Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - Research Needs High Ideals

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - Research Needs High Ideals

Article excerpt

Anyone who commissions market research should want to get value for money out of it. Conversely, agencies should want their clients to see a return on their investment. Or is this too idealistic?

It can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of market research, sometimes more so than other types of marketing spend, because the impact on the bottom line is so indirect. About pounds 65m is wasted on market research each year, so all those involved owe it to themselves, their clients or companies to do something about it.

The area of research in question relates to consumer segmentations, but I suspect that marketers are failing to evaluate the value they get from other types of research, too. Incite recently did a survey that showed half the segmentation studies carried out in the UK have so little value they are unused by the companies that commission them. We were prompted to carry out our study after too many discussions with disappointed clients about segmentation studies that they had undertaken in the past.

Most marketers subscribe to the view that segmenting customers according to their needs and wants enables them to target their marketing far more effectively. Our study bore this out, showing that more than 80% of companies have used research to help them define segments in this way, rather than relying on traditional demographic models.

The problem is that half these studies end up gathering dust on the shelf, rather than being used. Presumably, this results in marketers either falling back on traditional models of segmentation, or not bothering to segment their customers at all. …

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