The value of market research
After graduating from college, my first “real” job was as a research assistant at a think tank in Washington, D.C. While working toward my master’s in public policy, I focused on health services research. As a director of a market research firm, I was responsible for overseeing qualitative and quantitative research related to employee benefits. Research is in my blood and I believe it is critical to enabling clients to uncover insights, build strategies, and reach or surpass objectives. That is why I asked Dannielle Sherrets to join me two years ago. A true researcher at heart, Dannielle is an expert in translating research findings into actionable strategies for both large and small organizations. In this blog, she shares why this work is essential to Resigility’s core mission of helping clients transform strategy into action. – Karen Marlo, President, Resigility
Whether a client is seeking to serve its customers or employees, market research is the vital starting point for Resigility’s strategic advisory services. That’s because research and analysis provide the foundation to inform strategies for achieving desired outcomes. In other words, “you don’t know what you don’t know” until research reveals your existing state and helps identify next steps to where you want –or need- to go.
All too often companies launch large-scale business, market or digital transformation initiatives with their own views shaping what needs to be done. These perceptions – or misperceptions – often lead to misguided strategies.
Research, insight, strategy
Resigility’s work with a large federal government organization offers a good example of why market research is necessary for generating optimal results. This client delivers information technology services throughout a large agency. We were asked to help the team identify technologies that would best support the agency’s employees, so we embarked upon a series of interviews to determine what those magic bullets might be.
Fortunately, our market research uncovered much more basic needs. It turned out employees throughout this federal agency didn’t understand our client’s services or capabilities. The overall theme of the feedback was, “I don’t even know what all you do – I just need to understand when I should call you and what you can provide.”
This insight was eye-opening and became the impetus for an internal marketing campaign providing an overview of services from our client’s organization. While still early, there is some indication that the gap in knowledge is closing, and our client is becoming the go-to resource for everything related to IT.
Assessing perceptions, opinions, feelings
We’ve also had the opportunity to leverage our research capabilities to support the organization’s internal culture. This same client underwent a major reorganization in early 2019. That fall, we conducted a series of focus groups to assess employee perceptions, opinions and feelings. The initial input indicated a conflicted employee base, with folks struggling to understand the reorg’s intent and questioning if it was necessary.
Since then, we’ve continued gauging shifting employee perspectives through quarterly focus groups and surveys. This past January, we saw employees pivot and recognize the reorg was crucial to evolving and enhancing the organizational culture. “Two years ago, I couldn’t make sense of the reorganization, but I’m finally starting to understand the vision and why we needed to change,” one employee said.
Resigility commits to a very customer-focused approach in our qualitative research work. We become entrenched in the client’s world to understand their history, environment, challenges and aspirations. This background allows us to develop focus group, interview or survey instruments that prompt invaluable nuggets of wisdom rather than superficial responses. We work hand in hand with clients to make sure they’re comfortable with our research methodology and to confirm their most important goals.
It’s exciting to be directly involved in focus groups and interviews, listening closely to answers and reactions that may take the discussion in an altogether different direction. Using our objective view, we then connect everything together and recommend specific strategies that drive organizations forward.
I’m a true believer in the value of research, and always happy to discuss how Resigility can collaborate on furthering an organization’s success. It’s easy to get in touch with me through Resigility or LinkedIn to talk about the benefits of research and analysis for your organization.