Market research is important. Many marketers will admit that they wish they had more time to work directly with customers in feedback sessions like focus groups, and even more will lament that their companies do not do nearly enough market research.
Most marketers are overwhelmed with all kinds of data, though it does not usually come directly from customers. Sometimes website analytics can give great marketing insight, but it is never as personalized as groups and surveys. Marketing professionals are also being pulled in many directions due to changing business priorities. The decision-makers in many companies lose sight of the need for consumer marketing research for their organization and, instead, focus on fulfilling plans and goals without considering the end user. Despite what most business gurus will tell you, companies who fail to make research a high priority will not fare well.
How Consumer Research Strengthens A Business
Consumer research is important for so many reasons.
1. Puts consumers first
Customer research allows marketers to get to the heart of what people want. Data gathered from customers is not about internal issues, personal agendas or even arbitrary priorities. Businesses live and die based on customer buy-in. Customers are the driving force for good decisions.
2. Helps the company focus
Keeping a focus on the perspective of the customer is critical to all businesses. There are always plenty of opinions within an office, but the ones outside of the office matter most. Market research helps you create plans for prioritizing and maximizing your time. The info gathered from market research can inform how people in the business spend their time in both the short and long term.
3. Keeps you relevant
Companies that follow through with every step of their five-year plans without worrying about market research and trends can have a difficult time growing. Market tastes fluctuate rapidly as tech and trends change. Competitors, especially new ones, are in touch with the customer base. Market research puts products, services and ideas in front of customers and makes businesses confront the changes that need to be made in order to make or keep people happy. Your brand must adapt in order to evolve.
4. Minimizes risks
Some companies, especially tech giants, are known for revealing products that have never been seen by consumers. They are completely conceived, developed and tested by engineers. And when they get revealed to the public, they usually fall short in some way. No headphone jack? No USB drive? But most companies are not billion-dollar mega corporations who can afford to take these kinds of risks. So, getting in front of customers, reading up on competitors and finding out what people actually want can keep smaller business from making costly mistakes in the name of innovation.
5. Defines your audience
The more businesses work with customers directly, the more they will be able to hone products. Oftentimes, businesses start out thinking the target audience is one subset of the population, only to find out that a whole different demographic could benefit from what they offer. Market research helps marketers find out information about customers as people – what they like, where they spend time, what motivates them, etc. And while this info might not be immediately meaningful or relevant, it may come in handy in the future when a business wants to set up new advertising and social media campaigns.
If you understand the value of market research and want to make a name for yourself as someone who values consumer feedback, check out the Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Advertising and Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing at GCU.
To learn more about how Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business provides students with a business and marketing education the puts customers first, visit our website or click the Request More Information Button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.