What prompts your company to conduct primary research? Do you start research projects immediately after identifying a need for data, or are your efforts calculated and planned out with “the big picture” in mind?
Successful research projects tend to exist within an over-arching research strategy that applies to more than just one company division. It is wise for department heads to meet, preferably early Q1, to discuss research goals and objectives relevant to their individual teams. From there, a collective research strategy can be created in an effort to maximize the value of research efforts, to avoid over saturating your consumer base with surveys, and to ensure the highest possible return on any research investment. Once a plan is agreed upon, research can be conducted with confidence and results can be distributed to the appropriate division within the company.
We have worked through these steps with past clients and found them to be very beneficial for all those involved. To further explain the process and value of creating a company-wide research strategy, we’ve established 5 key phases:
Phase #1: Research Inventory
Establish the current state of research within your company; what do you already know? Create an inventory of all current and past research projects with details on types of questions, sample size, and timing.
Phase #2: Clearly Define 2014 Research Strategy
Determine data needs by department and compare to overall company priorities. Using the Research Inventory from Phase #1, identify opportunities where additional research could be helpful to meet your goals.
Phase #3: Conduct Research
Obtain comprehensive sets of data and manage the data acquisition process to hit success rate goals.
Phase #4: Combine Research with Other Data
Create a plan for incorporating your research findings with existing customer data obtained from previous research efforts.
Phase #5: Share Results
The best way to maximize the value of any research project is to share the results with others in the company. Regularly examine data to identify trends and opportunities for improvement.
Over the following five weeks, we will dig deeper into each phase providing more detail and in-depth examples to help make your company’s research strategy as efficient and results driven as possible.
Make sure you check back next week!