How direct marketers should use market research (but don’t)

direct marketers are lost without market researchMarket research is a fantastic tool in the marketer’s suite. It gives insights into one’s market – the size, the opportunity, the wants, the needs, the strengths relative to the competition, the weaknesses and the growth opportunities. The big shortcoming is in mapping the research to the actual customer base. The marketer has a report based on a sample of a few thousand customers – but this does not help with 1-1 marketing. Who is (say) troller64@ymail.com? ;When marketing to him or her, does one promote the low cost or the product features? How to promote the feature benefits if one does not know where in the market landscape to map this customer. Not mapping the market research to the customer data is a big problem for Level 3 companies [Do you know your marketing maturity?]. Imagine having to navigate Brooklyn with a map of downtown Manhattan. That’s pretty much the reality of marketing with research that’s not married to the ground reality. One wastes a lot of energy without really going anywhere.

Fortunately it’s not difficult to get around this issue. The steps are as below.

  • Definition: Define market segments in context of past product purchases, demographics, known characteristic. The output should be a grid indicating the typical profile of each market segment.
  • Compilation: Compile data at an individual level on the attributes that were used in defining the market segment. If data are not available, assign a ‘NULL’ entry to the specific attribute.
  • Scoring: Create a data adequacy score at each customer level; Create a segment affinity score based on closeness of each customer to each market segment.
  • Assignment: Assign a customer to the segment to which it has highest affinity. [Caution: Remember to establish a filter on customers whose data adequacy scores is below tolerance]
  • Communication: Communicate findings with your marketing teams. It is typically interesting to map the outcomes with the ‘known truths’ within the organization.

In upcoming articles we will showcase some case studies how businesses integrate marketing research into their day to day campaign processes. This is the benefits proposition of embedded analytics. Please leave a comment below if you would like to know something specific about the implementation process. If you would like to learn more about the Polytab solution or contact us directly for a free no obligations 1/2 hour discussions use the buttons below.

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