I have worked with clients ranging from fast-growing start-ups to Fortune 500, with quite a few in the middle market size. Some are conducting professional marketing research for the first time; others have in-house research teams. Each client wants to reduce the risk of a marketing decision and wants to know, “Why conduct marketing research?”
The following reasons to conduct marketing research are based on issues they’ve shared with me or I’ve observed over the years that pointed them toward the need to conduct marketing research. These problems were lessened or eliminated due to our work together. You might use this list as a way to diagnose your own company’s needs:
1. You have products in the pipeline.
And you aren’t sure which one to launch.
- Every department head has a different opinion.
- Discussions start to feel personal because it’s hard to agree on the right decision parameters.
- Your colleagues are guessing at what customers truly want.
2. You are expanding your marketing.
But you need a compelling, cohesive message.
- Your agency or creative team brings ideas that are all over the map and you can’t quite explain to them why they won’t work.
- Your CEO suggests tagline ideas that worked for his fellow CEO friends’ companies (in different industries, of course).
- You sense that if your strategy were clearer, creative and tactics would fall into place.
3. You want to raise brand awareness.
But you want to start in the smartest, most effective places, and make sure to measure gains.
- Your awareness measures depend on inbound communication statistics and social media.
- Every customer complaint is treated like a focus group of one.
- You aren’t quite sure how successful your current marketing is.
4. You need to better define your target market.
Target segments need to be clarified on paper and in real life.
- How do you explain, gently, that your CEO isn’t really your target?
- It’s hard to get everyone in the company to feel connected to the customers who ultimately pay their salaries.
- Different department heads have different opinions on buyers’ motivations.
5. You have survey data.
But you want everyone to really “get it”.
- The numbers aren’t even that exciting to you anymore.
- You see your bosses’ eyes glaze over at the charts.
- You’d like to see and communicate the people behind the numbers.
6. Every decision involves risk.
You have money in your marketing budget but want to spend it wisely.
- You need a neutral, third party voice to help get everyone on the same page.
- You want to make the most successful choices with the dollars you have.
- You want solid reasons to grow the marketing budget for next year.
7. You’ve had bad experiences in the past.
You want this research to be used.
- You need someone with a combination of academic understanding, creative synthesis and communication skills to bring your marketing forward.
Jennifer Cooper heads BuyerSynthesis, the buy-whys™ marketing research company. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss: why conduct marketing research?