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Right-size your research through quality, not quantity

You need research, but you want it fast, cheap, and high-quality. It’s often said you can only have two of those, but never all three. We disagree.

With the right type of research, you may be able to achieve your objective and spend less than you expect. Additionally, new emerging technologies and tools allow you to get results quicker at less cost without sacrificing the quality of the insights. With some of these tools, the insights are even richer.

To start off, first determine what type of research you need. We often hear from clients that they want a quantitative study – they want numbers (or there is a senior exec who only believes in numbers). Then they find out how costly and time-consuming such a study can be and they may decide against doing any research at all.   

While quantitative research does provide numbers, it also has its limitations. It can tell you the what, where, and how many, for example. However, it does not answer other important questions, such as those related to the how and why. We may find out that a certain percentage of people chose brand Y. But we don’t understand their thinking or reasoning on how they came to that decision. Often, the answers to those questions generate great insights that lead to relevant marketing.

Deciding what research is right for you is like a weekend project at home. First you think about what it is you need to get done – fix a leaky faucet or mow the lawn, for example. Then you decide what tool or method you will use to get the job done. For a research project, first think about what you need it for and how you will use it, then decide what method you will use to get the insights. To start, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What is my objective – or problem I am trying to solve?

  2. What questions do I have or what answers do I need to help me solve my challenge?

  3. What is the best way to get those answers?

Of course, time and money come into the equation as well. We may decide that it’s something as simple as a series of phone interviews that will get you the needed insights. Or, it may be one of the newer online technologies that would be best. These new platforms offer sophisticated, powerful features driven by unique methodologies that can only be conducted in an online environment. 

Online qualitative tools allow for quick target audience identification, design and approach, and a study can be launched within days. The respondents can write stories, interact directly in real time, draw pictures, or have Q&A sessions. They can even make videos of themselves through an app on their phone, logging how they engage with a product or service and creating a video blog of their purchase journey. Now we have rich consumer feedback that was gathered quickly, and we can analyze it and develop insights much faster.

Through this kind of research, companies today can get truly meaningful insights faster and cheaper than ever before, while never sacrificing quality. We’d love to show you how we can use the power of insights combined with advances in digital marketing to fuel your thinking and planning. 

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