In order to better understand a given audience, demographic, or client, it is essential to engage in practical and comprehensive research. This kind of study will allow for a better overall product to those you wish to reach and/or effect. Unlike many productions companies that have a set product line, MB4 Productions truly defines each product before the creation process ever begins. The defining of this product is possible through the complete and thorough research we conduct.
MB4 Productions takes research very seriously. We have created an eight-step process that must be completed before the design and development phase can begin. Those eight steps are:
1) Identify problem - What are the key questions, and what decisions will be made based on the results? Without a good handle on this, the research will likely be useless. It's also useful to have an idea of your budget as early as possible.
2) Define your audience - Who do you need to reach – current customers, potential customers? The more specific the better. However, if you get too narrow, reaching that target will be difficult (i.e. expensive). "Moms" is too broad, while "Moms age 25 to 30 with children 1 to 3 who have purchased 5+ jars of Gerber baby food in the past week" is too narrow. A better definition would be "Moms who purchased baby food in the past month".
3) Determine research method - Surveys are typical, but could also include focus groups or 1-on-1 in-depth interviews. If using a survey, will it be by phone, mail, in-person, web, etc.?
4) Determine sampling - How many do you need to survey for a reliable sample size (there are formulas for this) and what is the best source to find them - phone screening, buy a list, etc.?
5) Write the questionnaire - Make sure the questions adequately address the defined problem. Question wording should be easy to understand and specific. The response options need to allow for appropriate analysis.
6) Implement the survey (fieldwork) - Track productivity and costs. Resolve any obstacles that come up.
7) Tabulate and analyze the data - Prepare summary statistics for each question, broken out by relevant subgroups if necessary. May include coding of open-end questions and advanced statistical techniques.
8) Report the results - Create graphs, charts and text that communicate the findings. Conclusions/ recommendations should be actionable regarding the defined problem.
Through years of experience, many times answers sought after have already been found. Therefore, some of the fieldwork is unnecessary. However, when starting a project that is unique and undefined, it is essential to thoroughly go step-by-step through the research process to tease out exactly the answers needed.
MB4 Productions has found great success in starting each of our projects with this comprehensive approach.