Market research firms are guided as much by business principles as they are by science. No matter how well-put-together their data collection is, without a sound management and client relations strategy, their business will suffer.
Those that get it right understand how management and productivity principles can guide work to be as effective and efficient as possible. To help others emulate the hard work and thought leadership that these market research firms put forth, here are 5 of their most important habits that lead to their success.
Strategy Guides Everything
No business process is a paint-by-numbers affair. Goals vary, as do constraints like budgets. Ever-changing environments can also affect results any time a firm neglects to do their homework.
Highly effective market research firms always consider the variables they face and make every project goal-oriented. By accounting for risk and emphasizing the tasks that help meet project goals most-ably, nothing is left to chance.
Communication Drives Progress
Communication is incredibly important during market research from every side of the equation. Client-side researchers need to stay in touch with project managers, field data collection firms and other key stakeholders to ensure that project goals are consistently being met.
Firms that neglect to communicate leave too much to chance, basing decisions on assumptions or failing to recognize important factors critical to project success.
Along with strong communication comes questioning assumptions. As an oft-quoted paraphrasing of Grace Hopper goes, “The most dangerous phrase in language is: ‘We've always done it this way.’” By simply doing more of the same, opportunities to maximize results and obtain the highest possible benefits are pushed aside. Instead, every decision should be examined critically to ensure that decisions are made with a full perspective, not just based on habit.
Find the Best People for the Job
Cheapest or quickest is not always the best. Effective market research firms know this, so they stick to working relationships with other firms and partners that they can trust.
The absolute best market research firms maintain ongoing relationships with industry leaders over time. Any new partners are thoroughly vetted for their capabilities and reputation prior to engagement. High-quality work in research always goes a long way towards making the project go smoothly, avoid setback and produce results in line with research goals.
Use a Full Spectrum of Knowledge
You will almost never find a market research firm full of just one type of expert. What usually happens instead is that a collaboration of disciplines — from business moguls to sampling experts to statistics gurus to programmers to data scientists and more — all come together to fill in each other’s knowledge gaps and co-create 360° knowledge on their subject of expertise.
People within such organizations should learn from each other, also, to round out their skill set and avoid oversights.