1) Marketing plan development. There are many elements of a marketing plan that benefit from the intelligence research can bring.

  • Audience: Research can help define such things as the size and makeup of your target audiences. Are there geographic concentrations? What are the buying dynamics? Demographics, buying influence, titles, readership and use of social media are important to any marketing effort.
  • As part of your “SWOT” analysis; the term that highlights your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
  • Competitive landscape analysis. This study will look at how your competition is promoting itself, what media vehicles are used and what are their positioning, strategies, and messages.

2) Product development. Customer insight is invaluable in many stages of product development, from initial discovery of unmet needs to concept and prototype testing to product receptivity.

3) Employee recruitment and retention. You might be faced with an issue of attracting and retaining staff in critical areas. I was asked to investigate this problem with a major hospital faced with a nursing shortage. It’s vitally important to gain a thorough understanding of the current issues before solutions can be generated. Subsequent research through in-depth interviews clearly indicated problem areas that needed to be addressed before recruitment efforts would be effective for long-term retention.

4) Lost customer. With costs for B2B calls ranging from $350 to over $600, it’s well worth your while to determine why you lost a sale. Sometimes it takes independent conversations with a trained interviewer to determine how the relationship was lost…and what kind of measures must be put in place to potentially bring that type of customer back.

5) Customer satisfaction/insight. Customers like to feel valued. Listening to customers share their experiences with your product or service is an integral part of the process, ensuring long-term success, and can lead to a greater understanding of the value your brand delivers. Thoughtful insight can also be helpful for new product development.