Market research allows you to base your decisions on scientific facts. This is certainly more persuasive than if you had to convince a management or financial committee that keeps track of every cent (or should I say every 5 cents!) spent by your company. Marketing as a science? I’d say that it’s an applied art and a studied science.
Most of the time, I recommend that clients partake in thorough market research so that they are in a position to make well-informed decisions. I feel that, depending on the case, it’s better to look before you leap.
In a professional context, I often work on research projects, both qualitative (exploring a subject through focus groups or individual interviews) and quantitative (validating information through surveys). But I’m aware that research has its limits.
Limits of research
I recognize that market research has its weak points. “Limits” would be the more appropriate term because “weaknesses” can be composed of methodological errors, margins of error, levels of confidence (error risk of up to 1 out of 20). I’m referring to market research that will only address the current needs of clients without really informing us about their future needs. Clients know what they want now, but don’t know what they will want in the near future.
Monitoring activities to sharpen your flair
To compensate for this lacking in market research, you can go further and establish different monitoring activities, such as technological or competitive monitoring. To assist you, there are several free tools available, namely the RSS feeds (ex: Google Reader), Google alerts or the application Google Trends. Of course, social networks, and Twitter in particular, can also help.
And speaking of Twitter, subscribe now to my account @ExoCN so you can follow Exo’s blog posts. I’ll speak more about market research in the coming months.