I recently conducted a survey of our consumer base for my day job. It led to some interesting findings about how consumers make buying decisions, especially in today’s tough economy. However, the most fascinating part of this process to me centered on how well the organization would respond to the feedback received.
The biggest question I had through writing the survey questions and the weeks of collecting data was whether or not we as a company would act on the information obtained. Or would we let the information dry up in the vault and continue down the same path?
I have found that one of the biggest mistakes made by businesses is overlooking the need for research. For those who do take the time and conduct research, the mistake then lies in not using the data to make strategic decisions. During my career, I’ve grown to dislike being told that the business participates in certain activities because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” What sense does that make? If you’re going to invest in sponsorships, advertising, PR activities, etc., then doesn’t it make more business sense to understand which of those tactics work best, where is the greatest return on investment?
In my case, the consumer data we gathered is being used to streamline our marketing activities. What does your organization do when it has valuable research data? Do you act as needed or instead continue the status quo?