Market research offers numerous benefits, including providing data that helps companies to plan, create accurate forecasts, and maintain a competitive edge, as well as offering valuable customer insights that, when acted upon, endear consumers to a brand. However, the process also faces several challenges. In this article, we discuss the top 5 challenges of market research and how to overcome them using technologies such as web scraping solutions.
What is Market Research?
Market research refers to the process of evaluating customers and particular target markets by gathering data and information about them. The evaluation is primarily conducted to determine the viability and feasibility of a product or service yet to enter that market. Traditionally, market research was carried out by sending out surveys to select consumers within the target market, known as a sample, interviews, questionnaires, and other forms of qualitative research.
Top 5 Challenges of Market Research
The benefits of market research notwithstanding, the process of collecting data on particular target markets is not always a walk in the park. This is because several challenges impede the smooth acquisition of data. This, therefore, brings us to the top 5 challenges of market research, which include:
- Quantity (Overwhelming amount of data and data sources)
- Data management and analysis
- Difficulty in choosing the right technological solutions and associated cost
- Geographical, language, and cultural barriers
There is always a likelihood that the data being collected can contain inaccuracies that lead to poor quality. This is particularly evident in manual data collection, where human error propagated by fatigue can find its way into the data. At the same time, some of the customers in the sample may not be truthful with their answers. Unfortunately, however marginal, the untruthful answers significantly affect the entire dataset’s accuracy. In extreme cases, it may render the information collected useless.
As more and more people and businesses embrace online avenues of commerce and writing reviews, the quantity of data that companies can use as part of their market research is increasing by the day. This means that there can sometimes be an overwhelming amount of data and data sources. If a company does not have a suitable methodology or data collection tools, it may find it difficult to collect data that is representative of the target market.
3. Data Management and Analysis
Data collection, while central to market research, is just one element. Other elements include data management, which refers to how large volumes of data are stored and structured, and data analysis, which is the process of extracting insights from the data collected. A lack of data management and analysis tools, and good ones at that, means that you cannot extract vital insights from what has been collected. This would, therefore, render the whole process useless.
4. Difficulty in Choosing the Right Technology
Technological progress has sparked the growth of new technologies that capitalize on present-age digitalization and connectivity. Among these technologies is big data. As this market continues to grow, so too are the number of technologies that can be used in market research. This growth makes it difficult to choose the right technology. At the same time, there is also always an element of cost. This means choosing the wrong technology may have devastating consequences in the long run. This is because the wrong technology will not give you the right insights.
5. Geographical, Cultural, and Language Barriers
This challenge mainly affects international market research. For instance, geo-blocking prevents companies from collecting data from certain countries. At the same time, the differences in languages make it impossible to research particular markets.
How to Overcome Challenges of Market Research
Fortunately, there are ways to overcome the above challenges. These include:
- Use data profiling tools to safeguard the quality of the data. These tools examine data patterns, consistency, value distribution and anomalies, and the completeness of data. It would help if you also implemented quality assurance procedures throughout the data collection.
- Use technological tools to collect large volumes of data. For instance, you can use a web scraper, a bot designed to collect publicly available data from websites, to extract data from e-commerce sites, social media platforms, and review websites. This link explains more about a web scraper and its uses.
- There are also robust software and tools that promote efficient data management and accurate data analysis
- Some web scraping solutions include technologies such as proxy servers and natural language processing tools that solve geographical and language barriers
Generally, you can overcome the various challenges of market research by choosing the right technology. An excellent solution to start with is a web scraper. With a web scraping bot, you do not have to worry about the possibility of human error as it collects data automatically. It also handles data management by converting the collected data into a structured format stored in a CSV or JSON file.