MARKETING TIP #125
The hidden value of market research
Let's say you hit the lottery (congratulations, by the way) and you have $500,000 in cash to invest. What's your first step?
You could put all that money into dot-com stocks that were hot in the late '90s. Or, you could invest it with an advisor who has no track record. You might even just bury it in the backyard.
All those steps sound crazy, right? But every year, brands take eerily similar courses of action as they plan for growth. They base their communications strategy on outmoded assumptions about their audience, they fail to identify changes in the marketplace, or they act without a strategic plan.
In our lottery example, we can all agree that the wise investor (that'd be you) would research the market, review all available options for investing your half million bucks, and create a long-term plan for success.
Likewise, there's a far more intelligent path for brands that seek sustained growth and a strategic communications strategy - a path that begins with market research.
For a deeper understanding on this topic, we turn to North Star Marketing's research arm for details on two powerful types of market research that can benefit any organization:
Brand Perception Assessments: When professionally executed, this research tool enables a company to retain and grow existing business - and plan for the future. A well-crafted assessment enables customers and prospects to play a pivotal role in your strategic planning process. Without them, you're planning in a vacuum.
Market Opportunity Assessment: Diversifying into new markets can be a key to growth, particularly in today's economy. Research is imperative to identifying segments that hold promise, yet still enable a company to maintain its brand identity. This assessment can unlock new opportunities.
"A company that moves into a new segment without a foundation in research is just firing before they aim," said Sharon Danks of Tweed-Weber, a strategic partner of North Star Marketing.
Of course, some companies overlook the research value. Why shouldn't you? Because it enables you to avoid wasting money on strategies or messages that simply won't resonate with your target audience. It also identifies the real revenue opportunities among particular segments of your audience.
At North Star, we recommend market research on a regular basis as part of a well-conceived, long-term, integrated communications strategy. That's because we've seen client after client benefit from the power of market research.
Remember, whether you're investing that $500,000 or investing in your company's future, one thing is certain: in today's marketplace, what you don't know almost certainly will hurt you.
To find out how your company will benefit from market research and leap ahead of your competition, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-392-6982, ext. 100.
for our Marketing Tips