Yes, marketing research can be exciting, and yes it can be painful but the question is what value does it bring to an organization. To understand this we must explore the true reason why we do research.
Running a business is all about making decisions and being right most of the time. Being wrong or making an incorrect decision from time to time is inevitable, though if you are lucky enough to outweigh good decisions at the right time against poor decisions, the chances for success are immensely increased.
Doing research does not ensure you make the right decision but it does help take the risk out of making an incorrect decision. Essentially, improve the quality of a decision and reduce its uncertainty. This is accomplished by testing and supporting assumptions with facts using research. Using this as a basis, the value of research is directly proportional to the level of uncertainty for a given decision or problem.
Research also provides a scientific methodology to approaching these problems. Many think that building a survey questionnaire is simple, but a properly constructed research survey requires careful thought and creativity in the approach, layout, sequencing, and framing of questions and options. This exercise on it's own helps one better understand the scope and approach to a problem.
So with some luck, intuition and a little research, you are more likely to be able to mitigate some of those costly decisions.