What I’ve learnt about market research

Nikisha’s been a fantastic intern these last three months and today is her last day. We’re very sad to see her go. She has a great future ahead of her and we wish her lots of good luck for her next role. Thanks for everything, Nikisha! 
Love, the Razors. x

I always thought I’d end up teaching, or doing journalism, after my English degree; but never imagined myself in market research. Not only have I been lucky in finding such a great internship, I’ve met the most incredible bunch of people who have supported me endlessly, taken the time to teach me different things about research, and made me laugh every day (I think Chloe F was a comedian in her past life).

I’ve loved coming to work, being surrounded by positive people, and learning something new (whether it’s about research, the world, or people around me). Here are some things about research I’ve learnt which will stay with me. I hope they’ll help any aspiring researchers out there.

Always be yourself
You’re unique so use your quirks and interests to form bonds and friendships. You’ll find everyone has weird traits – in a good way (even if they do like cold samosas!). Embrace who you are, and others will too. Take an interest in those you work with. You may find someone who has similar interests or experiences but will also teach you about different perspectives.

Being able to talk to different people is a big deal in research; being able to talk freely in the office will help build your fieldwork and networking skills. During focus groups/fieldwork, you’ll find the participants have a range of personalities. Some will be willing and open to sharing their experiences immediately. But others will be naturally be more reserved and will need some encouragement to engage.

Have an open mind and ask questions
When it comes to qual, don’t ask questions that will lead participants to desired answers (even though this may often be a temptation if you have personal opinions on the project). You’ll get the most benefit from honest and accurate consumer opinions. As a researcher always ask why. Probe further to find important associations and emotions. Kenny was super great at teaching me this.

Be flexible
Every client is different. Every project is different. Rather than having the same standard methods that you might use for all projects; you should first try to understand what the project needs and adapt the research to the project. There’s no one set method. Solid research recognises the value of using multiple methods to get results.

Ask for help if you need it
If you don’t understand something, speak up. Don’t pretend you know the answers. People are always there to guide and teach you on the job. For a sports project, Jill took the time to explain the rules of cricket to me using a variety of sweets – that was amazing. I’ve learned something new during every project I’ve worked on be it through someone explaining things to me or simply allowing me to watch/participate.

I worked on a mental health project during my time here and had so much support – from my backbone, Chloe B, helping me brainstorm questions to my angels, Lindsay and Kate, reading and editing my blog. Gem’s always come to the rescue when technology failed me. Everyone starts out in the same position so don’t be afraid to ask for help; doing so shows that you’re eager to learn something new and to do a good job.

Go the extra mile
Doing more for your company will benefit you in so many ways. You’ll learn more about the business and yourself while showing you’re an active learner. Whether it’s staying a few extra minutes after work to help or by writing a blog, you’re showing that you can add value. When I first started writing my mental health blog, I wrote it almost like a university essay. But taking some extra time to read through the other blogs on the Razor website allowed me to gauge the tone and style of the blogs written here. Always offer to help if you can and support others like they support you.

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