Archive for May, 2016

Are YOU a Gold Star Client?

Posted on: May 23rd, 2016 by doyle


From the desk of Natanya Rubin

Are YOU a Gold Star Client?

Don’t get us wrong. At Doyle Research, we love all of our clients. We’re excited every time a new project comes our way, giving us a chance to deliver insights that guide a product or concept. But there are some clients whose calls we’re extra happy to take. Here’s what sets them apart from the rest!


Our favorite clients come to us with clarity of purpose and knowledge of the desired outcome of the study. They know how the study findings will be used, the business needs driving the research, and the key questions that they want answered.


Sometimes we hang up the phone after a kick off call practically bouncing with excitement and extra eager to start. When a client comes to a project ready to share ideas and to build the best possible execution of a study, that spark can drive the whole project forward. Building on each other’s insights, exploring objectives together, and committing to a shared path leads to great results down the road.


We live in a world of constant meetings, phone calls, and full inboxes. The sheer volume of demands on our clients’ time can be an obstacle, especially given the increasing pace of research. When time is of the essence, our favorite clients prioritize clear communication, making sure that they have consensus internally before providing direction to us. They know that often, one three-minute call can accomplish more than five individual e-mails. They give us what we need to go ahead, and in turn, we are able to provide results faster.


When inevitable hurdles emerge during the course of the study, our favorite clients are ready to course correct. Like us, they see obstacles as opportunities to learn, explore, and adapt to new information. If, during the course of the recruit, we discover that the target respondent is not who we thought she was? That’s a learning! It’s tempting to see a surprising finding as a problem, but it can also be an opening into new insights.

When we embark on a new study, we become a part of the client’s team. The best teams work together with focus, collaboration, communication, and the ability to adapt to challenges. Joining together with the goal of providing the very best results makes for great research and great outcomes!

Costing Qualitative, Part 1: Four Key Factors That Impact Price

Posted on: May 6th, 2016 by doyle

project-costing-image1From the desk of Kathy Doyle

This is the first of four blog posts with the goal of de-mystifying the process of obtaining and evaluating a qualitative bid.  For researchers, we hope these posts will keep you from missing key cost components;  and for clients, we hope you will walk away with a better idea of how to evaluate competing bids and make sure there are no hidden surprises.

In any qualitative bid, there are four key factors that impact price:


  1.   The more participants you recruit, the greater the cost.
    • Rule of thumb: because qualitative is designed to provide direction, rather than to be projectable to a larger population, a large sample size is simply not needed.  We recommend 6-8 respondents per key segment for most projects.
    • Tip: Don’t forget to account for last minute cancellations, no shows and respondents who don’t pass a re-screen.  We recommend over-recruiting by 20% to ensure that you end up with the number of respondents requested.
  2. The more difficult the screening criteria, the greater the cost.
    • Rule of thumb: Focus on “need to know” questions.  “Nice to know” information can be covered in the research.
    • Tip: Consider whether you are looking for a needle in a haystack.  If these consumers are so few in numbers that they can’t be easily recruited, are there a sufficient number of them to market your product to?


Three things influence how much respondents are paid:

  1. The difficulty of the recruit: the harder it is to find respondents, the more you need to pay to make sure they show up.
  2. The amount of work the respondent is being asked to do: Is there a homework assignment involved?  Do you need them for 30-minutes, 2 hours, 2 weeks?
  3. The location of the research: you pay more in urban markets, and at facilities where participants have to pay for parking.

Facility/Platform Fees:

Time is King.

  • Rule of thumb: The more time you spend in a facility, or licensing a technology platform, the greater the cost.
  • Tip: Know how much time you’ll need to accomplish your goals, and set the length of the research sessions accordingly.   Padding, because you haven’t adequately scoped out the research, can cost you.   And conversely, not allowing enough time can shortchange results.

Professional Fees:

  1. Professional fees generally account for at least 50% of a project cost.
    • Rule of thumb: Professional fees generally include screener and discussion guide development, project management, moderation, and a final deliverable.
    • Tip: Time is king here, too.   Three, 120-minute sessions, vs. three 90-minute sessions, is the equivalent of one additional 90-minute session.  So being clear on your research objectives in advance will allow you to determine exactly how much time you need — and not a minute more.
  2. The type of deliverable required can dramatically impact cost.
    • Rule of thumb: Be realistic.  Do you need a full, detailed report, or will a post-research debrief do?   Contract only for what you know your team will use.

In Part 2 of this blog series, we will discuss Hidden/Forgotten Costs.

For a copy of our whitepaper:  “The Inside Skinny: Costing a Qualitative Project” click here.