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What do people really think about today’s market research reports?

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Learn how to improve your reporting and what people think about reports, and understand what is the gap in perceived quality between people who create and people who receive reports.

What do people really think about today’s market research reports? – Ray Poynter and Sue York report in the recent #NewMR study, with findings from a global sample of over 500 market researchers.

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  • Ray @ Sue, this is a fantastic report and wanted to say thanks for the share. It's a big sign that our work is on the right path. I would love to give you a look at Breefly if you have any interest, I feel your perspective would be great to have. Thx again.
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What do people really think about today’s market research reports?

  1. 1. Creating Better Research Reports What do people really think about today’s market research reports? Ray Poynter & Sue York April 2019
  2. 2. NewMR 2019 Sponsors Communication Gold Silver Creating Better Research Reports
  3. 3. Agenda • The big picture • Study Outline • How good are Market Research reports? • What are the strengths and weaknesses? • Are things improving? • What else did we learn? • Summary and recommendations • Q & A
  4. 4. Report creators think they are delivering this Report receivers think it is more like this
  5. 5. What do ‘people’ think about market research reports? • 505 people – connected directly or indirectly to NewMR – via an English language survey • 58% MR supplier, 22% Clients, 20% Other (e.g. suppliers to MR) • 31% Europe, 25% North America, 24% APAC, 21% Other • 77% discussed a report they had created, 23% a report they had received
  6. 6. It is better to give than receive Excellent/Very good, 64% Excellent/Very good, 24% Good, 26% Good, 35% Very Poor/Poor/Fair, 39% Creating Receiving Quality of Most Recent Report - % Agreeing Very Poor/Poor/Fair, 9% 40%
  7. 7. Expectations About the Receiver / Creator Gap 23% 34% 32% 8% 3% 40% (Correct) 30% 20% 10% No Difference Quiz Estimates 77 responses from online quiz
  8. 8. Who was unhappy with their last report? (Very Poor, Poor or Fair) Bases Clients 111, APAC 122, Europe 155, North America 124, Up to 10 Years in MR 130, Prioritize Detailed Reports 56, Reports are worse than 2 years ago 54 16% of Total 39% of Receivers 33% of Clients 26% of Reports are worse than 2 years ago 20% of Prioritize detailed reports
  9. 9. What were the Poor points? Focusing on the Receivers In what ways (if any) was the report poor? 88 comments from receivers of last report. 11% said there was nothing ‘poor’ 46% ➢ Lack of insights, actionable recommendations and business focus – “Report was very findings focussed and generally followed the flow of the questionnaire rather than aligning with the business issues that need to be solved.” – “lack of straightforward business application” – “Too much detail, not enough insights and recommendations”
  10. 10. Other Poor points? Focusing on the Receivers Each mentioned by at least 10% of the Receivers. In what ways (if any) was the report poor? 88 comments from receivers of last report. Too Long – “Too long, just charting numbers” Too Boring. Not Engaging Enough – “It was very boring, without useful insights” Not Visual Enough – “Data Visualization must be improved ” Not Deep Enough – “Analysis conducted at a total level only - no drilling down”
  11. 11. Shockers! Focusing on the Receivers 😱 “Bad methodology ” 😱 “Data was not in sync with actual market scenario. ” 😱 “Errors in reporting, spelling mistakes, no benchmarks, no summary or recommendations ” 😱 “Sample size was small, and skewed, not covering the total market threshold.” 😱 “The data was constantly smoothed by using too many averages ” 😱 “Critical conclusions and recommendations presented with insufficient evidence. ” In what ways (if any) was the report poor? 88 comments from receivers of last report.
  12. 12. 2 general Good points? Focusing on the Receivers In what ways (if any) was the report good? 91 comments from receivers of last report. 1. Accessible to the business – Narrative flow, storytelling, clean design, good visuals – “Told a story and easy to read” – “Charting was really well done, great infographics work.” 2. Met the objectives – Recommendations, practical, impact, business focus, answered questions – “The report was concise and focused on responding to the objectives of market research. It helped us solve the decision problem that existed”
  13. 13. Other good points? Focusing on the Receivers Depth – “Comprehensive” – “Full of insight, detailed analytics” Concise – “Clean, limited number of slides, sticking to main ideas of the slides/charts.” – “To the point, and organized” Methodology – “Very clever use of conjoint and data modelling to tease out relative effectiveness of different endorsements” – “Well grounded method (robust, reliable, accurate)” In what ways (if any) was the report good? 91 comments from receivers of last report.
  14. 14. Compared with 2-4 years ago? Are reports … Better, 37% Better, 44% Better, 47% Same, 50% Same, 46% Same, 44% Worse, 13% Worse, 10% Worse, 9% Buyer/User MR Provider Supplier to MR N=111 N=293 N=85
  15. 15. What 3 Things Matter? A closed context investigation Choose three from □ Concise □ Detailed □ Insightful □ Objective □ Practical □ Rigorous □ Other (please specify)
  16. 16. Which 3 Things Matter? 91% 54% 52% 37% 21% 11% 10% Insightful Concise Practical Objective Rigorous Detailed Other Base 497
  17. 17. Priorities (mostly) consistent Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1% Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1% Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0% Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1% Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0% Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1% Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
  18. 18. Priorities (mostly) consistent Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1% Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1% Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0% Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1% Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0% Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1% Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
  19. 19. Priorities (mostly) consistent Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1% Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1% Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0% Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1% Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0% Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1% Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
  20. 20. Priorities (mostly) consistent Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1% Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1% Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0% Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1% Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0% Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1% Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
  21. 21. Priorities (mostly) consistent Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Insightful 91% 1% -1% -3% 3% 2% -3% 2% 1% 1% Concise 54% -14% 7% -7% 5% -4% 0% -1% 3% 1% Practical 52% -6% 9% 2% -5% 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% Objective 37% 16% -2% 2% -8% -1% -2% -2% 1% 0% Rigorous 21% 4% -7% -1% 0% 3% 3% 3% -1% -1% Detailed 11% 4% 1% 9% 1% 1% -4% 2% -3% 0% Other 10% -6% -2% -4% 5% -3% 2% 2% 0% 1% Other = Africa, Central & South America, & Middle-East Total Other APAC Suppliers N America Receiving Europe Buyers Providers Creating Base 497 104 120 85 124 111 153 110 290 381
  22. 22. Four ‘Other’ priorities 1. Visual Appeal – “Nice looking” – “Visually appealing” 2. Actionable – “Applicable, actionable ” 3. Correct – “Accurate” 4. Engaging – “Compelling (tell a good story, emotions)”
  23. 23. Insightful, Concise & Practical Among 110 Clients • 22% listed all three in their top 3 • 58% listed two of these in their top 3 – 80% listed two or three of them • 19% listed just one of them – And one client listed none If you do not know the client in advance Insightful, Concise & Practical are your best options. But knowing your client is even better.
  24. 24. Other Feedback Finally, is there anything else you would like to add about market research reports or this survey?
  25. 25. Other Feedback our top 5 (1) “1. The biggest improvement we can do is to write the report for the reader, not the researcher! 2. Don't tell me what's obvious on the page, tell me what it means to me. 3. I worry the push to storytelling has gone overboard. We research people and the story of large groups of people is never that simple or straightforward. (Does assuming everyone looks like your persona do more harm than good?) 4. Make sure you understand what the business questions and assumptions are before even attempting to write a report. The biggest thing that invalidates a report in the minds of business people is wasting their time with what they 'think' is irrelevant or impossible."
  26. 26. Other Feedback our top 5 (2) “A current problem is the excessive use/misinterpretation of the term 'infographics'. A good infographic is worth its weight in gold, and usually involves a good graphic designer to deliver the best impact. However I work with one client team who thinks that adding numerous icons to an otherwise dull and pointless chart means infographics”
  27. 27. Other Feedback our top 5 (3) “Democratization of data will continue to lead where marketing research reporting is going. Dashboards and live views will shape reporting trends in the coming years.”
  28. 28. Other Feedback our top 5 (4) “Devono essere pratici e semplici da leggere” (They must be practical and easy to read – from Italian, via Google)
  29. 29. Other Feedback our top 5 (5) “I see folks having to walk the fine line (and getting confused) re: a REPORT vs. a PRESENTATION. I see folks not seeing or understanding the differences...or having a client require one to present a report. ”
  30. 30. Summary 1. Creators think their reports are better than receivers think they are Recommendations 1. Check with your receivers whether they like what you are producing
  31. 31. Summary 1. Creators think their reports are better than receivers think they are 2. Almost everybody prioritises ‘Insightful’ Recommendations 1. Check with your receivers whether they like what you are producing 2. Find out what is insightful for your clients/receivers
  32. 32. Summary 1. Creators think their reports are better than receivers think they are 2. Almost everybody prioritises ‘Insightful’ 3. Concise and Practical are important to many people Recommendations 1. Check with your receivers whether they like what you are producing 2. Find out what is insightful for your clients/receivers 3. These are core elements you should master
  33. 33. Summary 1. Creators think their reports are better than receivers think they are 2. Almost everybody prioritises ‘Insightful’ 3. Concise and Practical are important to many people 4. 20% prioritise other things Recommendations 1. Check with your receivers whether they like what you are producing 2. Find out what is insightful for your clients/receivers 3. These are core elements you should master 4. Check what each client actually wants/needs
  34. 34. Summary 1. Creators think their reports are better than receivers think they are 2. Almost everybody prioritises ‘Insightful’ 3. Concise and Practical are important to many people 4. 20% prioritise other things 5. Easy to read (including storytelling) and visual are key strands Recommendations 1. Check with your receivers whether they like what you are producing 2. Find out what is insightful for your clients/receivers 3. These are core elements you should master 4. Check what each client actually wants/needs 5. Remember, meeting the business needs is necessary but not sufficient
  35. 35. Q & A Creating Better Research Reports Sue York Ray Poynter
  36. 36. NewMR 2019 Sponsors Communication Gold Silver Creating Better Research Reports

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