Reasons Why Market Research Gets Left Out of the Huddle
With football season upon us I’ve been dying to use a football analogy. A good number of our folks come from the client and agency side, so we know how projects are constructed and executed. For fun, let’s look at this process from the football perspective. As the team prepares for the next play they form a huddle. Inside the huddle the coach tries to orchestrate the best team to be successful on the next play. Each player has their own individual role. In football, like in business, the huddle is often limited to a certain number of players (whether it is for budget constraints, etc.). Today let’s look at some of the reasons why market research can be left out of the huddle.
Fear of knowing (lifting the curtain)
Truth can be a hard reality. I’ll be the first to admit that I live in fantasy land in areas of my life and would rather not know the cold hard truth. For example, I still think I’m in the same shape as I was in college. In business, operating in the dark can have huge consequences. The fear of knowing is really a two-fold problem:
Fear of truth
Hearing directly from your consumers may lead to hearing things you don’t want to hear. For example, learning that the main differentiator you’re marketing your product on is actually more recognizable with your competitor. Or realizing your campaign wasn’t as successful as you thought after conducting a Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) analysis.
Fear of change
No! Not change! We are all creatures of habit and the thought of change might freak us out. Insights gained from Market Research may open your eyes to necessary change. This, my friends, is good change.
This point is often overlooked but I think it’s more commonplace than we realize. As a research company we have to ask ourselves, “What is the perceived value of research?” I think those who have committed to research fully understand the value it brings. However, I think those who are somewhat new to research tend to overlook its importance.
I recently had a conversation with an expert Audio Branding company, iVGroup, and they experience the same problem. When an agency sits down with the client to budget for a project, do they fully understand the value of audio branding, or in our case research? These facets have a huge impact on success but are often looked at as an “add-on”. We’re finding this lack of understanding is impacting the perceived value of research.
Lack of understanding
Not simply a lack of understanding the value of research but a lack of understanding the methodologies of research. Let’s be honest, research can be very complex and hard to understand. If the average marketing guy spent a day in the life of our Director of IT, he would be begging for mercy by lunch time. This is why research firms like us get brought in to do the dirty work and present the insights in an easy-to-understand format.
The point is, does the lack of understanding impact the desire to leverage research? I think research firms need to do a better job at explaining how methodologies work and why they’re important. I think it’s easy to get caught up explaining how a methodology works using only buzz-words I would understand. We need to see the bigger picture.