The Challenge: Maintaining Quality in Efficient Market Research


As most insight experts are aware, efficiency has been a core objective for market research teams throughout all industries and sectors for a while now. There has been an ever-increasing pressure for insight experts everywhere to generate valuable insights at the speed of business to make sure that those insights can be as impactful as possible and are more likely used to greater effect in stakeholder decision-making processes.


Put simply, with the speed of business getting faster and ever faster, we are feeling more pressure to continuously revolutionise insight generation and activation processes so that they are more efficient, but in this pursuit of efficiency, the quality of data and insights can suffer. Our challenge, should we choose to accept it, is now to increase efficiency in market research processes without compromising on quality. And the solution is based in understanding the elements to a successful market research process, and using this knowledge to revolutionise your research process for maximum efficiency without compromising on quality.

Key Elements of Efficient Research Experiences

Since most innovations in market research have been focussed on and driven by technology in the past couple of decades, we most certainly have the tools at our disposal to achieve efficiency while maintaining quality in all stages of the research process, from commission to activation. But there are other elements required that will maximise on the efficiency provided by technology, such as workflow management, streamlining the research process and understanding the pain points as well as high points of your specific strategy.

Streamlining Workflow Management

Workflows are fundamental necessities to any task, project and strategy, and there are many workflows at play at once when it comes to market research; there are some that start outside of the industry on the stakeholders’ end that move into the insight industry, (such as commissioning the research and designing it), and then back out of the industry to the insight stakeholders (for example, the communication of insights ready for activation).

So, streamlining all of these workflows to maximise efficiency might not be possible due to the lack of influence insight teams have over stakeholder processes, but even streamlining a few that we do have influence over will drastically improve the speed, cost and time involved in conducting those tasks.

Our aim with all workflow innovation and efficiency in general is to increase the speed of those processes and thus reduce the time and costs associated with it – all while maintaining quality, quality in data collected, quality in data analysed, quality of communication, and ultimately the quality of decisions made on those insights.

The workflows that insight experts have direct control over are the data-specific ones, from research design and data collection to analysis and communication. In terms of research implementation workflows, these will be unique to each organisation and as such an audit would be the best way of tracking every process, every workflow, recording the time they take, their importance, the tools used within them, and seeing where improvements can be made based on this information. Don’t be afraid to look into new tools, new techniques, and make sure that every workflow and action really serves it’s purpose.

The workflows that agency-side researchers don’t have direct control over are those on the side of stakeholders, those are typically communication and decision-making workflows. However, for in-house insight teams, using organisational psychology, we can learn to understand the barriers to stakeholder engagement in market research, as well as any extraneous or non-efficient processes that are hindering the flow of insights around an organisation. Submitting this information to stakeholders to help them understand the changes needed will help build a bridge between stakeholders and insight experts, and establish a closer more meaningful relationship as well as line of communication.


This is one of the most important elements of any research experience, but even more so, it is the most important facet for any successful relationship or partnership. It is the element that ensures quality in all collaborations and projects, and so is essential to create direct and continuously monitored lines of communication that all parties use.

Internal communication between insight experts is always essential, and there should be direct communication between everyone to ensure quality research (proofreading, double checking, idea generation and problem solving are all daily tasks for researchers). The efficiency side of this comes from everyone using the same communication methods, and multiple methods for different communication purposes.

External communication between insight teams and stakeholders should follow the same principle, with direct communication between the two parties on a couple of different methods for different purposes – research design needs communication that can support real-time collaboration, so that the stakeholders can provide real business contexts, and the insight team can provide their expertise in designing research for real people.

Insights Activation

Producing quality insights unfortunately does not mean quality decision-making, so educating stakeholders on how to activate insights to the best of their ability is one half of this great plan, the other half is to provide them with the tools to make activating insights as easy as possible.

At FlexMR, we have developed a specific tool dedicated to insight activation – ActivateMR. It ties together the entire research project and completes our research toolkit on our InsightHub platform. Without insights activation, all the work done to create those insights will have been for nothing. So, how do we encourage insights activation on the end of stakeholders in the most efficient way possible while still maintaining quality? By making it so easy it’s unmissable.

Pairing this tool with the education to help stakeholders make the most of the insights provided will drive insightful thinking across organisations, allowing customers to stay at the heart of all conversations, ideas, and actions. So, popular educational tactics have come about in the form of lunch n’ learns, dedicated insight workshops, the traditional research recommendations, and many more. Simply put, educate your stakeholders in whatever way captures and keeps their attention, and insights activation will follow.