At the time of this blog post, I have been a Research Analyst at a market research company known as Drive Research for a little over a year and a half.
By making the jump from an assistant to an analyst after a few years in the industry, I’ve experienced more of the methodologies and practices within market research.
As you can imagine, I didn’t pick up on all the nuances overnight. Fortunately, each misstep is an opportunity to learn something new and improve.
Below are the top ten lessons, tips, and best practices I’ve learned so far as a Research Analyst. I suppose a common theme is there is always more to learn, no matter what your role is within market research.
In my time as a market research analyst, I’ve compiled these ten suggestions from successes and shortcomings alike that are worth sharing for those starting their journey in the market research industry.
1. Anticipate Questions from a Client
One piece of client management I’ve picked up is attempting to foresee where clients may ask a question. Trying to have the answer ready before a question is posed will demonstrate preparedness and expertise.
Additionally, you can add more detail to assist a reader who is unfamiliar with the study.
2. Work Smarter
Putting your time and effort towards the most efficient process is useful even outside of market research. I’ve tried more and more to evaluate existing processes and explore tools in order to improve workflow.
In a space that is always looking for the next way to provide value to clients, it pays to monitor what is available to your market research company.
3. Ask for Team Input
I can’t stress enough the importance of having another set of eyes to review your work. A fellow team member is very likely to offer a different perspective that may catch an error or recognize a great insight you missed.
No one can deliver perfect work by themselves so be sure to utilize the skills of your colleagues.
Speaking of colleagues...here are 4 reasons my team member, Emily Taylor loves working in market research.
4. Prioritize Tasks
I must constantly remind myself to work on time-sensitive tasks first. When your to-do list is long, take a step back to determine what needs to get out the door before anything else and start there.
We all know urgent requests are a factor, as well, so be sure to do a quick reassessment of priorities when needed.
5. Stay Organized
Having a system has been a lifesaver for me when juggling the needs of several active projects. By managing my inbox, separating files by project, and relying on my calendar, I almost never allow something to fall through the cracks these days.
6. Collect More Than the Minimum Number of Responses
I’ve learned the hard way that you cannot expect every survey response to be of worthy quality for a client. As a result, I am a big advocate for oversampling when possible with the expectation to throw out some bad cases.
By leaving room for data quality cleaning, you can prevent the pain of going back into the field.
7. Be Creative in an Underwhelming Interview
There always seems to be some letdowns among in-depth interview participants no matter what researchers do. However, if an interviewee isn’t particularly talkative, it always helps to probe for more detail.
Sometimes this means asking questions off of the script when needed to spark the conversion and pull something insightful out of the interview.
8. Leverage Secondary Sources
You’ll never provide all the answers your client wants in a single research study. The good news is you can use desk research to boost report recommendations or provide context to findings.
Taking the time to see what other studies have discovered on the topic can elevate your reporting from good to great.
9. Hold Your Focus When Obstacles Occur
I’ve learned that you need to expect the unexpected in market research. Even your best workplan and timeline won’t unfold exactly as you originally thought.
When unforeseen challenges inevitably emerge, be sure to maintain composure and carefully think through solutions. Panicking can leave a poor impression on a client or negatively affect the outcome of a project.
10. Remember Your Audience
Lastly, always keep in mind who you are talking to with an email, report deliverable, or participant invitation. Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes to ensure you don’t offend, confuse, or bore them.
Tell them what they need to know to make the study successful for all parties involved.
Drive Research is a national market research company in Syracuse, NY. Our team has the experience and tools to conduct a robust market research study in almost any industry. Check out our market research services.
Ready to contact our team? Here are 4 ways to reach us:
- Message us on our website
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- Call us at 888-725-DATA
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