Is Your Company Leaving Market Research Up to “Dummies?”
Market Research can be one of the most valuable tools for any company. It can provide reliable guidance to companies who have questions. Anything from learning who your customers are to determining employee satisfaction throughout your company can be answered. When a company chooses to invest in market research, they are saving time, money and effort in the long run. So if market research is invaluable, why do so many companies undervalue it? Perhaps budgets, more specifically budget cuts, are to blame.
Research Budgets, Departments Stretched Thin
Many companies are forced to reduce their market research budgets, leaving internal market research departments with little to work with. With these budget cuts, companies are faced with the challenge of continuing their research initiatives with very little options. This means more businesses are looking for cheaper ways to conduct market research studies. As noted in a recent study presented by the American Marketing Association, “Fewer than 20% of marketers believe they have the people on their team to meet the organization’s marketing objectives, or that their team is well equipped to handle new trends and technologies that affect their business.” If so many marketers feel this way, this brings up the question—Who will fill the gap in resources?
In-House Work Not Always Worth the Savings
I have heard of similar challenges. One in particular demonstrates, all too well, the undervaluation of expert market research. This particular company (an established brand) opted to allow their advertising agency to execute a market feasibility study. Because of the tight budget and need for research, the ad agency put it on the shoulders of their account executives to “figure it out.” In the end, a crude study was administered and then analyzed (by an account executive) using a trial version of the research software SPSS and a copy of “SPSS for Dummies.” As crazy as it sounds, it is probably happening more frequently than anyone would like to admit.
With consumers spending less, it is more important than ever that companies know who their target market is and what they are looking for. If companies truly understand the value of market research and commit to investing resources in doing it, they save themselves the worry of basing business decisions on “SPSS for Dummies.”
Stacy Martinez, Assistant Project Manager