3 Common Misconceptions About Market Research
1. Anyone Can Conduct Market Research
In today’s digital world there are many free and inexpensive online tools. As a result, companies may feel it is a cost saving to conduct research in-house over hiring a market research company. This is a common pitfall that many businesses conclude and is potentially quite dangerous. If a research study is not conducted properly, it often leads to inaccurate results. It could even potentially provide the wrong marketing strategy.
Market research professional’s number one job is to reduce the number of errors in their quantitative, qualitative, and secondary data. These experts have years of training and know how to avoid errors such as improper research design, poor data collection methods, inadequate sample size & design, and improper use of statistic procedures.
Furthermore, a third party conducting the research compared to an internal employee avoids any research biases. A person who is close to an issue or the everyday inner workings of a company may not have an impartial view when conducting the market research resulting in skewed findings.
2. Focus Groups Are Not Always the Best Methodology
Many of our clients love focus groups, and we often conduct this qualitative research methodology. It provides an approach that favors the most in-depth, revealing, and personal responses. However, this exploratory method is often costly and not necessarily the best approach to answer every research need. Given that this method only interviews a limited number of participants, the research is directional in nature.
Today, there are many online tools that can question a larger number of participants that not only provides results that statistically represent your target audience, but also provide qualitative methods to garner in-depth insights. These online exercises are great to test brand concepts, messaging, print and digital ads, TV commercials, and radio ads. More so, this type of research is often conducted at a faster rate and costs significantly less money than focus group research.
3. Research is not worth the money
Often companies focus on execution needs such as a new website, media buys, or commercials. An area that is sometimes cut from the budget is a strategy based off of research. As a result, the marketing or business strategy can become compromised and be based on only assumptions. While in the short-term it may have saved a few thousand dollars, in the long-term your business may not be effectively reaching your target audience. This results in potential lost profits.
If there is a specific budget you need to work with, be honest with your research vendor. There are often cost-effective methodologies to help answer your business objectives.