Volkswagen - Research "Not Up To Scratch"
Volkswagen Group's insight manager, Steve Gatt, berated many research firms for their focus on process and not product in an interview with Research Live this week.
According to Steve, there is a major problem with how research is reported and communicated within Volkswagen, leading him to conclude many research firms do not understand their clients.
As research professionals you might expect Evolve to rush to the defense of our accused brethren...but we're not. In fact, we sympathize with Steve Gatt and his friends at Volkswagen.
Yes, research can be dressed in complex analyses, mountains of tables and charts and scientific explanations of sampling methodology in a 150-page report...but, that is rarely what the client wants from his or her research investment.
Most people don’t have the time, nor desire, to read huge, wordy reports. Neither do their staff. They need an easy-to-use deliverable that contains the answers to their questions. Answers that will help them make important business decisions.
Ultimately, the way research should be reported is dependent upon each client. It's depressing to watch Steve's interview as it's clear that some firms are not a) asking their clients what they truly want from the research, and b) not delivering the research in a way it can be implemented.
Of course, Evolve is different. As our name suggests, we adapt our deliverable to each client. Each client of ours is different, which means that each project has a unique report. Some clients want us to spend a couple of weeks putting together a detailed PowerPoint presentation of results and conclusions. Others prefer a one-page executive summary and a working lunch a few days after fieldwork has ended.
It's all about giving the client what they need to move forward.
Listen all ye research firms. Our clients, our customers, our bread and butter - they invest in us. In return, we need to innovate (not replicate) and guide our customers to make the best decisions for their businesses.