The Biggest Misconceptions About Market Research

Define market researchDo most people really know what market research is and how it is produced? The term "market research" may sound self-explanatory, but it can be interpreted in many ways, and there is no shortage of myths and misconceptions about the field.

In the blog post below, industry analysts at The Freedonia Group, a division of, share some of the biggest misconceptions they’ve encountered about market research. Read on for their viewpoints.

“I think a lot of people think that ‘market research’ just means consumer surveys. It’s so much more than that! While we include consumer survey data when relevant, we also utilize a wide variety of other data sources, including government data, trade association data, and information from key companies. We also don’t just cover the end user side of the market; we cover trends in raw materials and manufacturing as well.”

— Emily Park, Industry Analyst

kenlong2013_250“That anyone can do it who has access to the Internet. Online searches are just one of many tools that can and should be used to conduct research and develop a good understanding of a market.”

— Ken Long, Industry Study Manger

Kent Furst_250“The biggest misconception is that market research is easy. Some people think that all market research is the same, or that they could do a better job within their own company. If they understood all the work that goes into producing high-quality market research, they’d realize that it’s not easy at all.

I talked to a person at a conference once who had this exact experience. His company had a market research project that they thought would be simple to handle in-house, and soon realized that it was far more complicated and difficult than they expected. He had a great deal of appreciation for the type of work we do at Freedonia.”

— Kent Furst, Industry Study Manager

zoebiller_250“A lot of people in my social circle think it’s all about focus groups and surveys, that kind of thing. Really what we do is market research analysis. We offer an in-depth look about why 3D printing hasn’t taken off with private consumers (for example), so that companies can quickly make crucial decisions that will grow their businesses.”

— Zoe Biller, Industry Analyst

Gleb Mytko“Far too many people assume that all the market research being sold today is of a similar quality. On the contrary, the amount of subpar market research that has become available is staggering. Although many of these reports are inexpensive, the information they contain is not reliable and can be misleading. Errors and mistakes are quite common in such reports. Freedonia, which has been synonymous with high-quality research for more than two decades, will continue to be a leading source of high-quality market research for our clients.”

— Gleb Mytko, Global Industry Analyst

mikerichardson2013_250“The two I run into a lot are:

That it’s all based on consumer surveys.

That we do Consumer Reports-style product evaluation, and our study will have a statement about which company or whose product is ‘best.’”

— Mike Richardson, Senior Industry Analyst

Mike Bokausek_250“Confusing a Google search with actual market research can be a costly mistake. Much like fake news, just because someone is claiming to be a market research firm doesn’t make their research and conclusions accurate. Trust should be earned not assumed.”

— Mike Bokausek, Manager of Corporate Analysis

Elliott Woo_250“Market research is a very broad field, and people underestimate the range of intelligence that be provided. Whether it’s local surveys or top-down global overviews, there are tons and tons of ways to analyze markets and provide value.”

— Elliot Woo, Industry Analyst

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Topics: Market Research Strategy