Market research done right – and wrong
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
19 March 2012
Market research must be actionable
Now, this is interesting. Columbia Business School and the New York American Marketing Association found that 29% of marketers have “too little or no customer/customer data” and, most strikingly, believe what they have is not appropriate to decision making.
The study was mostly focused on real-time data, such as from social networks, mobile and online advertising and so on. But here’s the rub: 74% of them rely on traditional survey data concerning demographics and 60% concerning usage.
“In most cases, the questions asked are only usage and attitudes, which only gives you a sense of the marketplace without uncovering the strategies to change it. Marketers are then left with data that’s simply not actionable.”
Market Research done right
Customer market research that’s projectable to the market as a whole is the only kind of research you can count on because of its projectability and its means to eliminate the outliners that social media and other online processes can’t.
Easy. Because they aren’t asking the right questions.
In most cases, the questions asked are only usage and attitudes, which only gives you a sense of the marketplace without uncovering the strategies to change it. Marketers are then left with data that’s simply not actionable.
Here’s a story I often tell: We’ve done market research and brand strategy for several beers and it always amazing me the research they’ve previously conducted. For example, many of them will have asked the question: “Why do you prefer the brand of beer you drink?” The answer is almost always: “I like the taste.”
How actionable is that answer? Funny enough, many beers fall into the trap of thinking that’s actionable, which is why most of them advertise taste – when taste is not a switching trigger. You only switch for what you currently do not have. Who prefers a beer they think tastes terrible? (More about the beer industry is listed here.)
That, however, is usually the kind of data marketers are struggling to use, especially at a time when 70% of them said their efforts are under greater scrutiny than in the past.
To understand consumer behavior and how to change it, you have to understand human behavior and conduct market research. That means testing true switching triggers, brand meaning and, most importantly, precepts – the belief systems that drive behavior.
It comes as no surprise to me marketers are struggling with their data. The real surprise is that, despite continuing pressures, most haven’t done anything meaningful to change it.
Check out one of the links below for more information on great research…
RTW Retailwinds Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 14 November 2018 A company changes its name to RTW Retailwinds? The women’s apparel retailer, New York & Company, changes its name to RTW Retailwinds. And I think the new name sucks.Greg Scott, Chief...
Fake Facebook friends Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 13 November 2018 Fake Facebook friends, just like MySpace For a short while, I was becoming a Facebook junkie. Er, perhaps the word junkie is too intense. Rather, my use of the site had become routine in my...
Grocery brands Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 12 November 2018 Grocery brands and…yoga? I first thought it was all pretty stupid. Grocery brands trotting out yoga classes, on-site breweries and jazz pianists to attract customers. I mean, how desperate can you...