This Data’s Got Game
• Demographics: Studying the generational differences of your customers can show the path to being relevant to younger customers. Variables or filters — such as time on the job, position and income levels — often correspond with different decision-making processes and purchasing cycles. Understanding these differences informs marketing, copy, promotional and contact strategies, and ultimately affects response.
• Competitive insights — strategies to capture market share. Filtering responses by customers who shop with competitors can show what’s needed to increase market share at the expense of the competition.
• Insights into the decision-making process — strategies for retention. Filtering responses by promoters vs. detractors can demonstrate weaknesses in the company’s performance that negatively affect loyalty.
4. Have readable results. A common mistake is to administer a survey to a population whose size is insufficient to support readability within cross-tabs. Interpreting statistically insignificant results generally leads to the wrong conclusions and, ultimately, to companies going astray.
5. Spend time with the research findings to discover the strategic intent. Prioritizing the implications of the findings is beneficial in thinking through the strategic initiatives that are derived from the work.
6. Get organizational and senior leadership buy-in to the results. Decision makers should be thoroughly involved in the entire process, especially in step 5 to ensure that actionable change will occur as a result of the work.
Get the Full Picture
Using both database research and primary consumer research will create a rich picture of your customers, including their behaviors, attitudes and beliefs. Learning these “whys” and “where elses” can help drive profitable growth, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. The knowledge you gain by combining these two powerful tools will pay off handsomely.
John Craig and Becky Jewett are partners of Windward Group, a national consulting partnership specializing in strategic issues for multichannel brands. They can be reached at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.