Chances are, most everything you’re doing when it comes to marketing research is based on a template. You’ve got standardized questionnaire modules that you tweak and edit so that they’re relevant to each project. You’ve got a set of 3 to 5 sampling matrices that you regularly choose from – young men, mothers of young children, seniors, census rep. You’ve got a beautiful report template with perfectly aligned fill in the blank tables and charts.
Now, I love a good template like everyone else. They save a ton of time, a ton of stress, and a ton of brainpower. They increase data quality, reduce the number of inattentional errors and help to ensure that every important aspect of a project is properly included. I regularly wonder why some people seem to prepare every project from scratch.
But what if… what if… there’s a better way of doing things and you don’t know about them because you’ve been relying on all of your old faithfuls for years?
What if today is the day you tell yourself, just as an exercise, that everything you’ve been doing is utterly wrong. What if you trashed that questionnaire template and recreated one from scratch, one that looked unlike any questionnaire you’ve ever seen before. What if you pretended not to understand how sampling worked and designed a brand new sampling matrix that turned the traditional notion of sampling upside down. What if you threw away that amazing report template you worked on for three weeks straight and flipped it around into the opposite of what you’ve always done.
What if, by pretending you don’t understand how questionnaires or sampling or reporting works, you were forced to imagine a completely different way of doing things. Obviously, the rule of science still applies – you can’t just “try” sample sizes of 12 or forgo control groups. Rather, what if you aimed for a new design that was more intuitive, engaging, clear, and concise. Alternatively, what if you deliberately tried to create a methodology that was vastly more confusing, boring, and complex.
I would bet real money that you’d discover at least one thing that you and your clients loved more than your traditional way of doing things. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to add that back into your traditional templates?
I think it’s worth a shot.
Care to brainstorm those impossibilities with us? Please get in touch!
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