Market research is often something that is on many business’s “want to do” list rather than their “must do” list. In most cases, large corporations understand the need for market research and use both in-house resources and third-party consultants, whereas small and mid-size businesses often grapple with using market research due to lack of resources on many fronts. Through our business development efforts, our team hears and responds to all kinds of various barriers that businesses provide us as reasons to not use market research, all of which we are going to discuss in this blog post to prove these barriers are not barriers at all.
Here are three common barriers to using market research and how you can overcome them internally if you understand the innate value of market research, but possibly others in your organization do not:
(1) Money – Everyone’s favorite, for sure. Our business development team hears “We just don’t have the budget for that kind of stuff,” “We are waiting to see how sales go in the second quarter and we’ll make a decision later in the year,” and even “We don’t see the ROI in using market research.”
Well, is there an ROI for market research? The short answer is yes but it’s theoretical ROI at the point when you buy into and commission the market research and it’s not realized until shortly after or well-after the market research project is completed. In its simplest state, market research is designed to optimize processes for your business, which reduces money spent by your organization. If the opportunity presented itself, why would a business turn down a chance to spend $10,000 up-front, which could save their company upwards of double that or even more down the road? Even if a company is in the red and over-budget, using market research and spending more is designed to get you back in the green. It tells you what you need to fix.
(2) Time – In reality, all market research projects are customizable to the point where a project can be completed within any time frame. If you’ve been holding out in your budget (which you shouldn’t be – see no. 1) to conduct a 1,000 complete customer satisfaction survey by the end of the calendar year and it’s now Dec. 14, you still have options. Instead of doing all 1,000 completes, you have the option of doing a short three- to five-minute quick pulse survey among 100 random customers and obtain similar results. This way you can simply ask them the 10 to 15 questions that were most important from your 40 question script and get feedback within a few days. Or if you don’t have a few days, RMS can customize the project and complete a handful of in-depth interviews (IDIs) with your most valued customers and conduct a short telephone discussion with each over the course of one day by asking them a few questions from your script. There are always answers for this barrier, so don’t ever let time stop you.
(3) Lack of Knowledge or Past Experience – As much as we like to tout our abilities as analysts, market research is not rocket science, believe it or not. So you don’t have to be a statistics guru to understand the basic concepts and the actionable feedback your receive from your market research project. However, there is science to asking questions the correct way without bias, ordering questions, using the appropriate methodology and conducting a comprehensive review of the data. As a market research firm, it’s our job to do all of this for you and interpret the statistics for your team so you can make actionable and easy to carry-out recommendations.
These are three common types of barriers to using market research and we provided reasons why they are in fact, not barriers at all. Can you think of any more? Comment below.
Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research consultant in NY. If you are interested in discussing potential market research projects or simply have some questions about the process, contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling (315) 635-9802.