Custom Research

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What is Ad Hoc Research?

Ad hoc research is a bespoke approach to research, designed for a specific purpose and a specific client, conducted as a one-off study or a series of studies, according to the client’s needs, objectives and business challenges.

The purpose of Ad Hoc research is to dig deeper, getting to the heart of the matter and ultimately providing clients with strategic direction and insights that can be put into action to drive business transformative change and increase competitive edge.

Ad hoc research therefore requires sector specialist knowledge, as well as research expertise in order to deliver.

Key Principles

The key principles under-pinning the ad hoc research approach are as follows;


Smart techniques

Which look further and deeper


Sector expertise

To design and interpret research in context


Planning mindsets

To decipher meaning from information


Business acumen

To drive action from insight

Research Methods

Ad hoc research draws upon various methods and styles, according to the objectives. Both quantitative and qualitative techniques will be used, sometimes combining multiple techniques within a project in order to answer the specific objectives.

Quantitative research

 “Explaining phenomena by collecting numerical data that are analysed using mathematically based methods (in particular statistics).*

Quantitative research methods sources data typically from surveys and secondary data (such as customer transactional data). Various techniques will be used to test and probe deeper to identify drivers, decision influences and optimum propositions or scenarios.

* Taken from: Aliaga and Gunderson ‘Interactive Statistics ‘3rd Edition (2005)

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Qualitative research

Seeks to answer questions about why and how people behave in the way that they do. It provides in-depth information about human behaviour.

Qualitative research typically gathers insights from using techniques such as In-depth/1-2-1 interviews, focus groups and observational (ethnographic) research, in which researchers observe participants in their real-life environment, for example observing in-store purchase journeys.

Why Ad Hoc?

Ad hoc research can be used across a wide spectrum of business needs, across both B2C and B2B, including:

  • Understanding a target market and creating a market segmentation according to needs and behaviours
  • Brand strategy and brand health tracking
  • Managing marketing – from concept testing, to measuring reach and effectiveness and ROI
  • Understanding and enhancing customer experience
  • Developing propositions – new product development research, pricing strategy, real life product testing
  • Understanding behaviour – path to purchase analysis.

The Savanta approach to ad hoc research

We’ll immerse ourselves in your business.

We’ll begin by immersing ourselves in your business and learning it inside out. As part of this, we’ll work with you to define the business issue being addressed and what a successful outcome looks like. With the issue provisionally defined, we’ll engage with your internal stakeholders to get their input, capture their expertise and secure their buy-in.

We’ll deploy our smart tools which look deeper.

Then comes the research bit. We’ll design a research programme which uncovers deep insights into the issue and identifies exactly what the business response should be. Our approach here is methodology neutral and led by only one consideration – what’s the best way to explore the issue at hand? This means that we’re skilled in multiple techniques including qualitative research, quantitative research , advanced statistics and secondary research.

We’ll engage your target market.

Our expertise and in house capabilities means that we can access and engage target audiences in this research. Our in-house resources and best-in-class partner network allows us to deliver this globally, all to stringent ISO20252 standards. In fact, we’ve conducted research in more than 100 countries and 90% of our projects have an international scope.

We’ll bring findings to life and help you to act on them.

Finally, we turn these insights into an engaging, action-focused story brought to life through creative communication techniques. In doing so our consultants use their background in business, strategy and marketing to draw commercially sound conclusions and provide solid recommendations. Then we’ll work with you to cascade the insight across the business and inspire people to act on it.

Taken all that in?