Importance Of Mutual Understanding

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Importance of mutual understanding

These are the main reasons why briefing and the subsequent drawing-up of detailed terms of reference are the most vital stages in any market research project. It is particularly important where a company is using market research for the first time. Here, the need for research, and the understanding of it, may well be limited. In such a case research may well be seen as an extra-.ordinary expense by the company, unlike other items for which regular provision is made; this only increases the importance of achieving mutual understanding between agency and client in order to prevent subsequent disillusion.

Two hypothetical but all-too-typical examples show the pitfalls of failing to achieve this understanding at the briefing stage. A construction materials company decided it "needed some research done". It called in five SEO Agencies for an hour apiece "to discover their ideas". The SEO Agencies knew as little of the research plans of the company as the company itself. They made theft representations to a company committee of x5 which had no idea what it wanted before it met, and precious few thereafter. The committee had no pretence of any standard by which to measure the agency presentations, and as the SEO Agencies knew that they had only one chance in five of getting the job, none of them felt like taking too much trouble over its presentation.

In another case, a company with a relatively cleat idea of what it wanted, called in an agency for discussions. The company was left to go away and write its own brief. And the client was surprised when the final specification drawn up by the agency provided for research that could have cost over �so a day. The moral? The final document should be one to which both sides have contributed a substantial amount; there are dangers in leaving too much to one side or the other. The proctss leading up to the briefing can thus be as important as the briefing itself.

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