Research Quality in COVID times
Research Quality and WFH

Research Quality in COVID times

Since the start of the COVID-19 triggered pandemic, Work From Home has quickly become the new norm across the world. Traditional ‘Work From Office’ countries, like Singapore where SPARC has its headquarters, suddenly needed to change to a more automated, independent work form. We’ve published an article about new online qualitative research approaches. In this article, we’ll look at the overall Research Quality and how to maintain it for your clients in these challenging times.

As a market researcher we try to build bridges between what the client wants to ‘sell’ and what is desired in the market. Where can you gain market share, what’s the optimal price point for your product in the current market? Questions that require solid research and where the margin for error is very low. In order for insights to be believable and indeed strong enough to make big decisions based on it, the Research Quality needs to be at a constant high standard.

Primary research made in home-office, proved to be not only feasible, but actually showed an increase in Research Quality. I have evidence from all of our offices actually, that we are working more from home than when we typically were at the office. Being able to do what you like, and also being able to have your family around should be seen as one of the greatest silver linings that COVID-19 brought.

Personally, I don’t think things will get back to ‘the way they were’ soon. And for me, and SPARC as a company, that’s OK. It’s even a lot better than expected. The changes in technology, mindset and most important, the impact on the costs in conducting virtual Focus Groups, in turning what once was a very cost-intensive process into a more agile and cost-friendly project, these changes will remain. We are heading to a “new normal” – a term I typically don’t really embrace. But this might be a new normal I’m going to like…

The “new normal” will require the made-in-home-office projects a stronger project management skill, but also a different approach to stakeholder management. The accountancy department will surely be happy to see a decrease in the costs and so do our clients. Other, more conservative stakeholders will probably need a bit of extra support to understand that the times have changed and it’s probably for the better. There’s a new set of rules an increased Research Quality and an overall lower cost to get insights. Not a bad trade off!

From virtual reality, through virtual focus groups to a myriad of qualitative and quantitative online possibilities, technology is a key element in the “made in the home-office” era. This technology will rapidly evolve, and I see that in a very short time, virtual reality will enable us to run focus groups and house visits from the comfort of our houses. Viewing agencies will turn mostly into technology-centric hubs and their competition will be based on the ability to deliver virtual projects. I know of many concepts that are already on the way. We have to wait and see whether the “new normal” will be able to show enough Research Quality improvements to stick around long term. I, for one, am in favor!

If you want to know more about SPARC’s bespoke solutions to deliver amazing, actionable insights at a constant high Research Quality, do get in touch with us and we’ll set up virtual meeting at your convenience! Simply leave your details on our contact page and we’ll get in touch with you.