#FutureofBrands: Strategy informed by evidence

Few would argue against the merits of relevant research and using evidence to inform strategy and decision making when it comes to growing a business.

Accessing and implementing the right evidence and embedding into process can be complex though.

Between cost concerns, internal and informal company politics, navigating the different marketing research providers for the best fit, and the potential challenge it represents to internal beliefs about a company’s products and services, putting research into practice can often be de-prioritised among a long list of initiatives.

It’s also natural for companies to be entrenched in a way of operating. Even the most relevant data can be shelved because it may not align with the direction set by business leaders.

Ultimately, evidence on its own doesn’t change behaviour, direction or habits. It isn’t until research which is relevant to your business is positioned appropriately and adopted into a decision-making process that businesses can benefit from this additional guidepost.

Here are five positive outcomes of relevant and meaningful marketing research.
 

1. Driven by customers

Having relevant quantitative and qualitative data about the aspirations of the consumer can significantly impact strategic decision making.

Being “customer centric” means more than excellent customer service. It means adding more vlaue to the lives of customers by simplifying a complexity in their lives. As customers will increasingly set the terms for companies, they will demand more pragmatism, seamlessly-integrated experiences online and offline, and brutal simplicity.

Knowing how to add more value and to whom will make all the difference.
 

2. Relevance and future positioning

For brands of the future, the sale of products, the delivery of services, leadership and adding value to stakeholders will be seen as a transference of brand and culture. Evaluating, reacting and positioning for the future are activities which are now imperative for brands to achieve long-term success.

Regular monitoring of a company’s relevance to its customers will support ongoing brand positioning in a crowded market and can underpin innovation.
 

3. Better targeting

Identifying target markets or getting a deeper understanding of your current and prospective customers, will result in better ROI from your marketing spend.

Having the right data and research to inform you keeps you focused. Being able to weigh and quantify opportunities will make prioritising against strategic objectives possible.
 

4. Right context

As targeting becomes more concise, having the right context will deeply influence and expand your engagement opportunities.

Whether it’s different cultural aspirations across regions, generational differences or simply different channels of communication, having meaningful research at hand to engage the right audience will guide your messaging in the right context.
 

5. Agile and responsive

As an organisation grows, decision-making becomes increasingly complicated and can inhibit the ability to innovate, lead or even respond to opportunities. The size and structure of organisations can stop agility and responsiveness in its tracks, sometimes unnecessarily or even unknowingly.

Relevant and practical research outcomes can provide a focus to ensure decision making revolves around the customers and company objectives.

 

In what ways are you using evidence to inform your business and marketing strategies?