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market research

Market research provides a critical foundation for any messaging strategy. So often, we all assume that we know what our constituents are thinking based on our years of experience. Often, we are mistaken. That’s where market research comes in.

Nothing beats market research for getting actionable data. Data that inform how you decide to present yourself to the world. As with most things, market research can be as straightforward or as complex as you like. If the thought of a full-on market research study overwhelms you, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

This episode focuses on market research. In it, you’ll hear from Matthew O’Sullivan, an expert on the subject, on the best uses of both qualitative and quantitative research. Plus, you’ll hear from Tom King, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Children’s Alliance. He will share with you the real-world impact that research has had on his organization’s work and its message.

Key Takeaways

  1. Qualitative research is exploratory and is best for when you really want to gather views in people’s own words.
  2. Quantitative research is used when you want to apply a numerical value to people’s views.
  3. The fundamental question when deciding between qualitative and quantitative is “How are you going to collect the data?”
  4. Mistake number one is forgetting the questions need to be unambiguous.
  5. Market research can also invigorate staff and drive important discussions.

Episode Guests

Tom King. Since 2006, Tom King has served as the executive director of the Massachusetts Children’s Alliance. Tom got his passion for the CAC movement when he served as the child forensic interviewer for Hampden County District Attorney back in 1997. Tom holds a certificate from the Institute for Nonprofit Management & Leadership at the Boston University School of Management, in addition to a Master of Social Work degree from the Smith College School of Social Work, and a BA in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross.

Matthew O’Sullivan. Matthew O’Sullivan is a marketing research consultant with 18 years of experience working in industries as diverse as consumer goods, financial services, communications, logistics and technology, with particular experience in business-to-business research.

His particular specialty is research design and fashioning questions in such a way as to gain maximum insight from customers’ valuable time. Matthew’s most recent agency role was as Research Director at GfK in London, where he managed research accounts for large global companies in financial services.

He holds a master’s degree from Oxford University and an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University.

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