Oftentimes, a question comes out of a corporate meeting that requires the expertise of a market research firm to answer. Typically, a methodology is chosen, executed and the data is collected as well as synthesized for the client – serving up the answer. Seems simple enough, but it only scratches the surface when the reality of the need is systemic. Driving positive change throughout an organization many times starts with a solitary question – but is it the right question? It is paramount to partner with a market research firm that has the aptitude to discern the right question(s), the best approach and the appropriate implementation methodology.
The Right Partner…
Many corporations need to raise their expectations regarding their market research partner. Finding a researcher with a consultative approach is critical to the success of major initiatives. Market research firms that do this well have the following characteristics:
- Must challenge assumptions
- Take the time to understand any past research in regard to data collection and analysis
- Have the know-how to leverage multiple data streams
- Understand the composition and benefits of a multi-model approach
- Comprehend that new strategy implementation, cross-departmentally, throughout a large organization is equally as important as good research design
- Have the talent to navigate political challenges and lead the change initiative ensuring a cohesive message corporate wide.
… To Answer the Right Question
All too often, the focus is on the wrong question which can have a negative effect on resource allocation and the bottom line. For example, if a retailer sees a down-tick in its in-store customer service scores it may believe it is a staffing issue – not enough associates on the floor. When in actuality, it is not the number of associates, but the behaviors exhibited by those associates while interacting with customers that makes all the difference in their customers’ perceptions of service.
A strong market research firm will have the tools to untangle misconceptions and turn them into the right initiatives to ensure budgets are put to good use.
Got the Correct Answer, What’s Next?
Knowing what needs to be done and actually doing it well are two separate enterprises. All companies have a unique fingerprint made up of its departmental structure, personalities at the Executive level, and office politics. Looking to your market research firm as a consultative partner for implementation should be common-place. A knowledgeable and neutral third-party can solidify buy-in across all departments at the highest level, which is absolutely crucial for the best possible outcome. Good consultants can design a cohesive change message and lead the charge throughout an organization. Each department needs to understand its role, “why” the change is necessary and the benefits that it will yield with absolute clarity – one voice, one message, great results.