Editor's note: Marketing research is an ever-changing industry that has evolved from knocking on doors and paper-and-pencil surveys to telepresence focus groups and heat maps of the human brain. However, it seems some aspects of marketing research stand the test of time - for better or worse. This article, "Ten common mistakes in marketing research" by Jim Nelems, CEO of The Marketing Workshop Inc., Norcross, Ga., originally appeared in Southern Advertising and Markets in the mid-1970s. It's uncanny - and a bit scary - how relevant it is still is today, over three decades later. Will researchers ever learn or is history doomed to repeat itself?
One of the most significant trends in Southern marketing over the past few years has been the increasing sophistication of advertisers and agencies in the performance of their marketing activities.
Much of this sophistication and resulting success revolves around the effective and efficient use of marketing research. This increased use of marketing research is not without its problems, however. And problems are many. Let's review what we think are the 10 most common mistakes in marketing research to which many research users fall victim.