One of the greatest things you can do in life is meaningful work. Something that makes you want to jump out of bed every morning! Me, I love finding the answer. I love knowing stuff and telling anyone who will listen to what I find out.
Research is simply, the information you don’t have yet, that you need. It’s not surprising; I work at a Mindspot – a Marketing Research Company. And, I do something I love every day.
We conduct all types of research at Mindspot, and when we are hired by a new client, we usually start by conducting Exploratory Research, which helps our clients understand their customers. There is nothing better you can do for your business than spend some time talking to your customers; there is nothing more meaningful you can say to a business person than “your customers said this”. Sometimes people fear research because they are afraid of what they will find out. Trust me – it’s better to know now, rather than to be surprised later. Customers are people and people in general, like to be asked their opinion and listened to –don’t you agree?
When you are a researcher you get really good at listening. Have you ever heard of or participated in a focus group? A focus group is exploratory research because you are learning more and asking questions you would like to know the answers to and the reasons for those answers. The internet allows us to get groups of people from all over the country together at the same time to talk to us about specific topics.
The discussion might be with a focus group of shoppers talking about the latest styles and fashions like we conduct for Vanity Shops, a specialty fashion retailer, or it might be a focus group of Servicing Company Owners, like a group we recently conducted for Plus One Solutions.
We find out the most interesting things! Sometimes, we discover an opportunity for a new product or how to make an existing product better. And, often we find an idea, which a group of people collectively hold, might just be an assumption that is not really true. In fact, in a recent exploratory research group for Plus One Solutions, we learned Owners of Servicing Companies generally believe consumers do not care if a Servicing Company holds a Background Certification.
We wanted to learn more. Is this true or not? We designed research and surveyed more than 400 consumers in the United States who had a Service Technician in their home in the past 12-months. In fact, we learned 97% of consumers believe a Background Certification is valuable! This is information that can and should be shared.
(Question – In your opinion, how valuable is this certification?)
If you are still asking, “Is it really true?” Well, when you talk to more than 400 people in a group (people who had a recent Service Technician visit their home), which we did, it is considered a representative sample of this population (those people in the U.S. who recently had a Service Technician visit their home). We conduct statistical analysis on the data we collect to determine the level of statistical reliability. For example, if you use the same survey, and survey another group of more than 400 different people again – you would get the same answer 95% of the time.
When we provide answers at Mindspot, we take every measure we can to find an accurate answer. One of the most important things you can do is to ask the right questions – the right way. It takes experience to know how to ask an objective question. Meaning I didn’t lead you to say one answer or the other!
We are experts at asking the right question the right way, and designing discussions to find opportunities and areas for improvement. We have to be. Our clients make important business decisions and investments based on the research we conduct and the results we provide. It matters. It’s meaningful.
And, I get to work at something I love!