Many businesses have yet to realise advantages of market research, according to new research, which shows that more than a quarter do not conduct any market research whatsoever.

Twenty-six per cent of those surveyed by market research firm, Attest, said they did not gauge the market before launching a new product or service. Over a third (35%) claimed market research was irrelevant to their business while a fifth (21%) said they cannot afford it.

Sixteen per cent said market research is too time consuming, with 13% saying they don't need to conduct market research because they have no local competitors. And finally, 11% said their business is performing well without it.7

These results come despite 75% of respondents admitting that they do no fully understand their audience and 62% describing their target customers as "disengaged", "transient" or "too fickle".

Interestingly, 91% said Millennials were the hardest age group to understand, while 83% said 'OAPs' were the easiest. When asked why they thought Millennials were the hardest to understand, 72% said it was because Millennials are 'spoiled for choice' when it comes to products, channels and services available to them.

Jeremy King, founder and CEO of Attest, said: “New technologies in market research and consumer insights are unlocking new relevance to many companies, but there is clearly a long way to go until all companies can use the power of research regularly. Hard to reach consumers like millennials are becoming so much easier to engage and understand, if companies can just approach these traditionally tricky demographics with the right tone and through the right channels.

“With new and efficient forms of research, accessing new audiences that can be relevant to any company, and all organisations can now use the power of insights that was previously reserved only for the largest companies. Research is now so efficient, fast and powerful that all companies should consider exploring customers, markets, trends and competition in every moment that insights might be valuable. Research is now open and relevant to everyone.”