Welcome to our Market Research Facility Spotlight Blog where our partners have the opportunity to showcase their facility, their experiences, and opinions. This week we’re featuring our friends from Area Research in Milan.
- Tell us about your facility
Area Research is placed in Corso Buenos Aires 22, Milan. It’s in the middle of Milan, next to the Cathedral Dome and only 10 minutes’ walk from the Central Station.
Our venue is easy to reach either by tube/train (2 minutes’ walk from closest tube stations MM1 Porta Venezia or MM1 Lima) or by taxi (5 minutes’ drive from Central Station and only 30 minutes from Linate Airport).
This area has plenty of hotels, restaurants, bar/pubs, shops and parking.
This central position is the result of long and deep research. In 2011 our boss (who was a marketing freelancer at that time) started looking for a facility that could offer quality, comfort and accessibility.
- Tell us what makes you unique?
Area Research is a high-tech, modern and welcoming viewing facility. Everything reflects the famous Italian hospitality and satisfies all of our clients’ needs.
There are 2 huge focus group rooms, 2 client/back darkened rooms, a lounge room, reception and a kitchen which can be used either for cooking tests or for preparing meals for our clients and respondents. We offer a wide choice to cater for any kind of request.
We’ve invested heavily in the latest and cutting edge technology – high-speed fiber-optic broadband with HD video recording, HD Focus Vision Live Video and our own HD streaming available in all our rooms, translation equipment with two-channel recordings where needed, custom-made control and editing showing all camera views from all rooms with click and recordability to send recordings securely over the internet instantly.
Area Research is ideal for conducting all types of qualitative (IDIs, focus groups, meetings workshops) and quantitative studies, including eye-tracking and neuromarketing. We provide several services to help clients following and running market research projects including venue rent, recruitment (both qualitative and quantitative), translation, moderation, HD streaming service, note-taking, and catering.
- What is a typical day for you?
Every single day is different. Our motto is “Smile, be happy and flexible”.
We generally open at 9.00 am (or before, in case of an early-morning project), the telephone starts ringing at 9.05 am, which means it’s time to start dealing with recruitment (filling screeners, checking the website, etc) before clients start arriving.
On a typical day, there are 2-3 projects taking place, some during the daytime with others taking the studio over for the evening. Our team cares about our clients, we want them to feel like they are treated as a priority with red carpet treatment all around. We do several things during the day including setting rooms up, checking audio/video streaming/recording, setting breakfast/lunch/dinner for both clients and respondents, handling incentives/payments, assisting clients, moderators, and translators, helping respondents filling out forms once they come in.
Then, at 11.00 pm, we close the office and we’re ready for the next round to do it all over again.
- In today’s world, it’s becoming more and more challenging to meet client expectations. What are some of the ways you have found to measure the success of the research projects?
We’re a highly experienced team, always ready to understand our client’s project requirements and seek to clarify any potential issues in advance. As previously mentioned, we’re flexible to adapt to any last-minute client changes/requests on the day while at the facility.
As a viewing facility that is responsible for recruitment as well, we understand the importance of having all participants arriving on time and we follow this up on behalf of our fieldwork agencies. Speaking about food, we offer hand-made catering for all diets/allergies and tastes.
Our team does their best to listen to our client’s needs, to answer them (especially if challenging) and aims to be the client’s first point of reference.
- What’s the funniest/strangest moment you have had at your facility?
We have some funny/strange moments but there’s one that has to be told.
It was summer, it’s was very hot outside (around 40° Celsius) and both clients and participants started coming in quite early to enjoy the fresh air conditioning. They’re all very thirsty and started drinking a lot of water and because of that, going to the toilet quite often.
While running an IDI, a black-out hit the whole central area of the city. All people were scared about losing part of that project, a client was locked in the toilet unable to see and started shouting. But we didn’t panic, we calmed the client down, we used a power unit (UPS), we linked all equipment to it and we kept doing like this till the electricity was back.
We’re were happy to save the project, the clients were very grateful and satisfied and that’s what matters.
- Why do you think in-person research is a critical part of every brand-owners toolkit?
It seems the market is focusing on online research now but it’s worth to say that clients should invest more in in-person research because the feedback they receive while running a Central Location, is totally different. Physically sitting next to a person or group of people, exploring, discussing and testing concepts, taking different turns on the dialogue, offers up a whole host of considerations. Evaluating verbal and non-verbal communication, gesticulating, and all these little things, lets clients have a real estimation and high-quality feedback.