Do You Act or Continue Status Quo?

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?

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4 Comments

  1. I don’t know how many times I have heard “that’s the way we’ve always done it” as justification for actions and thought processes.

    Another favorite is “we know what our customer’s want” because we’ve been doing this for so long we know our customers.

    They, in most cases, have little to no idea about their customers. Status quo is so comfortable for them, they will try any excuse not to change. Maybe they are afraid of what the data will tell them and cover it up with excuses of a waste of money since it will tell them what they already know.

    I’m glad your organization is using the customer data. Kudos to you! Maybe you can start a larger trend in Tulsa that will spread like wildfire throughout Oklahoma in August and companies will make an effort to improve their products and marketing by learning more about their customers.

    Reply

    1. Thanks, Judd. You are so right about the company typically not having a clue about the customer. There’s also the challenge of whether or not the company even recognizes which customer base is more important. For example, my business is a consumer-based business but we don’t sell directly to them. That means there is a disconnect internally as to whether our “customer” is the reseller/sales channel or the consumer. Makes the communication and message development a bit difficult at times.

      Reply

    1. Absolutely. It’s critically important to conduct the research, build the right plan and implement wisely. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply

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