Research is a crucial part of any business, whether to determine satisfaction internally or externally, or for business development, sales and recruitment. If you are a business owner, research will give you information on the needs, wants and opinions of your consumers, the perception and reputation of your products and company and comparison of your performance amongst your peers and competitors. This information will help you to understand and manage the company and your position better and give you a competitive advantage. However, conducting effective research requires certain skills and plenty of time in order to achieve indicative results. It also needs to be conducted in a certain manner:
After identifying the investigation area/issue, you will need to undertake some preparatory research. For example, if you wish to introduce a product to a new market in a different geographical area, you will need to find out more information on the area first. You will need to determine consumer patterns, and what drives those patterns.
During the preparatory phase, you need to determine your objectives, scope, research methods to use, and timelines. You should always remember that your preparations should mirror with the objectives of the organisation.
Select appropriate research methods
Several methods can be used to gather data. However, the information and facts collected should be strongly tied to what the organization intends to achieve from the information gathered. For example, you can employ participatory research whether by email, phone or in person, in order to collect views of the people, with regard to the product that you seek to launch into the market. You can also use evaluative research. Evaluative research can help you to determine the effectiveness of certain marketing techniques.
Data collection methods
The method applied for information gathering and converting it into actionable data is highly determined by the variables in your research. There are two main means of data collection, primary and secondary. Primary data is any first hand information, gathered and targeted specifically for the research project. This includes things like questionnaires and photos taken on the field. On the other hand, secondary data is any additional information collected for other purposes but that has some correlation with the research.
Applying the research findings
Research is not complete without interpretation of results. If you fail to analyse and then apply the analysis and conclusions to your business, then all of the information you had gathered goes to waste, or becomes obsolete.
First, you need to clean the data by checking for error and eliminating any redundancies. This ensures accuracy and consistency. If the data collected seems unsatisfactory, it might need to be corrected or discarded completely. Once you come up with research findings, you can then use them to instigate actions. For example, if you were developing a product for a certain market, you can then proceed to release the product and assess its reaction. If the product was already in the market and was not performing well, you can use the information gathered to improve the product’s quality or visibility, as well as apply stronger marketing campaigns.
Research can be incredibly time consuming. However, the team at My PA are well versed in helping clients with research and are more than happy to conduct research on behalf of clients whether by email, phone or in person, and to collect and analyse the results where needed. If you think this may be useful for you, then give us a call!