Whether you’re new to the market research industry or a seasoned veteran, a little helpful advice here and there is always beneficial. As society reacts to world events and technology influences everyday activities, the field of market research is always fluctuating. However, some solid ground rules, so to speak, always apply as you set out to meet your goals and project needs. Keep these top four tips in mind as you approach key projects and strive to become an effective field director:
1. Set realistic project expectations.
Even Rome wasn’t built in a day. Similarly, no project can be completed overnight. A reasonable calendar made up of likely “to dos” and required tasks will lead to project success. Getting in too big of a hurry and rushing to move through early stages of the project can lead to mistakes. Also, consider your project scope and goals: are they realistic? Good market research professionals pride themselves in being able to lead a finely-focused project yielding detailed information. But, ensure that your expectations aren’t too narrowly scoped or impossible to complete, based on your timeline
2. Trust a research partner.
Legendary leader John Maxwell said, “If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.” When you’re working on a market research project, there are so many details. Incentives, screeners, recruitment, follow ups, moderator concerns and issues -- some parts of the process can only be done by you. But, many items on your checklist can be successfully handled by others. Save yourself a lot of headaches and manage your project, instead of trying to complete it all yourself.
3. Direct your efforts toward developing a results-oriented screener.
The success of your market research study hinges on recruiting quality respondents for your focus groups. Finely hone in on who you’re looking for and develop ways to find your target participants. Brainstorm in-depth questions and identify your ideal candidate prior to starting recruitment contacts. Then look back at your overall screener to make sure it is realistic and engaging. Engaged participants are what you want, so put yourself in the respondents’ shoes. Are there questions that are too broad or confusing? Is the screener too long? As your recruitment efforts proceed, analyze your results and proactively work toward adjustments that yield better outcomes.
4. Establish measurable goals and objectives.
Without identifying what you want to accomplish, you are never going to find the answers you need to deliver an effective market research analysis. Create a calendar along the way that includes benchmarks you want to reach at various points of the project. For instance, target a specific number of respondents for each focus group planned, so you can develop a budget for incentives. Break down each part of the process and develop measurable objectives for each of them. And, then go out and try to meet them.
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