New Approaches for Faster (& Cheaper) Research
When customers talk about wanting faster and cheaper research, we’ve learned they’re not clamoring for all research to be faster and cheaper than ever before. Rather, they’re looking for new methods and niche solutions that fit specific problems they face. The distinction is crucial, because the first pushes us to automate, routinize, outsource, and make our work more generic. The second pushes us to think more strategically and to be creative in solving research problems.
We have just published our Winter 2014 Newsletter, in which we review some outstanding ideas offered by several corporate researchers about how to do this. The ideas were presented in a keynote session at the recent Corporate Researchers Conference sponsored by the Marketing Research Association (MRA), and included:
Elevator Pitch Insights. The idea here is to find just one or two important insights from bigger projects that can be delivered to managers quickly and without overwhelming them. Think “30 second elevator pitch,” packaging a finding in a document or story that lays out a question, an answer, and an implication for action in just a few punchy sentences or data points.
Infographics. We’re slowly coming around to the power of infographics, in particular because they can be extremely effective ways to deliver a story with data. Of course it is critical to find the one story that matters and a limited number of data points to support it—for sure, that is not easy.
Micro-Studies. Researchers tend to think big, focusing on multiple objectives and data to answer all key questions in a study. But many projects would benefit from being divided up into smaller, more strategic micro-studies that add up to bigger insights at the end.
In-The-Moment Research. When it comes to speed, collecting data real-time from consumers as they go about their business or react to products can be super useful. But as research stories from Meijer and Microsoft show, that speed requires meticulous and detailed planning long before the moment ever happens.
One of our favorite quotes from the CRC session came from Elizabeth Merrick at HSN who, when faced with a daunting large project and equally daunting small budget, advised: “Don’t reduce it. Just re-think it.” We hope the ideas in this newsletter will help you with that!