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Market research is a critical tool for companies to ensure that their strategies produce expected outcomes while minimizing uncertainty. However, for those who lack access to a market research professional, starting a market research project can seem like a daunting challenge. Here are five things to avoid and five tips to consider when starting a market research project.
  1. Avoid conducting research for data that you may already have. Lack of communication within companies can create gaps in knowledge, leading to different departments in the same organization commissioning nearly identical studies. To avoid this, inventory and utilize data that’s already in-house.
  2. Avoid conducting research when there is no agreement among crucial stakeholders. If there is no agreement among key players within the organization as to the objectives of the research, the project is unlikely to gain any traction. To overcome this, get full buy-in on the objectives of a research project before proceeding.
  3. Avoid asking a question when you don’t want to know the answer. Conducting research to show that there was an attempt to vet a decision that has already been made is a waste of resources. Instead, put resources into research that’s designed to be actionable.
  4. Avoid frustrating respondents with questions they can’t possibly answer. Overly complex or technical questions that exceed the respondent’s knowledge or experience are common mistakes. To avoid this, empathize with respondents and use appropriately framed research questions.
  5. Avoid letting research costs outweigh the potential benefits. Looking at every conceivable customer segment with huge and expensive studies is counterproductive. To overcome this, design targeted research around clearly defined objectives.
In summary, companies that conduct market research can ensure that their strategies produce expected outcomes while minimizing uncertainty. Companies can conduct effective market research projects by following these five tips and avoiding the mistakes listed above.

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