Best PracticesCustomer SurveysMarket Research

For Market Research Excellence: Stop

stop sign

Without a doubt, the worst mistakes I have ever made as a market researcher came from one bad behavior.


As market researchers, we have to have an internal “pause” button. We need to know when to stop.


  • When to stop and take a break from a questionnaire design with which we have gotten too close.
  • When to stop doing data analysis and get on with actual synthesis and reporting.
  • When to stop writing emails when we should be picking up the phone instead.
  • When to stop trying to make sense of some unexpected result and simply state the fact, “We have an unexpected result that may warrant further investigation.”
  • When to stop trying to get an ineffective supplier to be better, and simply replace them.
  • When to stop and take 5 minutes before responding to an annoying email.
  • When to stop trying to make a methodology work, when a new methodology may simply be a better option for a given objective.

Knowing when to stop is a discipline.  But after 25 years in the market research business, I know that some of my best work has been when I stopped doing something—even if just temporarily.


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Kathryn Korostoff

Kathryn Korostoff is founder and lead instructor at Research Rockstar. Over the past 25 years, she has personally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 bylined articles in magazines. She is also a professor at Boston University, where she teaches grad students how to analyze and report quantitative data.

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