While a funny re-creation of the survey/focus group process, sometimes a market researcher can feel like poor old Schmidt in this video below. Actually true story, I asked a Fortune 500 CPG Food company how they went about doing product innovation on their frozen pizza products, their response? “We have 5 guys that fit our target demographic that come in and eat the pizza and tell us what they think.”
This blew my mind! 5 guys! 5 guys basically decided ~ $100M worth of media spend, product innovation and strategy. I won’t say the name of the company, but let’s just say there is a reason their stock price is about 1/4 what is was in it’s heyday.
There are 26 known biases (26!!) with every survey question posed. This creates quite the problem when your job is to get unbiased insight into how people REALLY behave, and how people WILL behave, and how best to present a product to a group of people that gets them to choose your brand over the next option. Sadly simply asking people questions, (especially when they are paid to respond) won’t give you accurate information.
Biased intelligence is like planting a tree in bad soil, if your soil is bad, your tree won’t grow. Likewise, if your intelligence is bad, then from the start your entire marketing, communications, product and other strategic initiatives are flawed.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, there are 2 ways to get unbiased feedback:
- You can run a series of double blind studies featuring thousands of people, in various parts of the country, with an established team of researchers. It’s imperative here that this is observational research, (not survey led!). This will take months, maybe a year, and will give you a really good insight on whatever you are trying to solve for.
- Work with a team who leverages previous research done on human behavior and can succinctly help you understand how the sum of that total can be used in your specific situation. There aren’t many firms that do this (ahem…we are one of them), but this is surely the easier of the two options to ensure you aren’t getting biased feedback.
If you would like to make sure the decision you are making is scientifically validated, and not biased, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for a free round of research.