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The top reason why businesses fail is 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 has gotten worse as the fail-fast mantra spreads with “agile everything.”
 
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!
 
Start-ups often rise from their founders’ personal experiences and needs, which for the most part never get validated beyond the founders’ inner…

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Start with a 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 questions.
 
FIRST MISTAKE
 
After some screening questions, I got one about familiarity with different brands of yogurt, point at which I started questioning the survey quality. This question used  the following 3-point scale:
 
1. Never heard of
2. Heard of, but never used
3. Familiar
 
Although this scale is not consistent in the terms it uses…

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Any market research should contribute with insights that support decisions related to customer acquisition and retention goals. After all, businesses are either working to acquire or retain customers or both, for sustainability and profitability purposes.
 
For entrepreneurs who are considering investing part of their marketing budget in market research this year, I have a piece of advice: Think very carefully about how you plan to use the research results in your business decision making.
 
Although this should be obvious, I meet many business owners who are very…

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The accuracy of election polls is under fire. Results from election polls have been part of our daily news diet during the 2016 presidential election. There has been an explosion of institutions, from universities to media outlets, that jumped on the polling wagon in this election year and made it very difficult to decide in which one to believe.
 
Mentions of results from election polls usually had included sample size and margin of error, but that’s not enough to evaluate their quality. Comparing election polls is nearly impossible without knowing the methodology used in terms of…

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