You think you know your target audience, but do you really? Sure, you might know a bit about their problems and needs, but is that information accurate enough to develop your marketing budget? Would you be willing to bet your product launch on those assumptions?
A few comments gleaned from friends and some Internet research isn’t sufficient to get a good idea of the playing field. And even if you have enough data from different resources, it won’t help you in any way unless it’s properly analyzed. There’s just no way around it. Market research surveys are crucial to any marketing campaign or product launch, if you want to turn a profit.
The Power of Market Research Surveys
- No Peer Pressure or Conformity
Unlike in focus groups, where the opinions of other participants can easily be swayed by a dominant personality in the group, market research surveys are completed individually. The survey is also completed privately, so responses tend to be more candid, because respondents don’t feel the need to choose their words carefully, unlike when they’re talking to someone in-person.
The cost of running a qualitative research method, such as a focus group discussion, can range from $5000 to $7000 and that’s just for 10 participants! To collect enough data for statistical analysis, you’ll need to conduct two to three such discussion groups, which can amount to $21,000. On the other hand, the cost for running market research surveys, even with incentives, has dropped tremendously due to the availability of online surveys.
- Less Mistakes, More Accurate Analysis
Market research surveys often have a structured questionnaire with limited choices for answers. While it has less response options, unlike qualitative research methods, the data gathered can be analyzed easily and with higher accuracy using specific formulas and patterns.
- Reveal Brand and Company Positioning
Information you gain from this research could be used to determine the success and failure of a brand marketing campaign, as well as possible opportunities for improvement. Of course, it also can tell you how your target audience sees your company.
- Design Flexibility
Market research surveys don’t work well for open-ended questions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them for complex information-gathering. Market research surveys can be programmed with matrices, skip options, multiple choices, and can even incorporate if-then logic. Even if surveys aren’t effective in getting verbatim feedback from your target market, they makes up for it in the amount of data you can gather in one questionnaire.
- Larger Sample Size
Market research surveys reach a wider audience, and that, in turn, increases your chances of getting a clearer, much more accurate understanding of your market. Many businesses mistakenly assume that 30-50 participants are enough to get a good idea of their market. It’s not. In fact, in most cases you’ll need a sample size of at least 600 participants.
- Save Through Market Validation
Instead of building a product or service and then trying to find a buyer, market research surveys help you validate the demand and profitability of your idea before you invest a single cent on production, thus saving you both the cost and the disappointment that results from launching an un-researched product or brand.
- Identify Market Desires
This can include new products, upgrades, modifications and tie-ins to already existing products or services. Why guess when you can use a market research survey and have customers tell you directly?
Using market research surveys will unlock a wealth of information about your target market, information you couldn’t have discovered if you relied on your own knowledge or a few peoples assumptions. The process might seem tedious if it’s your first time collecting and analyzing data, but the insight you’ll gain will more than make up for the effort involved.
About the author
Sean O’Dacre is on the marketing team of FluidSurveys, a leading enterprise survey software tool used by thousands of professional organizations around the world.