Importance of market research - 5 key learnings

How do you validate a groundbreaking idea? You need a bulletproof plan.

Your first order of business should be research. Research is a powerhouse tool that will enable you to strategize and do it efficiently.

There are no bad ideas, only a lack of strategy and premature implementation. Both of which can be avoided with “modest” research.

So what exactly is research, and why is it important?

A Google search will tell you it is “The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions”.

We’ll tell you, research is like having someone whisper all the answers in your ear. They’ll tell you why, when, where, who and how you should approach this idea, as well as what to avoid and where to amplify efforts and focus.

Here are 5 things you can learn from a market research study:

1. Learn what you can solve

Market research will provide a spotlight on consumer concerns. You will get insights on consumer behaviour, what motivates them and challenges they are facing. With this information, you are able to create the ‘need-factor’ in your product/service.

Let’s take Apple for an instance, Steve Jobs once told someone on the Mac team that he did not want to do market research because ‘customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them’. Jobs, in fact, did believe in market research, just one that did not involve asking consumers what they needed but instead, he wanted to understand why they needed it.

Apple spent a lot of time understanding the problems they could potentially solve and what they could do to improve the quality of life of their target and potential consumers. Jobs believed in asking the right questions - something consultants are particularly in agreement with and can help you achieve.

Once you understand what you are solving, strategize a plan to close all known gaps. Know what you don’t know.

2. Learn unbiased opinions about your product/service

Every now and then you’ll have a winning idea in mind. The details may be ambiguous until you verify your hunches. We encourage you to trust your intuition, but we also advise you to validate them. Ask the right questions to the right people. is particularly great at this, you may want to give us a call.

What metrics are you using to measure the success of your idea? You will need unbiased opinions. Asking family and friends is a convenient approach, but you may potentially get biased reviews based on your connection with them. A market research study will provide unbiased opinions and give you additional insights on how it is perceived and who it will be useful for. This is your commercial identity.

3.    Learn different things from different research methodologies

Once you are aware of what you are missing, find a research approach that will answer your concerns and reinforce your judgments. Two common research methodologies that you should know about are qualitative and quantitative research.

  • Think of qualitative research as an approach that can effectively educate you about your market. When used right, qualitative research will give you deep-dive insights into behavioural data which includes reasons, opinions, and motivations.
  • Quantitative research, on the other hand, will give you statistical data that will provide you with clear and to the point measurable metrics.

For a little more insight on this, we’ll be exploring both research methods and when to use them in our next series.

4.    Learn that all data is insight. No insight, is also, insight.

Your consumers often tell you exactly what you want to know, hence interpreting their responses from a survey should be your easiest task. If you find yourself spending a lot of time translating their interests, you might want to re-look into the questions and ways you have asked them.

*Follow this series by subscribing to our newsletter, for an expert guide on asking the right questions.

Here are a few tips to effectively translate the data you currently have:

  • All consumer behaviour and action are insights for your business.
  • Lack of action or expression from consumers is also insight.
  • Repeatedly ask the When, Why, Who, Where and How of everything.

5.    Learn to improvise and innovate.

It may be rather unpopular to alter a well thought out plan and move in a different direction, but when your research reveals contrasting results, you have several choices:

  • Analyse your current strategy and findings to determine if adjustments could be made within your current plan to achieve the original result.
  • Make alterations to your initial plan to create something new.
  • Consider that your potential/target consumers are trying to tell you something important about the market you are pursuing.

Creating something new can be exhilarating. Especially when you’re creating for a purpose. You can dive straight into it, but having the essential tools in hand, can grant you a more satisfying outcome. As David Ogilvy once said, “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”Do your research, and let us help you reach your goals. Contact a consultant for a chat. We’ll make research valuable and fun for you.