The 5 things market research companies watch out for when they’re researching

Market research companies are tasked to find out the things a business needs to do to win against their competition. Most companies are in a race with competitors, to find, understand and meet the needs of potential clients or customers. Those which are well serviced, cared for and fine-tuned will do better than those that aren’t.

Understanding buyer behaviour is an integral part of running a successful business, and critical for informing product development and marketing. Market research companies help to ensure you’re making the right products for the right people. However, whether you’re outsourcing to specialists like Blue Donkey, or making calls yourself, there are some things you should consider. To ensure your research is as informative as possible, you need to be asking the right questions. This will help you tailor your calls and make your campaign a success.

Demographic

A key thing to understand from a market research telemarketing call is whether the contact is within your chosen demographic. If the business you’re talking to falls outside your target criteria, any information you gather during the call will be irrelevant and won’t help to inform your market research. Market research companies compile a profiled list before they even begin dialling. Be clear about the business, the market or segment it operates in, and the decision makers you need to speak with.

Once you have a reasonable list, make a note of the qualification questions you can ask at reception level, to help refine things a little further. This may include things like the number of sites, head office address, website details. However, it’s still important to ask the right opening questions if you want to ensure your contact fits your demographic. Qualifying the correct respondents is one of the most important things market research companies need to do before anything else.

Appetite

In some cases, the purpose behind a piece of telemarketing market research is to learn whether there is a demand for a product or service. You would need to explain the concept behind your offering succinctly and clearly. Market research companies use benefit statements to illustrate how something will make a difference to a buyer. They will also group certain responses together in order to easily understand and report outcomes. So, you might find it useful to use open questions to get people talking expansively while you make careful notes. Then use closed questions to confirm what you understood. This will also help you produce a reliable report once all your data has been collected.

Be careful of bias

Do be honest about what you’re hearing. Market research companies offer the advantage that they are not emotionally invested in your business. This means the research they gather will be unbiased and honest. That’s important because we all have the potential to colour what we hear, because of what we think and feel. So our own ‘world view’ may mean we unwittingly reframe what someone is telling us. Having a list of questions handy and taking care to ensure you’re not overemphasising or prompting is key.

If a product or business is your baby, it’s a good idea to consider having someone else do your research. Market research companies train and manage their experts very carefully to avoid the risk of colouring research outcomes. This is to guard against bias. If the business is your own, it’s impossible to stop your passion and enthusiasm blurring the results. Mental health writers at Very Well Mind describe this tendency of ‘confirmation bias’ as something we all do at times. They say “confirmation biases impact how we gather information, but they also influence how we interpret and recall information. For example, people who support or oppose a particular issue will not only seek information to support it, they will also interpret news stories in a way that upholds their existing ideas. They will also remember details in a way that reinforces these attitudes”

Understanding needs

By asking insightful questions, listening carefully, and getting a meaningful conversation going, you can get under the skin of respondents. By doing this well, you will get a real feel for their needs and requirements. Tailor questions around the products and services you offer, so what you’re asking is clear. For example, ‘how do you go about achieving x’ is not as good as ‘what do you do for x’. The first is arguably quite oblique. Use these direct questioning methods to find out about the specific needs of the respondent and their business.

The more you can learn about the needs of the business, the more it will enrich and inform your research. Market research companies often ask the same question in several ways to ensure they are testing out responses. You might choose to paraphrase what a respondent says as a closed or assumptive question instead. For example, ‘so what your saying is, you would want to automate x if you could’.

Improvement

As well as ensuring your business is meeting the current needs of your target audience, you might want to know how you can improve. Market research companies are regularly asked to explore how services could potentially innovate. This is key for organisations looking at ways they can continue to stay relevant to their potential or future customers. Even if you’re not planning to expand your operations in the near future, sustainability will be important to you. Understanding where you can improve and diversify what you offer will stand your business in good stead for the future.

To learn more about one of the best market research companies around, talk to Blue Donkey today. We can provide market research and telemarketing campaigns to help you take your business to the next level.

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