I’ve been writing a series of articles that delve into the details behind each question of a Research Project. Part 1 looked at what you are trying to accomplish with your research project. Part 2 was about the people who will be involved with your research project. Today’s article, which is Part 3, examines the resources that are available to you.
What is the budget for this Research Project?
The project budget, of course, will help determine the project’s scope. If you do not have the resources to design a research project that will give you everything you want, you’ll have to prioritize.
Sometimes clients come to me and say they want to do the same survey that they did last year – but their budget has been slashed by $5,000. Or they want to test four different things that will each cost $10,000 to test – but their total budget is only $20,000. In cases like these I work with them to determine how we can maximize the value that they’ll get for the available funds. This might mean focusing on sub-segments of the market, rolling things out in phases, or reallocating other marketing dollars to the research project.
Of course, if there currently is no budget at all for the research project, it is best to get a rough estimate now of the funding that might be available, before you get too far into designing the research study.
What other data can be tied into the research results?
Does any of the desired information already exist? What data do you already have that can be correlated with the information learned from the research study? (See my previous article on “3 Ways to Combine Research with Other Data.”)
For example, in the first article of this series I gave an example of a company that puts on educational workshops. This company was trying to find out if attendees were satisfied with the programs, why attendance was dropping, and what they could do to motivate people to register early rather than waiting until the last possible minute. Thanks to the information on the registration form, a lot of information about attendees was already available. This included each attendee’s professional title (i.e. CEO, Marketing Manager, etc.), size and type of business, previous attendance, previous registration date history, and purchase history of the company’s other products. If the new research study was designed as a non-anonymous survey, this very granular existing data could all be correlated with the research results.
Has this project been done before?
Or is there a similar project that has been done in the past, which you can leverage for this project?
For example, many organizations do annual tracking studies, where the same questions are asked year after year. If that’s what you’re doing now, you should take the time to revisit your research design (see “8 Ways to Improve Your Survey for Next Time”. Although it can be useful to ask the same questions each year in order to show trends over time, sometimes it makes sense to change things up.
If this project has been done before, think about if anything has changed regarding your goals, how the research will be used, the market in general, or your products and services in specific. Were there questions on the last survey that only raised more questions? Was there something else that you wished you had asked that would make the results more meaningful? How can you best use the lessons learned last time round to improve your current research project?
Need help designing and implementing a research project that will meet your needs? Give us a call. For over 30 years we’ve been helping clients gain a clear, detailed perspective of customers’ preferences and buying behaviors.