The power of reaching hard-to-reach communities with AI

Nov 29, 2023


Aaron Cannon

The challenge

Treacy & Co., a boutique strategy consulting firm, recently partnered with a massive consumer brand to develop new, innovative concepts. The team was tasked with developing a deep understanding about how low-income communities in US cities feel about city-managed drinking water. And they needed to do it quickly.

Gathering qualitative insights from hard-to-reach communities across the country (in a matter of weeks) is a major challenge for anyone. Not only is it often hard to access folks in lower income communities, but many of them have several jobs (often in the services industry) and have family responsibilities, making traditional qualitative interviews nearly impossible to conduct…especially on a tight timeline.

"We often have fast turnaround times for clients and large scopes of work. It is critical to invest in a tool that can help us quickly achieve our goals internally and for clients." — Brynna Mann, Managing Director @ Treacy & Co.

The Solution

Treacy & Co. turned to Outset’s AI-moderated research platform to solve their problem. With Outset's AI moderated interviewer, the team was able to conduct over 100 in-depth conversations in a day — a scale of qualitative interviews that is otherwise impossible.

They reached these participants by placing Outset’s shareable, dynamic link in strategically throughout the community. And rather than having people schedule interviews one by one, each participant immediately followed that link and talked to Outset’s AI interviewer to share their experiences. Outset consolidated transcripts and synthesized the results into themes, counts, and key quotes.

The Results

By adopting Outset's AI research tools, Treacy & Co. saved over 120 hours, which condensed weeks of work into less than 12 hours. This efficiency was not just a matter of speed but also of scale; they conducted and synthesized over 5x the number of in-depth conversations they would have using traditional methods.

Furthermore, the use of Outset’s AI interviewer enabled Treacy & Co. to extend their research to hard-to-reach communities across multiple cities and dig deeper to develop a more nuanced understanding.

“We were able to reach low income households in cities across the US–giving us a deeper, more contextual understanding of our sample.” — Brynna Mann, Managing Director @ Treacy & Co.

Ultimately, the team (along with their client) was able to turn these insights into innovative new product and service concepts designed specifically for these consumers. They came back to Outset to test those concepts several months later.

"Outset is the future of user research. It helps teams save time and money while delivering valuable, insightful results." — Brynna Mann, Managing Director @ Treacy & Co.

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