OPINION28 February 2022

How to get more out of market research

B2B Opinion

In the world of market research, one of the few constants is that things are always changing. As our environments evolve and various global developments shape how people live their lives, new market expectations and demands emerge. Kinjal Shah at CMI Research outlines four strategies to help business stay on top of the competition.

Lighbulb over business meeting

Demand ‘now what’ insights
Today, market researchers must not only be capable of designing research to leverage and integrate multiple data streams, but also synthesising it into actionable insights, otherwise known as the ‘now what’, ie what needs to be done next. Reports, deliverables and conversations that focus solely on the ‘what’ (such as data charts) benefit no one.

Market research is meant to inform business strategy. Having a research partner who can think strategically about your business is imperative. If your research partner isn't proactively rolling up their sleeves and digging in to understand your industry, your business, and you, it’s time to cast your net wider and find one who will. 

Target the moments that matter
Consumer behaviour has changed forever. Today’s battle for hearts, minds, and dollars is won (or lost) by providing the right content at the right moment. These digital consumption habits can be mapped throughout the entire customer journey. The ‘I want-to-know’, ‘I want-to-dig-in’ and ‘I want-to-breathe’ moments have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Brands that push rather than pull, and meet their target where they are, will win. 

Lean into niche audiences
Niche audiences provide a wealth of information as they tend to be more engaged, active and responsive. Insights gained from niche marketing can become applicable to broader markets as products and services grow and evolve. Targeting a niche audience is your company’s opportunity to reach new growth strategies and success. Work with partners who have the expertise to help you understand your niche audiences and ensure thoughtful demographic research questions that are inclusive and which use the proper terminology. 

Track supply chain disruption
The disruption in supply chain has transformed the foundation of many industries.  As we move forward in 2022, having access to your data 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will be more important than ever, so that you can pivot at any given time. Maintaining a constant pulse on these disruptions and understanding how they will affect your business, target audience, and competitors will help relieve some of the pressure.

If you aren't already, here’s what you should be tracking (and this is only the bare minimum): competitive dynamics, capacity, profitability and compensation. 

From an increased emphasis on data strategy to leaning into niche audiences, the developments we're now seeing have the potential to transform the industry. Stay ahead of the curve by implementing these strategies to gain a competitive advantage. 

Kinjal Shah is head of marketing at CMI, an Atlanta, US-based research and data enablement company.