Simplifying somewhat, there are two main ways to respond to a research brief
- Answer all issues raised point by point in a methodical and thorough way
- Question the brief, outline the options and problems and offer a starting point for discussion
The former will be successful where the client knows the answers and outputs he or she wants to receive. The research needs to be moulded to ensure that. Advertising effectiveness research falls into this category.
The latter will be successful when the client recognises that there is no right or wrong answer, and that no methodology is perfect. But through iterative progress, greater accuracy can emerge. Usage and attitude research falls into this category.
Both kinds of brief can bring in revenues and contribute to the business. But given the option, I know where most of my efforts would be concentrated…
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