RPG Research Catalog
What Kind of Research Do I Need?
One of the biggest mistakes clients make in approaching research firms is to decide upon the methodology before completing the other necessary steps in planning out a research project. For example:
XYZ COMPANY: We need some focus groups.
RESEARCHER: OK. What are you trying to find out?
XYZ COMPANY: We want to hear about their experiences with our customer service system.
RESEARCHER: You know, asking customers to talk about a process requires them to tell a story. Focus groups don’t give individuals a lot of time to speak. You’d probably get better information if you conducted a national study with telephone interviews.
XYZ COMPANY: Maybe. But I already told the Vice President of Marketing that she could sit in on these and watch them. So, we’ve got to do focus groups.
As it happens, the two most commonly-requested methodologies today – focus groups and online surveys – are the two methodologies that often provide the least information. There is nothing wrong with either technique, of course, when they are used properly. But when employed improperly, it’s the equivalent of wearing five dollar flip flops to a hike up a rocky mountain trail; you may make it to your final destination in the end, but it’s going to be difficult to appreciate the view.
The Research & Planning Group recommends a different approach to methodologies – become familiar with different techniques, but wait to decide upon them until you know exactly what sort of information you want to obtain.
The following pages showcase many of the methodologies that we have used to conduct research for our clients. We encourage you to take a look and to see some of the exciting things that modern marketing research techniques can do to provide you with powerful information that will support your decision-making.