Eli Diament shares an article on the value of intelligently-gathered data and why bad data is harmful.
Today’s investment decisions are driven by data. From signals like market share and industry growth to more detailed information about buyer sentiment and brand or product positioning, the right data can provide a crucial source of competitive advantage.
Unfortunately, data won’t deliver insight unless it’s intelligently gathered. By now, most companies have heard pitch after pitch from research providers that promise “better networks” or more reliable answers. Yet the underwhelming “insights” they receive leave many feeling like they must either learn to live with subpar results or stop using market research or surveys altogether.
To understand why bad data is harmful and what to do about it, we need to think about the sources behind B2B research—in particular, the networks and their so-called “experts” whose opinions underpin findings. To better understand the dynamics at play, we can think about these experts like fish. When we try to “catch” them and analyze their opinions, we need to make sure they are as fresh as possible and much more. Here’s why.
Why Using an Expert Network Is Like Fishing in a Small Pond
The goal of any B2B research project is to get real insights from real decision makers. What drives their purchases? How much are they willing to spend? What is the size of a potential market? Where are the new sources of growth?
To answer these and other market research questions you may have, you’ll need market-shaped answers to your questions. That means casting a wide net across the entire market to ensure you find enough respondents (to inform statistically significant results) as well as all types of respondents (to consider and understand the full view of the market).
Of course, the people that influence a purchase decision don’t all hang out in the same place. Let’s say you’re trying to research residential HVAC purchase decision making and spend. Insightful research would seek to understand the perspective of all involved decision makers and influencers: property managers, builders, contractors, installers, etc.
To generate results that are both reliable, distinctive and give your firm an edge, you need to be fishing in the ocean—and uncovering respondents who offer new perspectives.
You might be able to locate some property managers through an expert network or panel. But your reach will be limited to supposed ‘experts’ who joined in the hopes of picking up some cash on the side. What about the perspectives of the successful property managers who don’t need the extra cash and therefore aren’t in a panel or network? And how will you find the contractors that make recommendations to end customers or the builders who typically select or buy the product in large volumes? Now consider the full range of people at a given company actually involved in the decision—from the finance managers that sign off on the investment to the project managers at larger builders. All of these personas could hold valuable insight into how this decision is made.Yet when you engage an expert network to research residential HVAC decision making, you’re restricting yourself to only a pre-recruited group that lives in a single pond,—a small subset of the market.
Key points include:
- Uncovering respondents who offer new perspectives
- Limited volume
- Repetitive results
Read the full article, Where is Your Research Provider Fishing for Respondents?, on AzuriteConsulting.