15 Lies We Are Told About Marketing Research

You’re reading this, so you’ve probably already got a lot of experience with research. But if you can keep an open mind and hear me out, I promise to reveal some surprising things that you might not know about.

I’ll share 15 lies we are told about marketing research that hamper our ability to get the insights we need.

5 Biggest Lies About Affiliate Marketing – YouTube
1. Myth: Marketing research is always expensive and unaffordable. Truth: There are various cost-effective methods available for conducting valuable marketing research.
2. Myth: Online surveys always yield accurate results. Truth: Proper survey design and sampling techniques are necessary for reliable insights.
3. Myth: Big data is the only source of valuable information. Truth: Combining big data with other research methods can lead to more comprehensive insights.
4. Myth: Marketing research is only for large corporations. Truth: Small businesses can benefit from tailored research to make informed decisions.
5. Myth: Marketing research guarantees success. Truth: While research informs decisions, success also depends on execution and market dynamics.

1. Marketing Research Is Dead

It is not dead, just misunderstood. Some people seem to think that marketing research is dead, but they are wrong. They have not understood the true nature of marketing research and its potential for success in today’s competitive marketplace.

The truth is that most marketers today have been misusing or misunderstanding the principles of marketing research for so long that we still believe it can’t work anymore.

When embarking on marketing research, it’s essential to understand the fundamentals. Learn about the process and steps involved with our comprehensive guide on What Marketing Research Is & How to Do It: Step by Step, ensuring a solid foundation for your research endeavors.

2. You Need To Send Huge Volumes Of Traffic To Tests For Them To Be Conclusive

You don’t need to send huge volumes of traffic to tests for them to be conclusive. The fact is, you can get conclusive results with a small percentage of traffic or even a very small number of visitors.

It’s important not to fall into the trap of thinking that your tests need massive numbers before they can be considered accurate.

The truth is that it doesn’t take thousands or millions of visitors running through your prototype for you as an analyst to have confidence in the results even if everything else about your test seems rock-solid and reliable, if your sample size is too small then there’s no way around it.

All conclusions will be limited by the data itself; anything less than 100% confidence around those results means they’re unreliable at best, misleading at worst.

Dispelling myths and misconceptions is vital in the field of marketing research. Discover why taking Marketing Research Courses can be incredibly valuable, shedding light on the knowledge and skills gained through education.

3. More Testing Will Slow Down Your Team

The opposite is true. The more you test, the faster your team will learn and be able to identify what works and what doesn’t. You can use this knowledge to make quick decisions based on data rather than assumptions or gut instincts.

A research-driven approach also allows you to quickly identify the best solution for your customer’s needs rather than spending months developing a product that may not even be wanted by your market.

4. Fast Results Are Better Results

Some people believe that faster is better. When it comes to marketing research, this simply isn’t true. The process of testing concepts with consumers is not a one-off event; it can take place over multiple rounds and across different touchpoints from digital ads to packaging design.

The more rounds a client tests their ideas in, the greater likelihood they have of identifying which concepts are most likely to succeed with their target audience and making decisions accordingly. Fast results can be misleading or inaccurate as well.

For example, if you ask consumers about something they haven’t yet seen (like an ad), they may make assumptions based on what they know from other brands in the category or even extrapolate from what you told them about your product before asking them for the feedback.

This means that fast results may not always accurately reflect how consumers feel once they get hands-on experience with an actual product or service.

5. Tests That Take Longer Than 2 Weeks Were Flawed

A/B testing is slow and labor-intensive. It takes time to make sure you’re measuring the right metrics, it takes time to make sure you’re A test is as good as possible, and then it takes more time to wait for results.

But there’s no such thing as a perfect test, so any benefit you gain from taking more time will be incremental at best. Moreover, many companies don’t want this kind of data they just want answers now. So why go through all this rigamarole?

Because A/B testing gives you better insight into your customers’ motivations and behaviors than traditional research does. It shows how each variable affects outcomes like click-through rate or conversion rate and which variables have an impact on each other (i.e., “is engagement related to awareness?”).

Plus, the results are usually very clear cut: either one treatment is better than another or they’re equally effective in different ways (which is also useful information). In other words: sometimes slower is better when it comes to improving your marketing efforts!

Online surveys are powerful tools, but they can sometimes yield unsatisfactory results. Explore the factors behind this with insights from The 13 Reasons Why Your Online Surveys Don’t Get the Results You Want, helping you improve your survey practices.

6. Market Research Is Not A Science

That’s right. It’s a belief system, and it’s one I happen to believe in very strongly. But it is still a belief system and as such you should be prepared for the fact that many people don’t agree with me, and they will tell you otherwise.

I’ve spent over 30 years helping clients find solutions to their challenges using market research tools, methods, and analysis techniques – so I know what works (and what doesn’t). And if you’re interested in learning how this can help your business then please get in touch via email or LinkedIn.

7. You Can Test Anything And Everything At Once

Although it might seem like you can test anything and everything at once, in reality, you need to identify the problem first. You also need to know what you’re trying to achieve through your research.

This includes identifying what metrics are most important for success, how much money is available for marketing research, and whether or not there are any constraints on your project (such as time).

To understand what you’re testing and testing against, ask yourself: What is my hypothesis? What do I expect will happen after implementing this change? Is there another factor that could have an impact on the results of my experiment? Will this experiment answer all of my questions about this issue or only some of them?

8. You Need A Lot Of Traffic To Test Your Ideas Properly

When you’re testing the effectiveness of a new ad campaign, video, landing page, or any other content for that matter you need to have enough people interacting with your content to get statistically significant results.

This means that if you have 10 people visit your site and only 2 of them click on the button you want them to, then it’s not going to work out well when it comes time to make decisions about what worked and what didn’t.

But how many visitors do I need? That depends on how confident you want to be in your data. For example, if I was testing two different designs for a banner ad using Google Analytics (GA), which is free software that tracks website traffic over time by default.

I could have 10 visits per design and still feel confident about my results because GA does an excellent job at tracking these things automatically from its cookies (i.e., bits of data stored locally on each computer). In this case:

  • 6 visits would give me an 80% confidence level
  • 10 visits would give me a 95% confidence level
  • 20 visits would give me a 99% confidence level

While marketing research is essential, there are circumstances where refraining from researching the competition makes sense. Discover the top reasons for this approach in Top 11 Reasons Not to Research the Competition, providing an alternative perspective.

9. There Is No Need To Run Tests On Our Homepage, It’s Everywhere Already

The homepage is the most important page of your website. It’s also the most expensive to build, maintain and improve! The homepage is the first thing people see when they arrive at your site, so it has a huge impact on SEO.

With so many factors affecting its performance, you must keep an eye on how well your home page performs. You need to make sure that users are getting what they want from the homepage and make sure their experience is smooth and enjoyable every time they visit.

10. It Takes Too Much Time To Set Up A Test Environment

It’s not hard to set up a test environment. We’ve done it many times, and so have many of our clients. This is a common concern among marketing researchers the idea that they cannot or should not create a test environment to conduct their testing experiments.

This leads them to do everything they can to avoid testing as much as possible, which means no real data on their website or app.

You need to remember that creating a test environment does not require that you re-create all of your audience segments from scratch; instead, it needs only two things: 1) some kind of front end for the users and 2) some sort of back end for the experimenters and analysts running the tests (like us!).

11. The Amount Of Traffic On A Page Defines The Impact Of The Test

The amount of traffic on a page does not define the impact of the test. A test can have a big impact on a small page, and it can also have a small impact on a large page. If you understand this, then you know that there is no single rule for defining how much traffic your experiment needs to reach statistical significance.

The truth is that each test is different and requires its analysis criteria. You need to learn these through experience and by working with others who have been there before you.

12. We’re Testing More Than Ever Before, We Don’t Need More Tests. We’ve Got Plenty Of Data

You need to test more than ever before to get results. You don’t just test once and see if you have a winner. You need to do dozens of tests, with different audiences, in different places, at different times of the year.

And that’s only if you’re doing qualitative research! If it’s quantitative research then you’ll probably want to run thousands of tests before deciding on a direction for your campaign but never mind that because this is bad advice too.

You can’t just test one thing at a time and expect results either…you’ll get lost in the weeds! It’s important not just to know what works but also why it works so we can keep testing new ideas until we find something that works better than everything else out there.”

13. Small Changes Don’t Matter That Much, We Should Focus On Big Projects Instead.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “The devil is in the details.” It’s true. Small changes can have big effects on your business or product and can even lead to huge improvements.

This may seem counterintuitive; after all, if you’re trying to improve something, wouldn’t it make sense that you need to start with bigger changes? The answer is no. Small changes are a good place for businesses and managers to start because they are easy and inexpensive but more importantly.

They’re often just as effective at improving business performance as larger initiatives. Small changes provide an opportunity for learning and testing new ideas before making larger investments in resources or time.

They enable us to test our assumptions about customers without spending too much time or money upfront and if these small steps prove successful, we can continue building upon them until we reach our larger goals.

14. I’m Too Busy With My Day Job To Learn All About A/B Testing And Copywriting, So I’ll Just Do My Best

You don’t need to be a copywriting expert to do your job well, but you do need to understand the basics of A/B testing and copywriting.

The more mistakes you make when writing emails or landing pages, the less likely it is that you’ll hit on a winning formula. If you want to write better emails and landing pages, read about A/B testing and copywriting!

Effective data collection and analysis are integral to successful marketing research. Equip yourself with knowledge about the 10 Top Tools for Data Collection and Analysis to enhance your research capabilities and make informed decisions.

15. The Client Doesn’t Care About Testing So Let’s Skip It! We’re Only Responsible For The Design.

The client has to deal with the product on a day-to-day basis. They’ll be the ones dealing with customers who don’t understand how to use it, or worse yet, can’t use it at all because of usability issues.

The client will also face backlash from users if they don’t like the design or functionality and want their money back. In short: because you’re not responsible for what happens after your project ships (and no one else is either), we need to talk about testing now before we continue down this path toward disaster.

Final Thoughts

We hope this post has given you some food for thought, whether you’re thinking about implementing A/B testing into your business or just have an interest in the subject.

It’s always a good idea to challenge any assumptions we have about marketing research so that we approach it with openness and curiosity, rather than blindly believing what we think we know. As the saying goes: if you want better results, don’t do what you’ve always done. Do something different.

Further Reading

Explore these additional resources to expand your understanding of marketing misconceptions:

Lies, Half-Truths, and Fairy Tales: B2B Marketers Also Lose the Plot Short Description: Gain insights into the common misconceptions that B2B marketers may encounter and how to navigate them effectively.

10 Lies You’ve Been Told About Marketing Short Description: Uncover the truths behind ten prevalent marketing myths and enhance your marketing strategies based on accurate information.

Lies and Truths about Organic Farming Short Description: Delve into the world of organic farming and dispel myths while learning about the facts that shape sustainable agricultural practices.

People Also Ask

What Is Marketing Research?

Marketing research is the process of gathering information about consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and lifestyles so that you can use that data to make better business decisions.

Why Do You Need Marketing Research?

Without marketing research, it’s hard to know what people think about your product or service. When companies don’t know what consumers think about their products, they often make bad decisions based on guesswork.

For example, if a company thinks that its product is well-loved by its customers but it has many unhappy customers who are leaving bad reviews online, then the company will be making poor business decisions until it figures out why people are unhappy with its product or service.

How Do I Find Good Marketing Research Companies?

The best way to find a good marketing research company is by asking around and we mean asking around in person.

Talk to friends, family members, and colleagues who have used marketing research services before and ask them which companies they liked best (and why). You can also talk to salespeople at these companies and ask them what makes their company stand out from others in terms of customer satisfaction.

How Do I Know If My Marketing Research Is Good Enough?

The answer to this question depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. In general, you’ll know it’s good enough when your business goals are being met and your customers are satisfied with your product or service.

How Much Should I Spend On Marketing Research?

This depends on a lot of factors, but the most important one is how much time and money you have invested in it already. If you’ve done a lot of market research and have already invested a lot of time and money into the project, then the answer is probably “as much as possible.

If you haven’t started yet, then figure out how much time and money you want to spend upfront, so that you’ll know how much more research needs to be done after that point.

What Is The Relationship Between Marketing Research And Market Research?

Marketing research is a subset of market research. Market research is the umbrella term for the entire process of collecting and analyzing data about customer preferences and behaviors, which ultimately helps companies make more informed decisions about product development, pricing, and marketing strategy.

How Many People Do You Think A Market Research Study Should Have?

It’s better to have a smaller number of respondents than to have a large number but with a high percentage of them not being active users.

A good rule of thumb is that your market research should include at least 100 people who are active users of the product or service in question.

What Kind Of Questions Should Be Included In A Market Research Study?

A well-designed market research questionnaire should include questions about:

  • Current experience with the product or service (e.g., “How satisfied are you with X?”)
  • Future expectations for the product or service (e.g., “What do you expect from X in the next 6 months?”)
  • Overall satisfaction with other products or services from the company that make up their overall experience (e.g., “How satisfied are you with Y?”)

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