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How to work well together

AURA, the association for clientside researchers, has recently developed a Working Well Together charter to improve wellbeing in the industry by promoting better ways of working together. Insightful Research has signed up to the charter as a research supplier. You can read the full charter here.

Below are some thoughts of mine on what we have learned makes for the best and most successful working relationships.

 

Working with a market research agency can be a game-changer for your business, offering critical insights that drive strategy and decision-making. As a small market research consultancy, we've learned a few things about how the most successful projects develop from strong, transparent partnerships.

Here are some key strategies to ensure you get the best results from working with us.


Set a clear budget

We know that this can be difficult, but starting any project with a well-defined budget is crucial. Even just a ballpark figure can be helpful. Knowing your financial boundaries allows us to tailor our research methods and resources to provide the most value. If your budget is flexible or you’re not sure what you have to spend, let us know—we can propose a range of options to match your financial comfort zone while maximizing the quality of the research. If you were buying a car, you’d have a rough idea before you start whether your budget was Skoda or Rolls Royce – it helps to have the same conversation about market research.


Be transparent about the tendering process

We love being asked to provide proposals for projects, but as a small business the amount of (unpaid) work that goes into this is not insignificant. Transparency during the tendering process helps us understand your needs and expectations better, and gives us information that helps us to decide if we are the right fit for you as well. Ideally, we’d love a call with you to talk about the project before we tender – working only from a written brief can raise so many questions that a quick call can easily solve.

Share all relevant details about your objectives, timelines, and criteria for selection – as well as letting us know what the process looks like and how many agencies you have invited to tender. We recently had to turn down an invitation to quote for an organisation who had sent their tender to 17 different agencies because it does not make commercial sense to spend so much unpaid time on a proposal with so little chance of success. Think about what you want from your agency and shortlist the best candidates.


Provide feedback

There has been a lot of chatter on LinkedIn recently about the increased level of ‘ghosting’ that freelancers and agencies experience, and it’s certainly something we have experienced too. It is incredibly frustrating to spend a lot of time, thought and energy on a research proposal for it to simply disappear into a black hole, never to be spoken of again!

Your feedback is invaluable throughout the research process. Whether it's on initial proposals, research design, or interim findings, constructive feedback helps us refine our approach and work better in the future. Our best and most longstanding working relationships are those where there is continual dialogue and we work together with a shared objective of improving outcomes.

Don't hesitate to voice your opinions—our goal is to deliver insights that are truly useful for your business. Regular feedback loops ensure that the final deliverables are exactly what you need.


Work together as a team

The best results come from viewing the client-agency relationship as a true partnership. By working together, we can leverage your in-depth knowledge of your business and industry with our expertise in research methodologies. Collaborative efforts lead to more insightful, actionable outcomes. We always schedule regular check-ins and stay engaged with the project to ensure that we're on the same page and moving towards the same goals.


What You Can Expect from Us

In return, here are just a few of the things you can expect from us.


Honesty and transparency

We believe that honesty is the foundation of any successful partnership. From setting realistic expectations about what can be achieved within your budget to being upfront about any challenges we might face, our commitment to transparency ensures that there are no surprises along the way. This openness helps build trust and fosters a productive working relationship.


Flexibility

In the world of market research, flexibility is key. We understand that your needs might change or projects may face unexpected hurdles and we're prepared to adapt our approach as required. Whether it's tweaking the research design, adjusting timelines, or rethinking methodologies, we're committed to staying agile to meet your evolving requirements.


Personal accountability

At Insightful Research, Jill Elston personally takes responsibility for every project and is involved from start to finish, even if we bring in our associates to support the project. This hands-on approach ensures that communication doesn't get lost, and your project benefits from consistent oversight and direction. Having the director engaged means you have a single point of contact who understands every detail of your project, ensuring seamless communication and continuity.


High standards

Delivering high-quality research is our top priority. We are driven by doing good work. We adhere to rigorous standards to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and relevance of our findings. We stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and methodologies. You can count on us to uphold these standards throughout the entire research process.


Delivering on promises

We know that our reputation hinges on our ability to deliver what we've promised. When we commit to a timeline, budget, and scope of work, you can trust that we will do everything in our power to meet those commitments. Your business depends on our insights, and we take that responsibility seriously.


Building a Successful Partnership

By setting a clear budget, being transparent about the tendering process, providing ongoing feedback, and working together as a cohesive team, you can maximize the benefits of working with a market research agency. In return, our promise is to be honest, flexible, uphold high standards, and deliver on our promises. Together, we can achieve great things and drive your business forward with actionable, insightful research.

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