Thursday, June 12, 2008

But, ahem...

Following on from my last post, what are the implications here for research buyers and research suppliers?

For research buyers

Beware the travelling junior. If, for example, you commission an 8 group project and 4 of those groups are run by JRs, you’ve just paid half of your research budget in training.

Unless you’re happy to subsidise these training sessions, and are confident that the output is sound enough to guide your business strategies, then insist that SRs moderate all your groups. You’ll be getting far better value for your investment.

For research agencies

It’s definitely a challenge. How will your JRs get experience if, as I’m suggesting, they shouldn’t be let loose on client work?

Well it’s a matter of rethinking the status quo. Maybe co-moderation – where JRs sit in on focus groups run by SRs to learn the qualitative ropes and practice their techniques in situ –  should be standard until the JRs get some business world experience under their belts. A few years experience at least.

There are two key benefits here: the client gets the goods and your JRs get the experience. Yes, it’s true, the cost of the training shifts back to you. But really, ahem, it should never have been otherwise.

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