Across the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a number of you at one of our member meetings on Embedding Customer Knowledge into the Business. These have been really great, interactive sessions with lively discussion and idea-sharing.
One discussion point that has really been a hot topic at many of the meetings is how to get research results faster? The speed of business is rapidly increasing and does not look to be slowing down any time soon. In this “I need it now” world, how can Research adapt what we’re doing to better fit in? Or, should we?
When a question in the forum asked what others do when colleagues request quick turnaround research, over half of the respondents said they would refer to a collected and synthesized repository of information (per below).
We’ve seen one member, Motorola Mobility, do this particularly well, when they implemented a “quick-fire” synthesis process to be able to answer executives’ questions in as little as 24-48 hours. Whose colleagues wouldn’t want that kind of a turnaround timeline? In looking at the process, and how other research teams could imitate for like results, two parts stood out as key in making it a success:
- Ready Resources – their core library of collected and synthesized information
- Task Specialization – clearly defined roles aligned to the person who can make the best contribution in the fastest time
The other suggestion a number of Research Execs have brought up is to tap into online communities or panels for quick responses and feedback – whether managed internally or not, these can be a great option for quick information from a set of customers you already know you care about.
Have you tried these ideas? What have you found to be an effective way to get information into the hands of your business partners faster?
Or, on the other hand, do you hold strong to the idea that we need to push back when business partners ask for results in a quick (/unreasonable?) timeframe? When one of Research’s roles is to be a “risk-reducer,” it is certainly fair to argue that we should be looking for the best results and not compromise quality. Poor quality research can lead to poor quality decisions – so maybe the question isn’t one of how to get information faster, but rather how to get research requests in a timelier manner?
So, I ask you, if your colleague asks for information that would be best answered with a survey that will take 8 weeks to field and get results, but they want results in 1 week, do you take that opportunity to educate them on the research process, and note it is not possible, or do you work to get them as much information as possible, while saying, “we can’t have a perfect answer”?
Is “good enough” good enough?
- Embedding Customer Knowledge into the Business
- Motorola’s Quick-Fire Research Teams
- Wells’ Dairy’s Fan Panel