Why should you conduct market research?
Written by: Paul Stallard
You should conduct market research in any situation where you need to understand your target audience, market conditions, the competitive space, trends, or how the political, social economic or technological environments affects your issue. In other words, in any situation.
It might seem that market research is backward looking, or used to tick boxes, or confirm what you already know. But the reality is that well designed, timely research can not only give you new insights into your question, but also prevent you from making costly or damaging mistakes.
It’s tempting to think that others think as we do – because we feel a certain way about an issue, then that must be the truth. Or because we would buy a particular product, or brand, that is will be popular, and sell well. It is particularly tempting to think so these days, as social media and online shopping algorithms present us with opinions that reflect our own, and with products that resemble our previous choices. But it is not the case; the most reliable way to find out what the general public thinks is to conduct market research.
When you conduct market research, you can choose between quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative research, which typically takes the form of online surveys, enables you to produce reliable statistics, which give credibility to a story. Qualitative research, such as focus groups, in-depth interviews or online discussions, enables you to understand more about an issue, and gives you verbatim quotes, or vox pops that you can use to bring a story to life, and also add credibility – the fact that you have invested in research shows a commitment to veracity.
Overall, the main reasons that you should conduct market research are as follows: You will truly understand who your target audience should be, what they think and feel about your issue, campaign, product, service or idea, what language they use when they talk about it, and how they are likely to act. This will enable you to make better decisions, and will lead to a better outcome in the market for you or your client.