Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Knowing When to Challenge the Research: Market Research with Perry N. Rea, Boeing

Leading up to The Market Research Event for Non Researchers, we'll be sharing some of the views and tips from the leaders who are participating in our event.  Consumer insights continues to be a consistent foundation for marketing strategy, business innovation and product development decisions.  These leaders  will help attendees translate market research into profitable business decisions.

Today, we're speaking with Perry N. Rea, Chief Engineer, New Airplane Studies, Boeing, who will be participating in the session "Mastering The Challenger Role…. Knowing When to Challenge the Research."

What advice do you have for market research end users you’ve worked with?
The researchers are not the end users, their customers are. My advice for researchers is to understand your customer and make sure that you are answering the questions they want answered rather than pushing available data on them and trying to convince them it is what they need. Spend the time up front to understand the requirements and desired outcomes for the data, what it is going to be used for, how much detail and certainty is need and put together a plan to get that data, rather than going out and collecting mountains of data and trying to make it fit a number of customers. Most important, don’t fall in love with a particular set of data and try to convince me it is what I need, instead, get me what I ask for.

My advice to end users is to be specific about what you are looking for prior to commissioning research, or understand what you are getting before buying research data. Question everything about the data, starting with the collection methods, the assumptions made and any biases that the researchers may have. My rule when having data presented to me is to always ask the next question. The biggest trap however it to filter all of the research through your own assumptions and biases. Whether you agree or disagree with the data, look for nuggets and new insights in it and challenge your own assumptions. Give the researchers a chance to tell you what they think is significant and what they have learned.

Dream project?
One where the data leads me to an obvious answer rather than more questions.

What is the biggest roadblock to getting things done internally?
Getting people to realize the need to spend the money to collect data before it is needed so that the data can be used to drive the decisions.

Will market research have more or less influence in 10 years?
Depends on how you define market research? The idea of having to go out and spend major money on research to get people’s opinions will be a thing of the past. As social media increases, researchers will have instant access to millions of people’s opinions. The difficulty will be how to analyze all of that information.

As an end user of research, it’s your responsibility to spot inaccuracies and opportunities that aren’t yet uncovered. But how do you do this when you’re not a trained researcher? For more information on this session, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us this November 12-14  in Boca Raton, register today and mention code NONMR12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

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