Recession Proofing Your Research

With the downturn in the economy, I've been asked by at least a dozen people recently how that will impact research budgets. Its too soon to tell for sure, but Forrester recently released a report with ten ways to "Recession-proof Market Research." Four jumped out at me:

Require a clear business outcome for every primary study... This one I learned years ago from Chadwick Martin Bailey's John Martin. Never conduct a study if you don't know how the information is going to be used. And from a provider standpoint, don't assume an RFP is completely thought through.

Put revenue focus in every survey you field... Another key to successful designs is focusing on key outcome behaviors (e.g., trial, purchase, cross-purchase, advocate) and their attached revenue. Its nice to know what people think, but satisfaction doesn't necessarily drive revenue.

Reduce sample sizes based on the level of confidence needed in the results... Ask yourself how many respondents you really need to justify a decision. This is an easy way to save significant costs and get more value for your money. Its one of the reasons we designed Engage Open to focus samples of under 1000.

Harness Web 2.0 technologies... This is one of Invoke's key focus points. We use our technology to make it easier to gather qualitative and quantitative data at once. Perhaps more importantly, everything we do is designed to display and share that data in a way that is easy for both researchers and non-researchers to use.

What are you doing to maximize your budget and demonstrate the value of your research?
On a side note... happy baseball season everyone, go red sox!


JonnyG said…
Great points Josh! In truth, many of these are things that we should be doing all the time (not just when there's a recession.) If there's are any silver linings to a slow down, one might be that they establish habits out of necessity that still pay off even when things are booming.
mendelj2 said…
Good point Jon, I completely agree!

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