Use Market Research to inform your marketing strategy and avoid costly mistakes.
Kristin Letourneau, Informa’s Director of Market Research, was recently named on the 2017 Folio’s 100 List which celebrates the magazine and media industry’s most innovative entrepreneurs and market shaker-uppers. Kristin and her team carry out customized research programs designed to address client-specific objectives. They conduct over 150 primary research studies a year.
We recently sat down with Kristin to get her expert advice on why marketers should add research to their marketing strategy, talked about research trends for 2018, learned about the most common mistake with research and found out what services her team can offer marketers.
About the services her team offers marketers.
“We offer turnkey quantitative and qualitative custom research services, and conduct about 250 research projects each year. The vast majority of those projects are online surveys, but we also offer focus groups (online and in-person), in-depth interviews and eListening (data mining online channels) methodologies. What sets our research services apart is that we are embedded within an information services company. As such, our customers benefit from all three legs of the stool if you will: research expertise, industry expertise, and deep audience reach.”
2018 Research Trends
“We are seeing more clients leverage research to inform their content marketing initiatives. Content Marketing is already huge, and poised to see continued growth in 2018, so it’s increasingly important for marketers to distinguish their efforts from an increasingly crowded field. We see from our own research that B2B marketers struggle with both content generation and content distribution. Our clients are successfully using research to (1) to identify the best topics for their content pieces; (2) generate premium data around those topics for use in their content; and (3) identify the best distribution channels for their specific target audiences.”
Why research often times gets overlooked as a part of marketing strategy.
We should be using research at the outset of all large scale, integrated marketing programs in order to shape the optimal direction of those programs (e.g., identify brand challenges, assess market needs, identify information gaps). Since research done well takes time (usually 4-5 weeks) and is an investment (research pricing starts at $10K), some clients overlook it as a “nice to have” component rather than the critical intelligence driver that it is. Further, some marketers have a tendency to think they already know the things research is designed to address. Those assumptions can be dangerous, and ultimately very costly.”
The number one mistake marketers make when it comes to research.
“The #1 mistake marketers make is DIY research. Some people have the misimpression that conducting research is simple, and requires no specialized expertise. This mentality is exacerbated by the abundance of self-service research tools on the market – Survey Monkey has always been a thorn in my side, “research is so easy, a monkey could do it!” The end result is often poorly designed research that fails to deliver any meaningful insights. Either (1) the data is hard to interpret because the survey items were improperly crafted and failed to address specific objectives; or (2) the data tells you exactly what you wanted to hear because bias was introduced, either intentionally or unintentionally. The more laypeople we have conducting research poorly, the more people begin to devalue research as a discipline, and ultimately underutilize it. That’s a shame because research done well is invaluable. “