There are many factors that go into deciding whether to do market research internally or externally. For instance, you may have a budget that prohibits having a market research team on staff or your company is growth oriented and could use the perspective of an outside firm to ensure you are not overlooking any critical opportunities. Here are some scenarios you may face when making this decision.
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”
– Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)
Holmes goes on to say that when one theorizes before having data, “Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
You say at the office you never twist facts to suit your own theories? Remember, we’re talking about an often unconscious act here. Aside from unscrupulous business folks who knowingly twist facts to support their agenda, many people have no idea they’re distorting or denying the truth – such is the all-too-human difficulty in admitting we don’t have answers.
“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.”
-Daniel J. Boorstin
Amazingly, many business people assume that their instincts and experience are enough to fully understand how customers think, and in turn, how they’ll behave.