Consumers have changed how they shop, work and live; marketing must change, too


Conducting research that results in insights to help guide your marketing efforts involves answering four key questions:

Question 1: Why are you conducting research?

Research from last year is obsolete. It’s time to check back in with your customers. How have their daily routines changed? How have their priorities changed? How has the way they interact with your products or service changed? What must you know about your customers to develop a targeted, effective marketing program?

Question 2: Who needs to be part of your research study?

The second step is identifying from whom you need to learn. Which customer segments do you need to hear from? Current customers you’re at risk of losing? Your oldest customers? Loyal customers? New customers? Future customers you haven’t yet convinced to try your offerings?

Question 3: What do you need to ask?

The third step in developing a successful research study is identifying the optimal questions to elicit the responses you have to hear. The questions you ask need to be tailored to your target audience. Word choice and phrasing matter. Use terminology that resonates with each segment, and don’t ask leading questions.

Question 4: How can you gain access to the insights?

The fourth step is selecting the appropriate research channel. Which channel will secure authentic, actionable input? Options include focus groups, one-on-one interviews, observational research and online surveys.

Once you’ve answered those four questions, you’re ready to conduct robust research. Don’t forget: Research also includes analyzing industry data and trends in addition to your own primary research.

Staying relevant to your customers also requires you to look inward. What “job” is your product doing for your customers? Do you have the right people and resources to develop and implement targeted marketing strategies?



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