So this is the conundrum: The age-old question of risk-taking vs. more confidence in decision making. I’m an intuitive marketer, but I’ve done a lot of research along the way, too. I’m intuitive in that I usually know where to start a project and the direction to take, but I love conducting research along the way to inform the decision-making process.
Research Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes
At Stealth, we rely on a lot of different forms of research. Everything from analytics and profiles to better drive digital marketing to focus groups to drive brand decisions and to choose the best campaigns. Also, research can come in many different sizes with different price tags, which makes it affordable for almost any size company.
For many of our clients, we also use secondary research – or research that might be available in the public domain – and there is a lot it. It takes time to sift through the articles, whitepapers and studies, but Stealth consolidates that information to provide direction for our clients. Some examples might be pricing and offer strategy, or how others in your industry are messaging to the marketplace.
Competitive research is another variation on the research game board. Companies need to keep up with competitors to predict moves to maximize sales. Many of our companies are challenger brands that can usually react much quicker than big, cumbersome competitors; however, challengers need to know what the big guys are doing to stay in the race!
In-Person Research Yields the Greatest Insights
Some of our best work at Stealth is actually calling customers to get their opinion on products before launch. This can serve as a needs analysis, or a target customer profile in the end, and provide a built-in customer list to go after low-hanging fruit.
Our favorite research projects are ones in which we lead focus groups, and listen to customers directly. This gives us so much information we can use in a myriad of ways. We might use it to inform messaging and offers or provide brand guidance. Last year we used focus groups across several countries to inform merger decisions for a telecommunications leader.
Research is usually the best money spent to reduce risk, listen to your customers and inform business strategy.