Shortly after stay-at-home went into effect, I—and countless others—decided to take up bread baking. After searching for the “best bread recipe ever,” I followed the instructions the best I could, but the bread never rose: the yeast was expired. I spent weeks on a quest to find a store with yeast in-stock. Soon, my obsession paid off, and I went to work baking my perfect loaf. It came out super average. Even with the right recipe and the right ingredients, something prevented the supreme bread experience I sought.

Applying this example to research, it is obvious that the right methodology, the right tools, and the right thinking/expertise are all critical to take high quality ingredients and turn them into excellent output. 

In terms of REAL Insight methodology, this means capturing behavioral and System 1 feedback whenever possible and weighing those differently than stated responses. Methodology is also important in ensuring those high quality ingredients are deployed with the right scope for the question and in the right way.

Technology has always played a role in research, but this year, its use has accelerated and hit high gear. We benefit from having access to these technological tools that we could not have developed ourselves, but technology isn’t a solution; it’s a tool that needs to be expertly utilized. Technology shouldn’t distract respondents, and we want to ensure their focus remains on the task at hand—not on how the data is collected. Tools that are too complicated, unreliable, or distracting only frustrate and disengage participants.

With DIY experiencing exponential growth as well as faster and cheaper research taking focus, the question remains: What is the role of specific expertise? As with any business investment, it comes down to value. However, it often takes time to determine if the trade-offs with faster and cheaper are worth it. Suppliers delivering average value with standard pricing will likely fade away. But partners delivering true value—one that drives brand growth—will continue to be worth the budget line-item over the long run.

At REAL Insight, we conduct authentic research that reflects the truth that leads our clients to make the right decisions and avoid costly mistakes. In this era of research where real ingredients are harder to come by and manufacturing timelines are tighter than ever, you need partners who can efficiently and cost effectively deliver recommendations you won’t regret acting on. 

We are here to make sure your bread turns out perfectly every time.

Check out Part One and Part Two of these series!

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