Would you ever consider driving your car blindfolded, buying shoes that are the wrong size, or leaving your hand in a pot of boiling water? Each of these scenarios sound ridiculous, but this is essentially what you are doing when you skip out on research.
In a recent study, global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company examined 90 global B2B companies and found that they are weakening or handicapping their brands by emphasizing what doesn’t matter to B2B buyers and neglecting to talk about the things that do like transparency, acting responsibly across the supply chain and how they align with customer values and beliefs.
Research isn’t everybody’s favorite thing to do or pay for, but in the long run, it pays off. Whether it’s done formally or informally, every little bit can help you improve your marketing strategy in three ways.
You know where you’re going.
While you might have a place in mind of where you want your marketing strategy to take you, say a 15 percent increase in sales, you have to actually be looking at the road to get there. Conducting market research removes the blindfold and provides you with a much needed map.
This way you can pin down who your real competition is, see what they’re doing, carve out your target market and learn what their needs are (and how you’re competition isn’t meeting those needs). The insights gleaned from research allow you to arrive at value propositions and unique selling points – the reasons your customers choose you over your competition.
You don’t waste money on things you don’t need.
Marketing tactics are a dime a dozen, but not literally. Communicating your brand message across as many platforms, channels and mediums as you can is expensive and delivers a poor ROI. Research allows you to identify where your target market likes to spend their time and what kinds of messages they respond best to, so you can tailor your marketing strategy to produce the best results for your business.
You can react and adjust.
Marketing strategies aren’t set in stone, and they shouldn’t be. They are designed and implemented to be responsive to whatever is taking place in your industry, “meeting the wants and needs of your target market better than the competition does,” if you want the textbook definition. This means that you have to be aware of how your customers’ wants and needs are changing, and how your competition is responding. Yes, this means more research. Monitoring what is going on in your industry allows you to be flexible, addressing issues and capitalizing on opportunities as they arise. Sticking to the marketing plan and ignoring your surroundings will get you burnt.
Most would agree that doing your homework before launching into a business endeavor is crucial. Why should it be any different for your marketing efforts?
If your marketing strategy isn’t delivering the results you’re looking for, contact Bill White today at 1-800-606-1610, and we’ll help you get the insights you need to meet your goals.