8 Simple Ways to Conduct Marketing Research
One of the things I loved most when I first started watching Mad Men was the amount of time the characters spent discussing marketing research. They were constantly asking, “When will the research be done?” or “We need to do research before we start working on ideas for that campaign!” It was the basis that backed up the agency’s recommendations and was the springboard to those original, memorable (and effective) advertising campaigns.
Clients back then felt research was a non-negotiable step, a sort of Holy Grail of the marketing process that wasn’t to be compromised because of budget or timelines.
Fast forwarding to today, I’m one of the lucky marketing professionals who works for an agency who still sees the value of research as the starting point for making effective strategic recommendations and clients who still recognize this approach as the Holy Grail.
Research is king when it comes to making marketing decisions. It will not only alter how you market (i.e. tactics, messaging, positioning, pricing, distribution) and what you market (i.e. product breadth, depth and specs), it can help you achieve extraordinary results.
It’s an activity that should not just be reserved for launching new products or brands. It should be an ongoing part of your routine to continually learn about your target audience and the competitive environment you’re marketing in so you can be proactive or respond accordingly. Even a slight modification to your marketing (when necessary) can help keep you ahead of the game.
How can research help?
It can help:
- increase sales within existing markets
- develop new markets
- target new segments
- convert prospects to customers
- diversify distribution channels
- increase consumer satisfaction
- increase brand differentiation
- increase brand awareness and strengthening market position
- launch a new brand or reveal the need to refresh your brand
- launch a new product within an existing line or create a brand extension
- product changes or evolving your current line
- the list goes on...