Choosing a methodology for marketing research involves art as well as science. Your client’s comfort, budget and goals matter – because the least effective research is the research that never happens. Researchers: before you jump immediately to your toolbox of academic goodies, don’t forget to ask many, many questions first.
Questions to Ask Before Even Considering a Methodology
Some clients mistakenly think that hiring a researcher is much like hiring an accountant. Educate them by uncovering the nuances of the situation, their current knowledge and goals. Build understanding between client and researcher by starting with these types of questions:
- What decisions will be made with the results? Is the client planning to launch a new product or website and wants to improve the offering? Has the offering been finalized but they are looking to communicate it in the most effective way? Do they need to understand who their buyers are, or might be?
- Is this a high-involvement product, or one that only your clients think about constantly?
- Does your client need hard numbers to base forecasting, market roll-outs or pricing models upon?
- What research has been done in the past?
No one ever references the guy who followed his gut instinct and failed. When talking about trusting your gut instinct, we all talk about the success stories: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Einstein – what is it about intuition that makes us all so confident in using it?
A recent report by SurveyMonkey found that 72% of SME leaders make decisions based purely on gut instinct, to the exclusion of qualitative or quantitative insights. That number is in line with the PwC survey of 1,100 senior business officials that showed only 23% of them preferred to look at data and analytics.
Should You “Go With Your Gut”?
The ‘gut instinct’ or intuition has fascinated researchers over the last few decades, many trying to determine whether it is an essential tool for fast decision-making or if it’s just an error-ridden Continue reading
U.S. manufacturers introduce more than 150,000 new products in 2010 alone. Of these, more than 90 percent were extensions of existing brand-name products. The extreme failure rate (80% or more) often cited for new products is apparently closer to 30-49% for launched products. So investing your company’s budget and effort in new product development, especially products that leverage your current brand equity, makes sense.
Brand extension that wasn’t
My first marketing job was for a cute catalog with a cartoon family as spokespeople in the then-emerging category of software that served a dual purpose: to educate and entertain children. At that time, technology-leading teachers and doting, upscale parents were in need of basics. They wanted help in choosing and using all the best titles, and a return policy for these expensive teaching (and babysitting) computer tools.
A few years into it, prices were declining, big-box stores were starting to carry the titles, and our efficient little start-up had excess capacity. What about those gaming titles, the entrepreneurs Continue reading