How to Maximize ROI in Market ResearchAugust 12, 2019
We’ve all been the target of market research. Whether it’s a prompt requesting you to remain on the line for a brief survey, a feedback card you receive upon exiting an airplane, or that pop-up web survey you just can’t seem to minimize.
How do companies decide on a market research strategy for their company? What steps do CEOs take to maximize ROI?
For answers to our questions, we spoke with Michael Vigeant, CEO of Greatblue Research. We interviewed Michael in a webinar on June 25th, 2019 titled What You Don’t Know Can Kill Your Business: Nailing Market Research for U.S. Market Entry.
As someone who has been in the industry for close to 25 years, we asked Michael for some perspective on how market research strategies have evolved over time.
How have market research techniques changed over the last 25 years?
“Twenty years ago there was really two methodologies for quantitative market research: phone surveys and mail surveys. On the qualitative side, there were in-person interviews. That was really it.”
All that was changed with the introduction of digital tools. “It gave us some big and much needed cost reductions for the industry to be able to go out and capture information. It also allowed us to do it much faster.”
What are the primary considerations when selecting a market research strategy?
“There are really three variables that come into play when making the decision about which market research methodology to use. It’s helpful to think of them as a three-legged stool,” shared Michael.
The first leg is the audience that you’re targeting with your research. For example, are they CEOs or end-user consumers? Your target audience will immediately determine the language you are going to use and the most effective way to reach them.
The second that Michael described is, based on that audience, which methodology will be the most effective for reaching them and be most effective at soliciting the type of information you’re looking for.
The third variable has to do with your sample size, which will be determined by the relative reliability of the data. “Speaking to eight CEOs can be much more valuable than speaking to 800 end-user consumers or vice-versa,” depending on the data you’re looking for.
Which market research methodologies do firms have to choose from?
1. Email and digital-based surveys
Most used to capture feedback from end-user consumers.
2. Phone surveys
Still very popular despite the fact that it is harder to capture folks by phone.
3. Mail surveys
Recommended for consumers located in hard-to-reach areas with poor reception or Internet access
4. Focus groups
Offer the unique opportunity to witness first-hand an audience’s reaction to a visual or prompt. Also allow for follow-up when you’re aiming to dive deeper into a particular area.
5. Home-use testing
Used by many overseas manufacturers that are scaling to the U.S. market and want to be able to see how their products or technologies are being used and experienced.
Determining the best market research plan for your firm depends on your goals. Just as important is determining which questions to ask.
How to maximize ROI
“Historically, we’ve seen folks think they need to ask as many questions as they can while they have a captive audience.” This, as Michael suggests, is not the most strategic approach.
“In reality, you should be building your market research questions around the precise answers you need to address your most urgent business problem—for example, a specific market need, or how you are going to increase sales in a particular sector, etc.”
Get the answers you need to help you make your most pressing business decisions, and move on.
When you are strategic with your methodology and audience-selection and take time to select questions that will help you address your most pressing problems, “you compress the time that you engage with your audience and they’ll be more likely to communicate with you in the future.”
We’ve all been the target of market research—but the field has evolved. Surveys have gotten shorter and more to the point.
“Did we do did well in this specific area?”
“How could we improve?”
In the long run, this level of precision helps to maximize ROI while keeping consumers happy. In other words, it’s a win-win.
For more insights from Michael Vigeant, CEO of Greatblue Research, check out our entire interview here.
To check out all of MEET’s webinar content on how to successfully scale your company in the U.S. market and maximize ROI through trade shows and in-person events, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
MEET (meetroi.com) helps international B2B growth companies soft land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney for a no obligation conversation: firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (860) 573-4821.