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Capturing Insights: Without Data You’re Just Another Person with An Opinion.


Capturing Insights: Planning for a Quantitative Market Research Study

The digital era presents B2B brands with access to a people and a treasure trove of data — and more easily than ever before by connecting with customers and employees in all four corners of the U.S. and across the hundreds of countries around the world.

Data leads to actionable insights. A lot of C.E.K. & Partners' clients, B2B brands based in Atlanta, ask us to design market research studies to support a range of objectives. Some common ones are below:

Common Market Research Objectives

  • What is our brand’s point of difference?

  • Which tagline will be better received by customers?

  • Which video does a better job presenting the content?

  • How satisfied are customers with our offering?

  • What do employees think about our company culture?

  • What topics do our customers want to hear more about from us?

  • What does the sales force want and expect from the annual sales meeting?

W. Edwards Deming, data scientist, stated it best, “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.”

Do you want to base your brand planning on assumptions and opinions? Or, do you want to make informed decisions based on market research and actionable insights that will enable your brand to make a meaningful connection with your customer?

The data garnered from a well-designed and conducted B2B quantitative market research study allows for better-informed decision making. And, a survey informs more than just the marketing team. Often the data collected from a survey can be leveraged by multiple groups within an organization, such as sales, product development, and human resources.

Beware of Assumptions — Data Reveals the Truth

While it is probably clear by now, there are many benefits derived from quantitative surveys. As too many brands have learned the hard way, it’s less expensive to invest in market research than to launch and market a product or service that might not even resonate with the customer. Basing decisions on assumptions alone has lead to too many brands wishing they had invested in market research, such as Smith & Wesson’s foray into mountain bikes based on the police force’s love of their bikes, Coors Beer’s launch of spring water based on their beer containing water from the Rocky Mountains, or Pepsi AM’s high-caffeine drink launch based on the premise of consumers drinking caffeine for breakfast.

What’s Involved in Planning a Quantitative Market Research Study?

There are many aspects to consider when designing a B2B market research study. There are issues related to the size of the sample, the question flow, identification of the participants, and effectively running an A/B test between two creative options.

In other words, there’s more to constructing an online survey than one might initially realize.

As you commit to capturing insights, here’s a sampling of questions to consider across the fundamental five phases of research:

Phase 1 | Planning

Teams get very excited about designing quantitative online surveys — and understandably so! All too often, though, this can lead to throwing in questions not relevant to the objective or the sample.

  • Articulate the survey’s objective. What do you want to learn?

  • Identify who will participate in your research. What is the title or role of the participants?

  • From which countries / regions of the world will participants reside?

  • Determine where you will secure participants. Does your company have a list? Will you need to identify a panel of participants?

  • Clarify the role of your brand. Will the survey be blind or affiliated with your brand?

Phase 2 | Designing

A lot goes into designing questions and their flow to ensure the respondents are providing their opinions and not what they think you want them to answer (after all, they are most likely paid to answer the questions!).

  • What questions need to be asked to meet the objectives?

  • How will they be worded so they don’t lead respondents to a particular answer choice?

  • What is the format of the answer choices (e.g., rating, ranking, multiple choice, etc.)?

  • What is the flow/order of the questions (e.g., skip logic is often deployed to ensure respondents receive the right next question based on their earlier responses)?

Phase 3 | Programming + Testing

There are many B2B survey tools now available for self service. Often they have limited features and functionality. It’s important to understand what is needed before selecting a tool.

  • Which market research survey tool/platform to use — a self-service or full-service provider?

  • What is the look and feel of the survey tool’s interface?

  • What is the functionality for the data output?

  • Who will program and test the survey?

Phase 4 | Data Formatting + Analysis

The data analysis is critical for your team’s decision making.

  • What is the reporting functionality of the survey tool (e.g., cross tabs, etc.)?

  • Thinking ahead to analysis, are the right questions included to enable the analysis?

  • Can the data be easily exported into Excel or graphs into PPT?

Phase 5 | Presenting Findings

Now it’s time to present the findings and their implications.

  • What should be included in the market research presentation findings?

  • What other presentations will be created from the survey data (e.g., training, reporting, webinars, etc.)?

If you need help planning, designing and conducting an online survey or focus groups in Atlanta C.E.K. & Partners, a branding firm with a market research expertise, can help! Our team's deep experience spans custom research design, brand building, thought leadership and design supporting digital transformation. We help companies build brands, create meaningful connections and accelerate business growth.

Looking for a market research company in Atlanta? Let's talk. Call us today at 404.345.6447 or send us an email at carolyn@cekpartners.com.

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