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Why Market Research Fails

“Knowledge is power.” It’s an old adage that states the obvious: acquiring information helps people uncover their mistakes, predict opportunities and redirect action, making it easier for them to prosper in the future. Indeed, knowledge is powerful. And it’s the same for companies. The more facts they have, the better decisions they make. In this way, market research has become ubiquitous with success – but only when it’s done right! Take a look at five reasons why market research fails:

There Was No Clear Objective

To get good data, businesses must ask good questions. And if they don’t understand what they need to know, they definitely can’t know what to ask. Market research projects fail when they are not designed with a specific goal in mind. A
clear objective guides research design, thus capturing only the most germane facts and opinions.

The Wrong Respondents Were Targeted

Quality data relies upon its source. To get information that is applicable and significant, researchers must identify and call upon the people most qualified to supply the answers they need. Too frequently, the sample used in a research project is not truly representative of an audience and/or excludes one a part of the population that could provide additional insights (such as competitors, prospects and lost customers). Furthermore, the increased availability of online, as well as paid, responses makes it hard to verify where and when and from whom the data is coming. A better strategy solicits information from
a variety of validated viewpoints. This is the only way to insure that the data uncovered fully illustrates any market.

There Weren’t Any Good Suggestions

On the flip side, many research projects use methods and samples that produce meticulously detailed results. The problem arises when researchers either fail to properly communicate those results or offer no applicable ways for companies to take action with them. A good market research project should provide clear insights that inform action. It should not just offer a final 100-page report of statistics and technical jargon, no matter how accurate either might be.

Time Was Wasted

One of the main reasons why market research fails is because it was done too late. Many companies try to use old research to solve current problems. And some try to validate their old practices with new research. Neither option works, and both are a waste of time.
Markets change with new competitors, new products and new trends emerging all the time. In reality, companies should be using research to identify and direct their future practices, not confirm their old ones. Companies must use their time wisely and collect only the most pertinent data that allows them to be proactive instead of reactive.

Results Are Met With a Closed Mind

Too often, companies conduct research, get surprising results and choose to overlook what the data tells them or twist it in order to justify what they already believe. To have a successful market research experience, businesses must strive for unbiased research techniques and embrace any unexpected results.

Want More Information?

With the abundance of DIY platforms that offer companies the opportunity to design their own market research projects, it’s easy to become overconfident. But market research isn’t a simple process and even the smallest of errors can have a profound effect. It can even be difficult for professionals if they aren’t skilled in the rigors of good research design. Our team at Communications for Research (CFR) has over 20 years experience building quality studies that bring actionable results.
Contact us to learn how we can help you.

You might also like to download our free video, “The 5 Most Common Market Research Mistakes” for additional tips.

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Topics: market research process , marketing research

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