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Research Spotlight: The Shelf Life of Research


In our 30+ years in business, there are some questions that Advantage Research regularly hears from our clients. Today’s Research Spotlight shares our thoughts on one of them:

“Is my old research on this topic still good?”

While we would love to do all the research all the time for our clients, the reality is that it’s not always necessary. Being a good partner means helping our clients understand how to determine that. Here are a few questions to ponder the next time you are considering whether new research is necessary:

What type of research are you considering doing?

Depending on the type of research you currently have, you might not need to update it. For example, Jobs To Be Done research about a job that has been done the same way for years will remain valid for years. On the other hand, a customer satisfaction tracker study likely needs to be done more regularly to understand how satisfaction is changing over time.

How fast does your market move?

If your organization sells something that people tend to purchase often like food, personal care products, cleaning supplies, etc. then you might need to update research more often because opinions and consumption habits can change quickly. If your organization sells something that lasts a long time like furniture, major appliances, insurance, etc. then it is more likely that past research will still be valid because what is important to people in their decision-making process probably doesn’t change as quickly.

Has your market recently gone through any major changes?

Organizations in markets where breakthrough innovations, major players entering or exiting the market, external factors such as macro-economic forces, etc. have caused significant recent changes will want to get an updated perspective on what customers are thinking given that recent volatility. Investing some additional time and resources to better understand where your customers are coming from will help you navigate the path forward!

Has your organization implemented any major changes recently?

If you organization has recently undergone a branding overhaul, launched an important new product, entered a new market or exited an old one, etc. then it’s probably a good time for new research so that you can measure what impact those changes are having in the marketplace.

What does your gut tell you?

If you had to make an important decision for your organization, would you feel confident with the knowledge you’ve already got or would you feel more comfortable after gathering additional information? Our intuitions and experience can be a valuable guide—listen to your inner voice!

At Advantage Research we are here to talk through your research needs and help you to determine if doing research is even necessary. Give us a call or drop us an email today!

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