have the luxury of conducting as much market research as they would
like. Estimated 2002 cost ranges for focus groups, intercept interviews,
and theater testing are provided in National Cancer Institute Pink
Book (http://www.cancer.gov/pinkbook) starting on page 144. You get
what you pay for (e.g., representativeness and a small margin of
error from a professionally conducted random-digit-dial phone survey),
but you can gather useful information even if you have a very limited
faced with a limited budget:
the legwork yourself.
your own staff to moderate focus groups (e.g.,
using “Getting it in Focus: A Learner’s Kit
for Focus Group Research” available from the AED
library in Washington, D.C.)
research participants through partner organizations instead
of through a contractor.
a windshield or venue intercept survey vs. RDD
to find secondary sources of information.
other studies provide the information you need?
there research designs and instruments you
can use as models, thus saving design costs?
you get advice from managers of similar
programs about how to best use the budget you have? For example,
can they suggest aspects of best practices that are likely
to require tailoring and that you should be sure to ask your
commercial marketing/advertising or market research experts
in your community, a CDC project officer or health communication
staff) give you advice or refer you to other
sure your program plan fully explains the need for market research
and lays out a complete market research plan.
you can’t get the funds you need this year, spend
time now convincing the decision makers that investing
in research next year is a good idea.
it clear that market research isn’t just
nice to have but is a core component of effective
of too many shortcuts. You don’t have to invest
in a lot of market research, but you do need to conduct enough
to feel confident that the findings provide clear direction.
market research experts guide you whenever possible
in both planning and implementation. Your research would likely
benefit from a paid consultation with an expert even if you have
to cut costs by Always ask prospective contractors and vendors
for nonprofit rates.
professionals with market research experience who might donate
their time. Low-cost experts (e.g., a graduate
student who needs a dissertation topic) may be available at local
colleges or universities.