Have you ever been frustrated when something isn’t working? Maybe an item you purchased with “some assembly required” that just isn’t fitting together like it’s supposed to. Or you can’t fix that problem on your computer despite following the how-to advice and online support links.

For many business owners, marketing is a similar source of frustration. You expect marketing & advertising to produce growth in sales, revenue and market share, only to be left scratching your head or pounding the table wondering why isn’t it working. 

When facing the frustration of a marketing tactic or campaign that isn’t working, too many marketers and business leaders look for a quick fix. We just need to “optimize” our SEO or PPC keywords. Let’s try some new “catchy” creative, maybe a new headline or tagline.

Tactical tinkering is rarely the solution to failing marketing efforts. In fact, it’s often a huge distraction that wastes time and money. I often tell clients, “you can’t advertise your way out of a problem your brand behaves it’s way into.” 

When marketing isn’t working the behavior that needs to change at companies is for those in charge to stop prescribing quick-fix tactical solutions and start diagnosing the underlying problem(s) or issue(s) that are preventing marketing success.

This is why research is such an important tool for marketing and business leaders. It provides a scientific process and method for uncovering the problem(s) to be solved. And helps define the requirements that a solution will need to address in order to resolve them.

Unfortunately, when you say the word “research” to many business leaders today, their eyes start rolling and they immediately view it as “we don’t have time or money for that.”

If “too slow and too expensive” is how your leadership team views market and consumer research, then it’s  clear why your marketing isn’t working. Your brand doesn’t value consumer insight and is most likely talking to itself in your marketing efforts.

Done right, market and consumer research does two things. First, it quickly and methodically delivers objective information and insight. And second, it serves as a catalyst for that “Ah-Ha!” moment when the thing that is preventing you from succeeding becomes clear.

While 90% of all marketing investments go into tactical execution, it’s the 10% investment of time and money you spend on research and planning that determines whether all the other campaign spending works or not.

Here are three (3) examples of how our team of CMO’s have helped clients use market research in an affordable and quick way to produce breakthrough “Ah-Ha” moments.

The Local Dentist

A lot of healthcare professionals, like Dentists, are great at care but not so great at marketing. The result, they struggle to enroll new patients and fill appointment slots. Bombarded with offers and proposals from all sorts of local media and advertising companies, Dentist offices rarely have the people, process, systems and tools necessary to plan marketing effectively.

Working with one dental practice to address and resolve these challenges, we interviewed patients. This simple consumer and customer research took the guesswork out of understanding how and why patients selected their dental provider. By gaining clarity around what consumers loved about this specific practice, marketing messaging was refocused. 

Now with a more focused and relevant message the Dentist’s marketing efforts are filling their appointments to capacity. And it’s very evident that marketing is producing results.

A Health Care Center for Seniors

When an older family member needs therapy, rehabilitation, home care or assisted living a decision about where to turn for health care support can be emotional. After all, everyone wants the best care available for someone we love.

To serve the unique needs of elderly patients our client developed a practice with a full range of services offering a complete continuum of care. Practice leaders believed that patients and their families were choosing their company and brand based on this complete range of services.

Research and interviews with patients, caregivers and family members uncovered that their primary decision making factor wasn’t continuum of care at all. In fact, it was revealed that the most important factor influencing people’s decision to work with the company was making the patient feel at home and family trust that their loved one would be taken care of well. 

Knowing this allowed us to work with the company to revise their marketing and messaging and better focus on what truly influenced decisions among patients and their families. As a result, the company’s updated marketing efforts have produced a 20% lift in new patient services. 

An Equipment Manufacturer

The cleaning supply business is a highly competitive industry with lots of competition. Innovation is often the key to growth and success. But it’s also a big investment for companies operating in a highly price sensitive market. 

Our client developed a revolutionary cleaning system and process that is natural and completely environmentally friendly. Their problem was that prospective customers just weren’t buying. And their investments in marketing seemed to be a losing bet. 

Rather than letting the client continue tinkering with tactical marketing fixes, we helped them to quickly and cost-effectively research the market and audience for their product. The insight we uncovered revealed that the barrier to sale was high cost that required an upfront investment on the part of customers. What’s more, we discovered that prospective customers were excited by the idea of leasing the product rather than making a capital investment. 

This insight allowed us and the client to develop a leasing program that has completely changed their marketing approach. And in turn new marketing has dramatically lifted sales and revenue. 

Let Us Help You Have an “Ah-Ha” Moment

Market research, done properly, can be a fast, affordable and high impact way to improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Our team would love to help you experience an “Ah-Ha” moment that allows your brand to accelerate growth. To discuss how we would help, contact me at rich@yorcmo.com.

About the Author:

Rich has held leadership roles at top agencies, directed marketing for a Fortune 100 company and been CMO at a leading regional retail chain. He’s also worked successfully in a number of start-ups and fast growth venture capital-backed firms. Rich has consistently delivered multi-million dollar growth for leading national, regional and local brands  An expert in all aspects of integrated marketing, including analysis, strategic planning, and campaign management, Rich is passionate about brand building. He is also co-author of “Authenticity: Building a Brand in an Insincere Age” which is available from Praeger Press in Jan 2020.

Rich is based in the Greater Chicagoland Area and has strong experience working with clients in Retail, Grocery, Food & Beverages and Consumer Goods.