As our clients face increased pressures for deeper, richer insights with less time and money, I often find myself recommending ways to expedite research without jeopardizing the quality of the results.   Having spent over 18 years on the client side in Brand Management and over 5 years on the supplier side, I have come to understand the actions that one can take to quickly expedite your research timelines!  Here are my top 5 recommended ways to reduce your research timeline and get the results you want FAST!

  1. Seek out partners, not vendors.

    Partners have YOUR best interest in mind and grow to KNOW you… your style, your team’s style, your company, your brands, your desires, and your pet peeves.  You can not underestimate how much time this saves.  Partners know what you want and how you want it…so no back and forth!  In particular, partners have past knowledge to build upon which makes the screener development process fast and easy, group preparation and discussion guide development swift and, of course, the insights even stronger.

  2. Take the time upfront.  It will definitetly save you time in the end!

    We’ve all heard this before, but still we so often fail to follow this discipline. Nevertheless, it is an invaluable rule of thumb to apply.  Clearly conveying the background and objectives of a project upfront is critical to the success of any project and will save time throughout.  By understanding these key facts early on, your marketing research partner will be best informed to advise on methodology, stimulus, discussion flow, etc.  Skipping this phase undoubtedly leads to a lot of back and forth on efforts to align.

    There is no best method or technique to communicate upfront background information, do whatever works for you!  Jot it down in an email, or pick up the phone and talk, but communicate early on.  It will be worth it!

  3. Share your knowledge and preferences.

    If you know your budget, say it.  If you have a desired methodology, communicate it.  If you have certain techniques that you like or don’t like, shout it out!  We are always happy to share our best creative thinking or to recommend what we feel would be the best approach, but budget and resource constraints often don’t allow for ideal scenarios and
    approaches.  Therefore, it is best to define your budget and time parameters up front to get optimal scenarios within your research parameters to prevent some of the pre-research “back and forth.”   If you want our best thinking and really don’t have a budget, that is great and we’d love to share.  But if you do have budget, methodology and time constraints, let us know.  We want to work with you and will design optimal approaches within your research parameters.

  4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on the bigger picture.

    It is always great to be thoughtful and smart, and to make sure that the discussion guide is meeting the team’s objectives and addressing your needs.  But all too often, hours are
    spent going back and forth “nit picking” details of the guide.  Remember that a guide is just a guide, and that a great marketing research partner will navigate the discussion in a way
    that naturally stays on topic and gets your team the insights they need.  Focus on the big picture.  Plus, always remember that true research partners like Insights in Marketing, have been in your shoes and been behind that glass!  Let us leverage our expertise and experience to anticipate your questions or concerns and address them.  It’s what we do best!

  5. New methodologies can prove to be quicker.

    If you have geographically dispersed learning needs or you need to conduct a large quantity of individual interviews, on-line qualitative may be a faster option.  No travel time and the same great learnings and insights.  Ask your marketing research partner to help you determine the best methodology to meet your needs.

In this day and age, we all need and want more time!  Here are, in summary, five ways to help…

  1. Choose a partner that you can trust and empower.
  2. Be thoughtful upfront.
  3. Share your knowledge and preferences.
  4. Focus on the big picture.
  5. Consider alternative methodologies (like online research!)