Tips to improve the efficiency of research function in 2023

Olga Keating
Market Research Manager
We are into 2023 and the new year's resolutions should be in full swing now. Whether you have a long list or not, it is always useful to review your to-dos. Tidy up your working processes, prepare and plan everything well so that the year ahead runs smoothly. These are the ideas to help you free up some of the precious time and headspace.
  • Use automation. DIY and self-service solutions continue to pop up as mushrooms after the summer rain. And you should be taking advantage of it. We already have seen exponential growth in automation, especially over the last 5 years. And we can only expect it to grow more going forward. In fact, automation has become the norm for part of the industry already, especially when it comes to quantitative research. There will be more self service and DIY solutions in data collection, data analysis, writing recommendations, open ends processing and virtually every area which can be automated will be.
  • Share the tools with other managers. Researchers should be courageous to do it. This will empower marketers and product people to get customer feedback on simple questions themselves thus democratizing research. Product managers can become closer to the feedback and more involved in decisions as they launch their own surveys and hear the answers from the horse's mouth. At the same time market researchers will have the time to focus on more complicated strategic projects.
  • Start using AI. It is fairly new in its current offering to the research industry and a great addition to the existing market research tools. It can help write guides and questionnaires, create concepts, and even draw a future product or any other research materials or stimulus. Those are not perfect tools yet and their outputs have to be heavily edited, however they serve as great starting points and or a nudge during a 'writer's block'.
  • Upskill and cross-skill. With a bulk of tactical tasks outsourced to self-service tools and colleagues, researchers will have to focus on more strategic and complicated projects. This is reshaping the role of a market researcher. This increases the need for cross-functionality and being able to understand the business process beyond your own, (before and after research) communicate in the same language with different departments. Time saved using automation can be spent on improving your skills in project management, marketing, software development, for example.
  • Keep it simple. Always try to break your tasks down into logically smallest bitesize tasks. This will help speed up the process and focus on solving a particular problem. It is easier for respondents to fill in simple short and sweet questionnaires as it helps them maintain concentration and authenticity. Giving you more accurate responses on the other end.
  • Create a simple process that will be clear to everybody by having 'official' protocols for what to do in each typical situation. For example, if a marketing manager wants to test an idea they have for an ad, you use the Ad Idea Solution on a Fastuna platform or equivalent.
  • Educate your colleagues about your market research function, the process and tools available. Do so by holding internal cross-departmental webinars, send out internal newsletters, meetups, invite a wider audience to your report presentations, etc. Help your colleagues see the full spectrum of research uses, possibilities and benefits. Manage their expectations. This will improve relationships between departments and raise the status of the research department as an essential business function and an industry expert.
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