How much insight can you truly gain from market research?

Written by: Paul Stallard

The answer to that is ‘a whole lot more than you gain by not doing market research’. As most market research agencies know, it can be tempting for businesses not to conduct research, especially when you are under pressure to make decisions quickly, or you are developing a campaign that has a hard deadline. It often feels like there is no real need to take the time and spend the money to conduct a survey, when you can rely on instinct or ask your team members for their opinions.

However, this is problematic. People who are close to an issue tend to become blinkered. If you are working on a piece of content, a product launch or event, for example, for a client, it can seem like common sense that people will buy the product or attend the event. But if you do conduct research you may find out that the general public, who aren’t invested in the issue, don’t hold the same views as you, your employees, and your client.

Market research can help you to discover not just people’s opinions (think omnibus surveys, for example), but also language they are using around a particular issue, the differences between different groups of people, and the relevance of the issue to people’s lives. All of this can help you to gain insights that will enable you to craft messages that really cut through, and to target the right audience, in the right way at the right time.

The best approach to take is to factor market research into your project or campaign from the beginning, and conduct the research early enough that you can use it to truly learn about the market, rather than to validate decisions that have already been taken.  These days, online surveys are faster and more cost-effective than traditional market research methods, which means that you get a better return on investment. The best return on your investment in market research is to gain insights about the market that help your client or prevent them from making a mistake. Services like customer satisfaction research can play an immense role in this sense.

The answer to that is ‘a whole lot more than you gain by not doing market research’

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