- Ever heard the expression ready, aim, fire? How about ready, fire, aim? We've all been there. When you need to make a decision and move quickly, there's a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. The same is true when someone says, "I need this information and I need it yesterday" which is all too common at the start of a market research project. Market research is about asking questions but that doesn't mean it's always the answer. The first question that you should ask is should we do the research? To determine this, you'll want to consider a number of factors.
First why do you need to do the research? In other words what decisions are hinging on the information? If you can't clearly define the decisions the results will just be nice to know and not need to know. And although it appears evident, you will also want to ask, has a conclusion already been reached? If the CEO has already made a decision, will the information from the research really make a difference? Next you want to consider if it's worth doing the research.
Costs, budgets and timelines always play a role. First ask yourself, what is the cost of not knowing? In other words does the value of the research exceed the cost of getting the information. If so, then ask, am I willing to make the investment to do the research correctly and am I willing to allow the time necessary to do the research correctly? If the quality of the market research is going to be compromised due to budget limitations or time restrictions maybe you shouldn't do it, because if the research is worth doing it's worth doing well.
Lastly, you want to consider what you will do with the information. If you aren't going to use the findings, you shouldn't do the research. Is there a commitment through all levels of the organization to use the results and do we have the budget to implement the findings? And as a final check before proceeding, you probably want to ask the obvious. Has someone in the organization already done this research? In a larger company you might be surprised at how often this turns out to be the case.
So when you're ready to engage in that market research project stop to aim before you fire. Ask yourself can we clearly define the decisions that are hinging on this research? Are we willing to invest the time and money to do this right? Does everyone agree that we will act on the findings, and do we have the budget to do so? If you can answer yes to each of these questions, congratulations you are ready to start the market research process.
The course also explores how marketing research evolves throughout a product lifecycle and identifies possible stumbling blocks and ethical considerations when performing market research.
- Understanding market search
- Determining the research approach
- Understanding the types of research: qualitative to quantitative
- Developing questions
- Collecting data
- Analyzing data
- Preparing reports
- Identifying potential issues in marketing research