MDB Insight Blog

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How to Avoid Unnecessary Market Research About Municipal Services

As a municipal representative, you generally need to know three main things:

  1. What do residents in your municipality want?

  2. What municipal services, programs and facilities do they need?

  3. To what extent do municipal budget realities accommodate points (i) and (ii) above?

Finding reliable and up-to-date answers to these and other questions relevant to your specific community will inform municipal objectives.

When it comes to effective and strategic municipal planning, there is no room for inaccurate or unnecessary data.

Avoid unnecessary market research — and the litter of data that comes with it — by focusing your approach and by using the right tools.

The Best Approach to Market Research

A focused approach to market research will be less expensive than a scattershot approach. A scattershot approach uses a variety of tools, but not all resulting data will be practical or will provide useful information. The scattershot approach is unlikely to result in an optimal use of your resources because it is:

  • Expensive. Every tool you use comes with a monetary cost and an opportunity cost — you can’t use that money on something else your municipality needs.

  • Inefficient. Why use 6 different tools when fewer, more focused tools could get the job done?

  • Noisy. Too much data, from a variety of tools that do not give you direct information about what you need to know, is inefficient and almost as bad as no data at all.

A streamlined approach, on the other hand, zeroes in on municipal data needs.

More streamlined data from better tools will work optimally for informing municipal strategies and achieving planning outcomes.

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MDB Insight’s Citizen Satisfaction IQTM and Tax Sensitivity CalculatorTM will:

  • Provide real-time, relevant and streamlined data. You don’t want tools that take a long time to collect the data you need; by the time such data is made available to you, it will no longer be relevant.

  • Ask the right questions. Traditional surveys typically ask open-ended questions that do not provide the data you are looking for. Or, if they do, this data is hidden among piles of irrelevant data that you do not need. Use a tool that focuses on the right questions to get the data you actually need.

  • Derive importance rather than simply asking importance. Asking residents to rank importance will give a different result compared to a method that derives importance based on an analysis of the data. A result that lets you know what residents want and what they are willing to pay for through property taxes will be more reliable than one arrived at by simply asking residents to rank their priorities.

  • Get the job done in less time. Residents are more likely to participate in surveys that are quick and streamlined. Use survey tools that don't take too long to conduct so you can get the job done and involve more residents in municipal processes.

Get Optimal Results With Reliable Market Research

The best market research will allow you to plan strategically and to allocate resources effectively. To learn more about how Citizen Satisfaction IQTM and the Tax Sensitivity CalculatorTM can benefit municipal planning, download this e-book:

Community Development Cost Calculator Ebook

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