When research managers create effective market research questions, it’s typically because they’re working with a well-defined problem. But, defining that problem might be difficult. Researchers may have oversimplified the issue, failed to identify the root cause, or are culturally biased toward execution rather than problem definition.

It's ok. It happens to all of us.

To avoid these pitfalls, here are 3 steps to set you up for success:

Step 1: Work with a diverse team

The closer we are to a problem, the larger the gap between what we think we know and what we actually know. When defining a problem for market research purposes, it’s always a good idea to collaborate with five to seven team members with various backgrounds and skill sets, as they can identify challenges, angles, and concerning details that were previously overlooked.

Make sure you share your work with others for open and transparent feedback.

Step 2: Aim for quantity over quality

When defining problem statements, have the team create hundreds of options rather than seeking the “right” one. From there, converge on the top five for ideation and try coming up with as many alternative phrasings as possible. Working with a problem from a variety of different angles will ensure a holistically defined statement.

Step 3: Complete a root cause analysis for each problem statement

Once you’ve settled on a problem statement, identify what precisely is contributing to the issue. This is where diverse team members can help to uncover knowledge gaps and potential solution approaches.

After defining problem statements and identifying their root causes, it’s time to write the market research questions around these issues. For the best results, all questions should be simple, straightforward, unbiased, and singularly focused. As long as each one is based on a clearly defined problem and adheres to these guidelines, your market research questions should yield the helpful information your organization needs.

To learn more about how Batterii can help to define your market research process to gather the consumer insights needed to drive innnovation in your company, download the Batterii for Consumer Insights solution sheet below.

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