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Examples of Bad Market Research

written by: dean0088•edited by: Ginny Edwards•updated: 11/28/2010

In this article we will take a look at some examples of bad market research and see some of their common traits. These pitfalls and case studies must be avoided all cost! Read on if you're going to be conducting market research.

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    A Quick Word About Bad Market Research

    The conception of an idea for an innovative new product can be an amazing achievement in itself and often elates a person into thinking that their idea will take the world by storm. However, this is a bad tactic when entering the business world with an idea. You could lose face, lose people's trust and lose money.

    Market research is absolutely essential to get a good idea of who your target market will be, product pricing, and launch procedure. Without it, you're taking a stab in the dark. Nothing more.

    Here are some examples of bad market research which you should avoid during your market research.

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    Bad Math Will Kill Your Product

    Business is a numbers game when it all boils down to it. Sure creativity and innovation have their place but the books need to be balanced and you do that by getting enough people to buy your product or service. Here are examples of some bad fundamental 'number' research:

    • Using bad data, most likely caused by sloppy research and lazy ground work can ruin your chances in business. Conducting your 'counting' right ensures you don't put a bad products into a volatile market or leave a 'wouldn't be wonder' on the drawing board.
    • Not doing demographic research correctly can also seriously hinder your market research. People by their very nature can be hard to put on paper but it's necessary if you want to get good data. Things like location, income, age, sex, employment status etc... of your target market are all necessary so you can predict sales and present your idea to investors.
    • Getting lazy in your market research is a cardinal sin too. You must survey hundreds, if not thousands of people so you can decide whether or not your product is worth it. Asking a few friends for their opinion or only surveying a dozen or so people will not return data: rather just random numbers of no use whatsoever.

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    Assuming When Pioneering

    Many products, especially those technological in nature require an extra level of effort in market research and a lot more interpretation of your customer, competition and trends. That's because people don't know what they want simply because they haven't got it yet. Suggesting Twitter just a few years ago would have led to many raised eyebrows amongst potential users. But look at it now - booming.

    When you're doing research for new ideas, you simply can't assume anything because it's a completely blank canvas. You must remain open-minded whilst trying to get numbers down on a page. Do not assume an idea will be a hit or a flop just because nobody has ever heard of it before.

    An example of this was blogging in France. Now, one in ten French online users regularly keep a blog. Yet just three years before blogging became prevalent, market research told .com companies France was a 'no go' area for blogging investment.

    Market research takes time. Why not check out some of our other articles on marketing to discover how to do it right?