Is marketing research breaking down internally?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from the Joel Rubinson on Marketing Research Consulting blog.
In 2009, as chief research officer at the Advertising Research Foundation, I reported that 85 percent of client-side marketing research leaders were neutral or dissatisfied about research’s impact on the organization. We found that 40 percent did not claim they had strong support from the C-suite, and that regardless, in all companies represented, skeptics existed.
We concluded that clearly the organizations that research teams served did not have the belief that marketing research was like oxygen to their decision-making.
Seven years later, marketing research’s “broken tools” problems are getting worse in a digital, data-driven marketing age. Marketing departments can now promise more efficient and effective media spending and hyper-relevant communications. And yet they are voyaging towards unknown lands with a broken compass and overcast skies because marketing research has not integrated survey results with the digital data actually used for media tactics.
Among the adaptations needed for our digitally-driven marketing age:
Embrace action. It’s not enough to just deliver accurate reports. Establish a “marketing productivity practice” that uses real-time, fully integrated data systems and demands accountability for marketing results.
Stay grounded in the rigor and process of research. Establish standards for integrating digital profiling data with survey results at the user level and then modeling findings back onto the DMP. Create standards for social media listening.
Be future focused. Get ahead of consumers’ use of media technology and tell marketing what’s coming next and how to leverage it.
Be the runway connecting the brand and the consumer. Recognize the dramatic changes in how people consume and interact with media so you can connect brand ideas and consumer desires in the most relevant ways possible.
Be a thought leader. Anticipate the future, predicting what your internal clients will be reading in Ad Age three months down the road. Better yet, make news yourself!
Conduct an honest self-assessment. How do you think internal customers would rate the marketing research “brand image” on these criteria:
- Provides timely consumer response data for agile marketing;
- Is a trusted advisor for digital, social, and mobile marketing questions;
- Provides metrics I look at every day for guidance;
- Tells me about what is coming next in consumer media behaviors.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you agree that internal marketing departments and c-level execs at brand companies doubt whether their market research teams are producing actionable results? What adjustments need to be made to adapt to the use of digital tech by consumers and marketing teams?