From seasoned insights professionals, to those just dipping their toes into the water of marketing research, collaborating with a recruiting or logistics focused market research operations partner can be a daunting task. Research preparation is time-intensive and complex.
Beyond managing the survey programming, data collection, and recruiting teams, there are multiple stakeholders to consider throughout the research process. When considering a market research operational partner, many questions immediately arise:
- Does the partner understand the research objectives?
- How will the division of labor work?
- How will my team stay informed of the operational progress?
- Will the partner come through on the deliverables?
The status quo seems to be that teams show up, start throwing files back and forth at each other, loop everyone in on an e-mail thread, have one 15-minute call to kick things off, and everything will get sorted as the project rolls along. Those actions are not representative of a collaborative and proactive team culture that produces quality work.
Rather than allowing fear of a repeat of a past negative experience taint the possibility, reframing the opportunity can lead to a total win. Navigating a partnership for research needs, when done correctly, can result in a long-term reliable partnership to produce meaningful research outcomes.
Careful navigation of the partnership journey starts with building a foundation of trust. This trust is necessary to support future projects and is something we obsess over at Communications for Research (CFR). We believe a few intentional actions make ALL the difference. We want to be your ally in the market research industry. To that end, we created our proprietary Research Logistics Proven Process.
What is CFR’s Research Logistics Proven Process (RLPP)?
The RLPP is a 4-step roadmap to align teams and achieve research objectives. This proven process simplifies project management, creates clarity from complex research methodologies and ultimately delivers research and analysis that drives brand success.
Step 1: Research Logistics Plan
To kick things off, we begin with a research logistics plan. This plan addresses project scope, sampling, responsibilities, timeline, and budget. The aim is to turn the complex simple with shared agreements, foundational knowledge, common goals, key metrics, and boundaries.
We start with a team-wide launch call to illuminate the journey that brought us all together. The agenda includes introductions and background information on all call attendees. We make sure to create room for candor throughout the conversation and establish a safe space for asking questions. The goal of the meeting is greater than the individual project logistics; it is to invest time towards building trust and open communication for ongoing collaboration.
After introductions, we identify, discuss, and solve each key area of the research logistics plan together. These include project scope, sampling, responsibilities, timeline, budget and invoicing, to ensure both teams have total clarity on the logistics. As we step through each component, some simple questions help get appropriate clarification and set the stage for project accountability. Some examples include:
- What else?
- What boundaries or limitations do you see?
- What could be an issue in this area?
- What is mine, what is yours?
This initial research logistics plan lays the foundation for our work together, ensures we’ve aligned on expectations early on, and there are no surprises. This step is the 20% that creates 80% of the impact, the rest is in execution.
Step 2: Design
During the design phase of the process, our teams collaborate to fine-tune the research instruments - both quantitative research design and qualitative screeners or discussion guide refinement occur during this second phase.
Technical setup and quality checks ensure the survey is an excellent representation of the customer and provides an accessible and engaging user experience. Our teams craft and review the exact communications and interactions a research participant will see. We also determine the sponsorship or branding components required for inclusion in the study.
Together we refine the sample plan, addressing the who, what, where, and when of the target audience for research. The logistics of audience access, priority, targeting, and timing are fleshed out during the design phase.
Finally, we come together to discuss data quality benchmarks and recommendations to ensure the study output is of the highest quality to meet business needs.
Step 3: Fieldwork
The fieldwork portion of the process is where we get down to the nitty-gritty of recruiting and data collection. Based on a thorough understanding of the objectives, our team is empowered to serve as a decision-maker in the best interest of the research.
Transparency and clarity are key during this stage of the process. Our project management team proactively communicates progress at regular intervals, reporting on metrics and milestones. We perform a dynamic data-driven assessment of execution and provide solutions for challenges BEFORE they become roadblocks.
We take pride in our effective and efficient project management - no micromanaging necessary.
Step 4: Outcomes
Our consultative approach through all steps of the process creates alignment with client needs. Throughout the stages of the research process, these needs guide the decisions we make, always keeping the quality of the final outcome in mind.
We understand data delivery isn’t the end of the line for research. Our team asks the right questions to help us craft the final deliverable and anticipate what comes next for your team.
We structure our logistics, design, and project management to meet and exceed client expectations. From setting expectations in step one to executing in the steps following thereafter, our goal is to transform strangers coming together for one project into a team that is a true force for getting research outcomes achieved. With CFR, you have an ally in the market research industry.
Interested in learning more about how our Research Logistics Proven Process can take the stress out of your next project? Contact us today!