Strategists, consultants, brand managers and more confer with the top agricultural and ag-tech organizations throughout their careers. Intimate knowledge of the client, their operation, development team, tactics, strengths, and stakeholders is key to success. Creating a solid plan, winning the pitch and swaying the audience is one part of success. Knowing your idea has evidence-based data to back it up is where the confidence is real. This is when a partnership with a research management team with a proven track record is imperative for the plan to be effective and create business impact.
Research has a lot of moving parts. Basic questions at the beginning of any successful study include:
- What is the scope of the project?
- How much data is needed to produce significant results?
- Which sub-groups should be included – distributors, farmers, product consultants?
- Which roles will qualify?
- What should the concept information include?
Without an established market research management partner this may be the end of the set-up process. But having a research logistics partner with deep proficiency in agribusiness and livestock, there are so many other questions to ask. Best practices that lead to success from beginning to end include a more in-depth plan to clarify objectives, choose the right methodology and keep the logistics faithful to the desired objectives. This includes monitoring data quality while the survey is in the field as well as planning for correct analysis and final report. Each agricultural project is unique, but a focus on excellence in planning and logistics ensures the most critical steps are not missed. At Ag Access, our proven research management process includes:
1. Identify issues and develop objectives: At this stage of the process, it is important to get as much clarity as possible. What do you specifically want to know and from whom? How will you determine if a strategy, marketing materials, or product be desirable to our target customers? Do you have any existing hypotheses? Definition of the customer and segment focus with the question you want to be answered in mind should be complete before moving to the next phase.
How can Ag Access help? With expert-level knowledge in this part of the process, Ag Access can guide your understanding of the primary decision-makers in agriculture. This will provide insight into the right target audience and the best way to reach those who will provide the most valuable input on the exact question or primary objective of the study.
2. Determine the methodology: Budget is a huge consideration when determining methodology, but more central is the proper selection of a methodology to match the desired research outcomes. Do you need quantitative research, which will offer a substantial sample size and hard data? Perhaps a qualitative method, which is much more exploratory and smaller in scope – yet still offers substantial valuable insight, is a better way forward to deliver the right deliverables for analysis.
How can Ag Access help? Each methodology requires a different logistical plan. When the right process is connected to the right methodology the focus of the research remains on the key questions to be asked. With vast experience in the agriculture research world, Ag Access has worked with most brands in the industry and their competitors. Our experience with multiple methodologies and how they apply within agriculture can save significant time and money and deliver key insights without wasting efforts.
3. Design the screener, survey, discussion, or focus group guide: The goal in establishing criteria for a screener is to quickly and efficiently qualify the correct target participants for your study. Once the right participants are involved it is essential to properly communicate the parameters for their participation. Stakeholders are frequently tempted to pull the study in various directions but keeping it brief and focused is salient to high response rates and relevant answers.
How can Ag Access help? Ag Access’ logistics team has over 20 years of experience in facilitating the collaborative survey design process. Sometimes even the difference of one word in a screener questionnaire can make all the difference in screening in or out respondents. When it comes to building the actual survey, often the questions stakeholders want to ask may not be the right questions to gain the most meaningful responses. Making sure common mistakes are not made (such as asking a double-barreled question or creating a rating scale that does not make sense to the typical survey taker) can be avoided by having a professional team program a survey. The ability to weed through nice-to-know versus need-to-know questions and how best to word each question is imperative to designing a screener and survey that will garner the proper insights for each project.
With 400,000 engaged agricultural insights community members in the Ag Access community and one million contacts with ag and/or livestock equipment, Ag Access is poised to launch and deliver respondents quickly. This is a benefit unparalleled in the market research industry where these highly-specific respondents cannot always be reached through general population inquiries.
4. Collect responses & analyze the data: Online surveys need to be programmed and tested. In-depth interviews, focus groups, and online bulletin boards will either require the setup of technical services or custom programming so that responses can be properly collected. After a project is tangibly set up to collect data, and the data is collected, market research data analysis includes cleaning, deciphering, and ultimately making the data more visual and easily digestible.
How can Ag Access help? A research partner with extensive knowledge in crucial importance indicators within datasets and is skillful in finding patterns and variance around the questioned concepts will get done effectively and efficiently. Our team frequently handles fully managed research services including the delivery of statistically significant and professionally analyzed data sets.
5. Draw conclusions & present: In order to uncover actionable insights that confirm or rebut the original hypothesis, the data collected must be gone through with a fine-tooth comb as well as looked at from a big-picture perspective, but work doesn’t stop there. Conclusions on any research project must be presented in a way that compels action.
How can Ag Access help? As part of our proven process, Ag Access shapes the data into a compelling, thought-provoking story that fully addresses the primary objective. The robust data supplied will give the executive team the confidence to green light or, red light this concept. Visuals can be customized and delivered in raw format or presentation-ready. Either way, it means we deliver clarity in both the data and the meaning it conveys.
The benefits of conducting market research are great. They are amplified when choosing a qualified and experienced partner. Whether you’re evaluating concepts, researching customer opinion, or looking for feedback on your service, taking the time to talk to the right audience means reducing or even eliminating threats. Measuring the customer’s responses helps optimize your recommendation and potentially augment that plan to gain more customer loyalty and new prospects. Ag Access will help you recognize and harness the best concepts and opportunities at the right time.
To gain (and sustain) actionable insight, there really is no substitute for customized market research. A study tailored to your own business questions, using a targeted audience, means all resulting data will be timely and relevant to unique business purposes. Click below to learn how our team can craft and execute a market research study that improves your products, operational strategies, and ultimately, your ROI.