Principles of Remarkable Research: Part 9 of 20

Remarkable Research Sets Realistic Expectations with Clients

One aspect of setting client expectations is by distinguishing between confirming existing insights or discovering new insights.

  • When I walk into a store because its ad promises, “The latest in kitchen appliances” and I am greeted by a display of side-by-side refrigerators and four-burner electric stoves, my initial excitement is sucked out of me. Even if I don’t leave right away, I am now on high bait-and-switch alert. If we promise research clients (internal or external) “exciting” research, but what we deliver just confirms stuff they already know, it’s a market research bait-and-switch. The client is let down. So we need to be careful and position the new research precisely. Is it stuff they already know and are we seeking to confirm or quantify it? Or is it about new strategy-altering topics? Both are legitimate types of research. But we need to set expectations correctly, or we will be viewed as shucksters.

[This is the ninth article in a series of 20 mini-posts titled, “Principles of Remarkable Research.” Don’t want to miss this series? Subscribe to our blog via email or RSS.]

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