Market research companies and eliminating bias in market research

Angeline Martin




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Market research companies are often engaged to help both public sector organisations and private sector companies to improve their understanding of customers and potential customers. Often, the objective is to better meet customer needs.

Psychology helps to develop a better understanding of the beliefs, thoughts and perceptions held by consumers. Psychology also helps to identify and analyse trends in what people are buying. It’s also beneficial when examining customer responses to new products.

For many of the top market research companies, both national and global, psychology is integral to multiple stages throughout a research project. Some of the psychology-based approaches commonly used by market research companies, regardless of the industry, are vital for the following:

Market research companies use psychology to eliminate bias in market research

Using psychological methods can help avoid bias and undue influence when developing a questionnaire. Normally, whether a person is aware of it or not, their own internal biases may affect how they write questions for a survey. This bias may influence the survey and cause incorrect information to be derived from the survey. This can be a major problem for a company that acts on this incorrect information as a strategy may not work as planned.

There are numerous biases at play in market research, three of which are very common:


Confirmation bias in market research

Unconsciously focusing on evidence that supports their own beliefs is a very common type of bias for inexperienced writers of questionnaires. This is one very good reason to engage an independent market research company.  An independent market research business will be free of ingrained employee beliefs and cultures.


Question order bias in market research

When writing a questionnaire, market researchers need to write questions in a particular order.  This is to prevent the first question from influencing the respondent’s answer to the second question. Market researchers should employ psychological methods to avoid question-order bias.


Culture bias in market research

This is where the person developing the questionnaire subconsciously assumes that other people have the same beliefs as they do. Culture bias causes questions to be written in a way that subconsciously influences the respondent’s answer.

As an experienced market research company, at CARD Group we are experienced in developing high-quality surveys and in writing interview questions to extract the correct information from respondents and to provide accurate consumer insights. The impact of accurate consumer insights for a marketing management team, when developing a strategy, can make the difference between a successful strategy and an unsuccessful one. When providing the best quality market research service, it’s vital that the correct tools, resources and technology are used and that the client is always at the centre of the project.

Consulting with one of the best market research agencies prior to the development of a brand, product or service strategy is vital.

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About the author: Angeline Martin

As Marketing Manager, Angeline has more than 20 years of marketing management experience. She holds a BA (hons) Business Studies degree, specialising in marketing, from the University of Ulster. A Chartered Marketer, Angeline is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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