Tips for managing in-house research challenges

As marketing research companies bring research in house, researchers are finding challenges within the process. Creating an in-house research department allows you to complete your project from start to finish instead of outsourcing to a third party. Conducting in-house research can lead to stronger relationships with your team and clients and can strengthen a variety of your skills. Quirk’s has compiled a list of seven tips to help you overcome in-house research challenges.  

1.     Know how to communicate effectively.

Being able to properly communicate your research process or findings to your team or clients is crucial in any scenario. In the article “How to build an effective in-house market research practice” author Keith Malo states that a successful in-house research team should be able to relay any relevant information to the team and its institution. 

Quirk’s Content Editor Emily Koenig wrote a piece titled “Hard and soft skills for navigating the future of research” where she delved into the 2020 Q Report that surveyed marketing research industry professionals. Researchers wanted to improve their communication skills in a variety of areas including storytelling, which allows data to turn into consumable insight. Researchers also wanted to improve the way they explain research to others, including people outside of the marketing research and insights industry. 

2.     Maintain relationships with the people around you.

When bringing research in house, it is important to continue to form relationships with your clients and the team you will be working with. Reassuring your existing customers can put them at ease with the changes they may experience while you bring your research in house. The way you conduct research may change but don’t let that negatively affect the way you approach those around you.

3.     Be flexible.

When starting the shift to in-house research, be sure to remain flexible with your team, clients and the process. Things may not go exactly as planned and you may experience delays and last-minute changes, but these are experiences you can learn from. 

In his article, Malo also explains that the people you are working with may have other responsibilities as well. You must be understanding and take their schedules into consideration. While you should accommodate people when needed, be sure that it does not negatively impact your research and results. 

4.     Practice patience.

There will be mistakes, miscommunications and unexpected challenges but you must accept and move past them to complete a successful project. Malo explains that projects may need last-minute adjustments, and this may take longer for in-house projects with smaller teams. Be patient with your team and the process and do not let a minor setback affect your final in-house research project.  

5.     Listen to your clients.

It is important to not only listen to any feedback you receive, but also incorporate it. In “Before You Go: 10 minutes with Heidi Carrion,” Carrion explains that she has experienced “aha” moments when listening to customers. Listening to those around you can give you unexpected insights to implement into your in-house research. 

6.     Create partnerships.

While you are not partnering with a third-party research firm, it is still important to create partnerships with those around you. Forming relationships with your team, clients and audience will be beneficial in the long run. In “Before You Go: 10 minutes with Andy Whittaker,” Whittaker argues that people like to give their opinions on topics they are connected to. Connecting with the people around may offer insight into their thoughts and opinions on your project and advice on any challenges you have while bringing research in house. 

7.     Take advantage of technology.

Many challenges you find while bringing research in house can be solved by incorporating technology services and resources. In the 2020 Q Report, researchers established a focus on technology and emphasized their commitment to improving the technology they incorporate. One respondent said a goal is to “be more independent in survey-building so that more in-house research can be done without spending on third-party and related analysis skills.” Investing in technology services may ease your workload and the time it takes to complete an in-house project. 

In-house research success

Bringing research in-house has many benefits, don’t let minor issues derail your process. Incorporating the seven tips in this article will help you overcome, and potentially avoid, challenges.