All businesses engage in some form of market research.  Market research comes in all forms – both formal and informal.  One example of formalized market research would be a Fortune 50 company like Johnson & Johnson conducting a series of 16 different focus groups across the country to test three new varieties of Listerine, followed by a national online study to assess market impact of the new product.  An example of informal market research would be Flo the waitress at Bob’s Diner on Route 37 asking a customer “how were your eggs?”  The common thread to market research is simple.  Asking questions, listening to answers and solving problems.  While you may be asking yourself, “do we need market research?,”  the short answer is “yes,” but the more candid answer would be “you probably already do it.”  However, in most cases, informal and anecdotal market research is not enough and it will not give you the all-encompassing information you need.

Success often masks the need for market research.  The famous business author Peter Drucker wrote, “problems of success have ruined more organizations than has failure.”  The point he makes is that success blinds the need to constantly reinvent yourself and stay ahead of the curve.  Oftentimes businesses get complacent with their success and become too inward-looking.  It seems like one of the most basic business principles: Step 1 – find out what people think about us.  But some businesses fail in the fact they may want to find out what people think because it’s the right thing to do, but ultimately they don’t care and don’t act on the findings.

Market research enables businesses to get outside perspectives on their products and services.  By continually asking for feedback on operations, businesses are provided with data and action items to stay ahead of the curve.  Market research keeps businesses in touch with employees, customers, non-customers, competitors, the market and the industry.  It plays a vital role in identifying strengths and weaknesses of your business from an outsider’s perspective.  Market research facilitates progress.

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While you may have your answer for “do we need market research,” you might be wondering “where to start” now?  If you have no experience with formal market research, a simple customer satisfaction survey is always a good first step.   However, you may have a unique problem that needs solving that is beyond what a short customer satisfaction survey could answer.  If you have a question about how market can help your business, click here to fill out a quick question form and send it to us here at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS).  RMS is a market research consultant located in Upstate, NY.  We’ll review your message and give you our recommendation on how to best proceed.  Or if you’d like to talk to someone on our research team here at RMS, give us a call at 315-635-9802.