Over the years, we have heard many false misconceptions about market research. However, three themes consistently stick out: 1) Anyone can conduct market research 2) Focus groups are always the best methodology 3 )Research is not worth the money. Below you will learn why these misleading statements are not still always the case.
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. Cost-saving becomes a common pitfall that many businesses conclude and is potentially quite dangerous. Above all, a poor research strategy leads to poor results. As a result, it could even possibly 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. In addition, these experts have years of training and know how to avoid mistakes. In addition, common errors include improper research design, inferior data collection methods, small 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 Always the Best Methodology
Many of our clients love focus groups, and we often lead this qualitative research methodology. It provides an approach that favors the most in-depth, revealing, and personal responses. Another misconception about Market Research is that focus groups are the only way to go. 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.
There are online tools that can help you with a host of online research strategies. It’s essential to question a large number of participants, get statistical results, and introduce 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. Online research comes in 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. Companies cut their budgets for strategies based on research. As a result, the marketing or business strategy can become compromised and 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. Prioritizing the short term will result 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. The best thing you can do is work on a thoughtful and reasonable strategy without cutting corners. And trust us: your brand will benefit because of it.
Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:
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