In last week’s webinar session, “Solutions for your research resolutions: Best practices to incorporate into your 2023 initiatives,” I discussed five things that will help jumpstart your year and set your research on the course to success.
The beginning of the calendar year is a great time to take a step back and to plan out your research agenda for the year. This is an opportunity to meet with key stakeholders, understand their priority projects and strategic plans, and help develop research based on those business needs.
In order to understand attendee research resolutions, we distributed a survey in advance of the webinar. Turns out our attendees have some big plans for 2023! One respondent indicated they intend to grow their research team, expand their database of respondents, and augment their overall research activities. Big plans, indeed
5 tips to incorporate into your research today
While we probably could have developed an even longer list of research tips, tricks, and best practices, but for the purposes of this webinar, we decided to focus on 5 key resolutions to help make your 2023 research projects a success!
ALWAYS ESTABLISH RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
To start, I reached out to aytm’s Research team to find out how they work with clients to establish research objectives for any given project. We found out that many clients know their desired end goal or outcomes but do not know exactly how to get there. In order to take the big research ideas, aytm’s researchers ask clients a series of questions to help refine and focus the study, which then enables them to develop the objectives.
What decision are you trying to inform?
What is the action you are trying to take as a result of this work?
What do you intend to use the data for?
What do you expect the data to look like?
What do you expect the data will tell you?
By using these questions to get a bearing on the various needs of a project, aytm’s researchers work like a funnel—taking larger goals and interpreting them into objectives.
Before we move on, there’re just a more things to keep in mind when creating those objectives:
- Include your target audience or who you are trying to reach.
- What will you measure? Is it appeal? Is it purchase intent? This will impact the methodology as well.
- Finally, what behavior or action are you going to measure? Is it navigating a website? Is it buying a product? Being specific helps.
USE THE SURVEY PREVIEW TOOL
It’s hard to overstate how important it is to test and preview a survey before it launches. From a practical standpoint, spelling or grammatical errors can be discovered this way, as can flaws in survey logic. No one wants to send out a survey that does not work properly! But perhaps most importantly, utilizing aytm’s preview mode allows users to test the survey from the perspective of the respondent, which is really critical to ensuring it fields smoothly. In particular, being able to test the survey on different devices—desktop, tablet, or mobile—is crucial to understanding what the respondent will encounter when they take the survey.
BE MORE EFFICIENT IN YOUR SURVEY DESIGN
In our November researcher roundtable, Kerry Sette from Voya Financial said: “Not every question deserves an answer.” This is a great quote to keep in mind as you develop your questionnaires. Focus on the key questions, the must-haves, first and then include any other nice-to-haves if there’s space. In addition, be succinct when writing survey questions. Being overly verbose may lead to confusion. Instead, be direct and ask respondents exactly what you want them to answer—without leading or creating bias.
Another way to approach efficiency is to leverage technology. aytm’s automation is a great example here. Features on aytm’s platform like question library, smart loops, forms question, and various research tests (e.g., Advanced MaxDiff, Conjoint, etc) make programming a survey much easier. Take advantage of these automated tools when you’re able to!
Finally, include research tests when appropriate. aytm’s platform makes it very easy to run advanced research tests, but knowing when to use these tests and how to structure them is critical to running them successfully. That said, the fact that aytm allows users to simply select them within the platform and program them within minutes is a huge win for users.
CREATE HIGH-QUALITY SURVEY EXPERIENCES FOR RESPONDENTS
You want better data? Create better experiences. The ideal outcome for a project is to collect good data that’s actionable for stakeholders. Bad data is essentially useless. The key here is to be exhaustive without exhausting survey respondents. Make sure to collect the data you know but do not overburden respondents in that process.
Here are three key ways to make sure the respondent experience is good.
- Be cognizant of survey length. aytm recommends a LOI (length of interview) of less than 10 minutes. When fielding my own studies, I aim for an LOI of 5–7 minutes. Keeping surveys to no more than 15 questions should accomplish this.
- Vary your question types. Switch up your question types so you don’t bore your respondents. Think of offering different questions as a sort of brain break for respondents.
- Finally, use aytm’s logic to make sure respondents don’t have to answer any unnecessary questions.
INVEST IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The last resolution is focused on you, the researcher! It is easy to forget about ourselves over the year but it’s important we continue to enhance our research skills as well as our connection to the market research industry. Consider what professional development you want to take this year and how you can better network within the industry.
Let’s summarize the key takeaways from this webinar. The 5 research resolutions for 2023 are:
I resolve to:
- Always establish my research objectives
- Use the survey preview tool before I launch my surveys
- Be more efficient in my survey design
- Create high-quality survey experiences for respondents
- Invest in myself as a researcher
Sad you missed the live learning session yet?