Research is the foundation of successful marketing. That’s it. That’s the blog.
Okay – no – we’ll give you more. But at ADsmith, research is so intuitive and fundamental that we sometimes assume everyone understands its direct correlation with marketing strategy.
Campaigns Without Research
Let’s start with the obvious. Without research, your campaign is built on anecdotal information. And we love anecdotal information—anecdotal information is a key part of research. But anecdotal information is also information you’re likely to get without doing any actual work.
As a society, we are not shy about the TV shows we watch, the platforms we use, or the media we interact with. Anecdotal information is also highly individualized. What you watch at 10PM on a Tuesday night is not necessarily what your neighbor watches, or what your parents watch, or what your kids watch, and…well, you see where we’re going with this. In other words, we want to avoid throwing darts in the dark and hoping something sticks.
Research Helps Us Make Informed Decisions
Information leads us toward strategic, creative decisions regarding where and how to spend your money for maximum return.
Say you’re a new ADsmith client. Hello, and welcome. We might know a little about you based on our own personal interactions with your brand, but our own personal interactions (anecdotal information) are not a good barometer for determining how to provide ROI with your marketing budget. What we need to do is find the answers to these questions:
• Are you top of mind with your target customers?
• Which competitive brands are top of mind?
• How do your current customers perceive your brand?
• Where do customers start their searches when they need your services or products?
• How user-friendly is your website? Does it convert visitors to customers, or does it send them clicking away to your competitors?
• What could convince customers to give your brand a try if they are satisfied with your competitors?
• What marketing messages are the most effective at reaching your customers?
Types of Marketing Research
We seek the answers to these questions and other questions in two ways: Quantitative research and qualitative research. For quantitative research, we’re looking at objective measurements and data analysis, usually cultivated through surveys, polls, or questionnaires aimed at a wide audience. ADsmith has spent a long time (20 years, but who’s counting?) developing a database of responsive community members for a good overall baseline of brand awareness.
Qualitative research digs deeper. Our favorite method is through the focus group, where we gather individuals who fit your customer profile and pick their brains on, well, everything.
Unlike surveys and questionnaires, focus groups allow us to get at the “why” behind a person’s perceptions – not only what they prefer in terms of the products or services they receive, but why they prefer them. We find out how brands can speak to them to make their lives easier, grab their attention and hold it. Conversely, we also learn how best to lose a customer’s attention, business, or loyalty—and even better, if it’s possible to gain it back once lost, and if so, how.
Marketing research is more than just learning current perceptions your customers might have about you or your industry; it’s central to every decision we make from the second we have that information. It drives our thinking regarding the kind of campaign we will build, what our message will be, where it will be placed, and how we will measure success.
Your brand might reach its audience more easily through digital platforms than traditional media. If we do place mass media, we use research tools including Nielsen ratings, to determine audience composition, trends, and how to get the most bang for your buck. Placing your commercial in a program that doesn’t match your customer profile doesn’t make sense.
Marketing Research Services
Of course, research is never-ending. Customer perceptions in 2021 will not necessarily mirror customer perceptions in 2022. The way people make buying decisions is in constant flux, which is why ADsmith never stops researching, and encourages our clients to do the same.
We want to know what your customers are thinking TODAY – not what they thought last year. So, if you hear us talk about research a lot, it’s because your success as our client hinges on the information we uncover. What we learn through quantitative and qualitative research allows us to make confident recommendations that your investment will pay off in new customers.
Want to know what we know? Get in touch with ADsmith about our marketing research services and we’ll loop you in.