Top Ten Ways To Improve Returns On Marketing Research Investment

Here is a Top Ten list of ways to improve the return on your market research investment:

  1. Invest your time and money wisely. First define what information you need and the value of that information as specifically as possible. Assess your time and capabilities, and consider the pros & cons of outsourcing.

  2. Know your internal corporate audience. Make absolutely sure your research results get into the hands of front-line managers who can make the most difference. Take time in the planning phase to secure the best mode of communicating results. If managers are in multiple layers or geographically spread-out, consider secured online reporting for more effective information distribution.

  3. Bring the voice of the customer into your organization. Collect and listen to the voice of the customer by strategically probing respondents and collecting text or audio open-end comments. Share the voice of the customer with as many people as possible via email action reports or electronically available files (.wav).

  4. Organize company meetings and conference calls to gather employee and management feedback, obtain research program buy-in, and help management own the program. Have your internal/external market research partners present with you at regular intervals.

  5. For ongoing or multi-year tracking programs, make sure your program stays fresh by changing sections of your survey to meet new needs or explore new issues. Collect the relevant customer information and provide those results promptly to management.

  6. Provide a feedback loop to and from your managers. Then put into place a plan to resolve complaints or implement good suggestions.

  7. Take time to develop a sampling plan that makes the most strategic sense. This may include sampling along less traditional lines (e.g., profitable vs. non-profitable, declining accounts vs. thriving accounts, new markets vs. established markets).

  8. Promote accountability. Drill down to the manager, division or team responsible for the specific customer relationship.

  9. Use analytics to figure out key issues that drive customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

  10. Enjoy your work and align yourself with internal proponents that will help champion the research results and drive change.

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