Debunking 6 common market research myths
Getting a market research agency in to help your company may seem like a risky endeavour, especially if you are not familiar with this arena and do not know what to expect. Further muddying the waters are a number of myths which are often perpetuated about the profession. Here we dispel some of the most common myths about market research.
Myth 1) Market research is too expensive to do
Market research is only expensive if you don’t set boundaries. Every market research agency has the ability to work around your budget. You say how much you are prepared to pay for the research, and the researcher plans accordingly. Some methods are less expensive to use but just as effective and insightful as other, more expensive methods. Also online methods have become more popular, further decreasing the costs of doing some types of market research.
Myth 2) Market research takes up too much valuable time
As mentioned in Myth #1, online methods are becoming more popular and are often not as time-consuming as more traditional market research methods. There are methods that take longer than others, so you need to discuss your time constraints with your researcher. They will know how to work effectively whilst accommodating your needs.
Myth 3) A market researcher is not an expert in the industry and thus cannot understand the complexity of our business
Sure, the market researcher does not work in your specific industry every day and is therefore not as informed as you. However, they are experts in market research – which expertise may be applied in any field. They know what important questions to ask, how to garner information that will be helpful to your company and how to collect data from the best possible sources.
Whilst the market researcher will probably not understand all of the complexities beforehand, they will certainly dedicate time to learning about your organization as well as the industry it operates in. Also, market researchers have connections to all kinds of experts that they will call upon to assist in the research process where necessary.
Myth 4) Market research only needs to happen once
This myth arose because traditional market research methods were often time-consuming and expensive, and so marketing departments would limit their use. However, today (see Myths #1 and #2 above) market research can be done quickly and more efficiently because of online methods. Thus there is no need to limit the use of market research.
This is also a myth today owing to the enormous changes a market can go through in a short space of time. Often research needs to be conducted every six months to accurately capture the feel of the market, customers and competitors, ensuring that one’s company does not miss out on valuable opportunities.
Myth 5) The company can do its own research
Many companies falsely believe that market research can be done by simply interacting with current customers through the sales and marketing departments. This is not true. They only see a small part of the demographic on a daily basis and do not have the training to ask the right questions with regard to research or to identify new markets to expand into.
A market researcher is trained to act as a neutral third party. If a company does their own market research there are likely to be subjective opinions, bias and lack of impartiality. If the interviewer works for the specific company that they are doing research on, they are less likely to get honest feedback from the people being interviewed. This will give a skewed result. People do not want to speak negatively about a company’s products or services with an employee of said company present.
Myth 6) If your company is doing well, you don’t need to do market research
Take a lesson from the popular reality television series Survivor: Once you become over- confident about being in a good, comfortable position and are resting on your laurels, you are most in danger of being knocked off your pedestal.
All the success that you have now can be taken away from you in an instant, and the best way to prevent being caught unaware is to do market research. This will enable you to manage any potential risks to your company and take hold of opportunities before they slip away. You also need to keep up with market trends and stay on top of any emerging competitors.
Do not assume that because a customer has been with your company for a long time that they are necessarily happy. Getting regular information about their feelings on the product or service – no matter how satisfied they may appear – might help you see when a downturn is occurring.
Don’t just read about it, go here to find out first-hand what great benefits your company can receive from making use of a market research team.