Running a business is complicated and involves all sorts other companies, to support, help and prepare you for success. It can be confusing and expensive, and it’s only natural to look for ways to cut the Gordian knot and get to a simple, inexpensive solution.
This is a good instinct, that will help you avoid people who make a living coming between businesses and their profit: consultants who don’t produce results, growth hackers whose techniques are now in doubt, team builders who don’t build teams.
Unfortunately it also leaves you open to making bad decisions and cutting yourself off from vital help. Market Research is one of those areas you might look at and question how much you’re paying and if it’s really necessary. While it’s always useful to review your budgets and ensure you’re getting the best deal and not losing money unnecessarily, making a hasty decision and cutting it out altogether could be disastrous.
When you’re working with market intelligence companies there are lots of benefits to be had. In tight times, there are doubtless savings to be made, but cutting yourself off altogether could well be the wrong idea.
One of the most important things a market research company can do for you is brand tracking surveys: they measure the strength of your brand against your competitors over time. This lets you see how consumers respond to the decisions you make, and the changing conditions you have no control over, from the prevailing economic climate to the school year, and how they affect customer’s opinions of you.
This allows you to not just see the results of your decisions and projects, but begin to predict what the results will be of future decisions. The benefit of that is clear: cutting down on trial and error and moving towards a system of carefully modelled, informed decisions prevents loss, and moves you towards and more stable, profitable future.
The other vital ingredient that market research can get you is insight into what the competition is up to. This allows you to avoid planning key product launches at the same time, and reducing the pool of available consumers and maximise your profits after a long period of investment, research and development.
Again, ensuring you can access the biggest market share possible at all times is vital to making the profit you need to keep your business successful and in the black.
Cutting yourself off from these insights leaves you risk of losing the profits you can turn them into, and so is something you should think about carefully.