How To Avoid Common Market Research Mistakes

By  Zainab Agha

May 31, 2022 7:47 am EST

We’ve all been there – we’re trying to make a business or marketing decision, and we know we need to research to support our decision. So we conduct a survey or interview some customers, but when we present our findings, we’re met with skepticism. “That can’t be right,” people say, or “that’s not what our other data says.” 

It can be frustrating, especially if you’ve followed all the best practices for conducting market research. But the truth is, even the best researchers make mistakes sometimes. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common mistakes made in market research and avoid them. 

Mistake 1: Not Defining Your Objective  

One of the most common mistakes in market research is failing to define your objective. What are you trying to learn? What decisions are you trying to make? It will be tough to design a research project that will give you the information you need.

Defining your objective will also help you determine the most appropriate method for conducting your research. If you’re trying to understand consumer behavior, surveys and interviews may be the best option. But if you’re trying to measure brand awareness or track sales data, you’ll need to use different methods. 

Mistake 2: Asking Leading Questions   

Another common mistake is asking leading questions. A leading question suggests a particular answer, which can bias your results. For instance, suppose the following survey question:

“How often do you use XYZ products, now that you’ve seen the new commercials?”     

The second question is a leading question because it suggests that the respondent has seen the new commercials (which may not be true) and has had a positive reaction to them (which also may not be true).   

To avoid asking leading questions, make sure to word your questions neutrally. For example, you could ask, “What was your reaction to the new XYZ commercials?” instead of “Did you like the new XYZ commercials?” 

Mistake 3: Not Pre-Testing Your Questions  

Another common mistake is not pre-testing your questions. Before you launch a survey or start interviewing customers, it’s essential to test your questions to make sure they’re easy to understand. Otherwise, you may end up with complex data to interpret or use. 

There are a few different ways to pre-test your questions. One option is asking a small group of people (friends, family, co-workers) to answer the questions. Another option is to pilot your survey or interview a few real respondents. This will help you identify any confusion or ambiguity in your questions to make the necessary changes before collecting data from a larger group. 

Mistake 4: Not Analyzing Your Data    

Data analysis is how you turn your raw data into insights that you can use to make decisions. Once you’ve collected your data, it’s important to take the time to analyze it. This may seem obvious, but it’s one that’s often overlooked. 

There are many ways to analyze your data, depending on your data. If you’ve conducted surveys or interviews, you may want to code the data and look for patterns. If you’re working with sales data, you may want to create graphs or charts to visualize the trends.   

No matter how you choose to analyze your data, the important thing is that you do it. Without analysis, your data is just a bunch of numbers (or words) on a page. Only by analyzing it can you turn it into useful information.

Mistake 5: Not Acting on Your Insights   

Finally, the last mistake is not acting on your insights. Once you’ve analyzed your data and drawn some conclusions, it’s important to put those insights to use. Otherwise, all the effort you’ve put into your market research will be nothing.   

There are a few different ways to act on your insights. For example, if you’re working on a marketing campaign, you may want to use your insights to improve your targeting or message.

When developing a new product, use your insights to refine your design or choose the right features.  

The important thing is to take action. Don’t let your insights sit idly by; put them to use and see how they help you achieve your goals.

By planning your research, pre-test your questions, and analyze your data, you can generate insights to make better decisions for your business. And when you act on those insights, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals 


Zainab Agha

Zainab started her career in advertising as a copywriter; which taught her how valuable moxie was in the boardroom and translates that in her campaigns. Building brands has led her to explore digital marketing, communication concepts, and what it takes to grow an idea from scratch. In her free time (let’s assume she is a badass with balancing work and play) she travels in heels then complains, experiments with innovative creative solutions that sell, and does stand-up comedy.

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