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3 ways to "do more with less" in market research

December 7th, 2020

Now more than ever, it is critical that market researchers show they can “do more with less”. Below are 3 tactical tips to help research agencies design the most cost-effective primary (qualitative and quantitative) research studies – without decreasing the value and impact of the findings: 

 1. First, look INTERNALLY – are there any relevant, past primary research studies you have done which can, at an early stage, go some way to answering your current client’s questions (hence removing the need for some questions to be asked again)? 

 2. Second, look EXTERNALLY – are there any similar studies carried out previously, available in the public domain, and which could again help to quickly answer some of the client’s questions (these may perhaps also throw up answers to additional questions the client didn’t consider)? 

3. Finally, look to ACADEMIA – are there any similar academic studies already carried out, whose findings could help to shed some light on your client’s current questions? Meta-analyses – which combine the results of multiple (often dozens or more) rigorous, scientific studies – could be especially helpful here. 

 In summary, drawing on as wide a range of sources as possible at research design stage can be extremely effective for all parties, by ensuring: 

  • CLIENTS receive the most complete set of answers and recommendations (some of them much earlier than they may ordinarily be used to getting them) – while at the same time, successfully operating within the confines of reduced research budgets 
  • AGENCIES differentiate themselves by demonstrating they can “think outside the box” – while at the same time, maximising profitability by minimising unnecessary fieldwork costs

Chris Harvey, Behavioural Science in Research Consultant