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How dscout Helped Elevate Brooks’ Research Game

Connor Skutches of Brooks runs us through how the Run-Sight Lab used dscout to connect with runners in 2020 and his recommendations for getting started with remote research.

Words by Stevie Watts, Visuals by Jarred Kolar

One of the running giant’s core values is to be “runner-centric”—putting their user at the forefront of new initiatives. With the pandemic shaking up everything, the team sought to learn more about how the runner was adjusting.

With a new strategy, their Run-Sight Lab partnered with dscout. During this time, the team not only discovered shocking new runner insights, but ultimately grew their scope, scale, and impact with the help of dscout tools.

On supporting and scaling research approaches

When we started doing remote research, we found that dscout was sort of this new playground. One benefit of being in person is that you’re able to sketch things out or create games on the fly, which is awesome, but Live Missions allow us to keep that ability.

With dscout, the thing that really helped us be nimble was going into the project like, "Okay, we're going to have a six-week study and we’ve locked in the primary questions we want to ask.” After setting those baselines, it allowed us to follow where the conversation lead.

We wanted to be open to surprising insights and our safety net of primary questions gave us the opportunity to follow up with what people were saying. It allowed us to explore a bunch of different opportunities that were really interesting.

We were able to create prototypes or concepts, iterate on them really quickly, and test them with some of the participants. It allowed us to get a little bit of a mix of qual and quant. The Express Mission was a really great tool because it allowed us to explore things that we were curious about that didn’t yet have a fully formulated hypothesis. We could get some early indicators without spending extensive time on the logistics.

It's amazing how much you can get from the two-minute Express clips. People are willing to share their perceptions, and if you set it up right, you can really challenge some of your initial assumptions.

On remote research advice

When you start doing remote research, I’d recommend looking at it like a sampler platter. dscout gave us an opportunity to start with a trial and we were able to use it to get our findings out into the business as quickly as possible, that was the biggest thing for us.

With remote research you can prove quickly that you can be more resourceful. You can use it to tell deeply emotional stories efficiently. Even when things go back to in-person, it's still a great resource because you're able to cast a wider net. We can go across the country to talk to consumers and say, "Hey, let's launch an Express Mission or a Diary study while we're heading out," and have even more data to work with.

If you're pitching dscout to your boss, a key argument is being able to capture a larger spread of the U.S. For instance, because we can talk to runners in all 50 states, we're able to be more exact with our recruitment. No more leaving it in the hands of a recruiter who only has so many people in their panel. dscout has over 100k scouts—that's a huge selling point.

dscout gives us a lot more confidence to share things with stakeholders and it gives you different modes. It's all built-in. So, it's less lead time. You actually have resources at dscout that help you up your game in terms of your research.

We've tried to be pretty experimental in our approach, but one thing I've loved about working with dscout is collaborating with their team. We can throw something out there and say, "Hey, we want to learn this. Here are some ideas of how we might get there," and their researchers respond with, "Oh, have you thought about taking this approach?" They bring unique ideas to the table that we can build on and run with.

Ready to scale your remote research practice?

Successfully scaling research requires effective stakeholder collaboration, flexible methods, and insights designed for impact—dscout can help you with all three.

Schedule a demo to see our platform in action.

Stevie Watts is the Brand Marketing Manager at dscout. She enjoys telling compelling (rhyme alert) user research stories, growing social channels, and exploring all things video production. As a newer Chicagoan, you'll likely find her at a concert or walking her corgi, but undoubtedly heads down looking at Google Maps.

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