How to Select the Right Researcher to Collaborate With

Is this the right researcher for you?

For various projects you will at times find you can deliver a more comprehensive solution to your client by bringing in collaboration partners. This can be under your own brand, and they subcontract to you, or as strategic partners with separate brands.

One of the areas where this collaboration assistance is often required is with market research, whether informal or formal, qualitative or quantitative. The audiences can internal (such as management team and employees) or external (customers, prospective customers, channel partners, influencers, or key stakeholders).

Assuming it’s in the budget, bring in a market research expert instead of doing the research on your own. The added value and insights you will gain will help you and your client take your solution to the next nth degree. Quite often nuances matter, especially around messaging, product development, and what motivates people to buy or stay loyal. And, the experts are trained to interpret those nuances.

Here are some tips to use to choose the right market research partner to help you.

  1. Find exceptional researchers. Remember the insights and results of the research drive the success of your project at every level. Research is the front end inputs to your process. Exceptional information in, exceptional results out.
  2. Find researchers who understand the strategic and the tactical. Often researchers who have held line management positions are adept at understanding how to ask questions that matter most. They also understand implementation, so they can translate the research results into most meaningful implications for your client.
  3. Insist on senior people. They have the knowledge and experience to interpret complex findings and translate them into consequential results.
  4. Find research firms that play well with others. Look for win-win-win philosophies. The best researchers collaborate with you, your client’s staff and other outsourced providers. They avoid turf battles.
  5. Look for research firms with broad, deep connections. For example, knowing which recruiting firm is most closely connected to particular types of audiences helps you to more easily gain access to the respondents whose insights you need.

Of course, budget is a critical element in the equation. By and large, research experts and firms will attempt to work with you to meet your budget. And it is almost always better to do something than nothing.

About Deborah Siegle

Deb Siegle, Past President of Women in Consulting and Principal of Strategic Marketing Solutions, is an astute marketing leader and strategist with a talent for aligning a company’s products, solutions and messages with the customer’s needs. Deb was named one of the Top Women of Influence in Silicon Valley. She delivers practical and actionable insights to business executives and entrepreneurs. Deb is a recognized consumer and business marketing leader, problem solver and communicator who is an authority in market research, strategy, market and product development, and customer loyalty and experience. Deb is also the former president of Women in Telecommunications (WiT) and has also held leadership positions in other industry associations. Deb holds a M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan.

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