Business Problem vs. Research Problem | Ray Poynter, NewMR

Find out what the business problem is. We focus too much on the research problem and you can answer the research problem without helping the business so if you’ve been told, “Can you test these three ads?” Find out why they want to test them, what action are they thinking of taking when they’ve got the results, why are they testing them now and not previously or later, why are there three and not more, how do they think these ads are going to perform, with whom are they going to be successful? So the more you can find out about what the stakeholders further up the chain, further up from the insights manager, really need to do, then you can help them more. Now sometimes when you do that, you end up telling them, “You know what? I don’t think you need this research because actually, either way, you’re going to have to do this,” or “Either way, this isn’t going to work,” or “We’ve done something similar before and we can show you what the likely outcomes are.” So the more you understand, the more likely it is that you will be able to give advice that results in action as opposed to describing the data that you’ve collected.

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