I have talked with many business managers in Cambodia. We’ve talked about their possible market research needs and how they approach their overall marketing. Many times, I heard them say they don’t have a lot of marketing budget, or even no budget at all. Sometimes, I was asked to submit a proposal, but they turned it down and saying the cost was over their budget. Some businesses use their internal staff to conduct some research for them in order to save some costs. However, I noted that most companies that I met spend a lot of money on advertising and promotion. I think this is because they believe that advertising and promotion help them to generate more sales, which is obviously true. However, I always wondered how maybe just a little market research might help them spend their money a little more effectively and get a greater return on their marketing investments.
I have been thinking about this and believe that it is in fact a really good investment. Smart businesses invest in market research to help guide their decisions on market expansion, product development, advertising and promotion, new products and even recruiting new staff. Multi-national companies spend a lot of money on market research before they make any of these decisions. Market research can especially help companies to be more competitive and to take action faster than competitors, as they can recognize the current environment and forecast the future trends.
I believe the management teams of every company needs market information in order to make the right decision. You can imagine what will be the end result if the management team of a company makes a decision to take their product to a province where there is no demand for that product. The end result will be a loss of money, plus a loss of time and effort also. But if the management team in the company knows that there is no demand, they would decide not to expand. This is why market research is needed. There are a lot of examples to support the idea that market research is not really an expense for the company, but an investment instead because people who invest in it will get a good return.
In conclusion, business owners should use market research planned and conducted by market research professionals, not internal staff who usually lack extensive experience in it. The market research professional can also give you recommendations based on the findings from their research and experience with other clients that you can use. You can find research professionals from just a quick search on Google Search or in Yellow Page Business Directories. However, make sure you ask for some references before deciding to select one company to do market research for you. Pricing alone should not be the most important criteria you use.
Many times when you SAVE money with the cheaper alternative, you actually WASTE money getting less useful information and, quite possibly, LOSE money making the wrong or less good decisions.