Top 10 tips for Market Research

May 7, 2009

One of the events of our month is the arrival of Management Today magazine, within which they never fail to deliver a list of top tips.  On the basis of if you can’t beat them join them, here is a top 10 to do list for marketing research projects:

  1. Understand the client’s needs: sounds simple but it is important to recognise the needs of different stakeholders and to be aware of the demands on them. 
  2. Play back the brief: the brief may not always be written down, yes really, so it is vital to confirm back to the client and/or budget owner exactly what you will be doing.
  3. Clarify deliverables: whilst you may visualise the output, this may not be as clear to all parties, so confirming what everyone will get is vital.
  4. Develop a step-by-step plan: all the clichés about planning are true and none more so in research, and there probably can never be too much detail.
  5. Remain objective: the purpose of market research is to deliver an independent, expert opinion based on credible, rigorous  questioning and analysis of your customers. 
  6. Track the whole process: regular updates are vital to the successful management of the project.
  7. Clarify who does what: make sure everyone involved knows exactly what is expected of them.
  8. Accept that things can go wrong: stuff goes wrong, don’t be surprised by it, but do ensure that you have alternatives in place.
  9. Keep your client informed: we’re all inquisitive, so  make sure there is a mechanism for keeping the brand owner aware of progress.
  10. Learn from it: A de-brief at the end of the project is a must to ensure constant improvement.