Basing decisions on evidence and analysis is the best way for any business to make sure that its strategy is grounded firmly in reality. The only way to be certain that you’re delivering what your customers are asking for is to listen to what they’re saying, and adapt your approach accordingly.

Conducting regular market research is one of the best ways to gather insights, directly from your customers and prospects, to a substantial enough degree that you can analyse the data and identify trends that will help your business make the right strategic decisions.

Helen Nuki is a Partner at Monkey See, one of the UK’s top research companies. Each year, they partner with Zoopla to conduct some of our biggest surveys, including gathering data for our State of the Property Nation report, which is now being carried out for the third year running. Here she gives us her top tips for using research to make a real business change.

What’s the name of the game?

In order to get the most out of your research, you need to be really clear about what the purpose of it is, and keep that at the heart of the project, says Helen. Otherwise, you risk your research losing focus, which is likely to mean that whilst you may still gather some interesting nuggets of information, you’ll struggle to collect significant, actionable insights.

All’s not always as it seems

People don’t always say what they mean, and there’s many reasons for it, some conscious, some subconscious. So when conducting market research, it’s important to not take everything at face value; try to read between the lines, and think about the reasons behind why people may be telling you the things they are.

Strike whilst the iron’s hot

Try to talk to people as close to the moment of behaviour as possible for a clearer, fuller picture. If you leave it too long, people may forget important details, and time will alter memories of their interactions with your business or brand. So speed is key if you want an accurate depiction of their thoughts and feelings.

Helen’s top tips:

1. Be clear on what you want to achieve
2. Interpret the results appropriately
3. Survey as close to the moment of behaviour as possible

If you need some help carrying out any key pieces of market research, you can get in touch with Monkey See here.