Editor's note: Steffen Schmidt is a finalists of the 2022 Researcher of the Year (Supplier) Award which is a category in the Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards. To find out more about the awards click here.
If you're just getting started with marketing research, here are some important things to keep in mind.
First of all, it is important that you really understand your client's management problem, i.e., what kind of insights they really need to solve their management problem. Take the time to think about it, and then choose the appropriate methods accordingly. Here I like to quote the law of the instrument attributed to Abraham Maslow: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail.” Don't nail down supposedly simple findings with just one method.
Second, make sure your research sufficiently addresses the three most important quality criteria of marketing research: Reliability, validity and objectivity. In other words, generate findings that are as unbiased as possible, because that is the key reputation of our profession.
Third, don't just focus on the data. Most data is useless but easy to create. In fact, it's about generating evidence-based key insights from the mass of data that provide an actionable value to marketing management in solving its problems.
Fourth, remember that marketing research is an ongoing process – so always be prepared to adapt and change when necessary. Don't be foolish enough to think you've already earned the truth. In this context, I like to quote another great scientist, Sir Karl Raimund Popper: “Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.” Always question your existing insights and approaches to knowledge.
Finally, always stay curious and be aware, but also proud that you can improve intelligence for marketing management so that the insights you ga...