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  • Writer's pictureC.E.K. & Partners

Five Ways to Leverage Marketing Research for Strategic Decision Making



As a woman-owned marketing research agency in Atlanta, our clients rely on us to custom design marketing research studies. This includes qualitative approaches, such as in-depth interviews and focus groups, and quantitative techniques, such as online surveys that produce statistically reliable insights. Our studies uncover beliefs, attitudes and motivations that help companies better understand their brand, products, customer and competitive landscape.

 

We know from experience that marketing research helps leaders make more confident decisions – decisions that eliminate risk, drive revenue and improve customer satisfaction.


Are you trusting your gut or making informed research-based decisions?

Custom marketing research studies allow our clients to rely on data and insights instead of making assumptions or relying on a stakeholder’s opinion.

 

What does this mean?


Research provides insights data to inform and improve decision making. It helps a company meet its goals and objectives – whether that is improving customer service, identifying a compelling new product concept or refining marketing messages or campaign elements.

 

Without data and insights to guide the decision making process a company or brand is at risk of bad decisions resulting in revenue loss or harm to the brand’s reputation.


While research can effectively be used by big and small companies alike, here’s how two popular brands used research for making decisions.

 

  • LEGO® used research to identify their products primarily targeted boys. This insight led to them working to remove gender stereotypes as they sought to become more gender inclusive with their offering. It led to their positioning – LEGO play is for everyone.[1]

  • Dove skin care’s research efforts found that women were prone to negatively talk about themselves. This insight lead to the launch of the Speak Beautiful campaign to help women spread positivity.[2]

 

Here are just a few ways data and insights from our custom-designed marketing research have helped our clients with strategic decision making:


1 – Informing marketing plans

 

Research findings are used to inform marketing plans. Data specific to their category, brand and customer base has helped our clients make decisions about:

 

  • Their ideal customers and how to engage with them.

 

  • Which marketing promotions customers are most and least familiar with and how to move forward (e.g., further invest in a promotion or discontinue it).

 

  • Buyers’ preferred channels – text, email, social – for communications, promotions and loyalty programs.

 

  • The language to use within ads or product concepts to make it more compelling to target buyers. 

 

  • The top features or aspects of a product or solution to prioritize in messages for marketing materials.


2 – Identifying product development or new opportunities

Product development is often a capital-intensive and time-consuming process. It’s why research is so critical throughout the process. Research has informed our clients’ decision making around product development in the following ways:

 

  • Testing product concepts to refine them based on the ideal customers’ reactions to it.

 

  • Testing new product concepts to identify which will be most appealing to the target customer – honing in on a narrowed-down set of concepts that should move into the prototype phase.

 

  • Helping convenience stores or retailers make decisions about which type of services to provide by region of the country, such as hot food bar offering, package pick-up lockers, bitcoin ATMs or self-checkout options.

 

  • Prioritizing which new complementary features would be deemed most valuable to small business owners.


3 – Refining campaigns or creative work

 

Creative work and campaign variables include aspects such as imagery, headlines, color palette, copy and call-to-action. A lot of thought and hard work go into developing these, but research has helped our clients optimize their work.


  • Testing identified the most compelling aspects to the ideal target and helped finesse some areas that would allow the campaign to better resonate.

 

  • Testing creative work has helped make decisions, such as which creative communications campaign to roll out.


4 – Improving customer service

 

Happy customers are repeat customers who will be likely to recommend your brand or service to friends and family. Surveys can provide insights into the satisfaction of your customers and identify any pain points along the customer journey that are negatively impacting satisfaction.

 

Our surveys have helped our clients:

 

  • Understand customer satisfaction levels and monitor them regularly.

 

  • Identify the areas where the company was falling short in meeting customers’ needs and expectations (e.g., delivery times, broken product, communication about status of purchase). This is critical to understand where to make adjustments to improve the customer experience. We then developed a plan for how to reach out to promoters and detractors.


  • Data and insights helped in the decision-making about customers’ perceived pain points being resolved.


5 – Shaping a competitive and defendable brand positioning

 

Evolving a brand’s positioning requires understanding of current perceptions of both your brand and the competitive landscape, from the points of view of both employees and customers.

 

  • Research has helped our clients make decisions about how their brand is “special, better and different” from their competitors, a critical input for repositioning.

 


Example – Retailer  

 

While we handle both B2B and B2C marketing research, a look at this recent B2C study serves as a great example of strategic decisions that were made from a research study:

 

A retailer’s annual AAU:


  • Identified the brand’s awareness levels in different markets and decided where to increase spending with the brand marketing effort.

 

  • Revealed the retailer’s strengths that actually matter to shoppers, along with those areas of weakness that needed immediate attention to remain competitive.

 

  • Gained a pulse on the key attributes that define the brand, such as friendly, helpful and caring – and brought attention to areas that don’t. It led to employee training about the values and brand experience that should be delivered.  


  • Tested positioning statements to understand which was most defendable, ownable and true from the shopper’s perspective.

 

  • Revealed insights from shoppers about their attitudes, wants and needs to make decisions related to crafting a refreshed brand story and content for the website and social media.

 

Ready to start making business decisions informed by data?

Don’t have a research team in-house or need extra capacity? Learn more about working with our woman-owned marketing research agency.


We design custom marketing research and strategic communications. We serve a range of organizations across retail, sustainability, energy, healthcare, technology, financial services and government agencies. We custom design research studies to capture data and insights that helps our clients make more informed decisions.




These are not clients of C.E.K. & Partners but examples from these sources:

[1] https://www.lego.com/en-us/sustainability/people/diversity-and-inclusion?locale=en-us.



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