In honor of Labor Day, I decided to put together some of the most labor intensive tasks industry professionals work on in market research. Our market research firm serving Rochester, NY knows about hard work and helping our clients with data. Remember it's not considered "work" if you enjoy what you are doing like we do.
Throughout the market research process, there are many tasks that are straightforward while others require lots of time, attention, and hours. No different from any other industry really.
In this post we'll cover 3 of these tasks that require a ton of work, and just 3. Why 3 instead of 8 or 9?
It is Labor Day after all, and we could all use a little break.
Our market research firm in Rochester highlights some time-intensive tasks which face our company on a regular basis. Make sure your keyboard lights are on because you'll be working into the early morning on these jobs.
Proposals and RFPs
The dreaded RFP or request for proposal. We've worked on so many of these, our market research firm wrote a blog post on how to write a market research RFP here.
No matter what industry you work in, RFPs are a lot of work. Most RFPs require lots of paperwork including cost breakdowns and detailed scopes. That's just the beginning.
On top of the basics they require several case studies, references, staff profiles, staff resumes, hourly rates, certifications, and so much more. Some even request company financials.
The RFP response from the market research firm must follow the request perfectly. The RFP typically lays out an outline of what's needed and the consultant is required to match it and provide the information. Failure to submit any of the items will likely disqualify your firm from the bid.
On top of that, you need to have the response submitted by a very specific date and time. It usually needs to be mailed or dropped off in-person. Some even require 5 or 10 copies to be mailed along with the response package.
When it comes to an RFP, most individual tasks are manageable and doable. The real labor challenge with an RFP is the sum of the parts. Putting all of the items together into one document in what is usually a short amount of time can prove extremely taxing on a market research firm.
This labor is not only for the RFP itself but also how it pulls the staff working on it away from other proposals and client projects.
Coding and Cleaning Open-ended Responses
We've all been there. In market research you have to earn your keep. Coding and cleaning open-ended responses is the "washing dishes" of the industry. Something none of us would rate as their most favorite task, but a necessity nonetheless.
It is the process of exporting open-ends into an Excel file and reading through them. The first step is to clean up grammar and spelling. The next step is to categorize the open-ends into themes (e.g., pricing, service, billing, shipping, etc.).
Manageable if it is 100 or 200 open-ends. But with some of our market research firm studies in Rochester totaling 400, 800, or 1,000 completes, that's a lot of labor.
Now imagine, if that same 1,000 complete survey has 4 or 5 open-ended questions in each survey.
Clear your schedule.
Complex Survey Design
Our last labor intensive task of the day is survey design. Although it might be hard work, I personally, think it's a lot of fun. Outside of report writing and analysis, nothing is more enjoyable than designing the flow and programming a survey in my book.
However, some surveys are very simple: 10 questions, limited routing, etc. These are easy to design and program and don't involve a lot of time and labor.
There are many surveys that our market research firm works on that involve complex routing, logic, branching, and piping. Some involve conjoint build-outs. These extended surveys often require a lot of work to put together and test.
Studies such as our Loss Prevention and Data Analytics industry study involved lots of routing and piping. We tested NPS for a number of software companies, each involved a separate branch and piping of company name.
Now, doesn't that sound like a lot of fun? I agree.
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