The Hidden Reason Why Market Research Matters
How you can use data to make inclusive decisions
Market research offers undeniable value to businesses, but with so many different methodologies and data sources, many organizations find it difficult to turn data into actions.
It is this struggle that has driven us to simplify the research process and share our advice to help you make the most of your data and deliver products and experiences that matter most to your customers.
While there are many obvious reasons why market research matters, they all tend to center around one hidden reason: your intuition is not always right.
By recognizing these implicit biases, and regularly challenging your intuition, you open yourself up to new business opportunities, and insights about your market + customers that run counter to your gut.
Here are a few of the key benefits to using market research to challenge your gut + intuition:
1. Market research can fuel innovation and push you out of your comfort zone
We all tend to gravitate towards familiar subjects, but, in the business world, this can cause us to miss out on prospects.
Starbucks harnessed the use of market research to overcome their own biases. In 2008, Starbucks launched a platform to collect consumer insights and encourage their customers to make direct recommendations. This platform helped Starbucks to stay ahead of trends and produce new products, such as their non-dairy range, before competitors.
Starbuck’s use of market research allows the product team to recognize items that their consumers wanted, which they may not have considered otherwise.
If they had not used insights to overcome their implicit biases, Starbucks could still be excluding a growing portion of their target market today.
To keep you ahead of your game, our innovation pipeline methods can help you discover what your customers really want.
2. Market research helps you ground your decisions in hard data
Do you ever decide to trust your instincts over data when it comes to decision-making? If so, you are not alone.
In a study published in 2018, several key decision-makers were found to favor intuition over evidence-based evaluations.
The results showed that 41% of marketing professionals admitted to rejecting some information because it contradicted their intuition.
"I reject some information from the research, because intuition tells me to do so, on the basis of the present status quo."
The study also found that decisions made without objective research were more likely to lead to managerial mistakes.
These marketers were subject to confirmation bias, meaning they ignored information that contradicted their views and accepted information that supported them.
3. Market research can help you support your pitch
We understand that it is difficult to trust research methods that you have not used before, and that is OK! Actionable insights do not have to be complicated.
You can use data to strengthen your pitch (even if your ideas contradict your stakeholder’s implicit biases), without being an expert in the methodology.
Market research methods such as our size your market solution can give you the data you need to present your ideas with confidence.
Airbnb is often praised for effective market research in their 2009 pitch, which included market sizing and validation.
This pitch impressed investors and launched the startup onto their journey to success that turned the CEO’s -$25,000 into the $4.8 billion they have raised to date.
According to the Harvard Business Review:
“When it comes to business feasibility, investors are only interested in facts”.
B2B, B2C, or B2B2C market research helps you build trust + confidence with your potential investors or internal stakeholders. This objective, data-driven approach helps you convey that you know your business idea has potential, not just that you intuitively think it does.
4. Market research can help you limit your risk + make your existing ideas even better
Have you ever realized something is wrong when it is far too late? We have all been disappointed by the results of a project at some point, and it can take a lot to admit that we need to start again.
While cost is often cited as the number one barrier to know doing market research, using data to drive decisions has been proven time and time again to save you money later down the line.
Market research allows you to identify risks and hidden costs and evaluate the success of your project before you sink precious resources into an unproven idea. For this reason, marketing campaigns based on real-world insights are generally more successful.
One marketing campaign that hit the mark because of great market research was created by feminine hygiene brand, Always.
Their “like a girl” campaign took the problem of low confidence in teenage girls and turned it into an inspiring multi-media campaign.
By raising awareness of a relevant problem, the #LIKEAGIRL campaign increased Always’ social reach with 133 thousand mentions in the US across their major social channels
If you need to place a bet on an unproven idea or find a new way to break through the noise with your target customer, concept testing can help give you the added confidence and direction.
Market research can help you overcome your implicit biases
Market research is an essential tool for any business for a hidden reason: it helps us overcome our implicit biases.
By conducting your research early and interpreting the results with an open mind, you can explore new ideas, validate your existing ones, and speak with confidence to drive change.
Ready to see what you might learn by looking past your gut? Let's chat.