Three Reasons Market Research Is A Must
Wait! Before you write off market research as “just added cost” to the marketing budget, we think it’s important to consider a few things. This article seeks to demonstrate the value of market research and show why it’s actually an investment that pays dividends.
You see, advertising, communicating and promotion certainly cost money. But have you considered the lost dollars when those efforts never get to their targets? Those missed opportunities can be avoided with the clarity that market research provides. It allows you to start with a firm understanding of where your targets exist, their preferences for communication and the messages that best move them to action.
Regardless of your industry, there are actually lots of reasons to conduct market research. Measuring return on investment, analyzing brand recognition and verifying pricing models might be a few examples. But we’ve boiled down all the reasons to conduct market research into what we think are the three main reasons it’s a must.
1. Market research establishes a baseline for understanding awareness and perception.
What does your target market think of you? Do they even know you exist? It doesn’t make sense to communicate with prospects if they aren’t given a compelling reason to care or if your placement is in the wrong channels.
If you’ve never conducted research before (or even if it’s been a few years), market research can reveal where your customers are, uncover market perceptions and highlight the messages that will most motivate them to action.
Even better, your new data will provide a baseline for additional research after your marketing or advertising campaign has run its course. Future comparison to your baseline data can help gauge many areas of effectiveness and will demonstrate very quickly wether the campaign is driving enrollment, conversion or sales.
2. Market research improves the impact of your marketing and advertising efforts.
Even though our clients are experts in their respective industries, there’s no denying that their markets fluctuate and technologies evolve; that their customer needs change and desires shift.
That’s why every time we conduct a market research initiative, we come away with a surprise or two – things even the client never anticipated.
These surprises often change the entire direction of a marketing campaign or the implementation of a communications strategy.
But that’s the beauty of market research. It allows us to change the message or the vehicle to the needs of the prospect – before investing in an approach that will miss the mark. Meeting your customers on their terms improves the impact of your efforts and saves the cost of redoing the campaign after its launch.
3. Market research helps keep tabs on the competition.
Competitive intelligence can go a long way in helping you understand if your organization is keeping pace with others in your industry. It also reveals how existing and prospective customers perceive the competition.
This information can be revealed through market analysis, data mining, surveys, focus groups, and through secret shoppers, among other techniques.
A clearer understanding of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses allows you to employ effective competitive strategies in your shared marketplace; thus, minimizing encroachment and opening space for growth.
Market Research has tremendous value
So while the purpose and approach may vary, there’s no denying the importance of market research. Properly executed, it can create opportunity, drive sales and prevent surprises. But regardless of application, it provides clarity and understanding for the decision makers in your organization – things that can only help in driving the bottom line.