Is your organization doing more market research? Are people outside of the market research department becoming increasingly involved in research, either as “do it yourself” researchers or as members of cross-functional project teams? Imagine a baseball team made up of three professional ball players and six middle-aged guys from the local coffee shop. Wouldn’t those well-intentioned coffee drinkers need some practice before that first game? Well if you want your whole research team to play at their best, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Selecting Market Research Training Topics
When selecting topics for a MR training program, there are three key questions to consider about your audience.
- Do they need to know how to be informed market research clients? Market research clients can contribute more meaningfully to the process and will have more realistic expectations about their role if they’ve received some basic training. If you have cross-functional teams contributing to research projects, this becomes even more important as individuals from marketing, manufacturing, product development, and sales will have different market research knowledge and expectations.
- Do they need to know the basics of how to run small projects start to finish? If people outside the market research department are doing online surveys, Facebook polls, or other small scale research projects from start to finish, it’s useful to have them trained on questionnaire design, project management, basic data analysis, and data reporting.
- Do they need an understanding of specific market research topics? There are a lot of technical terms and best practices in market research, and educating people upfront pays dividends later. You’ll spend less time correcting bad assumptions and you’ll minimize dead weight. Suppose you’ve got some significant research coming up, say a market segmentation study or a new customer loyalty tracker. This would be a great time to do some training on those topics. There’s a lot of good information that can be covered in a class on specific market research project types that would bring everyone up to a basic level of understanding before you launch that big new project.
Let’s Play Ball!
By providing some basic training in market research, you’ll not only reduce the overall risk and improve the success of market research projects, but you’ll also encourage valuable contributions from non‑researchers. Instead of yelling at the ref from the sidelines, they’ll be in the game — and that’s what makes for a good season!