What to look for in good market research

Albert Hamilton




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As consumers we encounter market research on a daily basis. We have all been asked to, “fill out an online survey for a chance to win…”, after making an in-store purchase or have received a SMS message asking you to rate the effectiveness of a customer service representative after a sales call.

Recognising customer experience as a valuable source of information, using this to improve the relevance of your business while also minimising wastage of resources is a concept that we all understand to some degree.
But does understanding the importance of market research and its effectiveness to a business despite its size, service or geographical location provide us with the credentials to be trustworthy judges on what should be classed as effective market research?

Unfortunately not.

Our familiarity with market research as consumers can lead to a level of complacency. The science behind effective market research has been trivialised by the poor research that we are subjected to.

Market research is exactly that, “a science”. A set of mathematical principles which takes into account any mitigating factors which may affect the final analysis provided. Data that is not captured using the correct methodology and not analysed within a suitable context will provide your business with misguided and uninformed information.


What should you look for in market research?

  • Is the data collected an accurate representation of the sample? Is the information provided placed within the context of the age and gender of each respondent?
  • Are the methods of data capture justifiable?
    For example, an online survey will obtain more responses from customers who spend more time online—typically younger demographics.
  • Is the sample large enough to provide statistically robust data for analysis? Small sample sizes can result in a deviation of +/- 25% in the figures quoted.
  • Is the information collected analysed within a wider context? Is this profile comparable to national baselines?


Good market research should lead to transparent methodology. Greater understanding of the data capture and analysis process will allow you to feel more confident in the information provided and make it more actionable for your business.

If you have any further queries about your market research needs please visit www.card-group.com or email info@card-group.com