Over the past 30 years, our team has worked with some of the globe’s largest brands and, not surprisingly, we’ve learned a few things. I sat down with some of our internal experts to ask them what clients truly want from their research partners. Their answers can help give you a fresh outlook on your partnership goals for the coming year. 

Bring a fresh perspective to the table

Your clients hire you for your expertise and ability to provide an external, unbiased point of view. Clients are smart, they don’t want to be told things they already know. They want their research partner to find a new angle, uncover a gem of understanding, question a long-held myth. You are the sounding board for them as well, someone they can use as an additional brain they trust. Don’t approach their project with a template or standardized method, but instead start with a blank page and look at the essence of the problem at hand. This can encourage a new way of thinking about things that your clients will value. Your knowledge and advice will drive the relationship, if you speak up.

Help them meet demands for saving time and money

It’s clear that the market research industry needs to change in order to keep up with our fast-moving landscape, and your client is looking to you to help them stay ahead. For them to implement new internal technologies, like automation, a large investment is required on their end, and not just from a money standpoint. They must get C-suite buy-in, commit themselves to disrupting current workflows and take a risk with their already-limited budgets. Bring options to the table to help them operate more efficiently - usually this means new technology. You can take the fear out of implementation by showing your client how a solution creates specific efficiencies in their day-to-day jobs and how it will save them money. No matter how sophisticated the tool is, or how beautiful its interface might be, it won’t matter if it doesn’t meet goals for saving time and money. Put their minds at ease and use your insights to help them with a staged approach to future-proof their business with technology.

Tap into your innate passions as a researcher

We’re firm believers that many of us entered the research field because we have boundless curiosity. This is a natural quality that serves us well as we uncover insights from the ever-increasing amount of data we are able to get our hands on. Feed your client’s curiosity as well. Get them excited about the story that their data is telling. One way to do this is by presenting the data in a beautiful format, with interactive, easy-to-understand visualizations. Clients want their research partners to share their enthusiasm and commitment to their mission and to love their brands the way they do. From this passion comes the dedication and teamwork which underpins any great partnership. A genuine interest in the business of the client is a precious commodity that will be rewarding and fun and, at the same time, build value for the client.

As a trusted market research partner, you need to add value, make your client’s job easier and make them look good for their stakeholders. Your expert support and guidance can mean the difference between the success and failure of important initiatives. Keep these tips in mind - they are perhaps things you already do. A renewed focus on what you are specifically bringing to the relationship can help you and your client capitalize on your strengths and knowledge.