LESSON 4: 4,000% ROI. YOU ARE JUST A BAD MANAGER IF YOU ARE NOT SPENDING MORE ON RESEARCH.
First, let’s be clear: you should NOT do the market research yourself and rewind to lesson no 1 in this series (the September issue) “You are NOT normal.” Most marketers often come with the preconceived notion of “well I know” based on their experience, which is the worst kind of mistake on their part. In due course of time I have worked and engaged with hundreds of senior marketers, business people and agency executives from some of the world’s best companies and the only consistency I learned about them was that they all knew less than they thought about the people they wanted as their consumers.
Another consistency was that the successful ones loved and spent a lot of time understanding market research.
And while I applaud managers who go out and spend time personally interviewing, discussing things and observing their potential consumer, they have a natural bias to read into every encounter only noticing what they think is right.
It is excellent to observe “normal” people in their real-world environment. So, you should go around and watch focus groups, linger around and spend time with your potential customers. However, you must also make sure, that real decisions are based on proper, professionally managed, neutral market research.
Market research is NOT expensive. In fact, probably no other investment in your business can be equivalent to the returns of proper market research. Recently I had the chance to interview Simon Chadwick for my podcast series MR Realities where I talk to the world’s leading market research authorities about what makes a good research (Check out the link to listen to all the other podcasts in the series, https://bibliosexual.weebly.com/ mr-realities.html).
Simon is the editor of one of the leading industry magazine, Research World, and a leading authority on the value of proper research. His explanation of how recent studies in the USA showed that incorporating adequately managed market research had an average return on investment of nearly 4,000%, inevitably blew me away. Can you risk NOT doing independent, quality research of that magnitude?
I’ve been quite lucky over the years. A long time ago when I first joined the advertising world in my home city of Sydney, I was lucky to meet and spend time talking to Australia’s “father of social research,” a fellow named Hugh Mackay. Hugh was a master at breaking down what were the key issues in life for all sorts of people and what that meant to brands. I was privileged to work with research agencies hired by my clients, which were leading the way as to how modern market research impacted decision making. Later again being lucky I have been asked to join and lead many marketing research conferences around the world. The most important learning from all that luck was ‘the better the quality of the research done, the more chance a marketer has of success.’
When I first moved to Asia in 1996, part of my role was to launch the first ongoing qualitative market research program in the region. Ten countries, fifteen cities, qualitative discussions with “normal people” about their lives at least once a month, which later expanded to other regions. The core markets in Southeast Asia, India and yes Bangladesh kept up versions of the program for nearly seventeen years. The program soon became a sounding board and learning tool for many marketing campaigns as we developed for companies like Coca-Cola, Nestle, L’Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, and MasterCard. We were able to make sure that by using professional standards and constant independent analysis clients were told what mattered to people. And that, as we said in Lesson 2, is all that matters.
The types of research you do can vary greatly depending on what you need to know, check, discover like the one I have been doing in the last two years. I have been re-educating myself to learn to use machine learning platforms that do market research across the internet by neutral analysis of linguistics. More on that later.
For now though what brings us to this lesson is: A lot of marketers and business people in Bangladesh are thinking too little, or overlooking the fact of what matters. They are just robbing themselves, and their investors by not paying for quality learning and analyzing the traits of the people who you want should buy your product or service constantly.
NO.4 DON’T ASSUME, GET A PROFESSIONAL TO ASK
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