It is now planning time for many companies, but for those on a fiscal accounting cycle rather than an annual calendar cycle, what I am about to speak to might just have to wait a bit.
Most successful firms do annual planning for the entire company, most successful firms do marketing planning or research and development fiscal planning for new products…but few companies actually complete market research planning other than to have a lump of money that will be used for the annual customer satisfaction study (if one is done) or any other needs, put into a line item in the budget.
Also, in times like this, the market research budget is often one of the first to be cut. New products are invented and introduced with little more than an inner-office belly-button gazing approval session. “If the president likes it…it will sell.”
It just boggles my mind how some firms will spend $30,000 to $3,000,000 or more on dyes, drawings, changes to production facilities, advertising, e-promotions and more without first testing the waters on new or reinvigorated mature products or a repositioning of the brand or company.
This is true of small, medium and large companies alike. The fact companies don’t specifically plan for market research activities often results in a waste of precious funds and last minute “hurry and rush” projects falling short of fruitful delivery for their intended use.
One more notable item is market research planning can not be conducted in a vacuum. Whoever is in charge of that part of the budget better know what R & D, Advertising, Corporate Public Relations and Communications as well as Human Resources and Training plan to do in the next fiscal year. avaliação atendimento ao cliente
Here are a few suggestions to help in your annual market research planning:
Suggestion 1 – Make market research a separate line item from the marketing budget.
Suggestion 2 – Meet with department heads of those you serve in a marketing research role to determine their proposed activities for the coming year and beyond if possible. Ask them to assist you in determining their needs and share your thoughts in how to go about getting deliverables to satisfy those needs. This is also a good time to see when their needs will occur so you plan your approved budget cash flow.
Suggestion 3 – Don’t just allocate a bunch or set percentage of money for the market research activities.
NOTE: Market research only use is to drive sales, if the budget is cut, it is as good as cutting sales and marketing people. Cut those and the same percentage of plan continues in a downward spiral guaranteed to enable company defeat.
Suggestion 4 – Look for opportunities to combine market research needs with the same audience for different business divisions, only using the same quantitative or qualitative exercise and split the costs between divisions.
Suggestion 5 – Seek out omnibus studies already conducted yearly within your industry and see if the authors are open to adding a few of your questions for a much lower fee than doing a custom research project yourself.
Suggestion 6 – If you work with outside market research vendors, have conversations with them after your internal conversations to help nail down the ranges of costs and types of studies most appropriate for the tasks which you propose to undertake. Maybe you think focus groups, but Individual Interviews might get you there faster and cheaper.