Best PracticesDeliverablesMarket Research

5 Ways You Know You Are an Awesome Market Researcher

  1. You use multiple research methodologies. You are familiar with multiple research methods, and can match a project’s goals to the best available method. You don’t assume every project is either a survey or a focus group.
  2. You think carefully about sample source. You know when to use panels, communities, social media, and fresh recruiting. You know that all sample sources have limitations, and you don’t just default to the easiest option.
  3. You have an uncanny ability to challenge your own assumptions. Even when your research points you to what seems like an obvious story, you have the discipline to test other ideas before reaching your conclusion.
  4. You can write and speak concisely. You know how to make a point with few words. You know bigger words and longer paragraphs don’t impress your audience, they put it to sleep.
  5. You help people understand how to apply the research. Rather than just delivering research findings and moving on, the awesome researcher gives the client specific examples of how to apply the data. Better still, the awesome researcher checks in with the client after the research is delivered to remind them how the data can be used, because sometimes clients need an extra nudge.

Are there other attributes of an awesome researcher? Of course. But these five are the core. Make sure you have these nailed, and your clients will quickly begin to appreciate your awesomeness.

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Kathryn Korostoff

Kathryn Korostoff is founder and lead instructor at Research Rockstar. Over the past 25 years, she has personally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 bylined articles in magazines. She is also a professor at Boston University, where she teaches grad students how to analyze and report quantitative data.

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8 thoughts on “5 Ways You Know You Are an Awesome Market Researcher”

  1. Here are two more:

    You address anticipated actions based on the research at the research design stage

    You work from the end to the beginning, not the beginning to the end – e.g. you design a questionnaire based on what you need to see in a report / presentation, not the other way around

  2. I would say that, besides these five characteristics, one important thing that Awesome Market Researchers have is the fact that they understand the Business Situation and the Business Problem, and with this understood, they can make great instruments (quali or quanti) to solve the business problem with the research done.

  3. You truly understand why the client needs the research in the first place. don’t just rush off to get the quote for what they asked for. Ask what they need it for. What do they want to answer with this information? What do they want to do about it? Maybe they actually need something different all together.

  4. another characteristic for an awesome researcher is that you have a natural curiosity to ask questions o better understand how people think, behave and make decisions

  5. Love these additions! Maybe we should expand to the top 10. I get calls all of the time from young people entering the field (or considering it), I think a checklist like this could help them self-assess for fit.

    First 3 tote bag winners: Lisa from our office will be in touch to get your shipping address!!

  6. Great article. It sounds like I’m close to being an Awesome Researcher. I do need to work on explaining my point in as few words as possible though. My executive summaries often start as multi-chapter novels!

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