To complete the market research process successfully, we are taught to stick to 6 systematic steps. Each step serves its own importance to ensure organizations are getting the most out of their research and staying on task. But, even with these steps, there are additional details that are considered to be critical aspects of market research.
As a reminder, the 6 steps of the Market Research Process are:
- Define the Objective & Problem
- Determine Research Design
- Design & Prepare Research Instrument
- Sampling & Data Collection
- Analyze Data
- Visualize & Communicate Results
To determine what additional key aspects of the market research process are critical, I reached out to the knowledgeable and experienced MarketResearch.com Research Specialists to get their opinions. Here are some of the points they believe are key to conducting a successful research project.
1. Defining Exactly What Questions You Want Answered
Often when starting a new research project, organizations begin researching topics that they believe will best fit their needs rather than focusing on the gaps they need to fill. The issue with doing that is the company will define what they are looking for too narrowly, which can lead to missing the full range of information that can potentially answer their questions.
2. Understand the Voice of the Customer
As the customer, remember: don’t let your needs fall behind. When you reach out to a company to help with your research objectives, it is important that you make sure they don’t overlook your needs. You know what type of information you need, so do not let someone else get you the wrong information.
Companies that offer their services to help organizations complete their market research projects need to focus on the Voice of the Customer. It is extremely important to understand exactly what the customer needs, wants, and requires, or the whole process can fail. When working for a client, it is important to consider all possibilities – whether it is through interviews, surveys, focus groups, or observation – that can meet their needs. Listening to the customer can increase both profitability and create customer loyalty.
3. Know the Source
When you begin sampling and collecting data, it does not matter how you choose to gather information, you must make sure it comes from a reliable source. Checking the reliability and authority of your sources ensures that you are getting the most dependable information. When making crucial business decisions, you need to be certain that the information you are basing your decisions off of is accurate.
4. Recognize Where You’re Going
Although abstract, one of the most crucial parts of market research is knowing what your ultimate goal is. Conducting research just to conduct research is not only costly, it’s pointless. Finding the information that is going to support your organization’s ultimate business decisions is all that matters. Obtaining the data you need to support your business decisions appropriately is key.
As you begin your next market research project, keep these critical points in mind to ensure that you are getting the most out of you research and time. Market research can be a difficult task, but keeping track of your own questions and goals, and remembering to stick to your needs will make it a smooth process.
For more information on the market research process, download our free white paper.
Thanks for reading!