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Misconceptions about Marketing Research by SMEs

Many small businesses assiduously avoid more than a cursory flirtation with marketing research because they misunderstand what it is and what it can accomplish. Five misconceptions, according to Andreasen (1983), often dominate managers’ thinking about marketing research.

1. The “big decision” myth. You turn to marketing research only when you have a major decision to make; otherwise it had little to do with the details of day-to-day decision making.

2. The “survey myopia” myth. With its random samples, questionnaires, computer printouts, and statistical analyes, marketing research is synonymous with field survey research.

3. The “big bucks” myth. Marketing research is so expensive that it can only be used by the wealthiest organisations, and then only for their major decisions.

4. The “sophisticated research” myth. Since research involves complex and advanced technology, only trained experts can and should pursue it.

5. The “most research is not read” myth. A very high proportion of marketing research is irrelevant to managers or simply confirms what they already know. Often the research is so poorly designed and written up or so esoteric that it simply ends up in the bottom drawer.