When conducting market research studies, every methodology serves its own purpose and, arguably, not any one single market research methodology is all-encompassing. This is the reason why it is important to decide upfront with your market research vendor to determine what research method is correct for you. Even more importantly, this is the reason why you need to understand how reliable the resulting information is when everything is said and done and you’re looking to make major business changes based on the results.
One common example of misunderstanding the proper use of your data would be using qualitative research (i.e., focus group) data as if it is the final word and statistically reliable. Sure, qualitative data is great for an initial brain-storming phase, or for gathering deeper insights into existing customer issues, but when you’re tying the results of a focus group to your customer base as a whole, you need to be cautious.
Here at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) we work with our clients upfront to determine their needs from the research and outline an overall scope for the project. During this process, we work with the client to develop the most fitting research methodology to meet their needs – each with its own pros and cons. Oftentimes, our research projects will involve multiple methodologies to meet all of the needs of the client. Sometimes we’ll conduct a few focus groups to get the ball rolling, then we’ll pull out the biggest findings from the focus groups to test how statistically reliable they are by using a survey component.
Ultimately, the goal of the market research is to make informed decisions. The consultation process with your market research vendor is imperative. You need to be 100 percent confident that information you are gathering will lead to reliable and statistically-backed decisions for your business. Interested in discussing more? Contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or call her at 315-635-9802.