research report writing – straight from the client’s mouth

I was at a research debrief with an agency recently and the following is more-or-less exactly how the conversation went afterwards:

Client: “I really liked your presentation”

Agency-and-me: “Erm, thank you”

Client: “Because it wasn’t all charts and numbers”

Agency-and-me: *crosses fingers that client is being serious and not sarcastic about our report based on a primarily quantitative methodology*

Client: “It told us what we actually needed to know and it did it in less than 20 slides…I don’t have time to read 100 page presentations that just sit there unread with us doing nothing anything about them.  So let’s talk about Wave Two.”

So there you have it – less is more apparently.  And when in doubt, leave the numbers out.

One thought on “research report writing – straight from the client’s mouth

  1. One of the researchers I/we recommend most often produces clear, actionable recommendations and in my experience clients always appreciate this over and above any numbers you can throw at them.
    If you are a researcher it is your job to decode the numbers, not display them.

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