|Knowledge is power.|
I have been involved with a number of blue chip clients over the years who have embraced my idea of actually engaging an external agency to research the markets they operate in before actually implementing marketing initiatives, in terms of buying behaviour, competitive analysis, cost comparisons etc, but what about if you are a small business and want to conduct research yourself?
Well, this thought process prompted this post about tackling research in house.
Firstly, dont underestimate the time and effort required. Most organisations are simply not set up to conduct their own research as it requires considerable time to do properly not to mention space for handling the volume of paper it can create + costs incurred for things like post, the time needed for checking data etc. So……below are some key areas to use as a checklist for you:
Define your sample, its size & selection method
Choose your data collection methods (face to face, post, telephone…)
Design your questionnaire
Collect your data
Clean your data
Enter your data into the computer & define analyses required
Interpret & report your findings
There are immediate solutions if time, resources and/or actual knowing what to do is a problem. There are loads of small agencies offering research and these can offer you help in the areas you need or simply do the study for you. Yes, there would be a cost, but I personally believe research should be a key part of your marketing plan.