Are You Making Any Of These 18 Common Mistakes When Conducting Marketing Research?

Conducting marketing research is a tricky process that requires a lot of skill and requires you to avoid making many common mistakes. 

In this post, I’ll cover 18 common mistakes that people make when conducting research, including doing too much research, not involving employees, not duplicating efforts of previous studies, focusing on new data over good data, giving up too early and more. 

By avoiding these mistakes you can ensure that your marketing research helps you achieve your goals.

7 Mistakes to Avoid with Market Research
Avoiding common mistakes in marketing research is essential for obtaining accurate and meaningful insights.
Thoroughly reviewing and validating your survey questions can prevent misleading or ambiguous data.
Ensuring a representative sample during participant selection helps in obtaining insights that truly reflect your target audience.
Properly analyzing and interpreting data involves using appropriate statistical methods and techniques.
Regularly reviewing and refining your research methodology can lead to more reliable and actionable results.
Adequate planning and preparation help in avoiding rushed decisions and collecting high-quality data.

1. Doing Too Much Research

It’s important to know the scope of your research, so you can decide what questions to ask and how much time is needed for each question. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to find it. 

Take care in setting up your business goals so that they align with those of your clients and customers. 

This will help ensure that all parties are on the same page when it comes to expectations and outcomes from the project or campaign being planned out by marketing professionals.

Understanding the potential pitfalls in marketing research is crucial for success. Learn how to avoid common mistakes by checking out our guide on Are You Making Any of These 18 Common Mistakes When Conducting Marketing Research?.

2. Not Involving Employees

In the course of your work, you’re bound to come across some common mistakes. When it comes to marketing research, you may be inadvertently neglecting a key source of information: your employees.

Employees are the ones who use the product and are affected by it. They know what’s missing from your product or service and how to improve it. 

They are also consumers in their own right they have firsthand experience with competitors’ offerings, which can help guide your product development process and make sure that you don’t fall behind as trends evolve.

3. Not Duplicating Efforts Of Previous Studies

What if you could get the answers to your research questions from someone else who has already done the work? 

If you’re conducting a study to find out how much people like your brand, why not just ask them how much they like your brand? I mean, it’s right there in the name!

I get it you want something unique and different. But if you’re asking one group of people their opinion on something and then going back later and asking another group almost identical questions, all you’re doing is wasting time and money.

You’ll have twice as many useless results that don’t do anything for anyone (or worse: they contradict each other!).

Effective marketing research often involves incorporating the power of storytelling. Discover how storytelling can enhance your research insights in our article about The Power of Storytelling in Marketing Research.

4. Failing To Understand The Marketplace

Marketing research is about understanding your market. It begins with asking the right questions to get at what you need to know and then gathering data from a variety of sources to answer those questions. 

The more you know about your customers, their needs and wants, as well as how they make decisions about purchasing products and services not to mention their attitudes towards them the better equipped you are to create strategies that will resonate with them.

Good marketing research data isn’t just nice-to-know information; it provides vital insights for making strategic decisions about business operations including:

  • Product development
  • Pricing strategy
  • Distribution channel selection

5. Looking Only At Hard Data

We know that hard data is a crucial component of marketing research, but it’s not the only type of information you should be looking at. 

There are other sources of objective data available to you and even qualitative ones that can help you craft better marketing strategies and create more effective campaigns.

The key is to pay attention to what your customers want and need, rather than assuming that hard numbers alone will guide you in the right direction. 

The truth is that most people aren’t as interested in how many people have viewed one particular piece of content as they are in whether or not they liked it enough to share it with their friends and family members. 

And while it’s true that quantitative statistics can tell us this kind of information, they don’t always offer the most valuable insights into consumer behavior.

6. Forgetting About Internal Research Capabilities

Your company has a wealth of data and expertise that can be used in conducting customer research, but you may not realize it. 

Do you have access to internal data? What about customers? Employees? Employees’ friends and family members who are your prospective customers? 

The more data you have on hand, the more likely you’ll be able to find insights into how people think and behave that will help inform your marketing efforts and even save money by cutting back on third-party costs.

Selecting the right participants for your research panel is a critical step. Learn strategies for identifying the right individuals in our guide to How to Identify the Right Person You’re Looking for in a Marketing Research Panel.

7. Giving Up Too Early 

It’s common to feel like you’ve invested enough time and effort into a study, but the data is just not coming together with the way you hoped it would. If this happens, it’s tempting to throw in the towel and move on to another project. 

Before you do, however, consider how much more information and facts are still needed before making your decision. Remember that the goal of any research project is not just to collect information.

It’s also about figuring out what those findings mean so they can be applied in practice by others down the road (e.g., when developing new products or services).

8. Conducting Unneeded Research In-House

One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when conducting research is conducting unneeded research in-house. 

You may have read about the importance of ‘eating your own dog food’ or using the products or services you provide yourself, and this applies to marketing research just as much.

If you are conducting a marketing study, two questions must be answered first: 1) Is it worth solving? And 2) Can we solve it internally? 

If yes to both…great! If not…you should probably find an external company to help out with this project and save your internal resources for other projects (or get someone from outside to help).

9. Focusing On New Data Rather Than Good Data

When conducting marketing research, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of new data. 

However, every piece of data has its potential for error or inaccuracy so don’t focus on finding problems with old information and instead look for ways you can improve your processes.

I’m talking about three things:

  • Data quality: It’s important to understand why your data is right or wrong so you can work on improving it.
  • Data collection: The way you collect information affects its accuracy and usefulness (and this includes everything from the questions you ask to how they’re asked).
  • Data analysis: Analyzing the findings from your research allows you to make sense of the information before presenting it back out into the world.

10. Being Blinded By Statistical Significance

Statistical significance does not mean practical significance. While it’s important to have your data analyzed correctly, you need to make sure that you’re getting the most out of the results. 

This means looking beyond just statistical significance and focusing on practical relevance and clarity.

One way to do this is by following basic best practices for question design: keep questions simple and clear, avoid double negatives or words with multiple meanings (like “yesterday” or “ever”), and ask only one thing at a time so respondents can answer appropriately, etc. 

If done well, these simple tricks will reduce errors in interpretation while also making your results easier to understand!

Crafting effective questions is essential for accurate data collection. Explore techniques for asking questions that yield meaningful insights in our article on How to Effectively Ask People About Their Everyday Lives.

11. Creating Obscure Questions

Are you making any of these common mistakes when conducting marketing research?

Creating obscure questions. It’s important to get a clear understanding of what your respondents are thinking and feeling when answering your survey questions. 

Your goal is to create a standardized survey that will provide a meaningful analysis of the data and allow you to make decisions based on facts, not assumptions or personal biases. To do this, make sure your questions are direct and clear while using simple language. 

When writing your question, use a simple structure such as “yes/no” or a rating scale (1–5). Avoid double negatives like: “I didn’t find it too difficult…but rather easy!” 

Also, avoid jargon or industry terms that may be foreign to some participants; if necessary, include an explanation in parentheses after each question so respondents know exactly what you mean by certain words or phrases used in the question stem itself.

12. Using Complex Analysis Techniques On Simple Problems

If you want to solve complex problems, it’s important to understand the problem. Understanding the problem means knowing what exactly is causing it. 

You may think that finding solutions to difficult challenges is a matter of choosing your favorite research tool and getting started, but it’s much more than that – especially when it comes to marketing research! 

You need to know what the problem is before you can solve it. If someone asks you “What are you doing?” and all you say is “I’m analyzing data,” then they have no idea what the point of the activity is or how long it’ll take until finished.

13. Following The Results Instead Of The Facts

Research results are only as good as the data and information behind them. And that’s where things start to get tricky. The way you ask questions can influence how people respond, which in turn may lead to misleading results.

Consider this scenario: You’re surveying what consumers want from their next mobile phone purchase, so you ask about screen size and battery life (among other things). 

If your sample is skewed toward older users who aren’t as concerned with having the latest technology and would rather have a device with long-lasting power than one with a big display.

Then this could skew your findings by giving too much influence to an unrepresentative group of respondents. 

This can be especially problematic when trying to get at something more complex like how likely someone is to buy something you need a representative sample!

14. Avoiding Controversial Issues And Topics

There are two ways in which avoiding controversial issues and topics can affect the validity of your results. First, you may end up with biased data. 

If you don’t ask customers their opinion on something that they feel strongly about (e.g., politics or religion), then those customers might not respond at all or they may give you false answers just to get through the survey. 

As a result, your findings would be skewed and unreliable. Second, by avoiding these subjects altogether, you could miss out on important information about how people feel about different aspects of your business or competitors’ offerings.

15. Ignoring The Opinions Of Others

Do you know what marketing research is? It’s a scientific way to collect, analyze and interpret data about people’s needs, wants and preferences. But how do you ensure that your research is valid? 

The best way to validate your research is by soliciting feedback from customers. If someone gives us an opinion, we are more likely to believe it than if they don’t say anything at all, after all, these people have nothing else to gain by lying!

What’s more important is how much time and effort goes into researching something before making any decisions based on that information. 

Take Amazon: its founder Jeff Bezos once said that “you only learn by listening to customers.” And he knows what he’s talking about; after all his company has become one of the largest internet retailers in the world today because of careful market analysis over many years now!

16. Repeating Research Too Often

There are two main reasons why you should avoid repeating research too often. First, it will cost you more money to conduct the same type of research over and over again. 

Second, you could be wasting your time in terms of collecting outdated information that no longer applies to your business or industry.

To avoid these mistakes, remember not to forget about employee input when conducting marketing research! 

Your employees can give you a better picture of how things work on the ground and what’s working for them in their day-to-day lives than any consultant or researcher ever could.

Making informed marketing decisions can be challenging without the right research approach. Discover strategies for better decision-making by reading our piece on How to Make Better Marketing Decisions.

17. Compiling Outdated Information In A Sample Survey

To ensure the accuracy and reliability of your results, you need to compile data that is current and relevant. Data that are outdated or irrelevant can lead to inaccurate conclusions about your business, which could then cause you to make costly mistakes. Here are a few examples:

If you’re conducting an online survey, be sure that the questions refer specifically to things like websites or apps used by consumers within the last year and not those they used two years ago.

If someone goes into a retail store where they’ve never bought anything before, don’t ask them if they plan on buying anything during this visit. 

Instead, ask what other stores they might consider shopping at as well as why they chose these specific stores over others in their area (e.g., location).

When interviewing potential customers face-to-face or over video chat without audio recording their responses first (i.e., taking notes).

rite down exactly what each person says rather than paraphrasing them later when writing up afterwords because it’ll be easier for readers of the report itself later on down the road when reading through something is written down verbatim versus trying their hardest just.

So they can interpret what may have otherwise been an unclear statement made by another individual entirely different from ourselves within our mindsets today back then when there wasn’t any audio recorded during our interviews firsthand at all?!

18. Conducting Marketing Research Is Tough Enough Without Making Silly Mistakes That You Can Easily Avoid!

Conducting marketing research is already a challenging task. There are many details to keep in mind, and you have to be careful about how you approach your target audience. 

You don’t want to end up being too pushy or aggressive with your questioning, but at the same time, you need to make sure they answer truthfully and honestly.

To avoid making any of these common mistakes when conducting marketing research, you must follow these three steps:

Use the right tools – One of the most common mistakes that people make when performing their research is not using the right tools. For example, if they want to collect data from a specific demographic group like Millennials (people born between 1981-1996).

Then they should only conduct their surveys online rather than by phone because most Millennials prefer communicating via social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp instead of traditional landlines due how convenient these methods are (and also because none exist).

Follow a proper sequence – Another thing we often see happen during our projects is skipping steps in this process which can lead us down wrong paths when trying to figure out what works best for each client including ourselves! 

For example: If we’re planning on running some tests using different types/styles/colors etc…then we might find ourselves getting lost a long way without even realizing what went wrong until later down line! 

This happens because there isn’t always enough information available beforehand so sometimes it’s hard to tell whether something will work well before actually trying it out firsthand yourself.”


By now, you should be feeling pretty confident that conducting a marketing research study can be extremely valuable for your business. After all, this method allows you to gather consumer insights affordably and efficiently. 

However, if you want to ensure the success of your marketing research study, you must avoid these 23 common mistakes. While these mistakes are not uncommon among modern businesses, they are often costly both financially and in terms of reputation. 

By ensuring that your next marketing research study avoids these 23 common mistakes, you will be well on track for capturing accurate consumer insights into your market so that you can make better business decisions!

Further Reading

Explore more insights on common market research mistakes and how to avoid them from these valuable resources:

FlexMR’s Guide on Market Research Mistakes: Learn about the most frequent errors researchers encounter and strategies to steer clear of them.

Adloonix’s Article: 25 Most Common Market Research Mistakes to Avoid: Discover an extensive list of market research mistakes and practical tips to prevent them for more effective research outcomes.

BizzBee Solutions’ Insights: 5 Common Market Research Mistakes and How to Avoid Them: Uncover five typical market research pitfalls and learn strategies to overcome them and enhance your research approach.


What are the key mistakes to avoid in market research?

Market research mistakes can range from poor questionnaire design to inadequate participant selection. Understanding these common pitfalls is crucial for conducting effective research.

How can I prevent errors in data collection during market research?

To prevent errors in data collection, ensure clear and concise survey questions, perform thorough pre-testing, and use reliable data collection methods.

What role does proper participant selection play in avoiding research mistakes?

Proper participant selection ensures that your research represents your target audience accurately, reducing the risk of biased results.

How do I address challenges in analyzing market research data?

Address data analysis challenges by using appropriate statistical techniques, maintaining consistency in data coding, and consulting with experts if needed.

What strategies can I employ to improve decision-making based on market research?

To improve decision-making, prioritize actionable insights, involve key stakeholders, and continuously integrate research findings into your strategies.