This post, from Taproot’s Greatest Hits archive, was originally published on April 18, 2013.
Two days ago, I received this email from a former colleague:
“Tait, a couple of years back you wrote a blog about how to tell if your research sucks. Please send me a copy of your list so I can present it to my staff and board of directors. These people need help!”
The 2011 blog post was titled, “Some reasons why your research sucks…and how to find a strong research partner.” The post was in response to a blog written by Dr. Annie Pettit, Chief Research Officer of Conversition Strategies.
Dr. Pettit posited that if you were responsible for “research that sucked,” it was probably due to one of the following:
Dr. Pettit’s list is succinct, but not inclusive. I’ve had a couple of years to add a few more signs that your research — and your organization’s approach to conducting research — probably sucks:
If any of these describe the way you collect data or view research, then it’s time to find a credible, seasoned research partner.
Strong research should be the foundation of every strategy — no matter if you’re launching a new product, developing an outreach campaign, or implementing a behavior-change approach.
Research should be done by people trained to do it. So many times, organizations try to make vital decisions based on the work of the inexperienced. Here are the questions you should ask a potential research partner:
When done well, research can unlock incredible creative potential and open a direct route to the hearts and minds of the people who matter most to you.
Be smart and partner with an insight team who uses appropriate, valid methods to meet your specific needs. Don’t waste your time — and money — doing research that sucks.