Mindscape Communications New Answers for New Times™

Sep 2013

Research? Who Needs Research?

Interesting question: who needs market research? If you think about it, that question in itself is research, isn't it? Who does need research? The answer is: pretty much every business and organization that wants to survive…and thrive.

How can you know how to best serve your particular market or customer base if you don't know who they are, what they want, how much they are willing to pay, the best means for communicating with them, and so on?

It's easy to get scared off when the subject of market research comes up, particularly if there is no one within your company or organization who is tasked with that responsibility or who has some level of experience with what it entails. It needn't be overwhelming, though.

For starters, the Internet brings so much information to us today that what you are looking for, or at least some semblance of what you are looking for, is probably already out there. Somewhere. The trick becomes finding it. Or, if you aren't able to find exactly what you want, finding something close and extrapolating from it. This is known as secondary research. And, yes, sometimes those of us who are perhaps a bit more skilled at searches can expedite the process and find information for you faster than those who don't spend all their time studying search engine optimization, search phrases and expressions, etc. Yes,
Mindscape, is well-versed in conducting secondary research.

Sometimes, however, you can't find exactly what you need merely by searching for what others have already done. Sometimes you need to do your own research based upon your own information-gathering goals. That's when primary research is called for.

If you don't have an in-house research department, you may wish to consult with an organization such as
Mindscape to help you define the information you need, develop your information-gathering goals, and create the research plan and methodology…as well as then conduct the research itself through focus groups, surveys, personal interviews, etc. There are many tools and techniques available for primary research. It will benefit you in the long run to use a qualified researcher to help you get the information you need. A relatively small investment up front can often save you a lot of expense later on. Consider the costs of a failed product or service launch, or misdirected advertising messages, for example. You can ensure that those larger investments have a better chance of paying off by making a smaller and targeted research investment at the start of things.

There's certainly more that can be said on this subject, and perhaps I'll take it up again. But this hopefully is a sufficient overview to get you thinking. Do you need research as part of your ongoing marketing and communications efforts? When you have your answer -- and you need the expertise of an outside consultant to help you -- give us a call.

-- GSM