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Principles of Remarkable Research: Part 5 of 20

Remarkable Research Doesn’t Have to Include a Remarkable Price Tag

Market research exists on a continuum ranging from “quick and dirty” to “meticulous and complete.” And these days, there are some quick and inexpensive methods that aren’t that “dirty” at all. Before assuming that a new market research need requires a 3-phase, qual-quant methodology supported by a team of expert moderators and stats PhDs, ask yourself: what are all of the options? If you do decide a research need can be met by a quick, inexpensive approach, consider:

  • Secondary research. More resources are available than ever. Don’t reinvent the wheel—see what exists; you may be surprised.
  • Social media research. Using one of the free or lower cost tools (as opposed to some of the more elaborate tools which do come with bigger price tags), you can get directional information on what the buzz is on brands, products, cultural trends, etc.
  • Facebook or LinkedIn polls. They are free and can be fast (assuming you can push that poll to a large enough network).
  • New tools. Many new services integrate online research tools with panels. Check out AYTM (disclosure: Research Rockstar does have a relationship with AYTM), Zoomerang, and SSI (via its QuickTake offering).

Sure, some projects warrant the big bucks. But when big budgets and long timelines aren’t an option, useful information can still be gathered using creative methods.

[This is the fifth 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.]


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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