starts to really help you see things in context, and it also triggers things for the person that's talking to you and gives you a lot of stuff that they would never have imagined talking to you about, but also learnings that you need. Often I'll get answers for questions that I didn't realize that I needed that answer for. So if you give yourself a little space and time, you make sure you follow up with why, it often gets you a lot more interesting information that you would have.

Felicity Moore:

I think my favorite qualitative approach is a laddering depth. I'm not sure if your listeners are familiar with that method, but it's very fun. I do it with friends just to unpack problems or to get underneath things. I try to do it with myself sometimes when I feel like I'm a little bit stuck. And you warn the person that it feels a little bit daunting, but you ask a question, and then they answer it, and then you follow up with why. And then they answer that, and then you follow up with why. And you literally say why to them ten times in a row. So you'll start somewhere and you'll end somewhere completely different, but it takes you on real deep layers to places that you wouldn't go, and it literally gets you underneath the surface. It has to be the right person. If you're interviewing someone who's super closed up, I've had people get mad at me about that. So you warn them, and you make sure that you warm them up enough and they feel comfortable enough with you. But it's a really cool and easy way to get deeper when you're trying to go deep.

Polly Yakovich:

That's awesome. I have a blog post on a great way to approach an interview, and I'll update it with some of these tips and link it in the show notes. That's going to be super helpful for people, I think.

Felicity Moore:

Awesome.

Polly Yakovich:

Just a couple questions, are there any trends that you've been noticing lately, or things that have been popping up for you, particularly with this current environment, that's worth noting for people?

Felicity Moore:

Yeah. I think there's a couple things for me. I think it's really important to always be thinking about what is next. And ways to do that, you can be super creative. Nobody has a crystal ball, nobody's going to be able to tell you the future. But you can really start to see the way that things are going to happen, or emerge, or change by the behaviors that we're having today. So keeping an eye on early adopters, keeping an eye on influencers, key trends, the things that are starting to really bubble underneath the surface that feels maybe kind of crazy, a little bit bizarre. In five years, that craziness and that bizarreness is all going to start taking off an happening.

Felicity Moore:

A great example of this is, I remember when Coachella started streaming live for the first time, and it was awful and it was, the internet connection was s**t. They weren't really thinking it through. And everybody's like, this is never going to take off. Everybody wants to be in person for these kind of events. That's the magic of it. But the reality is, that's not what everybody can afford, or do-

Polly Yakovich:

Or is possible, right.

Felicity Moore:

Or is possible. And now, thanks to obviously the advancement of technology and the platforms and people actually building this into live shows, but now it's the norm to stream these things. Then of course with the current environment, actually people are being, they're connecting over it, they love it. It's really an opportunity to bond.

Felicity Moore:

It was so fascinating, I was working on a project around live streaming. And I was literally in a boardroom with people that said, "We're not going to invest in this. It's just never going to take off." And then that meant that the platform was really trying to catch up when it did take off. And it's now just completely a normal part of our every day. And it's just those little nuggets that you just look out for when people are really like, "Oh, no, this is crazy." If the idea is too crazy, it's probably worth paying attention to. And I think that those are things that you can do when you're on social media, reading articles, talking to young kids and teens. It's not stuff that you necessarily need to spend a lot of money on, it's just making sure that you're curious and staying up to date with it.

Felicity Moore:

Another big thing I think is, and really exciting in research, is starting to really be able to cross pollinate qualitative, quantitative, and big data learning.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah, that's a tough nugget.

Felicity Moore:

It's such a tough nugget. And I think the fun part about it is we haven't cracked that code yet. But it's really important to continue to keep trying, keep playing with it, and to really start to be thinking about, okay, we know... You're getting this really rich data back from various sources and you're starting to understand what's happening, but it's just as important to continue to dig beneath the surface qualitatively with those why's. And you take the quant surveys or you can take quant data and you can take big data and play around with what that's teaching you, but make sure that you're continuing to follow up with those questions of, okay, I know now what's going on, but why is that happening? Let's dig a little bit deeper with our consumers or our users to see why that's happening, why that's coming to life. And just playing around with how we can holistically start to learn so much more as a result of having these amazing tools at our fingertips.

Polly Yakovich:

That's great. I really appreciate that. I think it's interesting too because it's hard to know what to value, and I like the way that you've unpacked that, which is look at the data, see where it's leading you, but then use that qualitative to uncover why. It's very hard to do that without that human to human relationship.

Felicity Moore:

100%.

Polly Yakovich:

Yeah. Well, I just have one more question, and that I a question that I fully stole from you and I love it so much that I ask every guest that. And that is just to tell us what do you think is your superpower?

Felicity Moore:

Yeah, I do think my superpower is curiosity, which leads to asking a lot of annoying questions to everybody I know. But I think for me it's curiosity, and I think curiosity has allowed me to sit in on conversations that I probably shouldn't have been at. It has allowed me to continue to push and not really take the first answer as the face value. I think it's helped me stay inspired, which is really important on my day to day. And if you go to work not feeling curious, then I feel like you're going through the motions. So I feel like curiosity has allowed me to get to where I am today with my career because I approach it in, whether I'm bumping into somebody in the kitchen, or sitting in an important meeting, or talking to a consumer, I just have a natural curiosity to understand them and what's going on, and to get answers that are a little bit deeper. And I feel like that has meant that I'm a really key tool to teams that I've been on.

Polly Yakovich:

That's great. Thank you so much for spending time with me this afternoon and coming on. I really appreciate it. It's been really valuable.

Felicity Moore:

It's been my pleasure, and I'm loving A Brave New Podcast. They're just awesome and they're my favorite podcast to listen to right now. So thank you for what you're doing.

Polly Yakovich:

I did not pay her to say that. Where can people follow you, see what you're thinking about, keep up with you?

Felicity Moore:

Yeah. Instagram is really just filled with food, my baby, and I just got baby chicks. So that's at Felicity London, but it's not very business savvy. But you are more than welcome to come along. And then I'm pretty active on LinkedIn, so that would be Felicity Moore, and I'm the Felicity Moore that works at Microsoft. There's not many of us, I don't think.

Polly Yakovich:

That's great. And we'll link that in the show notes too so you can follow Felicity. She always has really interesting things to say. She's a great follow. Thank you so much.

Felicity Moore:

Thanks, Polly. I love spending time with you.

Outro:

Thanks for listening to this episode of A Brave New Podcast. Go to abravenew.com for more resources and advice. If you enjoyed this episode, show us some love by subscribing, rating, and reviewing A Brave New Podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts.



 

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