From our guest blogger Kim Cuccaro, former Business Development Specialist at RMS.

Everyone is familiar with the Nike® slogan “Just Do It”.  A lot can also be said for making a decision and going through with it.  Oftentimes businesses fail to find common ground between slapdash decision-making and a lengthier drawn out decision-making process.

I commonly see three things happening when I speak to potential clients. The first is what I like to call problem admiration. Quite frequently, businesses get caught up in admiring a problem and essentially dissect it to death, having meeting after meeting, but not really doing anything to find out why the problem exists or how to solve it. I talk to potential clients all the time who are struggling with “why” and “how.”

  • Why did our customer close their account?
  • Why did a student express interest in our college, but ultimately not enroll?
  • Why is our hospital not preferred for a specific service?
  • How can we get the tax payers to support the district budget vote?

A room full of board members and top level decision makers can discuss these issues all they want on the first Tuesday of every month, but in the end, most of these questions need to be answered through statistically reliable survey research or qualitative research such as focus groups or in-depth interviews.

The second most common issue is the road block.  The business recognizes that they have an issue, and they acknowledge the need for market research.  They know they don’t have the ability to solve it without outside assistance, but they let their committees within the company get in the way of moving forward with market research and getting those questions answered.  The saying “too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the soup” comes to mind.  A project can often lose focus and direction when everyone demands a hands-on contribution to the project.  Heading in this direction runs a risk of the project completely dissolving, with the company at the end of the day maintaining their status quo.

Cost of market research is often a contributor to the road block.  Market research has a long-term value that many overlook when conducting a cost/benefit analysis.  The goal of properly conducted market research is to pay for itself in the long-run by saving the company money.  It can save the company money through the prevention of costly mistakes, or by allowing decisions to be effective, which result in a greater ROI.  Businesses today – whether they are a school district, hospital, or manufacturer – cannot afford to guess.  They need to understand the value of market research, the value of solid information that allows for informed decisions.

The third and final issue that occurs from time to time is last-minute request (oftentimes the result of finally overcoming a long road block).  Clients sometimes hold off on their research inquiry/request until they come uncomfortably close to the time in which they need the research conducted.   Many times they don’t realize that market research can be much more effective if conducted in advance.

Although market research can be custom-tailored to meet specific demands and short deadlines (and most often is), the extra time allows for more flexibility in the scope of the research.  It essentially gives RMS more time to fine tune the instrument and really dig on the back end for findings.  Moving beyond these barriers in decision-making, or allocating a proper amount of time will help contribute to a final quality product that covers all of your needs.

Interested in talking about your business development needs for market research in Syracuse, NY or elsewhere?  Contact our Director of Business Development, Sandy Baker, at 315-635-9802 or