In a recent blog post I presented a research use and technique framework. Today’s blog focuses on two of the applied research uses—strategic marketing management and marketing performance. Strategic marketing management involves getting the big picture by understanding opportunities, problems, and potential targets. Marketing performance is focused on assessing performance by monitoring and analyzing what is happening in market.
Both strategic marketing management and marketing performance use some of the same research techniques.
- We are in the age of big data so often the best place to start is with secondary data. For strategic marketing management this could include reviewing results from previous research studies or looking at social, cultural, and demographic trends. It is also important to understand the current environment—legal, regulatory, economic, etc. For marketing performance sales and social media data can help in understanding how a brand, product, advertisement, etc., is performing in market.
- Tracking studies are also useful sources of information. An awareness, attitudes, and usage (AAU) study helps in understanding where a brand stands. Brand equity and customer satisfaction studies can help in understanding how brands are perceived and how satisfied consumers are. These types of studies often include competitors so you get the competitive context. Also, in some cases employee satisfaction research may be helpful because many employee satisfaction models show that happy employees lead to happy consumers.
Other research for strategic marketing management may include:
- Getting an understanding of the category can be known by a number of different names including segmentation, habits and practices, and understanding the landscape.
- Understanding the category may also require some type of unmet needs research. This could be quantitative or qualitative in nature. One qualitative technique that can be useful is ethnographic research. This combines observation with in-depth interviews. For example, a researcher might go shopping with someone or observe them washing clothes. The researcher will ask questions to understand the whys behind the behavior they observe and uncover unmet needs.
- After gathering primary research data there may be a need to understand the potential of an opportunity with market sizing or market potential/demand. You certainly do not want to put resources against something that isn’t going to meet financial goals.
One of the key things that is often investigated in marketing performance is advertising and promotion. Once launched, it is important to understand if advertising and promotion are having the desired impact and the company has a return on their investment. This can be done through advertising/promotion effectiveness and pre/post testing.
Next time you have a need to evaluate strategic marketing management and marketing performance I hope you will use some of the research techniques discussed in this blog and they help you make more effective decisions. My next blog will cover the research techniques used to explore the marketing mix elements—product, price, place and promotion.