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Defining the Market Research Problems and Solutions

Market research companies have to overcome market research challenges to provide sound information and insights that drive the client company’s decision making.

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10 Min read
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Last Updated on
September 8, 2021

Market research can only be useful when the respondents are engaged and honestly answer the client’s questions. Understanding the problems in conducting market research and methods to overcome them leads to better outcomes. Good market research data helps the client make the right decisions. Optimal respondent engagement is vital to good quality market research responses. Stating the market research problem well ensures that the client obtains the data that answers their queries. 


Problems In Conducting Market Research

Market research is a vital method by which companies listen to what their target audience has to say. If companies do not perform market research the only feedback that they will be getting from their customers is negative feedback. This is because people are more likely to contact a company to complain than for any other purpose. Market research is also a means to gauge the opinions of potential customers and the target demographic. It guides both marketing as well as product development in an organization. 

"Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed." - Dan Zarrella

1. Getting Access To Participants That Are Engaged In The Research

It is important that the respondent to a survey be focused and interested in the questions that are being asked. The responses should be accurate and timely. This focus, interest, timeliness, and accuracy are called participant engagement. It is what prevents the respondent from randomly clicking through answers instead of actually answering them. Good participant engagement is vital to the quality of data that is collected from a survey.  One of the most common ways to measure participant engagement is to measure the time taken to answer the questions. A participant who zooms through the questions sooner than it takes to read the question is not optimally engaged. A participant should take enough time to read and comprehend the question before answering.  

2. Respondents That Make Sense To The Research

Market research is only useful when the people who are surveyed are of the right demography. Properly defining the target audience is a  market research problem that can be solved with forethought. A market researcher should define the attributes of the target audience such as age, gender, location, income, education, job, marital status, ethnicity, etc. The strategy of the market research should then be tailored to target the right audience. When the respondents that the market research attracts are of an irrelevant demographic it defeats the purpose of the entire exercise. 

“Whoever understands the customer best, wins.” - Mike Gospe

3. How To Choose What Is Important And What Is Not

Market research is meaningful only when the market research company uses multiple and holistic data sources. The data should be in the proper context and have meaning to the study. All too often, the problem in market research is too much data in answer to ‘What is a market research problem you are facing?’. When you have too much data, the quality and relevance of the data come into question. Proper research design, processes, and methodology to manage, analyze and visualize big data are essential to a market research company. 

“The goal is to transform data into information, and information into insight.” - Carly Fiorina

Problems In Conducting Market Research
Problems In Conducting Market Research: Managing Different Types Of Data

4. Access

The digital transformation has changed the level of interaction between a client company and its customers. Companies engage with their customers on social media, apps, customer support, and online communities. They have direct access to customers and their ongoing relationship builds trust. This is a personal relationship as opposed to the impersonal approach of a market researcher with the target audience. 

Market research requires that the researcher have access to the target group. This involves an impersonal relationship that maintains privacy. It is becoming increasingly difficult for market research companies to have the same level of access and engagement with customers or target customers of a company. Market researchers have to find a way to engage with and excite their target audience so that they are relaxed and willing to share the required answers to questions. They should build a feel-good relationship to have a willing and engaged pool of respondents. 

Managing Market Research Challenges

To increase levels of engagement in a market study, market research companies have devised newer strategies to attract and keep an audience. This includes creative surveys, rewards, and the use of technology to counteract the problems in conducting market research. One market research problem example could even be finding what rewards would be preferred by the target group. 

1. When it comes to variety, it’s more the merrier

The fact that people like variety applies equally to ice cream as well as market research. When questions are similar and monotonous it may lead to a lack of interest. Making the question format varied is a simple yet effective way to keep the respondent engaged. You can also add a little humor to the questions. Make them more casual and out of the way for maximum impact. The more creative and catchy the survey is the better its response. When a survey is memorable and interesting, the respondent will be willing to answer more surveys from the same market researcher in the future. 

2. Thinking big with small attention spans 

Attention spans are getting shorter. Make the survey as short as possible. The fewer the questions that are asked the better the attention and connection to the respondents. A market research survey must carefully weigh the necessity of each and every question that is asked. Too many irrelevant questions stress the respondents and do not add any meaning or value to the market research problem. The shorter the time taken to answer the questions, the less respondent fatigue the survey faces. 

3. An optimized survey is an amazing one

Most of the surveys that are being taken are now through digital mode. People use smart devices more than ever. So, your survey should be equally attractive on a computer screen as well as a phone or tablet screen. The optimization of the survey can also be visual to appeal to the people who are being questioned. This includes the color, images, language, and humor that is specific and relevant to the target group. 

4. Rewards are the real game changer

Rewarding respondents for their time and effort is on the upswing. This is to encourage people to be more willing to take a survey. The rewards that are given can be monetary or non-monetary. They are usually tailored to the preferences of the target audience. It is vital that the reward that is offered be attractive and relevant to the target group. For example, a music-related survey could offer discounts on music or free merchandise directly related to the type of music that they would prefer. While physical gifts and souvenirs can be given, they also include the cost and logistics of delivering them. Coupons and vouchers are easier to deliver to the respondents.

One of the easiest and most attractive incentives is to use a platform such as Plum that offers a range of options. You can offer a basket of different incentives that appeal to many different types of people. The type and size of the incentive that is offered must be decided on based on how difficult the questions are and how much time and effort they take to answer.  The incentive should be attractive and relevant to the survey. Consistency in the reward pattern will ensure that the respondents are confident of the benefit that they will receive after the survey. Rewards that are instant and easy to redeem are the most memorable and preferred. 

5. Stacking up on the right tech

There are many tools that are available and many are being released. A market analysis company should be updated on the latest developments in available technology. Not all tech tools live up to their marketing. It is vital that a market research company be able to select the right technology and tools for the right job. The right reward programs should also be chosen for optimum results. Market researchers can use technology to automate and personalize their reward and incentive programs. 

6. Stating the research problem and objectives

The quality and usability of a market research report depend on the right market research problem statement. The market research problem statement guides the research objectives as well as the direction and flow of the market analysis. It should be clear and unambiguous. 


Market Research Problem Statement

What Is A Market Research Problem? 

The market research problem is the reason that the market research process is being conducted. It defines the research objectives, how the study is going to be conducted, and the conclusion that is expected as a result of the market research study. When the market research problem is vague or misinterpreted, the entire market study and its results will be a wasted exercise. 

“Listening is hearing the needs of the customer, understanding those needs and making sure the company recognises the opportunity they present.” - Frank Eliason

Defining The Market Research Problem?

The first part of the market research problem definition is to establish the context or background of the problem. This helps understand the need for the research and the issues that drive it. The next step is to clearly and unambiguously define the market research problem and justify the need for the market study. The third component of a good market research problem then suggests the methodology and types of data and sources that will be required. The scope of the market research problem envisions the desired outcome of the study and how the results could be actionable. Many problems in conducting market research will be avoided if one correctly understands what is a market research problem. Defining the problem statement and research questions is vital to the success of the research challenge and market research.

Market Research Problem Example

Some market research problem example questions are:

  • What is the market size of a target market?
  • I am planning to open a store in the XYZ location. How many other competitors are located within walking distance from that area?
  • What are the most popular products or services in the XYZ category?
  • Which color should our company website be?
  • What is the most wanted feature in my product or service category? 
  • Would my best selling product or service do well in a particular region or country?


Conclusion

It’s quite a challenge to stay on top of the latest trends and improvements in technology. However, this can be solved by identifying the accurate problem statements and the picking out the right metrics for market analysis, ensuring that the clients’ questions are answered accurately. 

As for the problem of finding the right respondents and keeping them engaged, rewards and incentives are effective in getting quality outputs from the activity. The incentives can be monetary or non-monetary, and they must be quick to redeem, flexible, and appealing, leading to an engaged survey base and high quality of data from your next marketing campaign.

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