I came across an article the other day in Quirks titled "What can journalists teach us about crafting more compelling research reports" written by Eric Whipkey, assistant manager of member satisfaction and experience metrics at Navy Federal Credit Union. In it, the author discusses a number of market research trends I have been monitoring for a while including the need for market researchers to tell a story with data, days of 100+ page reports dwindling, and the growing inclination for organizations to keep market research in-house because of the mobile and online readiness of their customers. However, one point the author made hit home more so than these other re-hashed industry trends. A point in which he talks about a term called Directional Research.
Very simply, directional research points business leaders down the right path through data. Much like the 100+ page PowerPoint decks, businesses are not willing to budget for $100,000+ studies that take months (if not years) to design, develop, and complete. These types of massive studies delay actionable next steps until the research is concluded. Businesses want answers right away and many times high statistical reliability is not worth the cost it takes to achieve it.
Market research doesn't always have to be precise. Sometimes go "left" or go "right" is worth its weight in gold.
So, directional research supports approaches like mobile research, panel research, and other methodologies which offer easy access to participants and data. Insights which point decision-makers to go "left" or "right" is innately good enough. Leaders are oftentimes not willing to pay for "turn left at a 30 degree angle" or "turn right at an 115 degree angle" because it may cost too much money and takes far too long to obtain those precise next steps through drawn-out methodologies.
There is money and time saved by being able to make this turn nearly 24 hours after launching a panel survey. By dividing the budget into smaller nominal projects through directional research, businesses can be pointed in 10 right directions for each of its 10 pressing issues rather than 1 precise direction for only 1 pressing issue.
From personal experience, clients seem to be willing to accept bias and limitations with methodologies if it means they are able to gain access to a lot of data: 1) inexpensively and 2) quickly. The additional dollars it costs to complete a similar study using a methodology with stronger data reliability loses the market research ROI battle with decision-makers. This is why directional research, and it's core benefits, is gaining in popularity in the market research industry.
Drive Research is an online research and mobile research company in Syracuse, NY. Questions about how Drive can you results inexpensively, fast, and accurately? Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 315-303-2040.