Guide

Market research and market reports

Three market research pitfalls to avoid

Though there's a lot of readily available market information, you need to be careful how you interpret it. 

External data might not be in a format that's easy to use. It may have been collected for other purposes or be from a range that doesn't tally with your target market.

Take care to avoid the pitfalls of inaccurate and misinterpreted data when using secondary market research.

Inaccurate information

Beware of out-of-date market information. This can be misleading, as the market may have changed significantly since the information was published. It can be particularly hard to tell how recent any information published on the internet is. Some information on the web can be unreliable or biased.

Misinterpreted information

Remember that statistics can sometimes be misleading and mask the true picture. For example, an 'average' income for the population in your area might conceal a high proportion of low earners - meaning fewer people can afford your product than it appears.

The same principle applies to your own sales records - one or two major customers could distort the picture.

Biased research

Most importantly, don't make up your mind in advance. Finding market information that simply confirms what you already believe is easy. However, only a realistic picture of your customers and markets will be useful to your business.