Market Research is an important process that must not be neglected within an organization, yet there are many common mistakes that occur that can prevent innovation from sparking in a business. Here some flaws that Scott D. Anthony sees in traditional market research approaches. He’s detailed them in his latest post on Harvard Business Publishing.
- Talking to the wrong people: Marketers generally try to understand the wants and needs of the most demanding existing customers. Innovation usually comes from a business’s worst customers and to those customers it doesn’t serve yet.
- Asking the wrong questions: Most companies ask the question, ‘What do you want’. Customers do not know the answer to this, and so we must instead we should focus on problems that customers face.
- Data is being analyzed by the wrong people: Most of the time, senior leaders and market research firms are interpreting data. Important information should be passed through decision-makers to make sure signals don’t get lost along the way.
- Don’t make bad decisions based on market research data: Taking market research data in non-existent markets too seriously is a bad idea, but using early-stage market research as in input on innovative processes is a good idea.
Inevitably, market research is crucial to a business’s survival, so make sure that you are asking the right questions and talking to the right people.