How to decide if you need to do market research

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How to decide if you need to do market research

As a business, community or social purpose organisation, you want to ensure your Value Proposition (Mission) remains relevant. Market research is a useful tool to help inform you about what your clients want.

The main aim of market research is to equip you with the information you need to make informed business decisions. This applies to start-ups, as well as more mature organisations that wish to grow or innovate.

Market Research can be time-consuming, and there is often a cost involved, so it is essential to be prepared before you undertake this process. You need to ask yourself key questions to ensure it’s the right approach for you

Ask yourself what you need to know

Market research can confirm elements you already know, or it can shine a light on things you weren’t aware of. To help you decide whether to undertake market research, consider the following questions:

  • Have you conducted research on your existing clients before?
  • Do you know your existing client’s thoughts, feelings or impressions about your organisation?
  • Would you like to gain better insights into your clients’ needs?
  • Could this information help to improve the type of service you provide?
  • Can you access quality industry data or other published information on your service that will provide the information you need?
  • Do you have the time and financial resources to commit to a market research project?

The answers to these questions may convince you that market research is the way to go and that you are able to commit the required time and resources.

Consider cost versus benefits

You can measure the risk or cost of doing market research by calculating the time and financial resources needed, versus the quality of the results.

  • What will the gains be for your clients if you implement changes based on your market research?
  • Will improving the value of your service also improve your financial return, thereby mitigating the investment in market research?
  • Can you efficiently assess the level of investment versus gains achieved?
  • Would improvements to your service that result in an increase in clients or keeping existing clients happy justify the financial outlay?
  • Can you afford NOT to do market research?


Australian Marketing Institute (AMI). The “marketing for good toolkit” for not for profit organisations 

The Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS) is a peak industry body that provides guidelines on how researchers act and provide professional services 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has conducted significant work on collecting data and providing insights on people in Australia with a disability. 

The Productivity Commission published a series of reports following their initial inquiry into the NDIS August 2011.