Planning a Market Research Project

Are you thinking about approaching a market research agency about a new project? It can be useful to do some planning and preparation before you start speaking to agencies.

Of course it’s vital to set clear objectives, but you’ll also need to think about timings. When do you need the output of the research? When is the best time to ask your customer base for input? What is the availability of senior managers who need to sign off the project? These are all questions that can help with scoping the project. For example, if you have a short deadline, you may need to cut back on how much detail you’re asking for.

What do you need to know?

In some cases, it may be necessary to either commission or do some initial research internally to help determine where to focus your efforts. This will save you time and money in the long run. For example, if you want to benchmark yourself against your competitors, you need to define which companies you consider to be your closest competitors. If you want to segment your customers, you need to define which customer groups you want the research or the survey to cover.

What do you already know?

While market research is all about finding out what you don’t know, it’s always worth considering what you already know. Most companies have considerable information in-house that can be usefully analysed. For example, point-of-sale data, customer information, customer feedback/complaints can all contain hidden business insight, and you may have some construction industry research reports that could be useful. There is no need to reinvent the wheel – if you have information that can help to form the questions or answer your research aims, use it. Equally, experience from previous research may help with setting the aims and improving the quality of the information gathered.

Another thing to consider is that the best research projects – in particular when it comes to attitudinal or customer satisfaction surveys – are repeated over time to track changes.  Regular research allows you to monitor progress, from investigating where the problems lie, to attempting to resolve them, and seeing the impact of any actions on attitudes and perceptions.

Get in touch with MRA Research on 01453 521621 to see how we can help with your market research project!

This post is part of our article series 9 tips for commissioning valuable market research.

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