Market Research Services

Written by Andrew Kozlov
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How effective are market research services at getting to customer truths? Before we can answer that question, we need to understand general market research methodologies. What most survey firms do is to gather together a sample of a target demographic and run consumer “blind” tests. The research service then analyzes the data statistically and offers recommendations to the product manufacturer or distributor.

On the service, this seems like an entirely scientific endeavor. However, realize that marketing surveys can usually only scratch the surface. They can suggest where customer attitudes might be pointing, but they can't predict the efficacy on any marketing campaign with 100 percent accuracy. After all, the compass of consumer tastes is inherently chaotic and influenced by external, uncontrollable factors.

Depending on Market Research Surveys

Does this mean you should shy away from using market research services? I don’t think that's what the data suggests. Indeed, a more aggressive and savvy approach might be to combine the massive data you glean from your market research surveys with your guided intuition from years in the industry. Sometimes these two techniques will yield divergent conclusions, but most of the time, they will be in accordance.

What should you do if your intuition tells you to go forward with a project that your market research surveys suggest will be a flop? Depending on the leverage you have with your company, you might want to make the gamble, especially if your expert intuitive facilities are sharp. However, if you’re unsure of your judgment at all, or if you're not willing to live with the consequences of a mistake, it's better to play conservatively.

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