You’ve heard me say it before and you’ll hear me say it again: The most important part of No BS Marketing is to understand your customer opportunity.
Yet so many business owners, entrepreneurs, C-suite execs, director level leaders and managers miss this key point. They don’t understand that the value of Marketing Intel or Marketing Research isn’t in doing a survey. It’s in the interpretation of the results. It’s in realizing what the trends are and how the company can leverage the findings of the research.
I’ve found people to fall into a couple of camps:
Those who believe research costs too much.
The first one includes those who think that research is too expensive because they’ve seen or bought more than they needed. If this is you, I have a bunch of cliches to make the point. Take off those blinders. Think outside the box. Get with the program…well, that one was particularly lame. But seriously, you have so many ways to do Marketing Intel today.
Focus more on qualitative research to keep the costs down. Combine with some online tactics. Invest most of your money in the findings and an outside perspective.
The ones who don’t actually know their customers.
Another camp includes those who won’t admit it but think they already know who their customers are and what they think. C’mon. Are you kidding me? You know your customers and what they think all by yourself? Or maybe you did a customer survey and thought those scores were good. I hate to let you in on this secret. Those results probably don’t mean much because many times while someone is giving you a 4 out of 5 on a survey, they’re shopping you to see if they can get a better deal. Either way, stop BSing yourself.
Hearing from representatives from all your key target audiences always helps and is rarely done. In fact, two of your key target audiences are neglecting on this front: Employees and Referral Sources. You need to make sure you focus on both. Ask them what they think. Listen. Adjust to meet their needs. Then tell them that you listened and changed for the better.
If you’re not willing to change based on what you learn, then stay in the camp that thinks you know everything already and watch as the true marketers in your industry pass you by.
The people who want to do a survey but can’t see past the cost.
The third group kind of thinks they want some Marketing Intel. They say things like “Let’s do a survey…” and then are surprised at what that might cost. They begin to do strange math by taking the project fee and dividing by the number of interviews to come up with a big per conversation fee: “That means we’re spending about $785 per interview.”
For this group, you need to stop trying to make a strategic activity a tactical one.
Change your myopic view about the value of information. The days of “pound of flesh” purchases and justifying the cost in that manner are long over. The value of Marketing Intel or Marketing Research is NOT from the tactical survey.
The value comes in the interpretation of the results.
Cut the BS and commit to understanding your customer opportunity. You’ll see and love the positive impact on both your top and bottom line.