Rob is Head of Planning at Wieden + Kennedy in Shanghai. Some of you may know his blog ‘the musings of an opinionated sod’. In this video he discusses one of his research related articles ‘professor prostitute’.
- Rob likes to fill things up with interesting viewpoints and perspectives. Whenever it fits to the brief, instead of conducting classic research groups, he gets into conversations with ‘informants’. For example, he interviewed prostitutes to find out more about luxury cars. Why? Prostitutes are financially driven and as such bring a completely different perspective to the table.
- Of course prostitutes are not the only ‘informants’ he uses. Depending on the brief and whether informants would bring value to the conversation, he has interviewed priests, thieves, policemen and teachers.
- Benefits of this research approach: sometimes it helps to inspire a new way as you often end up in a really interesting place that you would have never got to otherwise. Sometimes it simply helps to validate an approach with an additional point of view.
- Recruiting: It’s best to go to them and their world. You want to be in a situation where you can create empathy and get into a natural conversation. It can be as simple as having a conversation at the hotel bar. Personal connections help too in order to recruit interesting informants. Furthermore you can contact people you see on Television and Documentaries. It may take some time until they respond, but in many cases they do.
- Documentation: If you can, take a picture or record a voice memo. Some informants will do it, some won’t. It’s never the only evidence that you should be using. It always should to be cross referenced and backed up with data.
“Planning should be Empathy and Conversation”