This Data’s Got Game
Successful primary consumer research incorporates these steps:
1. Senior leadership buy-in. When contemplating research, ask yourself, “What will the company do differently based on research findings?” If a company is unwilling to change what it does or how it operates, research is merely academic. Executive sponsorship is critical to success if research is to drive change.
2. Spend time developing the right objective. We find that people don’t spend enough time thinking about research objectives and often end up with lower-level tactical research. Strategic objectives will lead to strategic results. Time spent ensuring your research is at a high enough level will pay off handsomely. Consider the following:
• Determine what drives loyalty among buyers and what needs to be done to increase loyalty and decrease attrition.
• Determine the behavioral differences of heavy vs. occasional users to gain insight on how to improve financial results.
• Understand why customers prefer to shop with the competition and what can be done to better compete.
3. Cross-tab for the real power. Averages cloud data and hide real distinctions that exist among groups. The most insightful understanding comes from comparing responses of various customer segments and finding the differences in their opinions and attitudes. These insights fall into six categories:
• Behavioral: For example, developing an understanding of why heavy users are loyal helps develop strategies that are more relevant to lapsed or occasional users. Sometimes the reasons for loyalty are surprising, not intuitive.
• Attitudinal: Learning why some customers are brand promoters while others are detractors helps uncover hidden market segments and highlights operational weaknesses that must be fixed before profitable growth can be achieved. Additionally, price sensitivity can vary significantly across customer file segments. Understanding nuanced differences helps to maximize marketing contribution while stimulating demand.
• Sales channel: Understanding which customer segments prefer to shop by which channel and why helps define strategies to convert single-channel users to more profitable multichannel users. We can determine which segments are underrepresented and how to increase share of wallet.