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In a Word
At Writing by Design, we believe that powerful marketing begins with potent language. Our blog is your source for tips and insights into the world of market-minded communication.

A word about… concept “writing-on-the-fly.”

On the fly, definedSounds a little alarming, doesn’t it? You’ve put a lot of time and resources into developing your new product ideas, so you might ask, why would it ever be okay to write concepts “hurriedly” or “without pausing?”

Well, speeding up qualitative research with a little fast-paced writing can be just the thing to catapult your new product to market – before your competition does.

What is writing-on-the-fly?

It’s really nothing other than evolutionary, or iterative, concept development done over the course of a few days of qualitative research using a seasoned writer onsite. This writer attends your research with you and can recommend and make quick, effective changes to the language in your new product concepts using real-time feedback from your target respondents.

Why write on-the-fly?

The reason companies engage in this is because it can help them finalize concept language a whole lot faster and save thousands of dollars in the process.

Historically, concepts were prepared for qualitative research and received feedback from focus groups or in-depth interviews (IDIs) over the course of a few days in one location. Then, in a very subsequent and serial manner, revisions were made to “winning” concepts (those that directionally received high interest and seemed compelling to the target respondent group) to prepare them for further testing at another round of qualitative research. This process could repeat until the team arrived at a concept they felt received enough head-nodding and approval to send it on to quantitative testing. Refining a concept in this way results in multiple, costly rounds of research, racking up thousands of dollars in expenses for moderators, focus group participants, facilities and travel.

Revising concepts concurrently at one longer qualitative session by writing-on-the-fly can help reduce additional research and travel expenses while at the same time collapsing the timeline needed to achieve a finished concept that’s ready for quantitative testing.

Not for the faint of heart… or pen.

Writers who sign up for this opportunity must be quick thinkers, skilled in listening to lots of feedback at once and able to discern what someone is saying as well as what they aren’t. Most importantly, a writer must be ready to handle deadline pressure and a fast pace for the duration of your research.

Not everyone is qualified to conduct writing-on-the-fly. Writers must have the ability to hear what language is resonating and provide quick solutions to language that is not. Not unlike a football quarterback, a good writer can see what’s working and call “audibles” that can be implemented into concept copy quickly and revised with team consensus for the very next round of research – sometimes scheduled within minutes of the last group.

When Writing by Design conducts writing-on-the-fly with clients, we sign up for 24/7 research immersion, making changes all day long to your concepts as needed, and overnight by holding candlelight writing sessions that result in fresh concepts first thing in the morning for your next group or IDI – all for one, flat fee. Time is precious when launching a new product, and we know that first to market wins. Writing-on-the-fly is a great way to condense your launch timeline – provided you’ve got the “write” partner on board for the duration of your trip!

Click here to read more about our writing-on-the-fly services, or here to see which product Writing by Design helped launch using writing-on-the-fly.

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