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Faster, Better, Cheaper Sounded Really Good At First!

Years ago when I first heard the phrase “online research–faster, better, cheaper” it sounded really good at first. It made a lot of sense. It was clearly a different way to help clients convert their traditional phone work to online. Most data collection companies (including the ones I have worked for) in the past included it in their capabilities presentations and highlighted it as a point of differentiation. Most companies were successful at the beginning.

My question is did it help us in the short run and hurt us in the long run?

I believe online research can be faster, better, cheaper in some situations but on every study? I don’t think so. In most cases you can have two of the three but I don’t believe you can have all three on every study. I believe this motto and everyone who sells online data collection now and in the past (including myself) has probably caused problems for now and in the future. Why? Because we presented over and over to research buyers that online research is faster, better, cheaper and you know what? We were really good at our job; they believed it and now demand it on almost every study.

There are lots of companies that do great quality work in the online arena but at times they are more expensive than their competition. Unfortunately all of us hear stories were you lost a project based on price. You would like to think it was based on other criteria but at times that is the main criteria.

Online data collection is now perceived as a commodity business and has been for years. Not many people would disagree with that statement. There are a number of companies who send marketing emails highlighting specials or discounts during the month which clearly reinforces my point. By the way…those companies seem to be very successful. Now it is a lot more difficult to differentiate yourself from other online data collection companies. The barrier of entry to do online data collection ‘faster, better, cheaper” is very inexpensive.

  • What do you think of the “faster, better, cheaper” phrase?
  • Is it more expensive to do it right?
  • Do you agree?
  • Does this make sense?

What are your thoughts on this subject?

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