A young man discussing market research with colleagues in a meeting.

Without proper market research, your data has no real meaning.

One thing that modern brands can’t live without is market research. Unfortunately, you may be surprised by how much of that data is tainted. For example, we frequently rely on online researchers, but who is actually taking the surveys that provide this vital research? Often it is paid panelists.

It makes sense for the research company. After all, paying people to take surveys is a great way to end up with a large turnout. But that doesn’t mean the information that comes from the survey will be high quality. Is this the kind of data that you want to trust with your company’s biggest decisions? Bad data could doom a brand.

So how can you collect data that has real meaning for your company, rather than basing your brand decisions on the whim of people who are simply trying to make a buck for answering some questions? Mobile has provided us with a great medium for doing market research. Here are a few suggestions for putting it to good use.

Incentivize Responders

Hold on a second. Did I just suggest that you pay responders instead of the research company? Not at all. You need to provide enough of an incentive for a person to respond without it becoming the only reason they respond, as is the case with paid panelists. So what can you do? Instead of paying participants, give them an entry into a contest with a fun (but not too pricey) prize.

Design the Right Market Research Survey

Asking the wrong questions to the right people is as bad as asking the right questions to the wrong people. Be sure with every question that you stay on topic and work toward the overall goal of the survey. You need to design your survey so that your customers come into contact with it in the right place—a phone call, an app, in-store, etc.  Getting consumers to interact with you where they feel most comfortable will also result in better responses.

Remember that the secret to market research success is asking the right questions to the right people at the right time, so you get an honest and reliable response.