New Rules Of Marketing #8: Know Research’s Role

Posted by Beau Phillips on November 6, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Beau Phiilips's New Rules of MarketingBeau Phillips is a marketing specialist who advises leading companies.  In his new video,  THE NEW RULES OF MARKETING, Beau explains the 8 pillars to successfully branding your company.  Over eight weeks, he discusses one rule each week in this continuing series.

#8 Know Reseach's Role

Every Washington DC business's marketing plan should start with understanding your customer.  It’s the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.  But there are many ways to research your customer, ranging from formal studies to observing behavior and even gut instinct.  They all play a role.

Many CMO’s now rely on ‘big data’. Armed with access to consumer spending habits, segmentation, demographic trends and social media feedback, companies amass volumes of research.  The challenge is to interpret that data and balance it with judgment and vision.     

Research provides the blueprint.  But it can’t predict the future - or inspire people to recommend your company.  With research under your belt, you must add imagination to bring your marketing plan to life. 

Understanding your consumer is rarely a straight, clear path.  The Colgate-Palmolive company learned that what seems so clear on paper – doesn’t translate into real life.  CP produces Mennen antiperspirant for men.  The “By Mennen” slogan was widely advertised and their Speed Stick roll-on deodorant was a market leader for years. 

In the 90s, Colgate-Palmolive wanted to distance themselves from competitors like Right Guard.  So they commissioned a research study to better understand what men want and need.  Mennen learned that many men have a Vitamin D deficiency.   (No wonder, the best sources of Vitamin D are herring and cod liver oil). So, Mennon decided to include Vitamin D in their deodorant formula. The research looked promising.  Just roll it on every day – and you’re fortified. Makes sense, right?

The product was a disastrous flop.   

Now consider Under Armour, which was started by a football player named Kevin Plank at the University of Maryland.  His research was observational - not a formal study. The player simply got tired of having to change out of the sweat-soaked T-shirts worn under his jersey.  But Plank noticed that his football practice shorts stayed dry. This inspired him to make a T-shirt using a similar moisture-wicking, synthetic fabric.  Now, Under Armour has grown into a global maker of sportswear and casual wear.  

So, before you can understand your target customer, you must first consider how to research them.                               

Branding Lesson #8   Research is like a lamp post.   It should be used to illuminate, not to lean on.

For more information on the new rules of marketing and being a leader in your field, watch Beau's video, THE NEW RULES OF MARKETING.

To read pillars 1 through 7 of the New Rules of Marketing, visit Beau's blog.

Want to learn more about creating the best marketing strategy for your Washington DC area business? Download this free eBook today:


Tags: Branding, Marketing strategy, Beau Phillips, Rules of Marketing

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