6 Tips for Successful Market Research Project Management

Market research project management

Project management is one of the key factors for successfully completing market research projects within scope, time, and budget. 

Your ability to successfully manage the project will largely influence the client’s perspective on the overall success of the study.

Continue reading this blog for my 6 top tips for successful project management. 

1. Hold a Kickoff 

A brief kickoff meeting is a great opportunity to set the project off on the right path.

The following topics are covered in a kickoff meeting: 

  • Introductions 
  • Background and objectives: 
    • History of the company 
    • Why there is an interest in the research 
    • Objectives of the research study and what the client is hoping to learn 
    • How the results will be used following the research 
  • Methodology and timeline
    • Overview of the research process 
    • Approach to recruitment/sampling 
    • Timeline 
  • Qualification criteria, quotas, or other “must haves” 
  • Next steps
    • What does success and/or failure look like for the study? 
    • Next steps from the research team, such as screener or survey development 
    • What is needed from the client to proceed 

2. Keep Detailed Notes

Beyond just staying informed regarding the project, there are a few reasons that keeping notes is highly beneficial: 

  • Actively listening while recording the information helps you memorize it. 
  • During calls or other conversations, clients may mention something that does not seem vital at the time, but could become important later. 
  • Having a place to quickly reference information allows you to promptly relay information when caught on the spot. 

3. Troubleshoot Ahead 

Once you’ve managed enough projects, you develop a gut feeling about things. This could be criteria that impacts feasibility, methodology, timeline, etc. 

Try to spot potential issues in the early stages of the project. It is always more beneficial to bring these potential issues (along with recommended solutions) to the client’s attention early. 

This allows the client team to take their time considering which solution would work best for them, and avoids the last-minute rush if an issue is flagged in the final hours of a study. 

4. Anticipate Questions

If you haven’t picked up on the theme here yet, it is always better to be ahead. To put it in perspective, imagine you are driving to a new place in an unfamiliar city. 

You have two options: 

  1. A standard GPS that calls out next steps before it’s needed. 
  2. Someone sitting in your passenger seat that you would need to ask “Where do I go next?” before you reach each step. 

Personally, I’d prefer the GPS that gives the heads up before something is needed. Try to think of projects in this format. 

If you aren’t communicating with your client, they are entirely in the dark with no knowledge of how much work you’re putting into the project. 

Try to get ahead of this by putting yourself in the client’s position. Think about what they might want to know, what insight into the process or project may be helpful, etc. 

Also consider your participants here.

What do they need to know?

Is there anything about the project that may be confusing?

Try to get ahead of this to set yourself up for success. The easier the project is to complete for participants, the more likely they are to follow through. 

5. Check-in

Your client’s expectations of how often you will communicate can vary widely. Some want to be very hands-on, while others may want to hand it off completely and are only interested in the finished product. 

It can be helpful to discuss client updates in the kickoff call to understand where their expectations are. You can also use this to get a sense of how hands-on or hands-off the client team would like to be in the research. 

Either way, as each step of the research process is completed, a check-in should be sent. This lets the client team know that things are moving along as anticipated (or not). 

In situations where clients are reaching out to you for updates, this sends the message that the project is not a priority to your team, not being worked, etc. 

6. Be Available and Responsive

Even if you are doing a stellar job thinking ahead and anticipating questions, things come up! 

Let’s say you have a virtual focus group with 8 scheduled participants, and let’s assume you’ve used a thorough confirmation process.

We can assume that all 8 participants have completed the following ahead of the focus group: 

  • An online pre-screening questionnaire 
  • A live re-screening phone call
  • Replied to the confirmation email with key study information
  • Accepted the calendar invite
  • Answered the reminder call the night before to confirm their attendance
  • Replied to the reminder text the day of the research

With all of those steps, it’s safe to assume everyone will attend the research, right? Not exactly! 

There are a multitude of issues that could come up, such as the platform updating, devices not working, participants not able to access their study links, etc. 

Let participants know who they can contact if they have any issues or questions, and have that contact available and ready to assist at the start of each session. 

In addition to showing your client that the research is a priority, it also helps to build a mini-rapport with participants, which helps with show rates, engagement in the research, and more. 

Contact Our Market Research Company

Drive Research is a full-service market research company specializing in qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It is critical that each project is met with attention to detail, responsiveness, and respect. We look at each project as a long-term partnership rather than an ad-hoc study.

To learn more about our services, contact our team today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Ashley Reynolds

With nearly 10 years of experience in market research, Ashley has worked on countless quantitative and qualitative research studies. As a Fieldwork Manager at Drive Research, she’s involved in every stage of the project, especially recruitment.

Learn more about Ashley, here.

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