Look, we get it. Sometimes your first instinct is hard to let go of.

We’ve all been there.

However, when faced with a marketing challenge, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. That golden nugget of an idea you had when you first looked at the project may not be the best long-term solution for you.

This is where market research comes in. That’s a pretty broad term, so let’s break it down. Conducting market research allows us to gain access to a wide range of information about competitors, demographics, your customer’s habits, and more. This information can then be translated into increased sales, improved user experience, and current market analysis. There are two types of research – primary and secondary.

Primary research involves monitoring existing business practices and reevaluating different aspects of your business, such as sales channels and communication. Secondary research, on the other hand, examines data that has already been published in the hopes of developing a sort of stockpile of information.

So, why is this important?

Simply put, you can’t solve a problem that you don’t understand. It’s imperative that you know the ins-and-outs of whatever business you’re a part of, including existing perceptions, customer profiles, and industry-specific concerns. Without these tools in your back pocket, creating an effective messaging campaign is almost impossible. Not to mention, with a global marketplace that is constantly changing, it’s important to stay on top of the most recent trends.

Additionally, research can help narrow your focus. We’re exposed to roughly 5,000 ads or pieces of marketing material per day. That’s no small number, and it makes standing out incredibly difficult. Market research can help highlight what’s important to consumers, instead of wasting time on promotions or solutions that are destined to flop.

One of the best ways to do this is to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. It’s hard to differentiate yourself from your brand, but doing so allows you to see potential pitfalls from a new perspective.

“Put yourself into the shoes of the consumer. It’s hard to differentiate yourself from your brand, but doing so allows you to see potential pitfalls from a new perspective.”
Need a concrete example?

When Pepsi decided to launch in China, they hit a language barrier. The brand’s slogan for the expansion was “Pepsi brings you back to life.” In America, we understand that the intended interpretation is that of an energy-boosting soda. In China however, the translation got complicated.

It turns out, the literal translation was “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.” That’s quite the brand promise, and clearly wasn’t Pepsi’s intention. While this example is easy to laugh at, it’s also a perfect illustration of what happens when ideas aren’t thoroughly vetted.

By simply making an effort to research international markets, potential language discrepancies, and cultural trends, Pepsi could have saved itself a lot of time and money.

While skimping on market research won’t always cause an incident of international confusion, it’s still an important – and widely overlooked – part of developing a successful marketing plan. At the end of the day, it’s an opportunity to learn about your competition, your customers, and the always evolving marketplace.

More about ZIV

ZIV has offices in greater Kansas City and Denver, CO. Whether it’s creating a brand, implementing a digital solution to disrupt an industry, transforming a customer’s experience to gain loyalty, or executing a marketing strategy for needed growth – they’ve got you covered. Explore their capabilities and past work at letsziv.com.

For media inquiries or for further information please contact Jake Randall, jake.randall@letsziv.com.

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