Posted by Gazelle Global ● March 18, 2020
One Size Fits None: Custom Operations for Market Research
Market research experts agree that truly great research is about making all aspects of any project seamlessly connect to provide clear insights. Great data delivers the raw materials for market research professionals to piece together a cohesive story emerging from the field. But what of the actual conditions in the field? Efficient management of fieldwork is the key to handling the details so that the insights can emerge from the work.
Scaling a successful marketing firm can also be a challenge. Several scenarios arise for rapidly growing firms. The high prevalence of expert freelancers also face scaling issues as they constantly expand and contract staffing sizes to meet the changing flow of work. Whether a new large piece of business has just been won or a project is expanding at a quick rate, hiring someone else to do your market research operations can save you time, money and hassle. It also can deliver a competitive advantage as it allows you and your insight team to focus solely on the portions of work within your area of expertise.
Professional market research operational companies understand the methodologies and tools needed to get research done efficiently and effectively, producing quality results for your final insight decks. Yet, outsourcing operations means you give up an element of control — and a portion of your budget — to an outside party.
When considering a partner for global research operations, having a flexible and highly accomplished vendor can make all the difference to the scope of customization your project will receive. To get exactly what you want and pay for only what you need, we’ve provided our interesting considerations based on use case scenarios. Before you choose a partner, think about their flexibility with methodologies, true reach, communication style and the attitude they can bring to your project.
Work is often won for freelancers and firms alike based on their niche expertise. With those specialties, sometimes certain methodologies are frequently used. But with iterative approaches to research, a project which was slated for a certain methodology may quickly change. What was well within the team’s wheelhouse shifts and requires new modes.
Consider these scenarios:
- An online study taking place simultaneously in 5 European capitals spawns a need for a focus group with 2 subsets of the original participants
- Budget adjustment requires a change of venue for multiple IDIs in Australia
- A telephone study in Japan yields poor results and methodology requires a quick shift in approach
- B2B interviews are expected to be done face to face in some cultures
The work is won and must get in and out of the field as quickly as possible. Even if there were time for vetting an expert to add to the team, the vetting process for a methodology outside of the firm’s normal expertise could be tricky. Relying instead on a rapid mobilization of a new methodology expert means your research methodology ecosystem is immediately expanded without compromising quality or efficiency.
Fieldwork and data collection come in many different shapes and sizes and having a global company doesn’t mean exactly what it used to mean. Many firms take on global projects, but with the rarity of that scale it is impossible to maintain staffing around the globe.
Consider these possible scenarios:
- Very quickly a series of IDIs to be completed with consumers in Scotland can turn into adding Ireland and even Australia to the scope of work.
- With experience in three countries, perhaps your team is not ready for a study happening simultaneously in 25 countries.
- A large portion of completes needed in Asia may require a cultural review to survey
- Mobile technology vs. desktop access varies around the globe
Fieldwork and data collection tasks need to adapt seamlessly to keep a changing project timeline and budget. Having a resource for changing size of work and additions of other countries to the work can make all the difference in getting projects in and out of field quickly.
Project management can be vastly different from firm to firm. Project Managers may be the central figure driving field operations or they could be the hub to which all fieldworkers report.
An expert Project Manager must consider and manage:
- Planning across multiple time zones
- Local customs or celebrations that can thwart in-country work
- Sourcing multiple unique translations including identifying local dialect needs
- Education level considerations including sampling of illiterate populations
- Comparative sample for specific target measures
For example, how does a target in the UK having an income of over £100K correlate to a similar respondent you need to source in Japan.
An expert Project Manager with field experience can review chosen methodologies and provide preemptive insight into the feasibility of the study’s chosen methodology. Before engaging the operations team a seasoned Project Manager can speak intelligently about the likelihood of success specific markets with specific methodologies and help refine your study even before it hits the field.
Small firms tend to bounce back and forth from selling to doing. And just when the doing is complete they must return quickly to selling for the next project to get started. Being able to concentrate on the niche they serve best and deliver the authoritative INSIGHT from the data keeps them more focused on the client and less on the details of the global data collection.
Large firms tend to have more specialized roles on staff, but still need to stay lean in a competitive environment. Even when their reach is global they don’t need to maintain a global staff at all times to ensure quality outcomes.
Regardless of the reason, the mindset of staying lean while still bringing the highest quality of work to bear for any given project is what we understand at Gazelle Global. Whether we are a long-term solution or called in to expand your team at a critical time, we deliver market research operations at the size you need for a custom fit – every time.
Notes from the Field
At Gazelle Global, we understand that outsourcing your market research operations is a sacred trust. While we place feet on the ground for global projects we know market research firms and their end-clients are anxiously awaiting the results from the field.
Should your firm decide outsourcing your market research operations is right for your business we’re ready to bring our experience to bear. We look for ways to bring efficiency and ease to each study with fewer hand-offs. Our seasoned team provides high quality and high touch to deliver the highest quality of data so you can maximize the clarity of the research outcomes.
We understand that great research is about making every connection count for clear insights and we’d love to be your back-end office around the world – wherever your research takes you.
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