You probably shouldn't advertise if you haven't taken the time to do your own research, first. Don't gamble your time or money on advertising that's based on your own preconceived attitudes about the preferences and behaviors of potential customers. Accurate data is easily accessible and many times has already been compiled by someone else.
Marketing research helps you know what to say and who to say it to, and spares you the cost of getting it wrong. Though conducting research is an investment, in the long run it can prevent unnecessary spending in the wrong places while helping your business achieve a higher return of investment.
Besides minimizing your risk of advertising to the wrong people in all the wrong places, marketing research also helps you identify new opportunities to build your brand. New opportunities may include identifying untapped areas of the market and new customers or clients.
It is equally important that you conduct research to uncover your brand's weaknesses or threats that may be lurking around the corner. Sometimes these undiscovered vulnerabilities can act as an Achilles heel for your brand, discouraging growth. The sooner you realize problems or issues, the sooner you can fix them.
Of course, because of the volume of data that exists, it's easy to experience an information overload. You may find yourself needing the trained eye of experienced, skilled professionals to conduct a thorough evaluation of your brand.