Today Market Research Is No Luxury
But the real value comes from putting the research into action
Your business faces a tsunami of changes in the consumer market that no amount of experience or education has prepared you for. The customers are changing faster than ever. They are:
- Adopting new patterns of shopping (start with the Internet),
- Choosing new brands (walked a trade show lately),
- Making new consumer choices based upon new values (for example, millennials would rather buy a new iPhone than a piece of jewelry), or
- Opting for no purchase at all (maturing Baby Boomers have got enough stuff already, they don’t need anymore).
And while you are trying to figure out where you customers have gone and why, there’s a whole new class of upstart businesses to confront — Disrupters. The disruptors may well be foregoing profits today with the plan to take yours,’ and everybody elses,’ once they completely remake the traditional way of doing business.
Market Research Is No Luxury Today
Market research is no longer a luxury for businesses, something to put off till cash flow is stronger. The right kind of market research can reveal what’s happening with your customers and your target customers – what they are looking for today and what they will be looking for tomorrow.
It will show you the new processes by which customers are shopping and selecting, among the widening range of brands to find the right combination of function, quality and price.
Good market research delves into the critical issues in the distribution channels for your products, and the day-to-day challenges your existing channel partners face. Channel studies can help you identify opportunities you may have missed, as well as help your current channel partners prosper.
The right kind of market research will uncover the competitive environment, where your competition is relative to your brand, where they are going, and how they are going to get there.
Market research, including a competitive analysis combined with customer and channel partner research, can highlight white space in the market, holes that your brand can fill with the right strategy and tactics.
But market research isn’t enough. It needs to be analyzed and interpreted in such a way as to be actionable. It must become the foundation for a new marketing strategies that take the research-based findings and create a road map for future marketing success. Unity Marketing excels at both – market research and marketing strategies.
How Davids Furnishings & Interiors Found a New Path to Grow
Let me tell you about Davids Furnishings & Interiors, an independently-owned home furnishings chain of stores that operates in south-central Pennsylvania. After more than 40 years in operation, Davids faced changes, both internal, a transfer from first-generation to second-generation management and external, including a more competitive operating environment and changes in the affluent home decorating market the business targets.
Davids’ traditional, proven marketing strategies were not working like they used to. They needed new ideas, new understanding, new strategies to grow.
To help Davids assess its opportunities with a new generation of younger, more tech-savvy customers and map a path to growth, Unity Marketing applied its research-focused five-step strategic marketing process. We started with a research & discovery phase to understand the needs and desires of young, newly affluent customers, often furnishing their second home and trading their low-end starter furnishings for more sophisticated designs and styles – the kind of home furnishings that Davids sells.
Next we studied the competitive landscape, identifying threats, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses. This in-depth research and discovery process resulted in a number of important recommendations for Davids to bring their marketing and branding messages up to date and relevant for the now and future customers. The outcome: small changes generated big results for Davids.
Click this link to learn more about a New Design for Davids
Get Started on Your Own Strategic Marketing Plan
Unity Marketing can help you get the data and insights you need and put them into action as a road map for your present and future success. We offer research and consulting services tailored to small and mid-sized businesses that leverage all the experience we have working with big companies and major brands, but focused on helping small and mid-sized businesses grow. We will work with you to research your business, explore opportunities and develop a strategic marketing plan customized to your business.
If you’d like to learn more about strategic marketing planning, download a prospectus, entitled What, So What, Now What, that describes our research-focused process. It also includes suggestions for a DIY approach to strategic market planning. Or you can call me (717.336.1600) or write at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your marketing plan.
Getting the market research data you need, along with new ideas about marketing strategies, is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to build a prosperous future for your business.