Leave a comment

Explain Market Research – Finalists in the Market Research Society (MRS) Operations Awards 2017

Explain Market Research has been announced as a finalist in the MRS Operations Awards 2017. The MRS is the world’s leading research association and their annual Operations Awards will take place this year on 14 September 2017 in London. We have been recognised for our outstanding work and are shortlisted as one of three finalists in the field of Best Data Collection (Telephone).

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Explain has provided full-service market research solutions to a range of organisations for over two decades, with specialist knowledge and expertise in the utilities, healthcare, social housing and the financial services sectors. Delivering innovative insights is at the forefront of our culture and this has been recognised by the MRS.

Our Managing Director, Kim Davis, commented, “As a proud company partner of the MRS, we are delighted to have been shortlisted as finalists for this prestigious award. The Explain research centre has a team of 45 dedicated telephone researchers; they deliver annually against strategic KPIs, and significantly contribute to the success of the business. In 2016-2017, our telephone researchers delivered productivity scores averaging 96%, quality scores averaging 95%, and completed approximately 131,500 interviews. I’m incredibly proud of our team and the recognition of finalist is testament to all their continued hard work and dedication.”

The MRS, who are dedicated to the support, promotion and enrichment of the research and business world, will announce the winners of eight awards categories and will celebrate the best of the UK’s research agencies in a night of recognition and awards.

Kim went on to add, “We pride ourselves on building and developing longstanding and trusted public, private and the third sector client partnerships through the consistent delivery of powerful and actionable consumer insights. We recognise the need to invest in our team, in technology and in identifying how to continue to improve, always striving for innovation aligned to delivery for our clients. Being part of the awards on 14 September will be a celebration of all the work we undertake to deliver for clients.”

Clients provided us with testimonials to support our award entry, further illustrating Explain’s commitment to deliver for clients, including the following:

“I’ve worked with the team at Explain for over 6 years, while employed in various roles and organisations. Explain have been a critical part of my success to improve customer experience during this time. 

I’ve heard people say anyone can make an outbound call/do a survey, the difference for me with Explain is their approach. They understand my needs and business, which has created a partnership working relationship rather than client/supplier. The opportunity to meet the full team including the fantastic telephone researchers creates a real connection and lets me know Explain care about my customers too.”

Adam Stewart, Executive of Customer Services, Barratt Developments plc

Our business has consistently seen growth year on year, providing development and opportunity for our dynamic team. It is this team of specialists across a range of disciplines within marketing and research who enable Explain to deliver market research projects to extremely high standards – from design all the way through to insights and into actions.

With an exceptionally strong team of moderators, researchers, analysts and marketing specialists delivering a mix of qualitative (in depth conversation based research) and quantitative (survey based statistical research) methods, Explain can provide you and your organisation with the powerful and reliable insight that you need to inform your business, customer and marketing strategies.

We employ a wide range of methodologies, from the traditional to the innovative, including:

Our team at Explain Market Research are experts at putting research programmes in place to deliver for clients.

Contact us today to find out how we could support you, and click through below to take a more detailed look at some of the solutions we offer.

3-brand-awarness3-campaign-evaluation3-public-consultation

3-stakeholder3-customer-research3-hard-to-reach-research

3-website-user-testing3-employee-research3-new-product

 


Leave a comment

Explain Market Research launches new research solution to deliver innovation

Originally developed in 2010, Explain’s innovative online community platform has undergone a substantial upgrade to better meet the needs of clients and end users.

Organisations in a range of sectors, including utilities, healthcare and manufacturing, have chosen our platform as it provides a unique and extremely cost-effective method of research and engagement to suit any budget.

An online community in the simplest form is a form of social and digital engagement, sometimes referred to as an online panel; they offer a bespoke, members-only digital space in which to directly engage ‘in the moment’ with a desired audience – for example, customers, stakeholders, or internal staff. Communities are currently being used to monitor perceptions of customer service, develop new products, and engage with vulnerable and ‘hard to reach’ consumer groups.

Along with the build of each community, Explain provide an ongoing management and moderation service which sees users encouraged to actively participate in conversation, providing a qualitative two way conversation. Views and opinions are gathered through discussion threads, polls and online surveys, with fresh and relevant content uploaded frequently to ensure high levels of engagement, providing a 360 degree view from customers.

Our online communities range in scale and scope, with each community individually designed to deliver the needs of clients. We currently host and manage online communities ranging from bespoke projects with 50 members, running for a limited time to deliver immediate insights, to long term strategic models with thousands of members, that will run over a number of years as an engagement tool.

The recently launched Version 3 of the platform offers enhanced design and media capabilities, along with greater usability to improve user experience for members.

Kim Davis, Explain Market Research’s Managing Director commented “Our newest release has stimulated interest from those who see research as an ongoing investment in product and service refinement. Any industry that is serious about stakeholder engagement should consider an online community, as an extremely cost-effective way to carry out ongoing research.  It breaks down barriers such as location, accessibility and timing. We are seeing a significant shift towards this type of research, particularly in regulatory environments, to demonstrate consistent engagement, and also in manufacturing for product innovation and development.”

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Explain has provided full-service market research solutions to a range of organisations for over two decades, with specialist knowledge and expertise in the utilities, healthcare and financial services sectors. Delivering innovative insights is at the forefront of our culture. Our online communities are part of a wider suite of innovative solutions to research and engagement, which also includes mobile app surveys, collecting ‘in the moment’ data and insights.

With a shift towards ongoing and digital research, to demonstrate consistent engagement, we continue to work with clients to find solutions to their needs, and are seeing a significant increase in the uptake of online communities as a research tool.

Take a look at our infographic below and get in touch to understand how your organisation will benefit from an online community.

communities infographic


Leave a comment

A guide to market research – DIY or outsource to a specialist agency?

Company budgets are always under review and managers are always under pressure to make savings, so when it comes to market research is this something that can be carried out by your own internal resource, or do you need a market research agency that specialises in this discipline to deliver this for you?

There are times when research does lend itself to being carried out externally and times when this can be carried out well internally. However, organisations do have to be careful that in their efforts to save money, it doesn’t cost the business money in the long run! Poorly constructed research can also have an impact on the public’s perception of your business, as research is another form of engagement and will leave a lasting impression on your customers and stakeholders.

Before deciding which way to go, there are a number of important factors which should be considered:

  1. In-house capability

You may not think it takes a genius to construct a survey, however experience alongside strategic and logical thinking are required in order to get the most from any research. A strategic mindset will help establish what you are trying to achieve from your survey, while logic is needed to map out the questionnaire journey, question type and determine if the outputs will meet your objectives. This may sound obvious, however it’s amazing how many surveys end up going out the door, yet the results don’t meet the initial research objectives!

A quick short online survey for example can usually be constructed by someone internally and is generally more cost effective to do so, using the various tools that are available across the internet. However, for more complex work which has high importance for your business, think carefully before using anyone who hasn’t got the experience to do this.

  1. In-house resource

If you require a methodology that involves 1,100 completed on-street or telephone surveys then carrying this out internally usually isn’t an option! This is obvious to outsource due to the number of fieldworkers that would be required and the technical capability required for telephone interviewing, such as call recording.

There are methodologies that in theory could be delivered by an internal team, such as focus groups. However it is vital that the team is proficient in focus group moderation, discussion guide creation and thematic analysis. There should also be enough moderators to handle a number of groups to be representative of the base that you are researching.

The administration and organisation of a focus group should not be overlooked.  As part of a package that a research agency offers, the administration and logistics of recruitment and session organisation are also included – this is time consuming and well thought through in terms of ideal venues, room sizes, location, equipment and so forth.  Therefore if your organisation does not have the resource to do this, then this is also an added value benefit.

  1. Market Research Society (MRS) guidelines

Most research agencies are MRS partners or members and will adhere to the guidelines set out by the MRS. These are professional standards which are put in place to ensure that research is delivered to the highest standard in terms of ethical practices, commercial value and reliability.

Research agencies often send their staff on Market Research Society courses to enhance their professional development, so that they bring more to their clients in terms of innovation and best practice.

  1. Independent research

When outsourcing to a research agency, bias is less of a concern than it would be if it was carried out by an internal team or person. Research by a third party will be carried out and delivered independently, which will impact on respondents’ openness to questions during fieldwork.

Concern of a biased approach to analysis and delivery of results is also removed when outsourcing to a specialist agency, as there is no danger of political agenda or emotional attachment to the outputs.

  1. Quality and reliability

Depending on resource available and the capability of staff within the organisation, quality and reliability of findings should be considered. You may have a team of highly trained and experienced market research specialists, however if you don’t these factors may be at risk. The importance and influence of the outputs and complexity of the research will provide a good indication as to whether your project should be outsourced to an agency who can guarantee high quality work and robust results.

Consider your options carefully, weigh up the risks and if you believe research is worth doing – it’s worth doing correctly.

Contact us today to find out more about the research and engagement solutions we offer at Explain.

diy-or-outsource-infographic-v2

 


Leave a comment

Knowing, segmenting and talking to your audience in their language, improves engagement

Information overload increases by the day, so how do organisations become smarter in order to engage with their stakeholders such as customers, prospective customers, users of a public service, employees…

Email boxes are now crammed packed with notifications of the latest offers, on-demand TV allows viewers to skip past ad breaks, we have internet streamed music with preference built play lists with no ad interruptions, there are text message notifications to overcome the issue of more and more people not opening their mail, we have internet adverts that follow you around online …. those who are responsible for engagement have a difficult task at hand to understand which channels and what messages are right to yield the desired results.

A one size fits all approach didn’t work as effectively as a targeted communication campaign 10 years ago, so now with all of the rapid and major changes in how we communicate, this approach has very little impact.

Segmentation is more important than ever and is applied and used by large retailers extremely effectively due to most transactions taking  place online and data collected as part of the process at point of sales –  this is known as ‘big data’.

It’s not all about demographics either.   We can’t assume all those 65 plus have the same preferences e.g. silver surfers Vs. traditionalists. There is huge diversity within demographic groups now and without behavioural segmentation to give a true understanding of what makes your audience tick, your communication will likely fall on deaf ears.

Getting our hands on this data can be extremely difficult.  If your services aren’t all about online purchasing and point of sales, this makes it even trickier.  It’s not uncommon for organisations particularly within the utility, public sector, healthcare, housing and education sectors to have collated large databases of various stakeholders including customers, but have great difficulty in segmenting it to communicate more effectively in order to improve engagement.

Market research is fundamental in understanding key groups and to start the process of an effective segmentation strategy  based on behaviours and preferences, allowing us to talk the same language with the right benefit messages using the right channels to our intended audience.

Our team work with a range of organisations across sectors, particularly where segmentation isn’t as straight forward. Our mix of research, marketing and data specialists will build a programme of research and segmentation strategies to help your business become more effective and smarter in engaging with stakeholders.

We have produced an infographic for anyone thinking about how they can better understand their audience:

Segmentation infographic