Market research data and findings are important in guiding your business’ marketing and advertising strategy. But market research can sometimes bring to light shocking, surprising or jarring results – leaving you wondering if it provides an accurate picture.
So, what do you when you end up with jarring results? Do you conclude that the research methodology was flawed and discard the results? Or do you believe the data and revamp your entire marketing strategy to align with it?
Actually, it might be possible to verify and validate market research findings, without redoing your initial research. This exercise would either confirm your results or help you reject the jarring findings if they don’t match up with other data.
Here’s how you can confirm or reject jarring market data:
Refer to Existing Market Data About Similar Industries
Did your survey about how many times a week consumers use your product throw up surprisingly low results that don’t match with sales numbers? People have been known to under-report information relating to ‘guilty pleasures’ such as ordering in, shopping for pleasure, or other indulgences. If your survey results don’t seem to add up, check them against data from other existing research in a similar industry.
Maybe your customers really are ordering in 5 times a week instead of the twice-a-week they reported!
Be Aware of Confirmation Bias
Various studies have shown that surprising research results are more likely to be true than unsurprising ones. This is because, owing to confirmation bias, humans are more likely to easily accept findings that match what they already believe. So surprising results are often disbelieved – even when they are true!
Remember That People Are Bad at Predicting Their Own Behaviour
Consumers don’t always do what they say or believe they will do. If your survey asking consumers how likely they would be to use your product, or how much they would pay for a similar product shows surprising results, remember what Steve Jobs famously said. “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
If you find that results from surveys asking consumers to predict their own behavior vary widely from their actual behavior – you’re probably better off discounting and rejecting the former.
While market research is important, keep in mind that data collection methodologies can have a massive impact on results, and allow many kinds of bias to creep in. It is best to take marketing data findings with a pinch of salt, and not believing anything until it is verified, or aligns with other available data.
At Ebony Marketing Systems, we can help you design targeted multicultural advertising campaigns to appeal to your ideal customers. Call us at (718)742-0006 or send us a message today.