Moving From 'We Think' to 'We Know' with Independent Market Research

In June's Clearview magazine, Keystone Market Research’s Director, Charlotte Hawkes, explores the critical role of market research in driving business success in the fenestration industry


Investing in a piece of research is how a business moves from ‘we think’ to ‘we know’. It offers an objective viewpoint of the market in which you operate, without any doubt or speculation. At Keystone we’re passionate about the impact it can have, as the right research can guide business decisions and help companies avoid making mistakes.


The Benefits of Research

There are many areas where research can significantly improve business outcomes, for example:


1. Identifying Customer Needs and Preferences

Market research allows businesses to gain a deep understanding of their customers' needs and preferences. By conducting detailed surveys and analysing consumer behaviour, companies can tailor their products or services to better meet customer demands. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also drives sales and increases brand loyalty. For instance, Keystone's Consumer Fenestration Trends report provides valuable insights into homeowner window and door preferences, helping companies align their offerings with market demands.


2. Evaluating the Competition

Understanding what competitors are doing is essential for staying ahead in the market. Research can reveal why customers choose certain brands over others and identify areas where a business can differentiate itself. Keystone’s brand research services help businesses in the fenestration industry understand their market position and develop strategies to outperform rivals.


3. Forecasting Trends

Staying ahead of market trends is crucial for long-term success. Market research can identify emerging trends and predict future market shifts. Keystone’s reports are conducted regularly to build a picture of how the industry is changing and offer forecasts that help businesses identify new opportunities.


4. Improving Marketing Effectiveness

Effective marketing requires a clear understanding of the target audience. Market and brand research provide insights into the channels and messages that resonate most with customers. By identifying where customers spend their time and what influences their purchasing decisions, businesses can create targeted marketing campaigns that yield better results.


However, to be genuinely useful, research needs to be independent.


What Does It Mean to Be Independent?

For research to be considered independent, it must be carried out by someone with no vested interest in the results. Whether it's a customer satisfaction survey, employee engagement study, or a wider market research project, it's better to employ a third party to conduct the interviews and compile the results. Here’s why:


  • Avoiding Bias: Conducting research internally can lead to unconscious biases. Employees might ask leading questions or interpret data to fit desired outcomes, known as motivated reasoning or confirmation bias. An independent third party eliminates these biases, ensuring the data collected is reliable.


  • Encouraging Honesty: Respondents may not feel able to be completely open and honest if they know the survey is conducted by someone within the company. An independent researcher can create a more neutral environment and ensure anonymity, encouraging respondents to share truthful and candid feedback.


  • Ensuring Confidentiality: Research often involves handling sensitive data. Independent research firms guarantee that this information is treated with the utmost confidentiality, maintaining the trust of respondents and the commissioning company.


When you invest in market research, whether that’s by purchasing an industry study, commissioning a bespoke report on your position in the market, employee wellbeing, or a customer satisfaction survey, you want it to be accurate and useful. But to achieve accuracy, you need to make sure the research team conducting the study is not bringing any bias or their own viewpoint into the equation. You need the results to reflect what is happening, not what someone would like to be happening.


If you would like to use an experienced team that is reassuringly independent for your research requirements or would like to find out more about our regular fenestration market and consumer reports, Keystone would love to hear from you.