Sign up for my weekly newsletter on tickets, sports business, marketing, and live entertainment, Talking Tickets.
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been harping on the need to be smarter about the research…a lot.
There are a few reasons for this:
- First, we hear all of this talk about data and most of the time folks are just overwhelmed with it and don’t know what to do with it. Big Data is over $122 Billion industry now. Of course, folks are going to tell you you need more…have to feed the maw.
- Second, because data is so confusing and there are so many folks telling you things that often contradict each other, I’m trying to help show folks that I work with and talk to that you can turn data into something useful.
- Third, being a good marketer requires research and I’ve often not talked about that enough. Great marketers don’t guess is the thing I tell my clients, but I haven’t really highlighted it enough in my talks and writing.
That brings us to Major League Rugby and the research they did with Octagon.
The idea that someone would do a deep dive research study on the market is great. My opinion is that you should always be in the market and this study should be a foundational tool to keep the ongoing understanding of their market going.
For all of you that are trying to figure out how to make your business customer-ready after the pandemic, there are a few things we all need to understand about research to use it effectively.
First, let me drop in a plug for my ALSD article on Backward Market Research!
Okay, important things to recognize about market research:
- You start with the realization that you need research because in most cases you don’t actually know what your customer is thinking.
- To do it effectively, you need to balance qualitative and quantitative forms of research. Like ethnography, focus groups, and individual chats on the one side. Surveys and tests on the other side.
- The ideal mix of your research is contextual but every research project should include a little qual and a little quant.
Why am I bringing this up today?
First, you have to be careful not to bias the research by making assumptions or designing the research to confirm your hypothesis.
In Backward Market Research, you start with the question you want to answer, but you don’t let that bias the way you do your research.
Second, you need to do research regularly.
I can’t find the number, but most companies aren’t regularly doing much market research. You should be doing some kind of research all the time.
Again, this sounds like a lot but if you are mixing qual and quant, it shouldn’t be.
Third, you need research to make wise decisions.
If you aren’t doing market research and you aren’t listening to your customers, you are guessing. Or, worse.
From here it opens up the conversation about segmentation: done by behavior, not some other less effective measure.
Targeting: picking your focus.
Positioning: against or for the competition.
The key is to start with the idea that you don’t know anything until you ask your market what they want or need.
Research is easier to come by and cheaper than you imagine these days, but DATA has us largely overwhelmed by the opposite idea.