November 27

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Feeling Thankful for my trusted Market Research Vendors

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This blog is dedicated to all of my dear Market Research Vendor Friends, and their extended team members whom I may have never met, for their skill and dedication to the craft of research and evaluation.

The GSK PULSE Program has provided the opportunity to sharpen skills, and gain valuable outside-in perspective thru using them in different ways. While on PULSE I found myself painstakingly exercising some skill muscles that I haven’t moved in many years: the labor-intensive precision that is required in every step of the vendor-side of market research study design, execution, analysis, and communication.

I do not say it nearly often enough:

  • “Thank You Dear Vendors So Much for ALL that you do!” and,
  •  “I have been so spoiled for all of these years on the client side!”

I spent many days over the last month in an in-house vendor role, developing several studies at the Franklin Institute using Survey Monkey. (The first full studies that I’ve programmed completely from scratch, with my own two hands, in over a dozen years. I was probably working on a Survey Monkey beta-version back then!) The new Survey Monkey tools are wonderfully user friendly and intuitive; so much so that I can see how it almost seems like anyone can just “do market research” themselves . . . Almost.

I’m grateful to Survey Monkey for empowering me to use my market research skills so seamlessly here at The Franklin Institute. It does feel as if I’m an experienced surgeon, rethinking my traditional approaches by using high tech surgical tools that I haven’t practiced with before. It is good to be reassured of how relevant my strategic research skills are in this new market, with these different tools.

I am also grateful how spending time programming gave me a fresh perspective on study design and vendor interactions. While it may be true that just about anyone can draft a questionnaire using today’s cool tools, we know it takes so much more to “do market research”. Value-added actionable market research requires: training, discipline, design thinking, empathy, strategic mindset, openness, collaboration and integrity. And in my case, a zealous passion for customer insights.

The tools are so elegant today, they do make it look so easy. I don’t know about you, but I still want the high-tech-laser-scalpel in the hand of the expert surgeon, not a monkey.

Thank you dear, trusted, expert research vendors for continuously improving and raising the bar, and for keeping the community of practice, myself included, showing up strong for our businesses for all of these years!