Conducting research in the creative world presents us with both opportunities and painful realities. Using research to gain understanding is smart; using research only to prove your point is dangerous. Start with a checklist and confirm your findings with triangulation:
1. What are you seeking to understand?
2. What are your objectives?
3. What methods will be the most efficient?
4. What methods will have the least amount of bias - or where can bias be managed?
5. What level of confidence can you expect from this research?
6. What do you expect as an outcome?
7. What do you not want to see as the outcome? What happens if this does occur?
8. Who will be researched? Who will be profiled?
9. How will you connect with them?
10. How long will the research take, and how will this influence your market plan?
11. What will it cost? Will the knowledge gained be more valuable than the cost?
12. What else can the research results be used for?