As an entrepreneur, you understand that market research is a must. What many business owners fail to realize is that they probably shouldn’t conduct market research themselves. You shouldn’t even hand the task off to an in-house marketing person or team.
If you have the budget for a marketing department, it’s best to utilize that resource for content marketing or one-off marketing studies. When you’re just starting your business or rebranding it, it’s best to use a market research agency to find your target audience.
For many small business owners, the Internet is their sole reference source. But a Google search just isn’t enough when it comes to the longevity of your business.
There are hundreds of of online resources that provide instructions for the DIY version of market research. However, these how-tos and ebooks leave out the amount of time, patience, and money it costs to get research done correctly the first time.
Market research agencies go beyond survey results by asking “why?” in instances where businesses would accept results as fact. This is especially true when the results confirm the businesses’ own biases. For example, in one survey, an anonymous company found that price ranked behind several other factors when customers were deciding whether to purchase one of its products.
This discovery led the company to believe they could raise the cost of the item without making changes to the actual product or business. It wasn’t long before sales fell. It turned out that price ranked low as a factor because most consumers were accustomed to the price being the same across all competitors.
Agencies look for different ways to interpret information and don’t take results at face value. By asking why results turned out a certain way, they’re able to get to the root of a question. They thus help the businesses mold their models.
Market research mistakes aren’t just limited to small businesses. Major corporations have made big marketing research mistakes as well and lost thousands or millions in the process. For example, Coca-Cola’s team had more than 200,000 customers taste-test their line, “New Coke.”
More than half of the participants believed it tasted better than the original Coke, and even Pepsi.