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Want Your Research To Be Great? Communicate!

Posted by MFour on Aug 21, 2018 8:27:20 AM

Blog Conversation 21Aug18 

Is it time to revise traditional industry identifiers such as “market research” and “consumer insights” (or as we call it "consumer understanding")?

It’s not that these phrases have outlasted their meaning. But at every turn, “communication” seems like it should be part of how we define our jobs. For starters, it’s crucial to communicate effectively with the consumers we’re trying to understand. If we can’t interest them and win their trust with a seamless, crystal clear survey experience, they’ll ignore us. Or, perhaps even worse, they’ll penalize poor communication by turning off their brains while they plow through a survey.

Attracting and hitting it off with the right consumers is just the start, however. Admirable data becomes useless if communication falters down the home stretch. There’s no payoff for a brilliant research project if the decision makers tune out because the presentation is confusing dull, and fails to anticipate the questions they really want answered. The presentation is like the ninth inning of a ballgame, when the team’s closer is called upon to hold a lead, clinch victory, and give value to everything that has come before.  

A recent online piece for Quirks by Chris Jesurun, manager of consumer and brand insights at Chicago-based Potbelly Sandwich Shop, offers sound advice on how to communicate down the home-stretch by presenting research findings in ways that are structured to maintain interest and answer anticipated questions.

A key takeaway is the need to communicate with the decision-makers to understand what they need to accomplish – not during the presentation, but at a much earlier stage in the project. To continue the baseball analogy, there’s no point calling in your closer when you’re behind, and conducting a market research project without understanding its purpose isn’t likely to enter the ninth with a win in sight.

There’s an additional stage in your research when communication is just as critical: when you’re having a discussion with research vendors about how to organize and execute a project. At MFour, we call the people you’ll have those discussions with “solutions executives,” because they want to plug you into the research products and methods that will help you and your clients or stakeholders solve business problems, not just data collection problems. The more you can communicate your business aims along with your technical needs, the better the results will be when it comes time for you to close with a winning presentation.

To kick off a great communication process leading to a great research project, just get in touch and we’ll have a productive conversation about how to meet your specific projects’ needs. Just click here.

Topics: consumer insights, market research, data analysis, data reporting

Women of Insight: Meet MFour's Senior Research Consultants

Posted by MFour on Aug 2, 2018 9:20:14 AM

Quirks photo Wehn Martinez Han Aug 2018 issue

L-R: Allyson Wehn, Joan Martinez, Andrea Han

Successful market research delivers accurate, actionable numbers that reliably depict consumer reality, but success really depends on the human factor. At one end are the people who provide a window on reality by participating in research as respondents. At the other are the consumer insights professionals who have the expertise and passion to succeed at the meticulous, exacting work of creating studies that will obtain data that's pertinent and reliable, then interpret what it all means to give clients analysis and recommendations that will help them reach  smart business decisions.

It's only fitting, then, that three key members of MFour's insights team, Senior Research Consultants Andrea Han, Joan Martinez and Allyson Wehn, have a spotlight moment in the August issue of Quirk's, as part of its "Faces of Market Research" feature. You can check out their profile in the magazine itself by clicking here (see pg. 57). Or just read on.

Andrea Han, Joan Martinez and Allyson Wehn have come from widely diverse hometowns – Sao Paulo, Brazil, the village of Ordot on Guam, and Fullerton, CA., respectively -- to share a proud and important job title at MFour: Senior Research Consultant. They also share a passion for consumer insights that, among them, has produced 57 years’ experience in market research. As a team, they analyze data obtained from validated, first-party consumers who participate in research by using MFour’s pioneering mobile app, Surveys on the Go®. That includes drawing insights from location tracking data, photo captures, and real-time “video selfies” that respondents create and submit with their phones.

“My natural curiosity has driven my career,” says Martinez, who has been doing consumer research since her college days at California State University, Los Angeles. “What intrigues me about MFour is the technology. My thinking was, `this is the new frontier, where the world is going.’ I want to be part of that.”

For Wehn, “sometimes I feel like a detective, because clients are asking me to look for answers.” The University of California, Santa Barbara graduate also relishes the populist underpinnings of consumer research. When she’s out shopping, she often finds herself mentally recreating the research behind the merchandise. “When I see the real-life applications, more often than not those decisions come from consumers giving feedback on how they want things to be.”

Han, a graduate of the University of Southern California, says her career satisfaction is tied to her clients’ satisfaction. “They want to know, `what does this data mean to us?’ That’s what we’re here for. The real rewarding part for me is when clients look at the insights in the deck and say, `this is what we needed…and more.’”

You, too, can get what you need...and more. Get in touch and we'll talk about getting you started. Just click here.

 

 

Topics: consumer insights, market research, mobile research, data analysis, data quality

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