Poorly conducted research can strip the life out of your communications. It strives to satisfy a disparate group of stakeholders rather than conjure an authentic audience connection. On the contrary, great research uncovers the insights that create powerful, deeply resonant campaigns.
To intimately understand your consumers, clients and decision-makers, requires the uncovering of insights into:
Note: It’s essential to distinguish between market research and brand health tracking, which calibrates a brands performance relative to its competitors, or concept testing that, for us, informs and validates the creative process (that comes later).
Our market research goals are simple:
When conducting market research, many marketers miss the opportunity to integrate creative development into the discovery strategy process.
In most instances, the research covers the first three of our goals but has no way of discovering what would change the subject’s mind or even if they would be willing to change it at all.
At DPR&Co, we have developed a system of integrating strategy and ideation into the market research process.
You can find an example of this approach in our work with the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services, addressing the scourge of prescription drug abuse through the introduction of SafeScript.
It’s often been said that ‘research can get you any result you want’.
In our experience there is a gulf between quality research and what we’d call ‘ticking the boxes’.
Henry Ford was not a fan of market research. His famous quote “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses,’ was a pointed rejection of poorly conducted market research and a vindication for being able to provide stimulus as a means of establishing possible alternative products, services or concepts.
Poorly conducted focus groups are often swayed by dominant personalities. Without a competent methodology and a skilled moderator, the entire theme of the enquiry can be hijacked (see Leading the Witness – The Perils of Poor Market Research for a more detailed insight).
In tandem with deep market analysis, market research will help provide a complete picture of the market and consumer mindset at a point in time.
A competent combination of these two disciplines will provide a solid foundation for strategic planning processes that follow.
Methodologies we recommend when conducting market research are based on one or more of the following:
In B2B settings, we rarely use focus groups. We generally develop our hypotheses using depth interviews. We may then seek to validate the findings in quantitative research because most business decision-makers are reluctant to engage in focus groups.
For B2C market research, we’ll often use focus groups to form our hypotheses then validate quantitatively, usually conducting quantitative research online.
A professional researcher will labour over a brief to ensure that what they measure is instructive. They will make recommendations for:
Researchers will also go to extraordinary lengths to ensure they deliver the correct stimulus and ask subjects questions that lead to a definitive response.