Just like in many other industries, market research is a vital part of running a public relations agency.
Having access to exclusive information, understanding your customers' interests and being able to spot demographic trends over time are all key factors that help keep the best companies at the top of the ladder - and give the little guys a chance to climb it.
If your business falls into that latter group, then you most likely don't command anything like the resources many of your rivals do. That needn't be a problem, for although money and staff help, you can still conduct highly effective market research on a low budget with a small team. Here are a few ways to tweak your methods in order to help you do just that.
Get an expert to examine your methodology
Despite how well-practised or knowledgable you are about constructing surveys, organising focus groups and managing teams of product testers, a bit of expertise advice can always come in handy.
This is especially true of people who have studied or worked in a market research field for years, as they'll be able to notice factors that would pass by most of us. For instance, the ways in which respondents react to certain positive and negative words in surveys.
Also, with many people selling their skills on gig sites such as Upwork, you can realistically do this for a relatively cheap price.
Make your prizes genuinely exciting
We're not suggesting that the prizes market researchers tend to offer are worthless or undesirable; just that there is a big difference between a decent reward and something you'd jump out of your seat for.
Websites which specialise in mass surveys illustrate this perfectly. Swagbucks, for example, offer such small returns that you would have to work a ludicrous number of hours simply to earn pennies. Alternatively, <a href="https://www.mindswarms.com">Mindswarms</a> pay $50 per survey completed. Now which one would you invest more time and effort in?
It's also worth saying that money isn't your only reward option. You could call in favours from other companies, ask for gifts from your sponsors or even go through your contact book and see if anyone high profile would be keen to help out.
Allow all staff to pitch in with ideas
Naturally, one person in particular will be leading, overseeing and mostly writing the survey. This is preferable in order to ensure continuity.
However, don't limit yourself to the ideas of just one person, no matter how experienced they may be. If you let all staff members chip in with suggestions, you'll build up a list of ideas from which you will almost certainly find new perspectives and issues which hadn't been considered before.
Alongside a brainstorming session, you could also put up the list up online so that people can jot down ideas whenever inspiration hits them.
Google Docs is perfect for this, allowing everyone to access the same document simultaneously.