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What Most Businesses Get Wrong About Market Research

Market research is important, but there are many ways to use it incorrectly.

You probably already understand that market research is an important prerequisite for any marketing campaign. Before you can create effective marketing collateral or persuasive advertising, you need to know who, exactly, you’re dealing with.

Are you creating materials for middle aged women in the suburbs? Or urban teenage boys?

As you can imagine, these groups of people require very different types of messaging. Market research can help you understand which of your audience segments are most valuable and how to reach them – but most organizations get market research wrong.

These are some of the top ways that businesses practice market research in effectively:

  • They fall prey to confirmation bias. First, businesses often fall prey to confirmation bias. This natural human bias makes us disproportionately value evidence that agrees with our baseline assumptions. In market research, this usually manifests as a tendency to form “gut feeling” assumptions about how your demographics behave and then look for information to verify those assumptions. This is a faulty approach; instead, you should start from a place of neutrality and only form conclusions once you’ve gathered evidence.
  • They rely only on existing data. There are many sources you can consult to find data about your target demographics and other, competing demographics. These are excellent resources and you should use them regularly. But you should also venture out and collect your own data with surveys and focus groups.
  • They never challenge their assumptions. Marketing is full of counterintuitive realities; just because it makes sense in your head doesn’t mean it’s validated by objective data. Keep challenging your initial assumptions and don’t take anything for granted.
  • They treat market research as a one-time ordeal. Too often, business owners treat market research as a one-time ordeal. Once done, it’s done, and you can use those conclusions indefinitely. Seasoned business owners know this is a mistake; you have to continually update your assumptions and data sets to remain relevant.

Market research can be complicated, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us for a free consultation today!

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