Ben Halford, ACCRETIO's Junior Analyst, gives some insight into the company's approach to research, the challenges to be mindful of, and how to effectively address them to successfully meet your objectives.
When aiming to get to the heart of a brand’s opportunities and challenges, extensive and coherent research lays the foundation for success. Whether you’re undertaking a market review to identify growth opportunities, performing detailed segmentation to better utilise in-field resources, or launching in a new therapy area and need to enrich your understanding of what will drive success, a methodical but flexible approach to research will better inform your analyses, offering astute and insightful solutions. From my experience as a Junior Analyst at ACCRETIO, I’ve identified three significant challenges in the process of collecting and analysing data, all of which must be addressed in order to yield the greatest benefits:
What problem are you trying to solve?
Ensuring that you have a firm grasp of the question is the most important part of a research task, as well as aligning this question to the key objectives of the brand. Ample time should be spent really understanding what issues need to be overcome to allow you to get to the crux of the problem. Spending time brainstorming with colleagues to solidify the challenges pays dividends later, and allows construction of a framework which can be easily built upon when starting the inquiry. Such a framework will facilitate incisive focus on the brief’s minutiae, whilst also keeping sight of the bigger picture.
Asking plenty of questions should never be underestimated; they allow the opportunity to really flesh out the details of the challenge and better inform what a comprehensive solution might look like. It is easy to overlook the importance of this stage as one can spend a huge amount of time gathering reams of data and information, which may appear great on the surface, but in reality offers very little in terms of addressing the core challenge.
A Game of Hide and Seek
The research process really does share similarities with the popular childhood game; there are many places to search; it can certainly be frustrating at times; but it’s a great feeling to finally unearth what you’re searching for. The main difference lies in the size of the play area, as the internet will forever be larger than your friend’s garden! The quantity of data available is vast, and only through continued practice and hard work do you learn where the most reliable data can be found, and scrutinise how relevant the information is to the question you are attempting to answer.
Whilst it’s important to have a systematic approach to research, useful snippets of information can be retrieved by being flexible and exploring new avenues, particularly when new to research. Don’t be scared of being taken on small tangents; the juiciest morsels of material sometimes emanate from the most unexpected of places!
Translation, Translation, Translation
Perhaps the most challenging part of research is succinctly summarising the wealth of information that has been collected, translating its complexities into insights and understanding any gaps that may require qualitative research to fill. This is where a truly collaborative approach becomes most valuable. Taking others through the story that has been uncovered through secondary research is a critical step. Now is the time to revisit the initial brief to ensure that the specifics are fully explored, all insights are uncovered and agree next steps so that a well-informed strategy can be developed, which will provide the requisite grounding to achieve the brand’s overarching objectives.
To find out more about ACCRETIO's offerings, visit their website! Or if you would like to get in touch, please contact Richard Baderin, Managing Director at ACCRETIO on RichardBaderin@accretio.co.uk.