The Influence of Market Research on Communications

Valor Business Solutions was prepared to launch their service offerings in a number of cities. They were going to make a major investment in marketing to promote their services, but there was a tremendous amount of trepidation among their senior management. There were mixed opinions and views about what their messaging should be to the marketplace.

We made the recommendation to Valor’s management that we develop a market research program internally and externally to clearly understand the purchase criteria among their buyers and prospects prior to market launch. This would solidify the company’s direction, prioritize their service offerings in the decision-making process and assist in creating consensus within the management team.  Everyone would feel confident that their external communications programs would be on message and on target, while the financial investment would reap a huge return.

The research program was approved and the rest is history. Valor became a very successful company over the next few years and was acquired as a result.

This is one of many examples that demonstrate how significantly market research influences your company’s communications programs and assists in creating consensus within your organization.

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Market research is always invaluable to your company. It can impact many areas within your organization. Specifically, here are a few:

  • Company direction
  • Importance of product and/or service attributes in the decision-making process
  • Product/service strengths and weaknesses
  • Market threats and opportunities
  • Perceived growth areas and obstacles to growth
  • Awareness and competitive sets
  • Image attributes
  • Satisfaction levels of your company as well as your competition
  • Competitive advantages and disadvantages
  • Company strengths and weaknesses

Typically market research is a combination of unaided (open-ended) questions and aided questions to receive unprompted answers that illustrate language and top-of-mind responses. In addition, the research will provide quantitative rankings and ratings. The research will also capture and prioritize the buying criteria both functionally as well as emotionally.

As a result, this type of market intelligence serves as the primary driver for branding, positioning and communications development. The market intelligence also assists in creating consensus within your company since it objectively captures the perceptions of your buyers and prospects. This level of objectivity helps to eliminate personal opinions and perceptions. It also keeps your organization focused on the buyers’ perceptions and priorities.

Market research is a tool that adds clarity and helps eliminate the unknown. It is always a major benefit to your organization because it captures the perceptions of your buyers…and perception is reality.

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Back in 1986, Mike helped create an entirely new kind of advertising agency and public relations firm, one that focused exclusively on technology clients. At the time, this level of specialization was unheard of, but MCC proved the doubters wrong, growing into the Southwest's number-one ad/PR agency for technology companies - and one of the top high-tech advertising agencies in the country. In 2006, Mike diversified the agency's client base to include non-technology clients as well, expanding into industries such as energy, insurance, government, finance, retail, health, security and entertainment. Today, MCC continues to evolve under Mike's direction, blazing new trails from traditional marketing communications to real-time, digital engagement with our clients' customers. Before founding MCC, Mike directed the marketing communications for Nortel, where he launched the still-popular Meridian line of business telecommunications systems. A graduate of the University of Iowa, Mike has served on a variety of boards and remains active in local and state trade associations. Follow on: Google+ || LinkedIn

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