Market Research Matters: Tools and Techniques for Aligning Your Business

Market Research Matters: Tools and Techniques for Aligning Your Business

Market Research Matters: Tools and Techniques for Aligning Your Business

Market Research Matters: Tools and Techniques for Aligning Your Business

Synopsis

When it comes to planning a winning corporate strategy, many business leaders fail to consider market research. This is a critical mistake. Done correctly and with creativity, market research can provide real value by serving as the radar that will alert your business to the perils and opportunities that lie ahead. Excellent marketing insight is the edge that differentiates business winners from losers. It can help your company in its effort to make¿not merely serve markets. Businesses that successfully anticipate major marketplace shifts such as e-commerce, PCs, or the demand for bottled water reap rewards of legendary proportions. Few do. Less dramatic but equally important is the opportunity to improve customer understanding and marketing, which can grow profits daily. Businesses should and can do better at this. This book will show you how. As a result of their work with the Advertising Research Foundation, authors Robert Duboff and Jim Spaeth know that market research can and should be a backbone of any business strategy. They believe research needs to move beyond its traditional, limited role of a "numbers function" to its proper place as a vehicle for enlightening decision making. Market Research Matters provides you with tools to better align your companys market research and business forecast efforts to the overall business strategy and operations. It polishes the traditional marketing research techniques and reveals new ones that can help any company avoid the pitfalls of focusing only on the present¿and seize the opportunities that an uncertain future has to offer. A section on "Mapping the Future" includes four variables to consider when dealing with the unknown: Futures alternate scenarios modeling. These models will help you look beyond todays urgencies and assess broad trends sweeping your business. Customers your buyers. Test the demand and need for products or services that do not yet exist using leading edge market research techniques. Economics the cost dynamics of the business. Determine what will be required to win competitively. Alignment unity of purpose. Make sure all within your company share the vision and pursue it together. Youll learn step by step how the research function can best serve your businesss needs. Market research will allow you to: Build customer and employee loyalty Successfully analyze your competition¿present and future Prepare for the connected economy spearheaded by the Internet Understanding the recent past and present is necessary to research the future, but it is not enough. A diagnostic is included to allow you to assess how your business is progressing in each area. Youll also see how to reasonably forecast what the Internet, the Internets offspring, and the new markets they engender will be like a few years from now. You need insight into the dynamics of the marketplace to act in anticipation of what might happen. Market Research Matters will help you make certain your business is up to the challenge of becoming a truly future focused business. Acclaim for Market Research Matters "A timely reminder of the value of market research to the corporate navigator. It doesnt just log what happened yesterday it also helps you peer into the mists of tomorrow."¿Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive, WPP Group plc "Urgent reading for any serious marketing professional grappling with the changes brought about by todays turbulent economy." ¿Linda Srere, Vice Chairman and Chief Client Officer, Young & Rubicam, Inc. "Most businesses focus upon building on past successes hoping to keep abreast of competition. This book effectively establishes the case that those companies that look to the future and embrace market research will become leaders through the creation of sustainable competitive advantage."¿Raymond W. LeBoeuf, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,

Excerpt

We have written this book to help an industry earn its place at a table to which it has rarely been invited. Market research can and should contribute to setting strategy for businesses. To be included, however, research should not play the traditional role of the rear-view mirror describing the past but rather be the beam in the headlights such that the driver— knowing the power of the vehicle—can more safely steer.

We hit upon this point of view in our roles with the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), the only association that represents all the marketing elements—communication/ advertising agencies, media companies, advertisers, and research providers—that focus on the informational lifeblood of research.

We both love research. Jim, now the full-time president of the ARF, has worked at most of these component parts of the industry—agency, advertiser, and provider—whereas Rob had only worked on the provider side until quite recently. However, Rob (the part-time chairman of the ARF) has felt the potential for researchers in his career. At first, he ran a business called Decision Research (actually a part of a small consulting firm, Temple, Barker & Sloane). Over time, the firm was sold and combined into a rather large strategy consulting firm, Mercer Management Consulting (Mercer). Rob— with the same skill set and belief in research—was now a “management consultant” instead of a “researcher.” As such, he has led teams consulting to senior management at such fine companies as America Online (AOL); E*Trade, Hilton Hotels, MicroAge, PPG, and The Walt Disney Company. As a consultant, his views are solicited in a way that those of researchers rarely are. Much of his thinking contained in . . .

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