Not all marketing research is equal. Marketing research varies greatly in quality and efficacy. Here are the components of marketing research that can add to or detract from its efficacy:
- The purpose of and objectives for the research.
- The action standards for the research, that is, the actions the research results will influence.
- The research methodology or methodologies chosen.
- The choice and order of the questions.
- The wording of the questions.
- The rating or ranking scales chosen.
- The research instrument design and its impact on what analysis can be performed.
- The analytical methods chosen.
- How open-ended responses are coded.
- Who is selected as research respondents. Who is included and who is excluded.
- How the respondents are segmented.
- The sample size.
- The sample size for each segment.
- How the respondents are solicited and what incentives they are given to participate.
- Whether they are biased in any way prior to participating in the study.
- How the results are presented.
- How the results are interpreted.
I say this because I have seen outstanding, nuanced and highly insightful research leading to breakthrough marketing approaches and I have seen significantly flawed research leading people to the wrong conclusions and bad decisions. Be careful about who you hire to conduct your marketing research. It could make all the difference in the world.
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