February 2014

The DIY Guide to Marketing Research

Dear Reader,

When times
are tough, many businesses cut their research budgets in an attempt to save
money.  But marketing research is
essential if you want to build a competitive advantage,
or to help you successfully launch a new product.

So how do
you carry out the research you need, without spending a fortune?  In this issue of Better Insight I’ll share
with you some ideas on carrying out your own DIY marketing research.  I hope you find it helpful!

Best wishes,


Martin Holliss

e: martinh@research-insight.com
t: +44 1235 812 456
m: +44 7931 376501

The DIY Guide to Marketing Research

Here are
some of the things you need to think about when setting up your DIY research:

What do you want to achieve?  Before you
start any research project, think about the end goal.  What do you need to discover?  Who will you be presenting it to?  How will they use it?  You need to answer these questions, as they will
help you design your questionnaire or interview guide and help you get the best
possible results.

Do some planning.  Are you more
interested in a) establishing views and opinions or b) statistically-robust percentages? 
Who do you need to interview? 
How many interviews do you need to complete and why do you need that
many?  Will the interview be conducted
online, by telephone or in person?  Why?  And what’s the best way to communicate your
findings?  All these questions (and more)
need to be answered, as part of the planning stage of your research.

Asking questions.  Once you’ve
done all your planning, it’s time to design your questionnaire or interview guide –
the questions you want people to answer. 
It might be tempting to ask dozens of questions.  After all, the more questions you ask, the
more information you’ll collect…right?  Not
necessarily.  Many people only take part in a survey (especially online) if they know they can complete it quickly.  Too many questions may put them off, so be
careful how many questions you ask.  Often “less is more”.

Outside help. 
At every stage of designing your
survey, ask someone unconnected with your company to review or test what you’ve
done.  (We call this ‘piloting’).  If they can understand what you’re asking and
trying to achieve, then the people taking part in the survey are more likely
to.  If they don’t, your survey probably needs
more work.

First time nerves.  If you’ve never
designed or run a market research study before, don’t go it alone.  Look for help and support – there is plenty
of it online – whether to refine the design of your survey, to identify the
right questions to ask, to avoid bias in the way you draft your questions, or to
find the best ways to report your findings effectively.

Read All About It!

As well as
finding support online, there are plenty of books you can read. 

To save you having to read all of them, I’ve
created a list of recommended reading.  Click here for a summary of some of the best titles you can look at.

The titles I’ve selected cover qualitative research, quantitative research, infographics, semiotics, behavioural economics, statistics and much more!

The list is well worth a browse and each book can be bought through Amazon – just click on the link above.

DIY Plus

Have you had
a go at DIY marketing research and not achieved the results you were hoping for?

At Research
Insight we can support you while you do your own research.  We can help in a number of very flexible ways.  For example, we
can spend time reviewing the questionnaire or interview guide you want use and
making sure your process is robust – it might only require a couple of hours.  Alternatively,
we can provide an independent summary of your survey results, to highlight
the key messages and stories emerging.

If you would
like consultancy support to help you do your own DIY marketing research, then click here
to get in touch
or call us
on 01235 812 456.