Increasingly often, we hear this complaint from our clients. Suddenly they are being kicked out of the loop when it comes to research projects. Global sources the projects and then fields them in local markets – sometimes without even telling or involving the affiliates. These projects can go through many layers of handling and management before a moderator and respondent(s) sit down in the same room. In a worst case scenario, this can look like a game of broken telephone, with muddied objectives and watered-down results. Yet some of our best clients seem to have learned a few tricks for still getting an optimal result. Here’s what they have shared with us:
- The researcher or product team at the local affiliate has built a strong relationship with their counterpart(s) at Global.
- They have specifically requested that if moderation is to be outsourced, one of their preferred local suppliers should be considered.
- Local researchers take time to get involved with the briefings themselves, so they can contribute home field tips that will make the project go more smoothly.
- Global requires that suppliers at the top of the research chain facilitate a dialogue between the local moderator or field service and the home town affiliate.
- Field Managers or Project Directors ensure that everyone can reach the right person to answer a question or deal with an issue in the fewest number of steps.
We’ve seen some tremendous results when our clients have taken these steps. First, the local researcher has a chance to shine in front of more senior head office personnel. Secondly, there is often an opportunity to adapt questionnaires and discussion guides to eliminate questions that have been answered, or add probes about specific local issues. Some of our customers have also been able to pay for a local “advance copy” of their report, rather than waiting for multi-country results to be analyzed – allowing for faster decision-making – while keeping the field costs as Global’s line item.
These approaches can allow a result that is “glocal” at its finest – perhaps one of them will work for you! We’re happy to discuss how you can make the most of your research budgets.
Megann and Steve