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Inadvertent bias can taint your focus

It is a given that research allows businesses to understand their marketplaces. That said, gathering masses of data doesn’t mean you’re getting the answers you need. Sometimes it’s a case of less is best, and it is the quality of the data, not the quantity, which can enable you to steer the ship towards the right opportunities for your business.

The key to generating quality research lies in asking the right questions. At the same time, when determining the right questions, it’s important you avoid eliciting responses that simply confirm your firm’s preconceived ideas about the market, and your customers wants and needs.

Let’s face it, most businesses are guilty of thinking they know best. Having worked in an industry or a business for a period means we all unconsciously bring baggage with us. So it’s important to try to remove any inadvertent bias to really understand what your customers are thinking.

The value of understanding your market

Independent market research is a valuable way for determining what the ‘market’ is thinking, or specifically how your individual customers are judging you and your business.

Having this data at hand can be invaluable when making strategic decisions. Quality data that’s sourced independently, can give you deep insights into trends and the thought processes of your customers and prospects. It might relate to their perceptions about certain products or services. Or the timing of an upcoming decision. For example, establishing the triggers for owner-occupiers to upgrade or downsize into a new home. Alternatively, research can provide insights into why consumers choose a fixed rate home loan, or swap life insurers, or what you can do to increase the share of wallet you're getting from a customer.

The reality is that if you’re making major business decisions without solid data, it’s like attempting to win the Sydney to Hobart yacht race without a compass. Essentially, with quality research, you have a strong insight into how your target audience is behaving and importantly - why they are behaving that way. 

Why independence is important

Albert Einstein once said: Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. What this means is that while data is important, analysing the right data is essential, and this why marketers often turn to independent experts for assistance in developing the research objectives and methodology behind the questions they want answered.

Independence when it comes to conducting and analysing your market research can be a valuable way to guarantee the data you’re working with is clean. By using an external set of eyes, it’s also possible to uncover hidden marketing gems that you may have missed if you’d handled the research gathering inhouse. Independent research can unearth findings about your business, it’s products and the market, which you mightn’t have considered.

A case in point is Instagram that originally started out as Burbn, a location-based, check-in app. After releasing the app, the brains behind Burbn, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger wisely chose to re-evaluate the market, which they deemed cluttered – like their app. Consequently, Systrom and Krieger skinned Burbn, leaving only the photo, comments, and liking features. They rebranded the business as Instagram and the rest is history, with the duo selling the business to Facebook for more than $US700 million.

In today’s tough business environment, anything that gives you a jump on the competition is worth considering. By using independent research, you will be able to utilise the power of objectivity. In other words, you can test your view of the market in a way that you cannot achieve internally. Moreover, it may just stop you from kicking a costly own-goal when talking to your customers.

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Contact CoreData WA for assistance with your market research and content on 08 6500 3216 or perth@coredataresearch.com  

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