Research comes with risks

UnknownAll over the Internet you’re sure to find free reports, charts and graphs along with online media organizations trying to sell you research reports.  While some of these reports aren’t bad too many have holes big enough to drive a truck through.

Not too long ago a client came to me convinced that he needed a “mobile strategy” for his brand of premium chocolate.  Rather than jump on the hype bandwagon, I did an audit of his brand and found that they were receiving almost no traffic from mobile browsers, most traffic was from tablets and desktops.  A further analysis indicated poor placement at retail as well as too little emphasis on POP promotion.

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Everyday the so called “experts” are telling marketers they need to be here or there and companies like Business Insider and eConsultancy are willing to take your money and sell you, essentially, worthless information.

Before using any free or paid research, ask yourself:

1ne: How was the research conducted?

2wo: Was it conducted by someone who has a business background or was it done by a journalist?

3hree: Is the research valid to MY audience?

I’m a big believer in brand research, but it has to be driven by the brand not by online companies trying to make a buck.  I’m also a huge believer that you should do research with existing customers to learn why and how they became existing customers.  For some it maybe as simple as ensuring your product delivers on the promise, not on being on a smartphone.