What value market research in 2012? - Business Works
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What value market research in 2012?

Bo Mattsson, CEO Cint The economic crisis isnít over, budgets are tight and marketing spend is often one of the first areas to be reduced during hard times. But there lies the rub; without reaching out to potential customers and clients, there is every chance the company could be on a slippery slope to going bust. For example, the number of big name retailers that have gone into administration during the last two or three years is truly shocking. In austere periods, every business must prioritize its marketing activity based on the historical return on investment it has brought to the company and market research must not be viewed by as a luxury, but an operation that can significantly affect the bottom line.

The trend of obtaining insight isnít what is once was but one of the recent pieces of consumer research that Cint undertook indicates that asking people their opinions does have a direct impact on brand-love and sales. 56% said they felt more loyal to a brand if a company had asked their opinion whilst almost two-thirds (62%) of those polled said they were more likely to purchase a brandís product or service. With statistics such as these, it appears market research continues to be a very valuable device in the marketerís tool kit for 2012, not only to boost trading, but also to learn more about customersí preferences, which will ultimately assist the business to remain competitive and be successful. Interestingly, 41% of those surveyed thought the retail sector would most benefit from communicating with customers more regularly, followed by banking (14%).

What may not be so beneficial in 2012 is face-to-face, telephone call or postal market research; an overwhelming number of people, nine out of ten (91%), said they would prefer to be asked their opinion via a newer technology; either smartphone application, SMS or via the internet. In general, using these methodologies means respondents are happier to assist and collecting responses is a much faster process; the results from thousands of peopleís opinions can be acquired in a matter of hours. They are also being increasingly offered via easy to use, do-it-yourself software methods, so with the value for money these options provide, businesses can reap rewards whilst keeping their budgets in check.

Additionally, consumers have faith in market research and, therefore, itís a comfort for marketers to know that the majority of people they poll donít think companies are going through the necessary motions to put a tick in a box. 77% think that brands listen to their audienceís opinion more than they did ten years ago and with consumers lacking the absolute brand loyalty of past-times and being more demanding on quality and prices than ever, businesses must continue to listen. Listening is one thing, but acting must then follow. Fortunately 69% believe that brands do take action following market research, which illustrates the confidence in the undertaking. The implication here is, if the audience trusts market research processes and activities in 2012, perhaps businesses should too.

Bo Mattsson is CEO of Cint, a global provider of smart solutions for gaining market insight. For more information about Cintís products, Engage, Access and Link or to contact Bo, please visit: www.cint.com

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