Indiefield project manager helping a market research client.

The Indiefield Blog

Ideas and thoughts about market research fieldwork in the UK.

What's It For?


Market research fieldwork for what? How do we know what the client is ultimately aiming for? It starts with understanding the use case. And before we can do that, we need to have all the information from our client to work out what would delight them. At that point, the only question is, "does this market research fieldwork support the use case we agreed on?" Too often, we are in such a hurry to show off our recruiting and interviewing skills that we forget to address the notion of what we do it for, and what the use case is.

I Need More Time


You do not need more time to deliver that market research project. You just need to decide who you will work with and what the fieldwork process will look like. That means being accountable for the project which means making good decisions (with a sense of urgency) about who is going to conduct your fieldwork and recruitment. Always look for the company that will step up and take responsibility so that the things you need get delivered.



Being described as "a self-sufficient" appears to be a worthy goal, but is it really possible if you want to actually get anything done? In market research fieldwork all our productivity, leverage and insight comes from being part of something, not apart from it. We rely on respondents to take part in our research, on our panelists to engage, on our recruiters and interviewers to interrupt. The goal now is to work out who and what our dependencies will be so that our clients can depend on us.



There has always been a bright light around the craftsperson. Someone who takes real care and produces work for the ages. Everyone else might be a hack, or a guru, but a craftsperson was someone we could respect. Perhaps we are entering a new age of craftsmanship. A craftsperson might be particularly talented in the way he or she delivers market research projects. Just because it is not in a craft fair doesn't mean it didn't demand craft.

The Best Client


What do most businesses do with their best clients? If you define "best client" as the client who pays you the most, then you take their money. But what if you define "best client" as the person who brings you new clients through frequent referrals? That client, I think, is worth far more than what any one transaction can bring. In fact, if you think of that client as your best advertisement instead, it changes everything.

Protect the Work


One of the things that we always think about is how our role as market research project managers is to "protect the work". To make sure that our clients get the best respondents. To make sure that our clients meet their deadlines. To make sure that our clients can deliver great market research. Our job is to keep the project moving and the choices open so that our client can do his or her work. We protect the project so that our clients can deliver it.