Research is the most work-intensive, yet the most exciting part of the FreshSight experience! In just a few weeks, you must grasp an excellent understanding on your client. To achieve that, you will need to do some research which will be key for your team to design recommendations to make change happen. This might be daunting but hopefully these tips will be useful !
• Start early: As soon as you get assigned a project, start researching about your client’s background. By doing this before the ICM, you will be able to ask them more specific questions and you will look super professional !
• YOU are the researcher: Primary research is the research you conduct through going yourselves on the field while secondary research is the use of published data from academic or government research. While primary research is more time-consuming, you will be able to learn directly from those who interact with your client and to get much more precise insights on their expectations.
• Choose your primary research methods wisely:
o Surveys: Really awesome to get quantitative data ! If your client target market is large (eg : Edinburgh University students), it should be easy to get many responses. But keep your survey very short (no more than 3-4 mins) and avoid open answers as people hate writting and data analysis will be harder. If your client is a B2B, it might be much harder to get answers though and you might have to call all the social enterprises in Aberdeen as our team did !
o Interviews: Great to get qualitative data and to give you a direction if you are stuck. FreshSight has a very large network, so you might be able to talk easily to professionals in your client’s field.
o Competitor analysis: Slightly more cheeky but definitely part of the game : you want to know how your client’s competitors operate and what are their weaknesses. This will involve finding as much information as you can. But this could also involve going to meet them and pretending to be potential customers or suppliers.
• Be critical and honest: Your research will not be perfect and that’s fine ! Just be honest about it. Always include the sample size when discussing your survey. And if your findings are contradictory, discuss it in your deliverable !
• Be creative and have fun!