In Vivisum’s Research (R)evolutions community, we focus almost exclusively on providing exceptional value to the market researcher. Every once in a while, that means writing something aimed at the marketing professionals who commission research. With that in mind, here are three common tips our Research (R)evolutions members mentioned for how marketers can maximize the value of the projects they commission.

1. Keep your goals simple and specific: We’ve talked before about narrowing the focus of a market research study, and we firmly believe that keeping an eye on three to four key questions can greatly improve market research outcomes. If your questions seem too broad to fit into three or four discrete questions, consider cutting some of them or splitting them into two projects.

2. Begin with the end in mind: Always have a hypothesis about the questions you want to ask. This forces you to think through the research before you begin. Along with this, it’s important to know what strategic decisions you want to make based on your research outcomes before you begin the project. Having those strategic decisions in mind when you begin allows you to implement on the results of the research with ease.

3. Stay engaged: There’s no need to micromanage, but many a project has gone off the rails when the people who commission it do not stay engaged throughout the project. Keep in touch with the progress and results (without jumping to conclusions prematurely) to help market researchers guide the project and adjust on the fly.

Ellen Hart is a Senior Associate Consultant at Vivisum Partners. She specializes in in-depth qualitative research in healthcare and nonprofit fields.

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