Conducting market research is a powerful way to gain an advantage over your competitors, gather forward-looking feedback and increase the profitability of your operations. When it’s done right.
Ok let’s look at the five of the biggest market research mistakes and how you can avoid them and make your research more effective.
1. Overlooking the Why
Data collection is all well and good – but without knowing why you’re collecting it, it won’t do your company much good.
Are you focused on customer experience? Competitive research? Improving your next launch?
Understanding the purpose of the data you’re collecting will get all the people in your organization working in the same direction and aligning to the same goals.
Know your “why” and your market research will have more impact.
2. Not Surveying Often Enough
The customer experience changes over time. Infrequent surveys won’t tell you the whole story.
If you ask a customer right now about their satisfaction, they might say they’re happy with the service they received – but tomorrow their device might break and they won’t get that great service when they call your company for help. If you haven’t asked them about their experience since that initial feedback, you’re not getting the whole story.
Survey frequently – much more often than once a year or once a quarter – to gather truly useful insights.
A snapshot survey is not the whole picture. It’s like reading Cliff’s Notes instead of reading the book. Get constant feedback from your customers and the market, or you’ll be missing insight and leaving yourself exposed to your competitors to take your customers.
3. Not Acting on the Insight
Surprisingly, companies sometimes spend a fortune gathering market research only to do nothing with it. That’s a waste of your company’s money, your time and your customer’s time.
Taking action is part of an effective market research cycle:
- Listen to the research
- Understand what the data is saying
- Find the story
- Take action on the insight
- Track your action and make adjustments to the next cycle
Lather, rinse and repeat. There should be a constant cycle of insight, action and adjustments, with action being a critical factor in the success of your market research program.
4. Having Too Many Tools
We see this all the time, and it’s a huge waste of companies’ time and money. They use one company or tool for data collection, another for tabulation and another for reporting. This increases human error and increases the time the whole process takes. You have to be fast and nimble to really turn things around using market research.
Having different tools for all these pieces is incredibly inefficient:
- Survey system
- Customer database
- Employee database
- Sales database
- Financial database
- Support system
- Case management
- Phone system
That said, sometimes you still need more than one tool. In this case, make sure those tools are well integrated. If you have data spread across multiple platforms with no way to integrate them, you have no way for those insights to flow seamlessly and automatically. This dramatically decreases your company’s agility.
Use an end-to-end platform if at all possible.
If that’s not possible and you do have to use multiple tools, make sure they are integrated. If you are relying on exports and manual entry of data, you will encounter a human error and ultimately bad data.
5. Doing Qualitative and Quantitative Research Separately
Qualitative and quantitative research go hand-in-hand and together will give you more holistic market insights. Don’t separate them out.
This is where community-building can be so powerful. When you build a community, you can do qualitative and quantitative research together. Use discussion forums, blogs, chat, polls – constantly, “in the moment” for the customer – for an effectively blended qualitative/quantitative methodology.
Want to learn more about how QuestBack can help you avoid these market research blunders? Contact us today for a free demo. Or, find us over on Twitter or LinkedIn to comment and continue the conversation!