The Veriblog

Introducing VeriQual: Q&A with Stacy Hartung

You might know Verilogue as an “ethnographic market research company” or a “dialogue research company” but did you know we also specialize in other qualitative research methods?

Since 2012, Verilogue has conducted hundreds of non-dialogue qualitative research studies and this year we have committed to allocating even more resources to grow these capabilities so we can go further and dig deeper into the entire healthcare ecosystem to deliver more actionable, real-world insights. Recently, Stacy Hartung joined Verilogue as Director, Qualitative Research to help lead this expansion of our qualitative offerings we are calling VeriQual.

I sat down with Stacy to discuss her new role and her vision for VeriQual

1. To start, can you briefly describe the difference between the “dialogue research” Verilogue is best known for and the VeriQual research you are leading?

The discourse analysis we do focuses specifically on the interaction – the ten minutes or so a patient has with their doctor, and the thought processes which immediately influence that conversation. My work expands the field of focus to incorporate external factors which may also influence the point-of-practice – think specialty pharmacy insights, think payer behaviors, as well as what is left unsaid by both the doctor and patient in the exam room. So VeriQual not only expands our capacity to conduct qualitative research with decision-makers and influencers outside of the exam room, it also delivers deeper insights into what drives the behavior inside it. The entire experience of healthcare–wherever you are in its vast and complex landscape–is an ever-changing dynamic where so much is at stake, and we want to give our customers the most complete and real reflection of what is happening within it.

2. There are lots of marketing research companies out there that specialize in qualitative research — what makes Verilogue different?

Simple: our emphasis on reality, and our core expertise in linguistics. We anchor participants’ feedback in a real point-of-practice context (i.e., dialogue excerpts as stimuli), not hypothetical situations. We also leverage sophisticated language-based techniques like cognitive interviewing and storytelling exercises in addition to laddering and projective exercises. Another way we help our customers is by giving them access to their study data and all supporting materials on our RevealMR portal to search and dive into data and insights across multiple studies. With VeriQual, we are now truly a “one-stop shop” for all US and global healthcare qualitative research and knowledge management.

3. What qualitative approach are you most excited about?

Right now I am most excited about opportunities for us to apply our cognitive interviewing techniques in messaging studies. In a nutshell, cognitive interviewing aims to understand how a person interprets and responds to specific language.  This technique can be used in many ways in qualitative research, but I think this is an especially effective approach to ensure messages are clear, complete, and direct the customer to the correct course of action. This is of course what any type of commercial, promotional, or educational message wants to achieve in any vertical but this is so much more critical in healthcare. We want to make sure the right patient takes the right medicine the right way. I’m also very inspired to now have the opportunity to infuse every qualitative study with insights from our dialogue database, which now includes more than 150,000 exam room conversations.

4. What innovations in qualitative research do you see happening in the next few years?

I think the recent advances and investments being made in online qualitative research technology will continue to mature and we will start to see a more even balance between using online methods and the more traditional in-person or telephone interviews.  As part of that progression, I can see a mix of “online” and “offline” approaches used in a single study to mostly maximize what our customers and our study participants have very little of: time. Getting a doctor to commit more than 45 minutes to a study will likely go down as staff shortages and their patient and administrative demands continue to go up. This means we need to more flexible around their challenging schedules while continuing to facilitate rich discussions in a shorter amount of time. So using this example, we might see more use of an asynchronous qualitative platform that allows the doctors to complete a series of in-depth exercises they can complete in their own time over a few days, and then conduct 20 to 30 minute follow-up calls to probe further. And thanks to Verilogue’s commitment to delivering even more qualitative insights to our customers, this is something we can now do today!


Bio pic.jpg

Stacy is Verilogue’s newest Qualitative Research Director, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her on our team! If you have any follow-up questions for Stacy, you can get in touch with her directly at

%d bloggers like this: