Marketing research is a fundamental tool to help firms discover compelling actionable insights. How can you get more and better information? Here are 7 steps to consider in your quest:
- Review what you already know. Perhaps you are rolling out a new product line that will be targeted to your existing customer base. What are the demographics? Why do they buy from your organization? What is it about the existing product they like? The more you know about your customers and their buying habits, the better off you will be in pricing and promoting your new widget.
- Use multiple sources of data. Even if you hire an organization to conduct a market survey, there are often other data sources available that can shed more light on how to roll out the new product or service. Holding focus groups with clients and prospects can be very valuable. Looking at secondary data, such as positioning yourself again your competitors is also useful.
- Make sure your sample size is large enough. Market survey companies call it “statistical significance”. If your sample size isn’t large enough (and it should be random), it will skew your results one way or another. Make certain you have a broad enough and large enough sample to get a diversity of your customer and prospect base.
- Use both qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative data (focus groups, interviews, open-ended questions) should be used as a source to deepen insights and put quantitative (multiple choice surveys, analytics) insights in context. If qualitative and quantitative seem to disagree, there are opportunities to dig deeper and find out why.
- Dig deep. The most successful marketing research projects that have tangible business impact often have multiple components and can lead to the age old question: “What is driving my customers to buy?”
- Ask the hard questions. After all the marketing research surveys are completed and the analysis has unfolded, now is the time to ask these 3 questions:
“Now what?” and
“Is it clear what we should do?”
If it isn’t clear, head back to the drawing board for more data.
- Get the C-Suite involved, early.The executive team should be kept up to speed on your research throughout the process. Making them aware and on board, gives you a better chance your recommendations will be acted upon.
Infosurv, is a market research organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. Our mission is to uncover valuable insights, through market research surveys, for each of our clients. We also provide intelligent research design, efficient and reliable data collection methods, and thoughtful analysis.
The ideas above are summarized from the book The Insights Advantage: Knowing How to Win by Dr. Marco Vriens.