What Clients Want from Marketing Research Vendors #MRIA14 #MRX


Live blogging from the #MRIA national conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.saskatoon

Panel discussion with client-side researchers  – “What clients want” 
Moderator: David Ian Gray, President & Founder, DIG360 Consulting Ltd.
Panelists: Greg Ambrose, Senior Manager, Consumer Research & Insights, Tim Hortons; Bonnie Baird, Manager of Planning & ResearchTourism Saskatchewan; Susan Williams, Senior Director, Strategic Insights at Cadillac Fairview, Cadillac Fairview Corporation;  John Tabone, Principal, Member Value & Research Services Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada

  • other than better, cheaper, faster…
  • clients shine when they partner with good people
  • find a way to get to the executive table, a way to position themselves
  • need strong relationships between clients and suppliers, iterative, trusting, collaborative
  • P1110124suppliers are suppliers within their own organization
  • need to learn from suppliers on how to be the consultant within their organization
  • don’t need to change suppliers when the same old project is going just fine the same old way; but i want to see new things and if you aren’t showing me, i’ll go find them elsewhere. they’d like to work with the same suppliers but you aren’t offering what the technology companies are offering
  • they want to put good research in front of key decisions makers, needs to be timely and a good story, need it to sing a little bit, needs to make them think further and more in depth
  • [Pause – time to consider the three Mounties who were killed in Moncton as this is headquarters for the Mounties]
  • suppliers want to meet the executive team on day one but that’s not realistic
  • every company doesn’t need to know all the new technologies but you need to understand them and know where you fit within them
  • need to make sure they’re working with the right people on the right projects, work across projects the supplier gets to understand the business better and the relationship is better, you need months and years to develop relationships
[embed: https://twitter.com/SPattonResearch/status/476384054439211008%5D
  • best suppliers know how to listen, know where you want to go, it’s overwhelming when suppliers list out 20 tools and options but I need something to solve my specific problem
  • it’s okay for vendors to say i don’t know if we have that or can offer that
  • how can you get the key message across in five minutes
  • you may not have to go through the key client contact every time when you have a good relationship
  • use the words that your team wants to hear if it will make the technique sound more cool and it actually what they want/need
[embed: https://twitter.com/MRIAARIM/status/476382228184719361%5D
  • probably won’t take a chance on a new vendor for a large job, six figures
  • please get the company name right, please know what their products are. it is a job interview so prepare for it.
  • RFP process is your first stab at the relationship – on time, typos, answer all the questions, don’t assume we know what you’re talking about, name dropping is not impressive but it helps for context, foot in the door is telling about related projects not the company secrets
  • when a client recommends a new supplier to their team, they need examples of relevant work, evidence that you are good at it helps sell you as a vendor
  • don’t dangle a wonderful person and then have them work only two hours on a project, it’s misleading, unfair and leaves a bad taste in the mouth, deliver the people you say you are going to deliver
  • be familiar with the buzz words needed to sell the job internally, your trademarked words, proprietary tools don’t fool them [Heck yeah! it’s all just regression not the Annie Pettit Regression Tool]
  • need to know how involved the senior person is, do include the junior people as that pipeline needs to be filled but don’t let me find out they wrote the whole report and i’ve never met them
  • overused buzzwords – Insights – do you have a ‘drawer you can open and pull out an insight’, We Can Do It All, Big Data
  • challenge me a little bit even when I think i’m right
  • why use a supplier when there are so many DIY tools? because they provide the so what, useful decision advice that you don’t get from DIY tools – but they DO use DIY tools for clear simply projects
  • when are DIY tools not appropriate? sometimes after the DIY tool to get the aha
  • want a few options of good better best with sample sizes, Q lengths, phases. open to a certain amount of grey even at the pricing stage
  • ask good questions at the RFP stage, not stupid questions [i would love to hear some of the stupid questions🙂 ]
  • budgets are available if you can demonstrate impactful decisions
  • help them find low risk ways to innovate
  • can’t always be as open as they want to be due to legal reasons

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