5 Simple Facts About Market Research Explained

You can use market research to get real answers to your business problems. Stop guessing and make note of the five simple facts about research in order to increase your profitability and the productivity of your marketing efforts.
April 20, 2011 - PRLog -- Wickford, Rhode Island - Sales are down. Why? You can’t maintain your margins. Where are the price pressures coming from? Customers are deserting you in droves. What’s the explanation? You can answer these questions and many more with market research. But most mangers and owners don’t do research. They guess, freeze and do nothing, or maybe just do more of what got them into trouble in the first place.

Why do people guess when they can easily get the knowledge they need to dramatically increase profitability and performance? “It’s simple,” says Rick Nagele, a senior marketing analyst and former Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing with over 25 years of marketing experience. “They don’t know five simple facts about market research that lead to great new opportunities and success.”

Fact 1: “Marketing research doesn’t have to be expensive,” Nagele says. “While you can certainly spend thousands for research, extremely valuable insights can be uncovered for free, for very little, or at modest expense relative to your total marketing budget.” At our firm, Advantage Marketing Information, we conduct projects with budgets starting in the hundreds of dollars, ranging to $185,000. Often, we can suggest steps you can take to answer questions for free. Google has made looking for information a lot easier, and is a great place to start. There are also many other free and low cost tools. The census bureau provides a wealth of statistical information. If you want this information customized to your trading area or market, try sitereports from Claritas, a Nielsen company. For a few hundred dollars, custom data can be yours.” And there are many more (you can find these sources through Google).

Fact 2: Market research is relatively simple to understand (it doesn’t have to be complex). By definition, market research is, “The systematic gathering, recording and analyzing of information.” Sure, large companies often conduct expensive studies utilizing large samples and sophisticated statistical analysis. But smaller firms (or larger firms with a small problem) don’t have to go to this extent. “Pick up the phone and call a customer,” says Nagele. “Or send a selected list of different customers a short email every week asking for comments on your products and processes. Google yourself and see what the web says about you. These are all basic marketing research techniques.”

Fact 3: Larger projects can be broken down into affordable projects. “You don’t have to do it all at once,” according to Sue Jennison, Advantage Marketing Information’s lead project manager. “In fact, it’s often best not to. Asking too many questions at one time can lead to respondents opting out of research.”

Fact 4: New tools are available to help conduct your own research. “You can go to the web and conduct your own research using surveys, and do this virtually for free” says Nagele. “For some, this is appropriate. However, we do urge caution. If you don’t know how to write a questionnaire and analyze it properly, surveys you write yourself can often lead to bad findings and worse decisions. So test your survey carefully to avoid this trap. The other good news is that the professionals also use these web surveys, which makes working with a professional research firm less expensive than it was.”

Fact 5: Don’t assume that you need a survey; match the research technique to the problem. Different problems may require different techniques to get at the truth. If you’re working with a research professional, ask how they would go about finding the right answer (don’t specify a method).

Also, Nagele says, “It’s often a good idea to ask for a couple of different opinions. Some research firms only manage one research technique. If you ask a vendor that only does web surveys about the best approach, you can bet their solution will be a web survey. But if your problem is of a general nature, you may want to start with a focus group or in-depth interviews of customers, for example.”

You can use market research to get real answers to your business problems. Stop guessing and use these five simple facts about research to increase your profitability and the productivity of your marketing efforts. For more ideas about how to improve the power of your marketing and marketing research, visit our website and go to the library page at http://www.advantage411.com/library.htm.

For additional information or for an informative interview, call Rick Nagele, President & Senior Analyst, Advantage Marketing Information, 35 Steamboat Avenue, Historic Wickford, Rhode Island 02852 USA at (401)294-6910 or on the web at http://www.advantage411.com.

Advantage Marketing Information is a market research, marketing strategy and public opinion polling firm. The team is comprised of ‘Marketers Who Do Research.” The company has transformed research into profitable marketing insights for international clients including GE, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Jewelers of America and DeBeers (the Diamond People), Nielsen - as well as local organizations ranging from BankNewport and the Preservation Society of Newport County to professional services firms.

# # #

We’re Marketers Doing Research.

The firm focuses on:

• Asking the right marketing questions the best way.
• Organizing and presenting the information clearly – in simple language.
• Suggesting innovative ways to use the results.

We manage multiple research techniques to get you the information you need to make profitable decisions. Services include interviewing via web, telephone, in-person, mail, and mall intercepts. We also conduct observation studies as well as focus groups and executive interviews.

Clients include Fortune 500, regional companies and not for profit organizations that need to increase revenue and relevance.

Like PRLog?
Click to Share