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Does Anyone Listen To Market Research?

For years, market research has been one of the most well-known tools used by company’s to establish a ‘feeler’ out in the market for how a venture might pan out for them, and its effects and usefulness for those hoping to make their fortune is widely considered to be an integral part of a successful set up.

However, with the diverse and volatile nature of the world around us in contemporary society, has the validity and once-crucial nature of market research stood the test of time?

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#1 Overreactions from Data

People absolutely listen to market research. However, the quality and granularity of the research is critical. Many companies overreact to market research - they see a new trend and and striking numbers and, whether out of fear or greed, jump on it without thoughtful consideration. Sometimes those trends don't apply to their geography or target customer base.

Contributor: Chris Lee from

#2 Becoming Customer-centric

I’ve been a marketer for over 35 years, have written books and articles on the subject, founded an agency on the principle that if you listen to the customer, they will tell you what you need to know to market your product or service effectively to them – all you have to do is execute. We can perform research studies on nearly any aspect of a product service or company, and we listen hard to what the consumer is saying, and what they’re not saying . . . Becoming customer-centric, and using research to get at the heart of what you offer and how consumers view it and use it makes all the difference between a so-so marketing campaign and a blockbuster new product that flies off the shelves.

Contributor: Dave Poulos from

#4 Ignore At Your Own Peril

Companies ignore their customers desires at their own peril, and we start almost every engagement with some baseline research on not the company and the products, but the customer – what they want, what they need, how they perceive the company, it’s goods and services and brand, is the only logical starting place for a good marketing effort.

Contributor: Dave Poulos from

#5 Projections

So as for the question about market research, I think that it is extremely important, especially for starting companies so that they can make projections based on what their own plan is, compared to what is happening in the industry. For us, there is no prior market research done in the peer-to-peer renting industry, so it is much more difficult for us to make projections for our August launch this year.

Contributor: Rob Salvati from

#6 Insight

As a marketing strategist, I find that market insights data can be one of the most powerful resources at my disposal--that is when a client is both willing to pay for collecting the insight and willing to listen to what the research has to say, be it good or bad.

Contributor: Kevin Smith from

#7 Mindset of a Company

It's all about mindset of the company, the division, the leaders whether they see value in understanding their market. Research can tell a company who their customers actually are (not just who they think the consumer may be), help them understand their behaviors and motivations and uncover new or unmet needs that can be turned into business opportunity.

Contributor: Kevin Smith from

#8 Downsides?

The big downside of market research is that--when done right--it is time-consuming and can be expensive. I think the real question in the marketplace is how many companies are willing to invest in market research and how many just bypass this step to get to market or to spend their budgets on other things. Most marketers are open to hearing what market research has to say... a lot fewer of them are willing to go to bat for the time and money to actually collect the data they need. Those who do are the ones who are able to actually grow business and win new clients.

Contributor: Kevin Smith from 

#9 A really important building block

I started a global branding and marketing firm 17 years ago and am a big fan of market research. I think it is a really important building block for any good marketing plan and to ignore the market or not even ask them for input is a bad idea in my opinion. I think the best marketers listen to the feedback they get and incorporate it into their plans then pivot as needed down the road as the data roles in.

Contributor: Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO from

#10 Pick Your Sources And Save Money

You do not need to spend a lot of money to conduct research with your target audience, there are plenty of scrappy ways to get their ideas and input but to make a major decision based solely on what you and your team, friends and family think and ignore the target audience is a recipe for disaster. Your mom or best friend will never tell you the baby is ugly. A potential customer is happy to share why they would or would not pay for your product or service. I suggest you listen to what they are telling you or you will waste a lot of time and money.

Contributor: Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO from

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Written by James Metcalfe

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