All market research aims to gather honest answers from the right participants to inform accurate decisions. Trust and good communication are meaningful in all aspects of any relationship and are undoubtedly crucial when choosing the proper market research partner. But what is marketing research at its core but the gathering and study of customer opinions? If those opinions are the basis of this industry, then which vendors are brokering the strongest relationships with their survey participants? It follows that research vendors with great participant relationships, who use ample quality control measures with a transparent approach, deliver higher quality results.
What is often overlooked in DIY approaches is the veracity of the data at the end of the project. Unfortunately, not enough thought is put into how the survey respondents will be obtained, how they will be treated, how the project will progress meaningfully through the many phases, or how the quality will be spot-checked at each stage of the game.
Companies may chance securing market research data through a patchwork of multiple DIY vendors, platforms and consultants, but to truly trust the data more is needed to be known about the process.
If you do think about moving beyond the DIY approach for your critical business information, but sure to pick a reputable market research partner. But how do you find that trusted research vendor?
Research Partners Need a Proven System
A reliable research partner will have a consistent approach. Creating a custom research logistic plan for every client is key to success. Offering a structured system gives clients a place to hang their hats. CFR’s system includes a planning stage, which is highly collaborative and strengthens the client’s big objective. Additional process steps include:
- Holistic Survey and Questionnaire Design
- The Setting of Meaningful Project Milestones
- Transparency in Execution
- Agreed-upon Final Deliverables
This structured method offers the client's research director and their stakeholders an opportunity to remain organized with each step. Collaboration then happens in alignment with clients' priorities.
What Are the Leading Features of a Robust Approach?
- Veteran Team with Logistics Expertise
- Access to Target Audience
- Programming and Data Processing Experience
- Quality Checks at Every Stage
- Transparent Project Management Communication
An Expert Team in Logistics
A research partner with extensive long-term practice in planning will ask the critical questions of their client to tease out better and prioritize primary and secondary objectives. A quality partner will also uncover the most appropriate approach if internal stakeholders are not already married to a particular methodology. CFR has extensive know-how in qualitative and quantitative research and will hold the hand of stakeholders to explore the benefits and limitations of using, for example, a web survey versus focus groups or in-depth discussions. CFR is also known for giving clients a clear sense of the timeline and tactical mapping, so everyone involved knows what we are heading to, how long it will take, and outcome expectations.
Access to Panels and Target Audience
It is always advantageous if your research partner has a panel and reliable connections with other panel providers should the recruit become tricky. A dedicated call center is another plus. CFR has both and uses a variety of media channels and multi-mode recruiting strategies to assure a refreshed panel.
If you are conducting product research and you need customers using competitive products, such as heavy-duty equipment or agricultural feed, CFR is an exceptional choice. CFR has access to Ag Access’ 400,000 + panel of deeply profiled, well-engaged agricultural audience members. While CFR has more heavily worked in research in the Agricultural sector, they have a wealth of knowledge in recruiting, in general. CFR has completed many projects in the Healthcare, Consumer Services, and Insurance segments in the last year.
Programming and Data Processing
Many outside vendors are not as flexible with the survey programming or analysis software they use. If you are a research director who has invested heavily in analysis software, you may want your partner vendor to be flexible and adjust how they do things. Partners that are familiar and program in various software and qualitative platforms offer a huge plus. CFR has a wide range of quant and qual skills, including platforms such as Knowledge Hound, Research Story, Sawtooth, and Salesforce. It’s also wise to work with a partner with staff who can utilize a variety of programming languages such as Java, C++, HTML5, etc.. Delivering output for your platform may save time and money for your internal team.
Quality Checks at Every Stage
Whether you are making sure you have the appropriate panel member or double-checking online research participants are legit. Some checks are vital to clean data. Geo-IP, email verification, and bot detection/prevention are required in that recruitment stage. Double—Opt-In Communication will guarantee that individuals are who they say they are and genuinely want to participate. In the involvement step, digital fingerprinting, deduplication, speeder check, trap questions, and open-ended analysis will help weed out counterfeit respondents or those clicking through without reading carefully. CFR has sophisticated software to filter and examine these items. A solid vendor will root out bots and participants that click through quickly. Market research analysis is only as strong as your responses, so partners who check quality at each point are a must.
Communication is Everything
Finally, and perhaps most essential, you need a research partner that communicates well from the initial bidding process to final reporting. Cost expectations, planning, timeline, daily updates regarding progress, and knowing how to transform data into storytelling all involve excellent communication skills.
DIY projects can overload your internal staff. Vendors with no consistent approach may leave you wondering if the data is usable and lead to more questions than answers. CFR has a long-term proven process that will not only accommodate your custom needs but provide an end-product that you can trust.