The Importance of Marketing Research and Focus Groups and Depth Interviews
The importance of marketing research cannot be understated, if you run a business.
Marketing research has a simple purpose. You use marketing research to make informed business decisions.
In business, marketing research gives you information and knowledge to decide about products, advertising, and marketing.
Customers’ interests are likely different from your interests. You know how to make a product or service. But your customers know how to use it, how they feel about it, and what they believe about it.
You learn from prospects, customers, and experts. You learn about their knowledge, attitudes, and behavior.
Decisions - Importance, Uncertainty, Risk, and Cost
The value of marketing research is a trade off between knowledge and its cost.
Information and knowledge are more valuable than assumptions. But how much more?
That depends on decision importance, uncertainty, risk, and the cost of a decision.
- The greater the decision importance, the greater the value of facts information, and knowledge.
- The greater the decision uncertainty, the greater the value of facts information, and knowledge.
- The greater the decision risk, the greater the value of facts, information, and knowledge.
- The greater the decision costs, the greater the value of facts, information, and knowledge.
Testing, Feedback, and Evaluation
If you spend thousands or millions of dollars on a new ad campaign, you make sure the ad resonates with consumers. You test your ads with the target segment. Focus groups are one way of testing ad copy.
“Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.” David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising
If you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars developing new products, you make sure people want or need the products. You want to know what motivates prospects to buy. You test new products, before commercial roll-out. You can use focus groups for concept testing, product use feedback, and test market roll-outs.
If you spend hundreds of thousands to motivate distributors and retailers, you have to make sure they want and use your channel-marketing programs. You need to make sure they will recommend your products. So, you ask their opinions. You test your channel marketing. You can use depth interviews to speak to experts and channel personnel.
Assumptions and guesswork can be expensive when plans go wrong and uncertainty, risk, and costs are big. Facts, information, and knowledge, on the other hand, lessen the chances of potential disaster and promote the likelihood of success.
Savvy businesspeople use marketing research to make informed, actionable decisions that help sell products and services at profit.
The importance, uncertainty, risk and cost of your business decisions determines the importance of marketing research.
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