Walnut Unlimited

How replacing a multi-tool approach with Recollective’s comprehensive online platform has enabled Walnut Unlimited to streamline their projects.

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When the pandemic made traditional in-person focus groups and interviews impossible, Walnut Unlimited needed to quickly pivot their approach to be entirely online. That meant finding a suitable technology to transform how they gathered insights for their clients. With projects in multiple languages across 21 different markets, Walnut Unlimited never expected this to be an easy task; fortunately, they were delighted to discover that Recollective could meet all of their research needs within a single platform.

Background

Walnut Unlimited is a digital agency based in the UK focused on integrated marketing, communications and research insights. The agency serves its clients by starting at the root of strategy development - human understanding. In order to do so, Walnut Unlimited’s Human Understanding Lab explores human motivation, feelings, perceptions and consumer behaviour. In the past, they’ve employed qualitative research techniques and behavioural science via in-person interviews, observations and focus groups to collect insights.

Challenge

With all research forced online due to the pandemic, Walnut Unlimited was faced with the challenge of finding a technology that could accommodate their varying research needs. Initially, researchers juggled multiple tools and platforms to conduct research but this approach was expensive, time-consuming and difficult to communicate to clients. Consequently, they looked to explore other options which led to even more frustration when the options they tested were unable to support the team’s portfolio of large and varied projects.

Ultimately, Walnut Unlimited recognized that there had to be a more efficient and cost-effective way to streamline the online research process. What they needed was a single solution to facilitate research. More specifically, Walnut Unlimited wanted a solution that could:

  • Host and cater to international and multilingual participants and clients
  • Support the running and moderation of virtual focus groups and interviews
  • Decrease the agency’s cost per project and streamline its tech-stack
  • Engage end-clients in the research process virtually

Solution

After evaluating several alternative platforms, it was clear that Recollective could be relied upon as a single partner solution to carry out the agency’s large international projects and consolidate all of their research needs into one platform.

Using Recollective, Walnut Unlimited has been able to:

  • Easily program and field their own projects with no prior platform experience
  • Create more engaging study experiences for participants using a variety of task types
  • Test video and image stimulus to provide clients with detail-specific feedback on communications and ad concepts
  • Collect mixed media and rich open-ended responses using fill in the blanks style tasks
  • Leverage in-platform segments to tailor study experiences to different participant subgroups based on demographic and psychographic characteristics
  • Gather content for reports and presentations by filtering and adjusting data outputs on charts, word clouds and graphics using segments
  • Perform analysis and highlight key video moments on the go by creating excerpts and coding responses in-platform
  • Reduce follow-up time with clients by directly engaging them in the research process as live study observers
  • Reduce project management time by simultaneously running multiple international projects on a single site
  • Reduce the cost of conducting projects, increasing clients’ access to key strategic insights and overall agency profitability

Outcome

Since integrating Recollective’s platform into its research process in May 2020, Walnut Unlimited has continued adapting the platform to cater to 138 distinct project and client needs. To date, over 5,000 participants have been engaged across a variety of live and asynchronous research projects using Recollective. In particular, the platform has been instrumental in gathering insights on families and children. Rather than basing insights on claimed behaviour, researchers at Walnut have observed these behaviours in real-time. Using Recollective, the team has collected over 1,150 minutes of video footage on toy and gameplay across 96 families.

Replacing a multi-tool approach with Recollective’s comprehensive online platform has enabled Walnut Unlimited to charge competitively for projects, involve clients in the research process and win more business - all while streamlining their process and projects.

The team’s research proposals now integrate virtual focus groups and interviews as key qualitative methodologies. The ability for clients to virtually collaborate on projects and witness the research process first-hand has also been instrumental in winning new business amidst the pandemic.

Most importantly, Recollective has helped us to facilitate human understanding. We are able to blend together a unique mix of science and insight capabilities which has allowed us to unlock richer insights and drive customer closeness more than ever before.

Amy Morris

Research Director, Walnut Unlimited

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