There’s no question marketing research can be expensive. Even if your company is doing it in-house, marketing research still requires time and staff. Even if the research is entirely secondary, and can be found in libraries or on the Internet, someone has to collect the information. There is considerable opportunity cost to conducting marketing research in-house, as the time an employee spends compiling, summarizing, analyzing, and presenting information cannot be dedicated to other projects. Yet, budget constraints often dictate tradeoffs that must be made for marketing research projects, and often these tradeoffs are made carelessly.
Two obvious ways companies scrimp on their research budgets are selecting a vendor solely on the basis of cost and deciding to perform the research in-house. Companies also make tradeoffs by using smaller sample sizes for surveys, choosing nonprobability over probability sampling methods, or opting for secondary over primary research, among others. avaliação atendimento ao cliente
None of these tradeoffs is inherently bad. Indeed, when budgets are scarce, you may need to make several in order to balance the scope of your project against your budget constraints. A decision based on a little good marketing research is still more solid compared to totally unaided judgment. But the key word here is good. When cost becomes the overriding constraint for marketing research, companies run the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Pitfalls of in-house research using inexpensive survey tools
Generally, when conducting a survey, you want to choose a sample that adequately represents the population in which you’re interested. If your company is marketing a product or service to low-income Hispanics, conducting an inexpensive online survey is either going to result in several respondents who don’t fit that demographic, or so few responses, as many low-income Hispanics are unlikely to have Internet access. Yet many companies make use of inexpensive online survey tools like SurveyMonkey for the very reason that it is inexpensive, and the results they obtain are useless because either the wrong people or too few of the right people respond.
Pitfalls of using nonprobability samples over probability samples
Companies have also tried to cut marketing research costs by substituting nonprobability for probability samples. Respondents in a nonprobability sample are chosen solely on the basis of judgment, unlike probability samples, which are chosen at random with each member of the population having an equal chance of selection. When someone at a shopping mall or on the street asks you to take a survey, you’re being selected for a nonprobability sample.
There is nothing wrong with using nonprobability samples; surveys using such samples can be executed rather quickly if time is an issue. Furthermore, researching populations that are quite small and scattered (e.g., recruiting persons with a rare disease for a clinical trial) or where few published directories – the sample frame – about its members exists (e.g., medical coding professionals), can make probability sampling cost-prohibitive and unfeasible. However, generalizing results from a survey administered to a nonprobability sample to the true population can be difficult and highly error prone. As long as you understand this drawback and make allowances for it, you will be OK.