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The alignment between business goals and the market research approach is critical for actionable market research.

For entrepreneurs who are considering investing part of their marketing budget in market research, this is my advice: Think very carefully about how you plan to use the research results in your business decision making.

Have A Clear Idea of Why You Do The Research

Although this should be obvious, I meet many business owners interested in doing market research but with a vague idea of how to use the resulting data.

Then, when they can’t mak…

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There is no such thing as faster, cheaper, and better market research. It is an illusion, and it is dangerous.

However, it is the reasoning behind bringing all research inside a company with a team of one researcher and no help from outside research vendors.

Faster, cheaper, and better is also the ultimate sales pitch for new technologies and tools entering the market research industry.
Cheaper & Better Insights?

Bringing Research Inside

Cost saving is often the most significant driver behind companies’ decision to bring all market…

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The top reason why businesses fail is the lack of market need. Four in ten businesses (42%) fail because there is no need for their products, according to a 2014 study by CBInsights. Things have gotten worse as the fail-fast mantra is spreading rapidly with “agile everything.”

Top Reasons Startups Fail

Big & Small Businesses Alike

First, many entrepreneurs believe in Steve Job’s view that customers don’t know what they want, so why bother asking them. Go direct to market and test it! Trust your gut!

Second, start-ups often rise from their founders’…

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Start with good survey design, if you want good survey data. I recently took a brand awareness and positioning survey in the yogurt category that left me wondering how useful my answers were to the brands in question.


First Mistake


After some screening questions, I got one about familiarity with different brands of yogurt, the point at which I started questioning the survey quality. In this case, this question used  the following 3-point scale:


1. Never heard of

2. Heard of, but never used

3. Familiar


Although this…

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Market research should support decisions related to customer acquisition and retention goals. After all, businesses are either working to acquire or retain customers, or both.

If you plan to put aside money for market research this year, think very carefully about how you will use research results in your business decisions.

I meet many business owners interested in market research. However, some have only a vague idea of how they will use the resulting data. Then, they are disappointed when they don’t get the insights they ultimately need.

The solution is to…

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