Monday, July 15, 2024

Do Your Research!


The best brand names in the world still need to clearly understand their audiences.  Today, understanding your market segment is crucial with any brand or product.  Advertising the wrong campaign to potential customers may not only cause the company to lose revenue, but the wrong message can harm the brand well into the future. The time and money required to conduct proper research, is well worth the investment. Good research will provide valuable insights for executives to better understand consumer behaviors, attitudes, buying preferences, media consumption, and potential gaps. Market research can help test a variety of themes and support new initiatives before investing dollars in advertising campaign.  Here are a few low-cost ways to conduct adequate research:

Casual research-Conduct an online survey. Use image A versus image B. Watch for consumer comments, shares, likes, or clicks. This type of research will show marketing teams, such as A/B testing, which one resonates over the others, etc.

Exploratory research-Focus groups are an excellent way to better understand consumers. In-depth interviews or qualitative research methods will help marketers clarify their hypothesis, collect common themes, and create strategies to tailor messages to their targeted audience(s). Small group formats allow for consumers to share their opinions or habits. The data is then analyzed and compiled.

Primary research-The collection of data directly from the consumer could be an online survey, direct mail survey, face-to-face survey, or other methods.

Make sure the questions or images are crafted well for each specific groups of people. Be mindful of diverse communities, countries, or languages so interviewees can easily answer the questions.  Consider offering a gift card, meal, or some type of incentive for those who participate in the research. The experience should be friendly, interesting, and easy.  Most importantly, make sure you have identified the right groups of people and not veer away from your target. Continued research will help the company confirm marketing strategies, track metrics and other sales indicators. The quality of information will help build trust in the brand, which in turn will gain new customers well into the future.

Jennifer Bushong, MA is the owner of JBe Marketing Group, LLC., a full-service marketing and communications firm in Washington State. Bushong earned a Master of Arts in Journalism with a concentration in public relations from Kent State University and graduated cum laude with a communication degree from the University of Washington.  To connect, email or visit


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