Businesses rely on good marketing research. So how do you avoid the most common marketing research mistakes? Long gone are the days when you could expect a new idea to take off solely on its merits. Today, you must to conduct market research to get a clear understanding of your customers as well as industry trends that can affect your profitability. Thanks to an abundance of tools for analysis along with access to more and better data, marketing research is more useful than ever. Even so, many entrepreneurs continue to make common marketing research mistakes. Here are some of the more significant market research mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Failing to Get a Large Enough Sample
How to avoid it: If you want your research to provide you with accurate conclusions, you need a statistically significant sample. In other words, you need a group that is big enough that it can give you a realistic picture of your target population. Your group should represent anyone who may buy your product. Remember, you need a strong set of opinions to inform your next decisions.
2. Not Having a Clear Idea of What You Want
How to avoid it: If you approach your market research without a clear idea of the information you are seeking, you are probably wasting your time. Your best shot at success comes from identifying specific questions to which you want answers. Examples of these questions include: Who has purchased products like this before? What problems are they trying to solve by buying these products? What is the right price point for my target audience? Whichever questions you want to have answered, make them explicit so that you can get the most precise possible response and use that to guide your next steps.
3. Neglecting Analysis of Your Competition
How to avoid it: Most of your market research should focus squarely on your audience, but not all of it. You may want to start by looking at competitors who are trying to solve the same problem that your product is meant to address. Before you tackle the problem of selling your product, learn how to distinguish it from other similar offerings on the market. If you cannot do this, it is not ready for market. Competitive analysis can also show up weaknesses in a competitor’s product or marketing that you may be able to use to your advantage.
4. Failing to Test Your Assumptions
How to avoid it: Everyone has their own firmly held opinions. While adhering to personal beliefs is human nature, it is a mistake not to recognize the danger of confirmation bias. Humans are inclined to interpret data according to their own previously-held beliefs, but your reliance on these beliefs can lead you astray. For example, they can result in you asking the wrong questions. Wrong questions lead to you getting incorrect or incomplete information. To avoid confirmation bias, ask more of the right questions or find new ways to interpret data. Before you make a decision based on what you think you know about your audience, test your assumptions.
5. Gathering Your Data from Poor Sources
How to avoid it: While the internet is an excellent tool for finding information, you may not always locate the most reliable and insightful resources on the first few pages of a few search results. You will need to be diligent to understand how to evaluate sources for reputability. Always consider where you are getting your information. You should look at both primary research data that you collect yourself as well as secondary data collected by others. Failing to use a variety of sources will keep you from getting a full view of the marketplace and your product’s place in it.
To learn more about market research mistakes and how to avoid them, contact New Perspectives marketing research today.