Partnering with a market research firm is often a necessity for today’s businesses if they want to compete in the current, increasingly competitive, marketplace. A good market research firm can help businesses identify and target consumers, recognize emerging industry trends, gather product feedback and monitor competition. But what makes one market research partner better than another? Who should you choose amongst the thousands of options? We think the best market research partners possess the following six skills and characteristics:
Of course, the first thing a market research firm should do well is use mathematics and computers to their maximum capacities. Skills in statistical applications, as well as knowledge in a myriad of computer applications, are critical for valid research results. Today’s researchers should be able to use both basic and advanced statistical formulas and methodologies, and they should be proficient in all levels of computer use, from its basic manual operation to its abstract manipulation. They need to be able to calculate, enter and retrieve data by knowing which assessments to employ and which supports to apply. Choosing a partner who is proficient in using everything from spreadsheets, databases, word processing software and the Internet (among others), and who has the ability to write proprietary programming, will ensure that your business is getting the most value from your investment.
Curiosity can make a good market researcher a great one. Seeking opportunities to learn more, do more, and be more means your partner is constantly looking for new ways to address old problems. Curiosity propels him or her to forgo the obvious and wonder about alternatives. This benefits you by fostering innovation when others might be relying on past performance. We all know change can be good!
Critical- Thinking Skills
Your next market research partner should also have the critical-thinking skills that allow for robust analysis. It’s not enough to simply gather the data; today’s market researchers need to be able to thoroughly evaluate it. They should be able to examine the information gathered and sort through it, discarding what is extraneous and keeping what is relevant. From there, they should question any assumptions and always deliver more than the obvious.
Great market researchers are creative. They don’t depend on the staid conclusions of the past. They strive for change and search for emerging trends, consumer bases and product ideas. They seek new opportunities to learn and value insight when others might only appraise facts. Seeing what “could be” in addition to “what is” is what drives companies to new growth.
Finally, your next market research partner should have the communication skills necessary to detail findings in accurate and efficient ways. They need to write clearly and speak well. Knowing how to address the many people involved in any market research project – prospective consumers, dedicated fans, disgruntled buyers, current employees, YOU – encourages a legitimacy and confidence that can translate into meaningful business opportunities.
Are you looking for a market research partner? Rest assured that our team members at Communications for Research have the skills necessary to make your next project a success. Contact us to see how we can put our knowledge to work for you.