What Client-Side Researchers Are Looking for

Client-side researchers have a lot of choices when it comes to deciding which market research firm to work with. Some go with what they know, no matter how old-school or overpriced it may be. Others, like Tiffany McNeil, strategy and insights manager at Del Monte Foods, have a checklist. Earlier this month, she shared her criteria with Ray Poynter on Radio NewMR. (Credit goes to Dana Stanley of Research Access for first posting about this informative segment—and doing the dirty work of transcribing McNeil’s tips.)

At the top of McNeil’s list is innovation, which she defines as “just a general willingness to be flexible and try things,” even if it means using a tool not currently in the researcher’s toolbox. She also says it’s important for research firms to be fast, efficient and engaged throughout the entire process—not “really engaged when you’re trying to win the work and they disappear once you get it.”

She also has a sales tip for research firms trying to get on a client-side researcher’s radar: Don’t leave a voicemail and don’t send scripted emails. She says she relies heavily on word of mouth. Does that mean your best sales strategy should be to just continue doing good work for your other clients?

  1. Good piece of advice. I would add attending physical conference is one way you can get the word-of-mouth going. Forget about cold calls and email marketing!

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