Walk before you run. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Start small. You've heard them all and a pilot market research study employs the same approach. A pilot study in the market research world is an initial and smaller scale project undertaken before a much larger full-scale study.
There are many benefits to considering a pilot study. In this post, we'll cover 5 of the key ones. As a market research vendor, we know a thing or two about running pilot studies for our clients. Our team has conducted a number of pilot studies for several industries.
A market research pilot sets the table for a long-term successful project.
Here are the 5 benefits of a pilot market research study from our market research company.
Benefit 1: Test the Methodology
Choices. Choices. When it comes to market research and methodologies you will not be short of choices. Which type of survey is best? Do I run a survey on our portal or website? Do I send email invites? Do I run a text survey? Phone survey? Mail survey? As you can see, understanding which approach is best can be difficult for your market research.
A pilot study helps your organization understand which path is the best suited for your market research. Through the pilot you will learn if the approach you planned for is effective or if you need to change gears due to unforeseen issues.
For example, if you plan to run the study all online, in the pilot you may discover response rates fall below expectations. Therefore you plan to build in reminder phone calls 24 hours after the email invite is sent.
Benefit 2: Proof of Concept
Before completing a full scale launch, a pilot study can generate some topline and initial insights for your new product or service. Let's say you have developed a new product and you would like to run a national in-home usage test (IHUT). As part of the IHUT you would work with a market research company to screen, recruit, and ship products to understand how well the concept is received.
Before you send out 1,000 products across the country, a simple pilot study of 50 to 100 households would be very telling. You may discover very early that there are issues with shipping or issues with the brand being received positively. Running a pilot allows you to gather early insights on proof of concept (POC) before a full study.
Benefit 3: Understand Budget
Undertaking a massive market research project will result in setting aside a large budget. Using a pilot study as a first step will help you understand all costs and scale-ability of the project. Running a pilot will help your organization and the market research vendor understand areas to trim costs and save on budget.
Benefit 4: Try Out Your Market Research Vendor
Perhaps one of the unspoken advantages to running a pilot study is to simply try out your consultant and market research company you are working with. Do you mesh? Are they responsive? Are they giving you the attention your project needs?
By running a pilot, it almost works as a trial. Before you commit a large investment with one firm, the trial will help you test the waters and understand if your organization should be shifting gears to a new vendor.
Benefit 5: Learn and Improve
More so than anything, this final point goes back to the first sentence of this post. Start slowly and walk before you run. In the pilot you'll learn a number of things which can be improved or changed for the follow-up waves. Perhaps it is a new question you want to add to the survey. Or restructuring the flow of a survey to improve engagement. Whatever changes you make will improve your market research for the long-term.
Contact Our Market Research Company
Drive Research is a market research vendor located in the United States. Our team works with companies both large and small on a variety of market research projects including pilot studies. Questions about an upcoming project? Need a proposal or quote? Contact us.