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Market research value on a tight budget

Market research value on a tight budget



Darren Harvey, Lotus Research

Darren Harvey, Lotus Research
Brand development conference



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    Market research value on a tight budget Market research value on a tight budget Presentation Transcript

    • HOW  MARKET  RESEARCH  CAN   HELP  BUILD  YOUR  BRAND   16  Victoria  Road   Leighton  Buzzard   LU7  2NT  UK   CharityComms   24  October  2013   darren@lotusresearch.co.uk   www.lotusresearch.co.uk   07799  888109  /  01525  635091  
    • IN  THIS  PRESENTATION…   •  Why  should  smaller  chariXes  and  voluntary  organisaXons   consider  “buying  in”  market  research  at  all?   •  Ge^ng  what  you  need  out  of  research     –  Choosing  the  right  method   –  Making  sure  your  insights  are  acXonable   •  Making  the  most  of  a  limited  budget   –  Smart  ways  to  buy  research   –  Avoiding  piaalls  that  can  waste  Xme  and  money   2  
    • “RESEARCH-­‐BASED  INSIGHT”   WHAT  DOES  IT  MEAN?   •  Feedback  from  stakeholders  that  is  used  to  guide  decision  making   •  In  the  commercial  sector…   –  Customers  and  potenXal  customers,  with  limited  emoXonal  involvement   •  More  complex  in  the  voluntary  sector…   service  users   members   poten7al  donors   donors   funders   trustees   partner  organisa7ons   staff   volunteers   –  Audiences  that  care  passionately  about  what  you  do   –  More  likely  to  have  a  dialogue  with  your  brand  –  with  exisXng  mechanisms  for   stakeholder  feedback   3  
    • IN  HOUSE  RESEARCH   •  Using  your  resources  /  exisXng  feedback  mechanisms  is  cheap  and   convenient   •  But  there  are  downsides   –  Staff  bring  their  own  assumpXons  (and  agenda)  to  the  exercise     –  ExisXng  relaXonships  set  the  tone  of  dialogue   –  Politeness  /  risk  of  causing  offence  –  anonymity  is  unrealisXc   –  Fear  of  repercussions  if  respondents  make  criXcisms   –  Respondent  can  expect  their  suggesXons  to  be  acted  upon  directly   –  Dialogue  between  co-­‐dependents   –  Insufficient  planning  at  project  design  stage  –  many  piaalls   4  
    • PITFALL:  SELF  SELECTING  SAMPLES   •  For  example  -­‐  who  responds  to  saXsfacXon  surveys?   ..or… •  Self-­‐selecXng  samples,  recruited  without  se^ng  quotas,  can  lead  to   biased  feedback  –  risking  unnecessary  disrupXon  or  complacency   5  
    • RESEARCHING  CHANGE   •  Even  if  understanding  is  good,  it  only  reflects  on  what  you’re  doing  now   •  Research  comes  into  its  own  when  change  is  on  the  cards   –  Introducing  new  services,  withdrawing  exisXng  ones   –  Funding  new  projects  and  acXviXes   –  Developing  printed  or  online  communicaXon  –  form,  content  and  tone   –  Brand  redesign   –  Restructuring  organisaXons   •  Structured,  well-­‐planned,  objecXve  research  is  essenXal     –  Speaking  to  the  right  people   –  Asking  the  right  quesXons   –  …and  choosing  the  right  method   6  
    • QUALITATIVE  RESEARCH  –   WHAT  IS  IT?   •  •  •  •  Insight  into  a^tudes,  opinions,  moXvaXons,  behaviour   Understanding  why  –  not  making  assumpXons   Small  samples,  long  semi-­‐structured  interviews   Insight  that  will  only  emerge  from  dialogue,  skilled  quesXoning  –  oqen   tapping  into  unconscious  factors   •  Small  samples  and  unpredictable  dynamics  –  may  require  buy-­‐in  from   scepXcs  within  your  organisaXon   7  
    • QUALITATIVE  APPROACHES   •  There’s  more  to  life  than  “let’s  do  a  focus  group”   •  Focus  groups  are  ideal  when…   –  The  target  sample  is  homogenous,  clustered  and  moXvated  to  arend   –  EvaluaXng  new  ideas,  thinking  creaXvely   –  …potenXally  piggybacking  on  exisXng  meeXngs   •  But  be  aware  they  are     –  Challenging  to  recruit     –  Challenging  to  run  –  especially  when  passions  are  running  high   –  PotenXally  normaXve,  if  trying  to  tease  out  diversity  of  opinion   –  …and  costs  can  spiral  if  speaking  to  diverse  stakeholder  groups   8  
    • QUALITATIVE  APPROACHES   •  Also  consider  individual  interviews  or  flexible  online  forums   •  The  more  passionate  the  feeling,  the  greater  the  need  for  their  individual   voice  to  be  heard   •  Personal  stories  are  crucial,  especially  when  speaking  to  service  users   •  Non  Xme-­‐specific  –  can  fit  the  respondent’s  schedule   •  Easier  to  recruit   •  Flexible  –  telephone  or  face-­‐to-­‐face   •  Allow  for  greater  granularity  between  different  stakeholder  groups   •  Online  forums  allow  for  a  mix  of  personal  and  group  feedback   9  
    • QUANTITATIVE  RESEARCH  –   WHAT  IS  IT?   •  When  you  need  staXsXcally  robust  findings  to  base  decisions  upon   •  Large  samples,  short  and  highly-­‐structured  interviews   •  How  many  people  can  you  speak  to?  Charity  audiences  can  be  small   •  Where  the  target  audience  is  small,  qualitaXve  research  may  be  the  only   sensible  approach   –  Berer  to  talk  to  25  people  in  depth  than  50  at  a  superficial  level   –  Much  of  your  work  will  go  into  recruiXng  people  to  take  part,     so  why  not  have  a  proper  conversaXon  with  them?   –  Easy  to  tack  on  pre-­‐coded  quesXons  on  if  you  need  staXsXcs   –  Respondents  enjoy  parXcipaXng  in  qualitaXve  research  more  –     may  be  an  opportunity  to  build  goodwill  among  a  limited  sample  
    • QUANTITATIVE  APPROACHES   •  Face-­‐to-­‐face  –  a  large  drain  on  finances  and  resources   •  Telephone  –  a  good  way  of  making  use  of  a  limited  sample,     allows  some  degree  of  open  dialogue,  relaXvely  fast  and  cheap   –  RecruiXng  people  to  take  part  in  person  is  always  preferable   •  Online   –  Fast  and  cost-­‐effecXve  –  especially  when  using  automated  plaaorms   –  Becoming  the  norm  in  commercial  surveys,  but…   –  Beware  low  response  rates,  especially  if  you  have  limited  targets   –  Beware  the  self-­‐selecXng  sample!   –  Be  mindful  that  respondents  want  to  finish  online  surveys  quickly  –   don’t  expect  any  insight  from  open  ended  quesXons   –  There  are  ways  around  these  piaalls  –  but  requires  skill  and  experience   •  Postal  –  can  access  the  whole  populaXon,  but  similar  problems  to  Online  
    • QUANTITATIVE  APPROACHES   •  There  are  risks  to  a  completely  DIY  approach…   •  QuesXon  structure  and  wording  can  be  based  upon  individual  agendas,  or   wriren  by  commiree  with  no  objecXve  guidance   –  “Our  charity  should  change  its  logo  because  the  old  one  has  started   to  look  dated.  Do  you  agree  strongly,  agree,  or  not  agree  at  all?”   •  Risk  of  unclear,  ambiguous  or  two-­‐in-­‐one  quesXons   –  “If  we  always  answered  the  phone  in  3  rings  and  were  polite  and   courteous,  would  you  use  our  telephone  helpline  more  oBen?”   •  Respondents  may  feel  bored,  patronised  or  pigeonholed  by  badly-­‐wriren,   repeXXve    or  irrelevant  quesXons  
    • QUANTITATIVE  APPROACHES   •  Risks  of  a  completely  DIY  approach…   –  QuesXonnaires  can  easily  become  overlong  –  resulXng  in  bored   respondents  “straight-­‐lining”  just  to  get  the  survey  finished       Statement  1   Statement  2   Statement  3   Statement  4   Statement  5   Strongly   agree   O   O   O   O   O   Agree   x O   O   x O   x O   x O   x Neither   Disagree   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   Strongly   disagree   O   O   O   O   O   –  Sampling  /  quotas  can  go  out  of  the  window  –  a  parXcular  problem   with  online  or  postal  surveys   –  Analysis  of  results  can  reflect  internal  biases  –  or  may  be  overly  literal  
    • OUTSOURCING  MARKET  RESEARCH   •  Outsourcing  your  research  should  give  you:   –  An  overarching  design  to  the  project  –  confidence  the  approach   matches  the  objecXves   –  Reassurance  you  are  asking  the  right  quesXons  in  the  right  way   –  ImparXality,  the  perspecXve  of  an  objecXve  outsider   –  Professional  experience  of  meaningful  sample  design   –  Meaningful  analysis  and  reporXng  –  making  the  most  of  the  data,   drawing  out  parerns,  seeing  what’s  going  on  under  the  surface   •  Good  research  isn’t  cheap  and  cheap  research  isn’t  good   •  BUT  there  are  ways  to  maximise  the  quality  of  insight     without  spending  a  fortune  
    • WHERE  TO  START   (1)  Find  a  qualitaXve  or  quanXtaXve  research  expert  to  suit  your  needs   –  Ask  yourself  –  are  we  looking  for  “deep  dives”  or  staXsXcally  robust  data?   –  And  is  our  audience  big  enough  to  jusXfy  a  quanXtaXve  approach?   (2)  Ensure  your  supplier  has  voluntary  sector  experience   –  Diversity  of  audiences,  sensiXvity   (3)  Go  in  knowing  what  you  want   –  Be  clear  about  your  objecXves   –  Explain  how  the  research  insights  will  be  acted  upon   –  IdenXfy  who  you  need  to  speak  to     –  Work  out  the  size  of  the  target  populaXon  
    • WHERE  TO  START   •  Consider  freelancers  rather  than  agencies   –  Most  will  have  significant  agency  experience   –  Will  oqen  consider  charging  by  daily  rate  for  small  chariXes     –  Highly  networked  –  will  be  able  to  recommend  others   –  QualitaXve  -­‐  hrp://www.aqr.org.uk/dir/independents.shtml   –  QuanXtaXve  -­‐  hrp://www.mrweb.com/independents/   •  Cherry  pick!   –  Most  will  let  you  pick  and  choose   –  Understand  the  process  –  know  what  you  can  and  can’t  do  yourself   –  Which  elements  of  the  process  do  you  have  Xme  to  take  on?   –  What  level  of  output  do  you  really  need?  
    • AN  EXAMPLE  -­‐  QUALITATIVE   •  Typical  large-­‐agency  ratecard  price:                        “4  x  2hr  focus  groups  with  report  including  venue  hire  =  £12,500”   •  How  does  this  break  down?   Service   Unit  cost   Cost  for  4   groups   Proposal,  project  design,  moderaXng   £800  per  group   £3200   Recruit  10  respondents  for  8  to  show   £500  per  group   £2000   IncenXve  payments  to  respondents   £500  per  group   £2000   Full  report  (c.  50  slides  in  ppt)   £800  per  group   £3200   2  evenings  in  a  viewing  facility  w.  catering   £1050  per  evening   £2100   TOTAL   £12500  
    • AN  EXAMPLE  -­‐  QUALITATIVE   •  What  if….   Service   Cost   Proposal,  project   design,  moderaXng   …you  tell  a  freelance  researcher  exactly  what  you   need,  and  meet  to  brainstorm  the  project  structure   …then  you  hire  them  for  2  evenings  of  moderaXng   RecruiXng   ...the  researcher  spends  a  day  briefing  your  staff  on   £500   recruiXng  the  respondents  then  they  do  it  themselves   IncenXves   …if  you  have  a  rapport  with  your  audience,  give  them   something  you  know  they’ll  like!   £200   ReporXng   …commission  a  topline  report,  get  a  freelance  note-­‐ taker  to  transcribe  the  audio,    then  ask  your  staff  to   pull  out  quotes  to  flesh  out  the  report   £1000   £250   Venue  hire   …use  your  premises  or  hire  a  community  hall,  bring   your  own  sandwiches,  view  the  groups  in  the  room   £100   TOTAL   £500   £1000   £3550  
    • AN  EXAMPLE  -­‐  QUANTITATIVE   •  Large  agency  rate  card  price:                    “250  x  10min  telephone  interviews  with  report  =  £9,750”   •  How  does  this  break  down?   Service   Unit  cost   Project  set  up  and    management   Fieldwork   Total  cost   £1000   £25  per  interview   £6250   Data  processing  and  tables   £500   Full  report   £2000   TOTAL   £9750  
    • AN  EXAMPLE  -­‐  QUANTITATIVE   •  What  if…   Service   Total  cost   Project  set  up  and   management   …you  use  a  freelance  researcher  to  set  up   and  manage  the  project  –  and  most   importantly  to  write  the  ques7onnaire   £1000   Fieldwork   …you  use  an  automated  online  tool  such  as   surveymonkey,  and  mail  out  invites  and   reminders  to  your  database   £25   Data  processing   ReporXng   TOTAL   £500   …you  hire  a  freelance  researcher  to  spend  2   days  reporXng  on  key  findings   £1000   £2525  
    • KEY  MESSAGES   •  Market  research  in  the  voluntary  sector  can  be  decepXvely   complex  and  requires  as  much  professional  skill  as   commercial  research   •  There  are  many  piaalls  to  conducXng  research  projects   completely  in-­‐house   •  But  you  can  outsource  and  save  money  by   –  Understanding  what  you  want  upfront   –  Approaching  small  agencies  or  freelancers   –  Ensure  your  supplier  has  voluntary  sector  experience   –  Cherry  picking  –  ask  for  itemised  costs  and  only  buy  what   you  really  need,  and  what  you  can’t  do  yourself