What to expect from a market research project

The exciting thing about research is that you never know what a survey may reveal. It’s important to be open-minded about the results. A well-planned and executed research project should answer your research aims, but during the process it’s possible that some unexpected results or views will come to light.

For this reason, it’s also not uncommon for actionable recommendations to include further research. When you get the results, you often find the research project has highlighted issues or questions that need further investigation and analysis.

A good research agency will not tell you want you want to hear, but communicate all the findings, which may be positive or negative. Even if the results are not what you were expecting, highlighting issues that need to be dealt with can only be a good thing in the long term. You may even get a bonus result in the form of testimonials from happy customers.

The output from a research project can come in many formats and it’s important for you to decide how you would like the results presented. Requirements can range from data only, through to full-scale analysis, recommendations and insight. It’s also vital to communicate any specific questions you want answered.

You also need to decide if you want the full questionnaire responses from a research project, or just the results. This will depend on the audience and the purpose of the research. If the research is to inform strategy and present findings to the board or senior management, the results and recommendations may be sufficient. But if you have a market research team, or are trying to improve customer service to important customers, you may wish to look more in-depth at specific data.

Deciding what you want delivered is also important because it will influence the design of the project and ultimately the cost of the research. Changing your mind during a project could inflate costs and cause delays.

Expectations vary widely when it comes to budget, and often clients will want the project done as cheaply and as quickly as possible. Most credible research agencies will price the work realistically based on the time it will take to do the project. So if the initial quote was £20k and you’ve managed to beat it down to £2k, you can expect there to be cutbacks to the research work, which will impact the quality of the results. You could be left with more questions than answers, or data that is less than reliable.

Knowing your budget is key – and communicating this honestly and openly to the agency is vital. It will help them decide on the best approach to take to generate the results you want. A good research agency will give you solid recommendations for the course of action indicated by the research – all within your budget.

Get in touch with MRA Research to see how we can help with your next research project!

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