Magazine article Marketing

Market Research Should Be Handed to Bean Counters

Magazine article Marketing

Market Research Should Be Handed to Bean Counters

Article excerpt

Huff and puff as it may, The Marketing Council mostly talks to the converted. Research confirms that customer orientation is more profitable than the alternatives, but some companies are not listening. If you work for one such, here is a Trojan Horse to transform your company's orientation at no cost and no political hazard. This week's free offer is: transfer the gathering of market research, and the cost, to the finance director.

Here's why: Finance directors get more airtime at board level than marketers, especially in the UK. Like all proud parents, they like to show off their progeny, in this case their beans. Accounting figures are presented in ever more elaborate ways. The same old P&L, balance sheet, financial and cost ratios are now 'value drivers'. Bunkum. Value drivers are people, not beans. Don't bother to fight this; you will lose.

Once the market research function is adopted, customer and competitive information will become their beans too, ranking alongside, and who knows, even ahead of internal data.

To present these new beans, finance directors will need to learn about marketing, customers, competitors and the relationships between them. Without that the numbers will make little sense.

The Marketing Metrics research project shows fairly conclusively that larger companies have plenty of market information, but it is uncoordinated. Much of it, for example customer satisfaction, is not collected by the marketing department. Formal tracking data apart, market research companies deal with many departments for many purposes. …

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