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    5 Myths about Marketing Research

    Navdeep Heer

    Near the end of the 20th century, marketing research began to transform. New ways of conducting both qualitative and quantitative studies were being tested, marketed, and seen as a viable way to cut costs, get data faster, and react to mercurial market shifts more quickly. Yet, despite all the advances in the research design and execution, some marketing research myths persist. Allow us to dispel them from our point of view.


    1. Big Data is Enough

    In a world where data is generated by just about everything, it cannot be said that there isn’t enough information about consumers to be had. However, big data is just that – big. It provides a large volume of information that can indicate trends, average order cost, product interest, and much more. Big data is a powerful tool to measure key performance indicators, which help marketers make decisions about the future or gain a sense of what’s being said about the brand via social media. What big data can’t do is provide insights into the “why” or “how” of consumer behavior. Understanding the customer at a granular level is not the job of big data.

    2. Custom Market Research is expensive

    In the days when the only delivery options for marketing research were telephone, mail, and some type of in-person experience, custom research was cost prohibitive for small businesses. In today’s digital environment, the cost to query a sample large enough to show significance in data sets is more affordable than ever. With a reduced barrier to entry, small businesses have the ability to play in the same space as their larger competitors by using survey data to make informed product and marketing decisions. Toluna has been a pioneer in the quest to make marketing research affordable, scalable, and reliable for all types and sizes of businesses.

    3. Online Panels are Unreliable

    It is true that if a company doesn’t take care of its respondent panel, the research conducted using it could be suspect. A panel is filled with living, breathing individuals. Just as when a plant is watered too frequently or not enough, a panel that is used too little or too much will show signs of inadequate care. This is why Toluna has strict usage parameters and incentive protocols in place to ensure that our nine million worldwide panel members are used appropriately and in a way that encourages further participation.

    4. Research Studies take too long

    The online world has significantly changed how marketing research is conducted. Using Toluna’s do-it-yourself tool, Panel Portal, marketers can ask up to 24 questions using a robust sample size that allows analysts to drill down to minute respondent data details. The best part? Results can be obtained in as little as 24 hours. We believe that’s pretty speedy. Of course, if you have a difficult-to-reach sample requirement, the survey, even an online survey, will likely require more time in the field to capture the necessary number of completes.

    5. DIY Survey Options are too Simplistic and Hard to Use

    Speaking of do-it-yourself…. In the early days of DIY applications, surveys were simplistic and not always easy to program. Toluna has invested heavily in the Panel Portal and Quicksurveys tools to give clients the ability to react to market changes and conditions faster than ever before.

    Today’s online marketing research is lean, super fast, and going strong. Regardless of what method you use, marketing research should be a key component to support your business and brand goals – and that’s not a myth!