Get Richer Insights and Maximize Your Research ROI (Part 2)

by DJI

In a recent blog post, we suggested that inviting colleagues beyond the marketing department into the backroom could help you get more bang for your research buck (click here to read it).  Here are five more tips for getting richer insights and better strategic value from your qualitative research investment.

These ideas relate to the preparatory and early stages of the research.  Later on we’ll identify some tips to use as the research is executed and the results are rolled out.

  1. Allow sufficient time from project start to finish.  Recruiting can be tricky, especially for complex projects (e.g. in-home observational research; research using new technologies, etc.)  Consider having your moderator re-screen recruits for complex projects before the fieldwork deadline.  Good analysis and reporting also takes time.  Even the best moderator needs time to digest the findings by a thorough review of notes and transcripts.  Often conclusions made in a “day-after” topline don’t tell the whole story.
  2. Recruit the right people.  For example, make sure if you are testing TV advertising that respondents actually watch ads (with DVRs, a lot of people don’t) or if you are testing packaging remember that 7% – 10% of males are red/green color blind…even higher among some ethnic groups.
  3. Get sign-off from key stakeholders on specific research objectives early, then provide one point of contact for the moderator through which all internal client requests and changes will flow.  Having a central “clearing-house” for changes or additions keeps the discussion guide focused and effectively structured as it evolves.
  4. Brief the moderator thoroughly.  Ensure a non-disclosure agreement is in place, then consider sharing background leading up to the research request, the politics involved (there’s always something!), and how the information will be used.  A thorough understanding of the overall business objective is as important for the moderator as the research project objectives.
  5. Use pre-group homework assignments wherever possible.  Giving respondents time to think about the issues in advance usually leads to a much richer discussion, and you can often cover “warm-up” topics much faster if respondents have had time to prepare.  While sometime the research objectives call for fresh, unbiased reactions to a concept, consider how homework can maximize learning from valuable group time.