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Using Research to Increase Your Market
A recovering economy alters consumer
behavior. As purchase habits change
from wants to needs and back again,
companies who do not shift their
marketing approach to meet these
new behaviors will experience even
further sales declines when they could
be increasing market share. Consumer
research can be used to identify these
behavior shifts so marketing efforts
can talk more directly to consumers
and actually grow sales.
JOHN HAYNES has built his reputation on his ability to
maximize clients’ budgets to increase return on investment.
As the architect of campaign strategy, John has helped PPBH
clients achieve their communication and marketing goals for
30 years. John can be reached at [email protected]
>> Talk to JOHN
Understanding research is key for growing market share and should be
viewed as an investment rather than a cost. Marketing budgets go much
further when they are directed at what is driving purchase decisions. As
these purchase drivers switch from wants to needs and back again, the
marketing approach must also shift.
Research who is purchasing rather than who is not
Companies often want to know who is not purchasing their product or service and why. However, it
is usually more beneficial to find out who is buying and why. Armed with this information, it is easy
to reduce the cost of reaching your target (since you know exactly who they are) and to develop
messaging that is persuasive enough to result in a sale (because you know what it is they want).
This is what I call the “Suitcase Model.” It’s easier to pack when you know where you are going.
Qualitative and Quantitative
Qualitative research is talking to a handful of individuals to understand beliefs, motivations, desires,
ways of thinking and relevant words. It is beneficial for understanding why people do what they do and
buy what they buy.
Quantitative research is used to statistically project your qualitative findings on a particular segment
of the population.
• Focus groups and one-on-one interviews are popular for gathering qualitative information
• Surveys conducted via telephone, online or through the mail work well for gathering quantifiable
They are most effective when used together rather than in silos.
Rely only on unbiased research
Clients often ask whether research can be completed in-house or if it is better to outsource. As
research is only effective if it is accurate, our recommendation is typically that it should be outsourced.
Clients tend to find what they want to find and hear what they want to hear when they conduct their
own research. An outside source is able to listen objectively and gain the unbiased perspective that is
critical to identify the nuances of purchasing motivations.
Finding the Right Partner
When scouting for an agency or research firm, in addition to ensuring that they have experience
conducting research studies, they should provide you with examples and references. Additional items
to help get you to the right match:
• Ensure your team will be involved in the process and not kept at arms length.
• Define “deliverables” upfront - what type of report and marketing recommendations will be provided.
• Can you work together? Are you seeing eye to eye on what’s to be accomplished?
• Can the project be completed in a reasonable timeframe?
Timing is critical in gaining market share as the economy begins to recover, and research is a powerful
tool for competitive advantage. During my career, research has proven time and again to improve sales
increases in the short term and contribute to market share gains in the long run.
Penna Powers Brian Haynes is a fully-integrated Advertising, Public Relations, Interactive
and Public Involvement firm. For 27 years we’ve been renowned for solving problems
through smart, strategic thinking, powerful creative and appropriate media and marketing
tools, with an emphasis on strong, quantifiable results. And while all the awards are nice,
that’s not where we hang our hats. The only thing that really matters at the end of the day
is our clients’ success. Okay, that and our Emmy.®
If anything you’ve read here has sparked your interest, you should
give Chuck Penna a call. As the founder of PPBH, Chuck understands
that customer loyalty, sales and growth are the lifeblood of any
business. He can relate to the opportunities and challenges faced by
today’s company leaders and has always felt that the best person for
prospective clients to talk to was not a hired gun, but to a peer.
Chuck Penna, Founding Partner, CEO
To learn more, call Chuck Penna at 801.487.4800
©Penna Powers Brian Haynes