Sometimes, I’m asked how I conduct my market research and who participates. I tell them I make my client companies responsible while I provide direction and guidance. This is because there are so many facets of market research and much of it must be internally generated.
I believe that market research is not just about the surveys the research department implements. In order to carry out a proper due diligence process, I believe it is critical to look at various sources and types of research and insights.
- First and foremost, it is critical to understand a company’s sales data whether internally generated or acquired from outside sources. I believe internal analysts and statisticians are critical on a working team to provide the whole team a view of how Hispanic and total market sales trend.
- What’s selling / what isn’t and what are the likely causes of sales trends and behavior among Hispanics and the total market?
- This naturally leads the team to question what the company is in a position to do about it and how quickly? Involving the team makes it actionable.
- Second, it’s important to involve market research to understand which type of Hispanic is the company’s best customer. This naturally leads to the question of whether the company’s marketing strategy aims to target this Hispanic consumer profile and if not, then it’s time to make some significant shifts.
- Third, it’s important to use market research to understand how the target consumer consumes the company’s products, how the consumer perceives the brand and where they see the value so marketing can make adjustments to the marketing strategy and so brand managers can think about adjustments to existing products and services and to determine if there may be some white space opportunities.
- Lastly, it is important to do some field observation and ethnographic research to understand how the Hispanic target consumer behaves at point of sales (retail, phone, online) and to see where the company might have some delivery gaps. Observations often involve members of the operations behind these points of sale, and insights are shared with the entire team so corrective and enhancement steps can be taken.
- So you see the whole idea behind market research is not only to get at cause and effect, but to also ensure that discoveries are made and understood by those in a position to take action.