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With the advent of online market surveys, and with the access to survey technology and  survey programs increasing, there is a feeling that anyone can do market research and survey complex and sensitive issues in the business world.

The problem is that with market research experience, having a feel for what works and doesn’t work in getting respondents to participate, answer correctly, and complete a survey, is an important attribute in the final results and analysis that is received for strategy development.

Merely having an idea of questions you would like to ask and the tools to do it, is not enough to create great surveys. Great surveys that elicit good responses give insights, both qualitative and qualitative, to customers sentiments, emotions, advocacy and consumer behaviour.

I often see many surveys that are very “Mickey Mouse ” in terms of the lines of inquiry, the depth of investigation, the structure of the questions, and the progression of questions from easy too hard, that are inadequate to get great results for those conducting them.

Quality strategic research is becoming very important now because of the escalation in changing patterns of consumer behaviour and technologies, such as mobile phones.

Companies and government should be researching more often than they do, and with more understanding on how to gain insights through professionally commissioned research.

They will not find it difficult to get responses, and when they do it professionally, the types of responses they get give them greater knowledge and insight to the strategies they wish to consider as options, or changes to existing marketing or business practice and strategies.

Like any other profession, market research is rewarded by experience over time. This gives greater insight into what works and what does not work . It develops an appreciation of the questions that need to be asked because researchers understand the analytical tools and the types of information that will be yielded by question, types question , and the particular wording of the question that makes it contribute to a unique understanding of consumer behaviour.

Experienced researchers also understand what works and does not work in motivating, and continuing to motivate respondents to commit to completing a survey. This can minimise incomplete surveys and give a great result that impacts more fully on the firm, its consumers and the bottom line.

Taking research shortcuts because you have enabling tools, is the same as creating your  own website design, conducting search engine optimisation and generally engaging in online promotion, advertising, and publicity because you understand WordPress.  It simply does not work that way, and that is why the IT industry is separate from the marketing industry.

The next time you consider doing insightful and meaningful research and commit large amounts of money in management time, resources, and development time to understand and change consumer behaviour or promote and develop markets for your organisation. . . . think again.

A professional market research practitioner can get you there more effectively and efficiently at lower cost than the half-arsed, half measured DIY variety work.  

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Research, Strategy, Marketing, Performance