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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Two More Characteristics of Good Market Research

Last week, Marka and the FEI tribe discussed some common characteristics of effective market research programs. This week, she explains two more attributes of good research. Remember, fire = print.

“Good market researchers are able to view the forest and the trees,” Marka began.  “They should have the ability to step back from their research and determine:

1) If the information they’re gathering is worth more than its cost, and

2) Are they gathering information in order to discover a new opportunity, not just to determine what’s already been proven?

“These are the concepts we’ll focus on today,” Marka said as she strolled to the whiteboard.

• Good Market Research Weighs the Value and Cost of Information

“We should be trying to estimate the value of the information we’re getting against its cost,” Marka declared. “Research costs are easy to determine, but value is trickier.”

“How valuable research is depends on the reliability and validity of our findings, of course,” Zoot noted.

“Nice, Zoot!” Marka enthused. “Maybe you’ve got a little market researcher in you after all.”

“Uh oh, am I going to have to quit my day job?” Zoot asked with a grin creeping across his thick brow.

“The value of market research also depends on our willingness to accept and act on these findings,” Marka continued. “Good, reliable research that isn’t tied directly to consequent marketing actions is worth little.”

• Good Market Researchers Practice and Encourage Healthy Skepticism

“If market researchers are supposed to think like scientists, this also means approaching existing assumptions about markets with skepticism,” Marka explained. “Doing so will help ensure our research is guided by genuine curiosity, not an eagerness to prove what we already think.”

“Now that we’ve talked about effective market research, next week we’ll talk about factors that can hinder our research efforts,” Marka added.

Today’s FIRE! Point
Weighing the value and cost of information can help market researchers ensure their activities are as cost-effective as possible. How valuable research is depends on the reliability and validity of your findings, as well as your willingness to accept and act on these findings. Good market research also entails approaching existing assumptions about markets with skepticism and a healthy curiosity.

FIRE! in Action
United Airlines Uses Marketing Decision Support Systems (MDSS) to Grow Sales

Marketing decision support systems (MDSS) are a coordinated collection of data, systems, tools and techniques that help businesses gather and interpret data and make marketing decisions. United Airlines used a MDSS to help salespeople determine the optimum number of calls to make each period. Those in the group that used MDSS increased their sales by 8 percent, as compared to those who didn’t.

Next week: The FEI tribe discusses two potential barriers to the use of market research.


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