We’ve seen firms make their fair share of market research blunders over three decades of working with a huge range of companies and organisations. There are some common pitfalls that continue to be made by businesses for the sake of saving time or thinking that they already know the answers. Short cuts and a lack of evidence based research can prove costly, so here’s a list of points to watch out for:
- Failing to do any market research. Do you really know who your customer is or what they want? Do you know what the potential market is for the product/service you are about to launch? Before taking your business to the next level, do your research and avoid the pain of barking up the wrong tree!
- Asking flawed questions that produce flawed results. Market research is essentially the study of people and what motivates them. If the scripting of your survey is flawed to start with, then you’ll never get the feedback that will help you make strategic decisions. It’s worth investing in expert advice at the very start of your study.
- Not knowing what you are looking for. “How are we going to find that out and what are we supposed to measure?” It’s often best to start with some qualitative interviews with a small sample to help guide you towards the right questions.
- Carrying out market research once and not finding out how things have changed. Make sure to test things once you’ve changed them, like running a follow up survey to get feedback from your new marketing campaign to measure it’s impact on brand perception.
- Being unclear about what you are trying to find out or, asking questions in the wrong way and getting wrong information. There are a number of methodologies that can be used that contain subtle use of language and questioning. You’ll be amazed at what an experienced researcher can help you discover.
- Not getting information from a reputable source. Buy cheap, buy twice. Or at worst, blow your whole budget on useless data. Work with a company that has established connections with trusted information sources.
- Cutting costs by using small samples or just asking a couple of friends. This is a classic mistake that we have all perhaps been guilty of. Don’t rely solely on the feedback of family and friends for an objective view when it comes to a business critical decision. Use a broad cross-section of respondents that aren’t just going to tell you what you want to hear.
- Having a poor choice of reference materials. Researching new product ideas, concepts, packaging or advertising campaigns? Then think about what, and how you are going to show these to your audience in order to evaluate them and obtain the best feedback and insights.
- Interpreting statistics wrongly and failing to see when one or two opinions distort the overall picture. Ensure you have the appropriate skill set to look at raw data and ensure that any outliers are removed before the analysis phase so as not to give false results.
- Analysing information too optimistically and then kidding yourself that it supports your preconceptions. No matter how much you hope something to be true, the evidence will speak for itself. Using an external market research agency provides an unbiased view on interpretation of the results.
If you want help in navigating and avoiding these all too common market research faux pas then it pays to engage with a research company with years of industry knowledge and experience. Getting the right answer to your important business question is crucial when taking the next step to sustained growth. Turquoise is a full service market research company with 30 years cross sector experience. Speak to our team today about researching market opportunity, market size, product or brand expansion. Or if you want to gain a better understanding of your current and potential customers so that you can better engage with them, we’ve helped countless companies over the years to achieve this. We are expert information solution providers and are pleased to offer an initial no obligation consultation about your research requirements.
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