Do you Love What YOU Do?

3 Easy Tips to Bring on the Love

“Do what you love; love what you do.” Great words attributed to everyone from Wayne Dyer to Steve Jobs. I try to live this mantra as much as possible, but the “Sunday blues” are real for all of us and NO job is perfect. It’s a job—not a hobby. Here are a few tips that I’ve found valuable to help spark that love in our jobs:

On a personal note…

I always strive to find the love in what I do — professionally and personally!

Fun News: I’ve even squeezed in some time to return to an “old love”…  musical theater! Later this month I’m playing a lead muscial role in the St. Petersburg City Theater’s production of the smash hit Mamma Mia!

Here’s to doing more of what we love!

The Many Faces of U.S. Hispanics and the Total Market

“What are you?” More and more people in the U.S. respond to this question with a response that glazes over the rich detail of our ethnic and racial identities. Sometimes, it’s simplest to respond:  “I’m a mix.” An increasing number of Americans are responding this way. In fact, the population reporting multiple races (9 million) grew by 32 percent from 2000 to 2010, compared with those who reported a single race, which grew by just 9.2 percent (2010 Census brief The Two or More Races Population: 2010 ).

I recently attended a webinar by David Chitel, CEO and Founder of NGL Collective,when he presented to the QRCA Latino Special Interest Group. His presentation, Reframing the Total Market View, challenged our understanding to just how diverse the U.S. Hispanic market is. Wrap your head around these numbers:

  • If we take the 21 Latino nationalities, 3 generations, 2 nativities (i.e., born in the U.S. or abroad), 2 languages, 5 U.S. regions, and 3 core demos, there are over 3,000 iterations of what it means to be Latino in the U.S. (Note: And even more if you include a third language, Portuguese, into the mix!)

A total market approach may be about seeking commonalities among these iterations. David and others claim that in so doing, you may risk delivering a general, watered-down message to no single segment. He advocates something in the middle, to include In-Language, In-Culture, and In-Context messages, where marketers meet Hispanics where they are consuming media, address their interests, and reflect on formative experiences of their generations.

With our guidance as strategic market researchers, we can educate clients that the continuum has expanded beyond GenPop on one end and Total Market (applying ethnic insights) on the other. The space beyond Total Market is where Cross-Cultural leads and multiculturalism will be the norm.

Interested in reading more? Take a look at What Should Determine Our Racial Identity?

Taking Strategic Risks

Happy New Year, colleagues!

A new year is synonymous with the word POSSIBILITIES for me.

This can be exciting, a little overwhelming, but also feel a bit risky. Personally, I’m a “calculated risk taker” – and I’ve always gained from each risk I’ve taken, even if the end result was not the total success I was striving for.

With inspiration of a new year before us, I challenge you to take some small “risks” in one or more areas of your business. Let’s start with marketing and consumer research.

Is 2018 the year to consider a fresh perspective on your marketing?

It’s proven that the resources of time, energy and dollars invested in marketing are critical to a business’s success. What’s the obstacle for you?

  • Do the perceived risks and investment outweigh the benefits you hope for?
  • Does your lack of know-how (as in, “I don’t even know where to start!”) hold you back?

Read on, we can help.

#1   Customer and Product Research

Every company THINKS they know their customers and what they want. Savvy companies are willing to risk their preconceived notions in order to learn what their customers really think, how they perceive their organization and what they really want in a product or service. Strategically planned and moderated focus groups can be a great tool to tap into consumer mindset if you are…

  • Considering entering a market that is new to you
  • In the development phase of a new product or service
  • Want to find out about the motivation behind a specific action or inaction

#2    Promotion

Are you considering a new marketing message or promotional vehicle? Even talented marketers can develop messages that don’t motivate the desired response or can even offend their target market or the general public. They may also err by selecting the wrong media.

Control your risk by testing your marketing and concept ideas on REAL Consumers. Focus groups are a great way to test various marketing approaches and get feedback directly from your target market.

We DO research. We can help you do yours.

Just like you know your business, we know ours. Insights360 moderates focus groups and other forms of qualitative methods (dyads, one-on-ones, web discussions, web usability testing, phone interviews, ethnographies, etc.). This is our expertise.

We can help you answer these key questions that will minimize the risk in your research investment:

  • Which methodology can make participants more willing to share what they REALLY think?
  • Do you know which non-verbals to look for and what they mean? Does boredom mean the same as disinterest in your messaging or product?
  • Do you know how best to present stimuli to avoid order bias and group think?

Conducting a successful focus group isn’t easy. These tips provide a glimpse of some of the things that should be considered:   But don’t let the complexity scare you away! If you’d like a partner to help you plan your research, my team and I are here to help. Just reach out and let’s have a conversation.

Let’s take 2018 by the horns and make some strategic investments and calculated risks, starting with our marketing and consumer research.

The team at Insights360 is here to help you take small risks that reap big rewards!





May Day

Work. We all do it. Love it or hate it… it’s a part of our reality. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a 9 to 5 employee, or a CEO, work is interwoven into our daily lives. Financial rewards are necessary, but, if we’re honest, they only bring certain satisfaction. Work that inspires, educates, and elevates us is a rarity.

Some of us have the pleasure of feeling fulfilled and rejuvenated by our jobs, while others find that work is something to be endured. In the worst cases, we may be subject to unjustified, unequal pay or other unfair labor practices, like discrimination.

On May 1st, May Day is celebrated around the world by many different cultures. It’s a day dedicated to honoring worker’s rights. We at Insights360 would like to honor all those workers who help make our world go ‘round and make our lives more comfortable and permit us to do OUR job in research. Muchas gracias!

May Day Today

May Day is particularly significant in France, where it is known as Fête du Travail, or Labor Day. While it is normally a day off, with the presidential elections just days away, people have taken the streets to have their voices heard.

In the U.S., many immigrant workers and advocates are protesting against the current administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and stance. We offer them our solidarity.

But it also means hope and new beginnings.

In Europe, where you still see tall, ornate maypoles in town squares, May Day recalls the celebration of springtime. Dancers intertwine ribbons, creating colorful designs. I think they’re just ‘jazzed’ that they’ve survived the winter and they’re alive to see the blossoms of yet another spring. Huzzah! Herzlichen Glückwünsch!

Let’s Rethink Work

WHAT JAZZES YOU? Okay, survival definitely would, but what else? What are your passions and how might you incorporate even just a little bit of these into your work? Your work will go from b&w to technicolor when you infuse it with a bit of fun, passion, and your intent to labor for something meaningful. Now there’s something to celebrate.

P.S. As a child, my mother and siblings celebrated May Day by preparing May Day baskets and gifting them to our neighbors. My siblings and I would drop off the baskets on their doorsteps, ring the doorbell and hide. As we hid, we waited to see their delighted reactions at the discovery of their baskets. It’s such a fond memory. Here’s a picture of some of the beautiful baskets my mother still makes today.







                        Happy Spring!

Insights360 Becomes a Certified Minority-Owned Business (MBE)

Exciting news! Insights360 is now a Certified Minority-Owned Business.

Be sure to reach out, and I’ll share more details on why working with a Certified Minority-Owned Business is good for your business too.

Business Card - Front with Hispanic Callout and MBE

Giving and Learning: Update on Refugees in Austria

While in Vienna for the annual QRCA International Conference, I fulfilled a special promise I’d made over a year ago. I returned to the Islamische Glaubensgemeinschaft (Islamic Religious Community) and made an Insights360 donation on behalf of my 2015 clients. Your generous donation will help many refugees receive services; I’m grateful to you!


Here’s an update that I received while visiting:

  • During a recent election, the public majority rejected the idea of allowing more refugees into the country. Candidates catered to popular opinion by proposing to close the borders.
  • It is critically important that current refugees are invited to “educate the educators” and train community and civic leaders, so these groups can help refugees assimilate.
  • Most refugees desire to work but are unable to do so given their refugee status. Aid relief organizations have coordinated volunteer opportunities for current refugees to help incoming refugees.


Unfortunately, a party with an anti-refugee platform was voted into office. Read more about what could happen next:

Austrian Presidential Vote Gives Edge to Right-Wing Candidate, NY Times

Austria passes law to shut off border if refugee influx is too great, RT News


Back to Basics: Research Cues from Freud

At the QRCA International Conference in Vienna, I attended many presentations; everything from semiotics to behavioral economics. The most apropos session was about Freud’s influence on how we do research.

FreudCouch_withcreditcaptionThe Sigmund Freud Museum created an online exhibition on Freud’s life to commemorate his 160th birthday

According to Peter Tolman from Jigsaw Research, Freud influenced three areas of our research methods:

  • TALK – We allow people to speak unstructured (open, rambling), we use projective questioning that allows people to project feelings onto others and we show interest, not judgement.
  • LISTEN – We observe how people talk (repetitions, hesitations, slips) and are on alert for defensiveness, projection, repression, denial and rationalization.
  • THINK – People are not transparent to themselves. We listen, revisit the date of research and then pour over it for clues; we interpret the data for insights. We “make the unconscious, conscious.”

Freud reminds us to go “back to the basics” when doing research. Let’s remember to “deeply listen” and  follow the clues our respondents leave for us.

These will lead us to a true understanding of their preferences, desires and opinions.


And what would a conference be without a little fun?




More Love. Less Hate.

I’ve had the good fortune of being able to travel for work and pleasure throughout my adult life. Every time I go somewhere, I’m energized by the people I meet. They inspire and enlighten me, transforming me with their stories.

I’ve met stewards of the land in Panama who’ve worked the same fertile ground for generations. I’ve met refugees in transit in Austria who’ve uprooted themselves in search of a better life.

They all have hopes and dreams and aspirations. They all want what’s best for their families. They all grieve and fear and feel pain.

The further I dig into their stories, the more descriptors like “farmer” or “refugee” become secondary. Real humanity starts to emerge.

In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, I wanted to extend heartfelt condolences to the affected communities.

Based on my encounters with people around the world, I know we all desire to love and be loved.

Love triumphs.


Photo source

Locally Grown

Since Insights360 launched its Tampa office, I’ve hit the ground running — reintroducing myself to facilities around the state as their LOCAL MODERATOR.  My goal is to be their “go to moderator” when they need to recommend a moderator to their clients.

Just as importantly, doing this ground work helps me identify the market and facility best suited for my clients’ needs. Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Hollywood… there are top-notch professionals running facilities in each of these markets  and I look forward to working with them all.

Fieldwork in Florida from Insights360 on Vimeo.

Whoa! I Heard This and LOVED It!

At the Florida Creativity Weekend, I attended Charles Rattner’s environmental design session and realized that my passion for design, ethnography, and seeing how environment affects human behavior now has a name: environmental psychology! Learning this has me reflecting on how to incorporate environmental design into my research methodologies. Read on…

Here are some cool tidbits:

Want to think more analytically? Surround yourself with the color red and low ceilings. Want to think more creatively? Think blue hues, high ceilings and lots of light.

interior design

Image via Interior Design


Image via Inc.

As an ethnographer, I often go into people’s homes to research how a product is used in their environment. Imagine if I took it one step further, not just analyzing the product itself but analyzing the space as a whole. How could I offer recommendations for making a space more conducive to creative thought? “Space scanning” is a service  I’d love to explore.

When I reflect on Rattner’s session, I realize that, for me, it wasn’t just about redesign in the context of physical space. It was also about redesigning my goals and my passions. Redesign is an exciting concept when you approach it metaphorically. Sometimes, it just takes that “external lightbulb” to illuminate something within you.

If you’re as excited about environmental design as I am, let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts and to share resources.

Until then, here are some links from around the web to inspire thoughts about our spaces and environmental design:

Finding Home Office Space in Tight Quarters

Optimizing Space in a 45-square-meter London apt.

Converting a Convent in to an Art Gallery

Designing the Ideal Home for Wounded Warriors

The Workspace for Bicyclists