Sometimes taking research in-house can be challenging. If your internal teams are attempting to conduct their own market research, there are some things to take into consideration…
Too Much Industry Experience
The fact that your team is immersed in this topic daily can actually negatively influence research outcomes. This immersion can impact how a survey or discussion guide is written, by introducing biases or having lack of clarity in the questions. These are some things to watch out for:
- Use of industry lingo that the survey respondents might not understand or may misinterpret.
- Evaluating results through the lens of what the brain wants to hear. This is called “confirmation bias.” It’s a focus on the positive feedback at the cost of missing the messages behind negative feedback, which is often more valuable for determining next steps.
- Adding bias by the questions asked or comments shared (perhaps under the guise of “educating” the research participant about your product/service) during an interview or focus group.
Too Little Research Experience
Lack of experience developing research might also negatively impact study approach or questionnaire/discussion guide design. Some things to be aware of are asking leading questions, poor wording, asking the wrong question type, or asking multiple questions in one. Be careful to ask the right questions and include critical skip patterns. All can result in frustrated research participants and unclear research outcomes.
Beware of selecting an incorrect methodology for the research. Do not default to the lowest cost or most familiar option. There are optimal choices for getting actionable results from research, based on the strategic answers needed and the population being researched.
Lack of Special Skills
If conducting in-person focus groups, have a strategy for how to manage unruly participants, and how to keep the discussion on track. This takes skill and practice.
Make sure to understand how best to analyze and interpret quantitative results to get more nuanced information. There are methods of honing the results down to answer very specific questions regarding particular groups of respondents. Similarly, there are nuances that should be considered when interpreting qualitative results. For example, what do you do if one person in the group mentions a concern but no one else does?
Over Zealous Data Collection
Set realistic expectations regarding what will be learned, how long it will take and the resources needed to accomplish the task. Consider breaking down a larger study into smaller chunks to enable an iterative, agile approach to the research.
Remove any questions from a survey that are not going to produce actionable results. Ask yourself, what decision will be made based on the answer? Avoid asking questions because the answer would be “nice to know.”
Use a Research Professional to Fill in the Gaps
Since taking research in-house can be challenging, consider partnering with a market research professional to assist with your research needs. They can work with your team to fill in the gaps and remove issues that will negatively influence your results.
At Hardwick Research we are experts at working quickly and efficiently to ensure you gather the insight needed to make critical business decisions. We can easily take on as much or as little of the project as needed, filling in the gaps where your internal team needs support. For more information on our services visit our website.