Setting Aside Market Research Funds Can Help on a Rainy Day - (Archived)

Monica Mayk Parham, Marketing Director, Market Connections, Inc.

Today, everyone from top CEOs to President Obama is talking about cutting back on spending and finding ways to “do more with less.”  Unfortunately for marketers, this usually means budget cuts or even a full on slashing of your budget.  So if you desperately need your next campaign or rebrand to provide the most bang for your buck, what do you do?  It’s simple — buy insurance.  Not from an insurance company, but from a research company.

Setting aside money for research provides you with the largest return on investment (ROI) that you can get for your money.  Why?  Knowledge is power.  Research arms you with key insights and important information that would have been otherwise missed if that money was funneled into a marketing campaign that you “thought” was working.  The reality is that the right market research allows you to do EVEN more with less.

Depending on your goals, there is definitely research out there that can meet your needs:

  • The AA&U (Attitude, Awareness, & Usage) Study:  This is the perfect study to assess the share of market your company currently has, and how it can grow.  You’ll also gain insights into how you’re perceived on several key attributes compared to competitors, and find out just how knowledgeable your target audience is about the services your company provides.
  • Concept & Message Testing:  Want to make sure the messages you’re relaying to customers and prospects about your brand are actually resonating and motivating people to learn more about your products and services?  This type of qualitative research is worth the investment, and will prevent you from spending a million bucks on a message that is off the mark.  In the end, even if you have to adjust your message, you’re learning exactly what your target audience wants, and there’s no greater reward than that.
  • Customer Satisfaction Research:  While everyone wants to grow their customer base, retention is a key element that cannot be overlooked.  Sometimes, it’s even more important than growth.  Loyal customers are free, walking advertisements.  Everyone loves gathering recommendations from people they know who have worked with great companies.  Give back to those customers who give so much to your company by showing them that their opinions matter.  The right research will determine what factors are most important to your customers, how your company performs on those factors, and will compare your company against several core benchmarking questions.

Ultimately, using research to inform your business decisions is an effective strategy to not only save money, but also grow your business.  It’s an investment, and a smart way to avoid spending your marketing dollars unwisely.  And conducting research through a third-party provides you with an unbiased perspective and solid results from experts who take the guesswork out of the research process, and leave you with the right answers for solving all of your marketing challenges.


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