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3 Scenarios When Market Research is a Bad Idea

market research bad ideaAs one of the country’s most experienced full-service market research firms, you might assume that we always emphatically answer “yes!” to the question “should we do market research?”

However, you may be surprised to learn that there have been numerous times over the years where we have found ourselves in the rather interesting position of talking a current or prospective client out of moving forward with their market research plans; at least, at the current time.

Why would we take such a seemingly counterproductive view? After all, we exist to help our clients solve business problems through data-driven market research. Shouldn’t we be delighted to demonstrate our expertise and, more importantly, to help our clients succeed and thrive?

Ironically, that is EXACTLY what we are doing when we discourage current and prospective clients from availing themselves of our services and solutions, because there are times when, frankly, market research is a bad idea. Here are 3 scenarios where this wisdom comes to the forefront:

1. When the market research problem is not clearly defined.

The fundamental essence of market research is to address and resolve a key business problem that is either leading to excess cost, blocking potential profits – or in many cases, both at the same time. However, unless this problem is clearly defined, then the market research plan and project that supports it cannot succeed; at least not in an optimized and efficient way.  

2. The available budget will not sustain the desired outcome.

Since market research is not something that most businesses purchase on a regular basis, there can be some confusion around invest and outcome. That is, assumptions can be made with respect to what kind of intelligence and insight can be gleaned for a certain spend level.

In these cases, it is not just advisable, but it is necessary to re-evaluate the situation and either increase the budget, or if that is not desirable or feasible, adjust the market research plan so that it is realistic and will ultimately be useful and actionable.

3. Proprietary and sensitive information may be impossible to keep secure.

In some cases, a business may have a practical and intelligent problem to solve, and a suitable budget to generate desired insights. However, another obstacle may emerge: the fact that proprietary and sensitive information may be impossible to keep secure.

In these situations, it is often still possible to conduct market research by putting strict information-flow protocols in place, and by having any quantitative or qualitative data gathering done without reference to a brand or business.

Learn More

To learn more about when it makes sense to conduct market research – and just as importantly, when it does not – contact the Communications For Research team today. Our co-CEO Colson Steber will help you determine whether your business is in need of market research in order to reach your business goals.

Market research is always a good idea for marketing agencies! Learn how it can help be helpful by download our FREE eBook here:

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Topics: b2b market research

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