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Re: Research

Michele Harris, president and “chief matchmaker” for MarketingDeptNYC Inc., an agency search firm, recently shared some market research tips and tactics with Fast Company. Here’s a crash course in primary research development:

Michele Harris, president and “chief matchmaker” for MarketingDeptNYC Inc., an agency search firm, recently shared some market research tips and tactics with Fast Company. Here’s a crash course in primary research development:

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  • Objectives Be clear on your reasons for the research, exactly what you want to find out, how it fits into your overall brand strategy, and your priorities regarding data collection.
  • Results-Oriented Are you making a go/no go decision on a new product or an ad campaign? Are you looking for the optimal target for your product or service? Determining how you want to use the results will affect the research requirements.
  • Target Specifics Be as specific as you can about whom you want to interview. Some people are harder to find, and some groups are more expensive to research than others.
  • Target Diversity Is your target audience homogeneous or diverse? Often, the size of the research sample is contingent on the diversity of the target population and should include a minimum number of subjects for each segment (genders, age groups, and product usage groups).
  • Show and Tell Do you need to show samples, storyboards, advertising slogans, or prototypes? This will impact the specific approach used and the associated costs, including material distribution.
  • Understanding Deliverables Most of the time, you can expect a detailed written report at the conclusion of a research study that can include an executive summary, charts and tables, or quotes from respondents. The more detail you seek, the more it will cost.
  • Small Teams Try to keep your team small. The more people having input into your research, the more likely you are to have a study that is unfocused and ultimately, unsatisfying. The marketing director, product manager, and ad agency (if appropriate) are usually the optimal team.
  • Timing How will the research affect other planned company initiatives? Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan on spending two to six months (depending on the scope of the effort) on your study, from the initial planning to deliverables.
  • Be Research-Savvy Make sure your research sample is comprehensive enough to be useful and to uncover trends. Unearthing patterns over individual opinions are what’s important.
  • Budget Primary research can cost anywhere from $5,000 to more than $100,000. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to accomplish nearly any objective, so you have choices.