Tuesday, 05 December 2017 04:59

How To Use Market Research To Help Drive Your Company's Success


The relentless pace of change that affects the technology industry is unremitting. When new technology can upend a marketplace virtually overnight, keeping current with customer expectations, attitudes and preferences is a matter of business survival. Market research is one tool tech companies use to guide strategies in these areas, but is it worth the investment?

I believe so. In my time as Vice President of Engineering at Research Now, I’ve seen a number of our clients benefit from using research to monitor the marketplace and adapt to change. And our latest research report, conducted in partnership with Lawless Research, shows that tech companies use the insights they gain from survey research in many ways: to improve strategic decision-making, lift customer satisfaction and improve customer service, design better products and gain competitive advantage. It's also worth noting that only 6% of tech companies conducting market research are less than 5 years old -- most had been in business for 20 years or more.

Given this, I'd like to highlight a few key takeaways for either better leveraging your existing market research or getting started for the first time.

If your company is already conducting research:

• Leverage it. Are you using research to support important business goals and functions, like sales, market share or product design? Consider how you’re using research data and insights and explore how you can expand the value your organization gains from it.

• Integrate it. Are you expanding the value of your research data by integrating it with other data sources -- both internal and external? By integrating data, you can both broaden your perspective and, at the same time, draw deeper insights for more confident decision-making.

• Evaluate it. Is your research budget adequate to support your company’s growth and success? If budget is an issue, can you take advantage of new, automated solutions that reduce costs without compromising quality?

Even a successful research program can benefit from a reexamination based on new approaches to research.

• Create a case for it. Enlist colleagues from functional areas that will benefit from the insights research provides -- product management, product development, customer service, marketing, sales -- and build a business case for conducting research.

• Next, search for a trusted data partner. In the world of survey research, there are many entities that provide access to survey samples -- or, people willing to participate in research. Some entities collect panel data via partnerships with major brands and publishers and own, manage and sell their data. They may also offer optimization services. Others sell survey respondent data collected via websites and online communities or collect data via web intercept. Some don’t collect panel data themselves but simply offer data from other providers, with varying levels of added services or refinement. And finally, some providers simply aggregate other data sources. Understanding how these research participant sources differ -- and how those differences influences result -- is important in making informed decisions.


• Vet recruitment methodology, participant management and quality measures. Buyers of research data can often assume quality in their sample source from the start and jump straight into the reporting, insights and takeaways. That can be a mistake. How survey participants are asked to join a survey matters, as well as how much information is known about them before they join. Are they a truly verified person or just a robot? Are they the right person to be taking the survey? If you’re looking to reach technology decision makers and your survey participant is a freshman in college majoring in journalism, the data collected can skew potential insights. Likewise, a high-quality data partner will have control over who, where and how they source research participants, as well as how they enforce quality checks before, during and after data collection.

• Select the partner that meets all your research needs. A data provider should ensure quality in the sample, but if you're thinking long term, consider a partner organization that could potentially offer more. Certain data providers offer end-to-end solutions, from simple to complex, that can be a good fit for a variety of research conducted. Your partner should provide flexibility to adapt to your specific project needs and/or changes in research scope.

Whether your company is a startup or long-time player in the tech industry, the role of market research can be critical to a company’s success.

Source: This article was published forbes.com By Khusro Khalid


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