A lot goes into creating a successful research project and up-front clarity can make a big difference in the end results. This article is the second in a three-part series delving into the details of these questions. In a recent post I discussed questions relating to clarify exactly what it is that you’re trying to accomplish with your research project. Today we’ll take a look at some of the important people-related details of the project itself.
Who are the project’s stakeholders?
Getting all of the stakeholders on board and on the same page is vital to the success of your research project. Which means that you need to determine up front exactly who needs to have sign-off and who needs to be involved. At the end of the day, who will be responsible for making the final decision regarding what will or will not be included in the research?
Be sure that all of these people are included in the conversation from the beginning. Don’t wait until you’ve received the first draft of the research design to get them in the loop!
How do you and each of the stakeholders want to receive the research project’s end results?
Do you want the results analyzed for you, or do you want to do the analysis yourself? For example, do you want:
- The raw data for your in-house analyst to use?
- A PowerPoint presentation with nice charts and graphs detailing the research results?
- An action plan based on the research results?
- An online portal with a dashboard through which you can drill down through the results to easily see all of the details?
- A combination of the above, because different stakeholders have different needs?
Knowing these answers up front will help define the project scope.
Who will you be surveying?
Whether you will be surveying your own customers, your competitor’s customers, the general population, or another target group will be determined by your research goals, your budget and your ability to obtain a relevant database.
For example, I recently spoke with the makers of a new kitchen gadget aimed at mothers of young children. Their overall company goals were to attract investors and create a successful marketing campaign. Their research goals were to prove that there was a demand for this product and to verify that “mothers of children under the age of 8″ were the best target market. To obtain these answers, I recommended that we survey mothers who lived in the East Coast (the proposed test market) who had two or more kids age 8 and under. If necessary for budget reasons, we could then narrow the target market down to just a few specific states.
If you will be surveying a group that is similar to your customers, a good starting point is to develop customer profiles and personas. You can then look for a database of people who match these profiles.
Watch for the third and final article in this series, which will look at the resources that you can leverage to improve your 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.
And don’t forget to contact us for your copy of “11 Questions to Answer before You Begin a Research Project”!