Which Client Are You?

We work with many different types of clients, and we understand the different obstacles they encounter.  Here are four type of clients we commonly work with.  Which client are you?

  • Research or Consulting Company: I work in a marketing research company, marketing consultancy, or business consultancy and I need a partner.
  • Client-Side Marketing Researcher: I work in a marketing research department within a company and need a vendor.
  • Business Stakeholder Driving Project: I work in a business unit that needs help with a project, but we don’t have any internal support.
  • Business Stakeholder, Project Driven from Above: I need to get this project done because the CEO or other executive is interested.

All of the clients above have different questions, vocabularies, research expertise, and deliverable requirements.  Expand a section below to see how we address each of these clients’ needs.

Research or Consulting Company
You are skilled in your area of expertise, but need to add a special capability in order to meet your end-client’s needs.

Priority: Work together in an integrated way in order to provide a seamless, positive experience for your end-client.

Research Awareness: High; we usually speak together in a technical way using common research language.

Deliverables: Seamless integration of deliverables to provide a unified front to your end-client.

Bottom Line: Help me deliver to my client, and make me look good.

Client-Side Marketing Researcher
You are very skilled at research, but often have many research jobs being commissioned simultaneously; you need a partner that doesn’t need hand-holding.

Priority: Understand the research need, and potentially help translate the business need into a research project.

Research Awareness: High; we usually speak together in a technical way using common research language. However, we need to be experts you can call on with your stakeholders (in person or on calls), to provide third-party expertise.

Deliverables: Address the business needs as plainly as possible. You shouldn’t be required to “redo” deliverables to make them acceptable to your stakeholders.

Bottom Line: Help me efficiently run this project. Be a trusted partner so I can focus on everything else I have on my plate.

Business Stakeholder Driving Project
You are a business unit stakeholder who has a business question that needs to be addressed. You may not know much about research, and you shouldn’t need to get involved in unnecessary details.

Priority: Understand the business need, and translate it into a research question without getting into the weeds of the research specifics.

Research Awareness: Lower; we usually speak together about your business and the issues that need to be addressed. We are the experts if the research needs to be discussed with your stakeholders (in person or on calls), and we speak to your stakeholders in plain business language (with less detail to bog them down).

Deliverables: Directly address stakeholder expectations; match deliverables to what you and your business colleagues are used to, sharing only essential research detail – that’s for an appendix.

Bottom Line: Be my research department.  Understand my business enough to design the research to answer my business questions and so that the research results will flow through to help improve my business.

Business Stakeholder, Project Driven from Above
An executive has requested a research project.  You work from this exec, and you’ve been ‘nominated’ to get the research done. This situation can create a lot of stress, because A) you may not know a lot about research and B) there is a lot riding on providing a deliverable to this exec.

Priority: Understand the business need, and translate it into a research question without getting into the weeds of the research specifics.  Be flexible based on the needs of the executive, which could be related to the level of detail discussed and reported, the focus of the project, and/or the timeline.

Research Awareness: Lower; we usually speak together about your business and the issues that need to be addressed. We are the experts if the research needs to be discussed with your stakeholders (in person or on calls), and we speak to your stakeholders in plain business language (with less detail to bog them down).  We also need to prove that we are trustworthy and can speak at the right level for an executive (often shorter and more to the point).

Deliverables: Straight to point, including recommendations.  There’s no time for a big deck, but be able to support and explain all findings upon request.

Bottom Line: Be my research department and my business assistant.  Understand my business enough to design the research to answer my business questions and so that the research results will flow through to help improve my business. Help anticipate questions the executive might have; make sure to make me look to my boss.