Market Research: Myths Exposed
Posted on: Sunday, May 1st, 2011
It’s ironic that the best candidates for market research are often the companies or individuals that think they have all the answers. They are easy to pick out. It’s even easier to point out why the authoritative research delivered by On Target could help these companies and individuals:
“Why do research? We already have the best product on the market.”
Response: Says who? Being responsible for the sale of a product is not the same as understanding why someone buys a product. In fact, one of the markers of excellent marketing managers is that they never assume to know what the customer wants. Marketers want – and need – to know why a customer buys, and they engage market research to get this information. Equally important, they do all this before going to market. Failure to take this step almost always means that you won’t present, or position, your product correctly, and that means leads and sales will drop.
It doesn’t even matter if your product truly is the best. What matters is how your customer sees the product – and the only way to get that information is by conducting a thorough market research survey.
“The Boss knows what’s best – that’s why he is the Boss.”
Response: The owners/operators of small businesses have to be confident and aggressive to be among the very few that succeed. However, this success can also breed over-confidence and a belief that the boss knows everything. You may even hear the boss say he or she built the business and therefore knows what the market wants. Market studies are put down as a waste of funds and, worse yet, marketing suggestions from others are rejected, even if these individuals are actually closer to the customer than the boss.
It’s true that marketing decisions based on executive intuition work occasionally, but it’s only a matter of time before there is a bad decision that has significant – and perhaps – fatal consequences for the company.
“The only thing that matters is price. Our customers don’t care about anything else.”
Response: No, they don’t. If customers only cared about price, every store would be a discount centre – and every car would be a small vehicle with inferior design, performance and comfort. Even a little research reveals that many issues other than price influence purchase decisions. You need to not only understand these issues, but also how they rank in the customer’s mind. Many marketing campaigns fail simply because the issues most important to the customer were “buried” or ignored entirely.
“We Know Who Our Competitors Are”
Response: Most marketers can easily rattle off a list of their competitors. While the length of this list shows strong knowledge of the market, what is more important is who is not on the list. Companies not viewed as competitors are potentially the biggest threat to a company, especially for companies operating in a rapidly evolving market. At the very least, the marketer should have two lists – current competitors and potential competitors. The list for potential competitors should be heavily weighted with companies that are outside the current industry. In this way, the marketer broadens the universe of potential influencers in their market. Better still, the marketer will likely gain insights and ideas for new products, new markets and new channels for communication.
To find out more on how OnTarget’s market research can help your business, contact Louie Pateropoulos at 416 219 0905 or email me.