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The Importance of Marketing Research in Decision Making (And Next-Level Campaigns)

Why your next campaign needs marketing research. Marketing research is your ticket to better campaign decisions.

Sapio has been a wonderful partner to work with. They listened closely to our business goals and objectives and created a research design that best fit our needs.

Jamie Bothwell
Director of Marketing (Northern Europe)
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Looking to get more out of your marketing spend? Are you struggling with the inspiration needed to produce that new, award-winning, paradigm-shifting viral campaign? In both cases, I cannot overstate the importance of marketing research – and, sure, that sounds a tad biased coming from a market researcher 😉. There’s no need to take my word for it, though. These case studies speak for themselves.

What Is the Purpose of Marketing Research?

You might wonder why it is important to conduct market research in the first place – or whether it’s even necessary at all.

For a small business, hit-and-miss marketing is not only demotivating but also costly (and possibly quite damaging to your reputation). The solution to this is to switch to informed marketing.

Research provides intelligence to guide informed, enhanced decisions. Ultimately, helping you to:

  • hit the bull’s eye with your target audience,
  • increase your campaign success,
  • and make every penny spent yield greater returns.

Good data saves time, money—and gives you a competitive edge.

Why Market Research Works. 

You can liken the importance of marketing research to military reconnaissance. Observing the landscape enables you to identify strategic features, locate your targets and formulate a winning battle plan.

David Ogilvy, arguably the most prolific publicist of our time, thought the same way. He said, “Advertisers who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore the signs of the enemy.”

Ogilvy understood the business value of keeping your messaging on point.

“Write great headlines, and you’ll have successfully invested 80% of your money.”—David Ogilvy.

He advocated the importance of marketing research, knowing that accurate data is a sure-fire way to find those golden nuggets of inspiration.

Research uncovers your market’s thoughts, questions, propensity towards specific behaviour.  It provides key insights needed to craft compelling headlines and content that converts

It works because you’re not creating content on a hunch and hoping it will resonate. You’re developing content, campaigns or products that speak to the consumer’s heart based on facts.

Learn from the Big Brands: 3 Case Studies that Illustrate the Impact of Marketing Research.

It makes sense then that international brands invest heavily in market research. Learning from a few case studies, see how multinationals relied on sound research to inform product decisions, to-market strategies, elevate business, and seriously level-up advertising.  

First Direct Used Marketing Research to Regain Market Share

The problem:  

First Direct (established in 1989 as a telephone bank) expanded into online banking as technology changed with the turn of the century. Despite evolving in line with market trends, the bank struggled to make ground against stronger market competition.

The research:             

The market research consultancy used various methodologies similar to ours. These included case study personas <ink to https://sapioresearch.com/persona-research-for-marketing>, user profiles and quantitative research methods like collating stats to indicate customer brand perception. Qualitative research like focus groups and in-depth interviews revealed how customers felt about First Direct’s move to online banking.

The findings:             

Customer brand perception research pinpointed weaknesses in customer service as the cause and identified which areas required focus. The research results enabled the bank to make changes that their customer base genuinely appreciated.

 The results:      

Nowadays, they consistently rank as a top customer service provider. In January of 2021, First Direct was named Britain’s best brand for customer service delivery in the latest Customer Satisfaction Index.

Lego’s Love of Research Lead the Brand to Parity

The problem:    

Market research is frequently credited with LEGO’s continued success. Throughout the 20th century, the LEGO market lay firmly with young boys. Commissioned market research revealed that only 9% of their customer base comprised females.

The research:             

LEGO made the high-profile decision to rely on qualitative and quantitative research. Lengthy focus groups, case studies and trials lasted over four years and involved research into the habits of 3,500 young girls and their mothers. Data analysis helped quantify consumer interest in female-orientated LEGO

The findings:     

Further investigation was commissioned to guide decisions around product development that targeted young girls’ interests.

The results:       

LEGO’s ‘Friends’ was launched in 2012. The company confirmed in a press conference that the share of girls among LEGO players had increased sharply since its release.

Mitsubishi Pajero’s Research Failure Folly

There are countless examples of brand wins underpinned by research, but what happens when a brand skips this step?

Mitsubishi found out the hard way, losing significant sales in Spanish-speaking regions. This happened when the Japanese car manufacturer launched the “Pajero”, unaware that this is a derogatory term in Spanish. Their failure to conduct international research before entering the market resulted in a highly costly exercise, ending with the model’s name eventually being changed to “Moderno” in Spain and other Spanish-speaking territories.

Key Take-Away: Research Is the Catalyst for Creativity

Research provides deep insights that encourage product innovations and compelling copy. Nothing quite inspires creativity like a juicy finding that the world needs to know. The right statistic can create an exciting headline that entices readers.

I’d argue that research is as vital for content creation as top-notch copywriters and designers are. But then, of course, I would. I’m a researcher! What do you say? Leave a comment.