Why Nobody Wants a Research Debrief

Why Nobody Wants a Research Debrief

Clients rarely want data. They want insights and need to know what to do with the data to deliver improved business outcomes.

Every day, brands and retailers conduct shopper research. But do they really make full use of it?

Companies commission so called ‘expert’ agencies to carry out fieldwork, analyse data and condense their findings into a debrief report or deck. But the sad fact is that all too often, the key project stakeholders pay scant attention to the deck and disregard the debrief altogether. Why?

Debriefs alone, rarely have an impact
Debriefs alone, don’t truly inspire change
Debriefs alone, aren’t catalysts for business growth

What do clients really want from shopper research?

Surprisingly, clients rarely want data. They want insights; they need to know what to do with the data to deliver improved business outcomes.

In many cases, the client simply needs an objective third party to make their key business decision. They want to take the onus off their shoulders and place it squarely on the external research suppliers and their evidence. This in turn reduces the chances of them making a bad decision.

In summary, clients rarely want the ‘What’, they almost always prefer the ‘Why’ or as we like to call it the ‘So What’.

How to achieve better insights from your next research project

Businesses know they need insights but they don't know how to go about getting them. Just 'getting stuck in' is where it all falls down!

It's crucial to have some form of strategy or action plan so as to align your whole organisation:

  • Objectives of the objectives - Write down the project objectives, and then write down the precise aims of each objective. In other words, understand what you want to do with the answer before asking the question.
  • Move from what to why - Make sure that each objective that begins with ‘What, Who, Where, When or How, is supported by a solid means of uncovering ‘Why’.
  • Reduce risk and subjectivity - To minimise the risk and generate better business decisions, recognise that the potential power of the insight or ‘answer’ is in direct relation to the quality of the objective or ‘question’.


An organisation itself more than likely lacks an expert in the field of consumer research and insights so they need a concise and straightforward plan provided from a third-party organisation that tells them exactly what to do.

We’ve spent 25 years helping clients better understand shoppers and consumers. Our insights have generated more that £2 billion in additional sales and we can do the same for your brand!

If you’d like to go beyond the ‘What’ and get to the ‘Why' and the ‘So What’, let’s talk.

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About Phillip Adcock

My name is Phillip Adcock: I have more than 30 years of human behavioural research and analysis, and have developed a unique ability to identify what it is that makes people psychologically and physiologically 'tick'.

Would you like to know more about how shoppers and consumers think? Download my FREE guide now. Alternatively, check out, where there are more FREE downloads available there. Or why not simply email me with what's on your mind?

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Phillip Adcock

Phillip Adcock CMRS
Psychology & Behaviour
Change Consultant

Phillips Signature

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