At this time of year, many organizations find themselves immersed in achieving their 2016 goals, while also strategizing for shifts in the new year ahead. Our recent project docket reflects this, too: I’ve found myself in a fascinating mix of both the “here and now“– and the “what’s ahead” with clients from a pretty diverse spectrum of business categories. And yet despite the clear, and often pretty significant, differences in their sectors and sizes, they all share a common question: what do our customers and stakeholders want and need most from us, and how are we best positioned to meet, and exceed, their expectations?
This question, and others we probe, is at the heart and soul of what we do. If you, too, are curious about this one, conducting research can help. Below are some tips and resources to help get you started, and a special offer to help pave the way for a more insightful and impactful 2017!
- The Basics: 6 Simple Steps. Last winter, we guest blogged for the Prichard Communications team on 6 Simple Steps To Understanding Your Audience Through Research. In this piece, we outline the basic differences between qualitative and quantitative research, the importance of goal-setting and screening, tips on avoiding bias, and more. Get the basics before you dive in!
- Considering a Survey? Start Here. In 7 Survey Tools for Impactful Insights Ahead, we weighed some pros and cons for free vs. low-cost survey tools in a guest post for Starfish Impact. This read is ideal for organizations and non-profits with limited staff and budget resources to ensure you get the most mileage from your survey efforts. Know before you go!
- Customer Conversations: Engage with Empathy. For a basic primer on the topic, What is Qualitative Research? is a good place to start. I also like Jim White’s 5 Trends in Qualitative Research — Ignore at Your Own Peril, which addresses a shift to bringing more empathy and humanity to the research process. White shares that “When you think of research as a conversation among people, a deeper, more meaningful dialogue begins to happen between you and the humans you need to understand.” I couldn’t agree more. An approach we like to use, empathy mapping, can be helpful here; for more on this, check out A Complete Guide to Crawling Inside Your Customer’s Head. I love this work!
- Engage & Learn. Researchers, by nature, are driven by curiosity and ongoing learning; I’m a big fan of Women in Research (WIRe), a nonprofit membership organization that facilitates education, events, webinars, mentoring, and an awesome Office Hours program featuring marketing intelligence industry experts — with discussions posted publicly to encourage broad learning and engagement. Good stuff!
READY FOR 2017? SPECIAL OFFER, UNTIL NOVEMBER 18!
Of course, we would love to work with you! Our research services are flexible and scalable to support organizations of every size and scope, including:
- Interviews and focus groups with key brand stakeholders, partners, and prospects
- Agency team backup to support and strengthen broader client marketing and communication strategy deliverables.
- Guidance to help teams structure and run research programs internally
- Competitor studies and “secret shopping” programs
Q4 is a great time of year to consider these steps if you haven’t already. And, to help our client budgets go even further, we’re featuring a special offer in honor of the fast-approaching new year ahead. BSB will reduce our total project fee by 10% for every new research project booked by November 18. Research can take place anytime between November-February, so there’s plenty of time to plan and prepare for an impactful effort ahead! You can also sponsor a research project for a non-profit organization you champion, at our special non-profit rates; we love to flex our marketing muscles in the name of greater good around us!
For more details, get in touch today to discuss your research needs, and learn more about how we can set you up for success in 2017… and beyond!