Customer Research

Author
Albert Hamilton

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How good customer research drives better sales

I was recently in a meeting with a prospective client and I asked who their target market was.  I was told it was “everyone”.  That was all I needed to hear to know that they did not have a sufficient customer research strategy in place.

Given that good customer research drives better sales, it didn’t take long to demonstrate how a small investment in specialist customer research would lead to substantially bigger profits.  True enough, we were engaged and that’s what happened.

It is wrong assume that everyone has an equal likelihood of purchasing your product.  Some will want it more than others.  There are affordability implications, getting time to visit the shop, distance to the shop, online competition, awareness …  What it all boils down to is that some customers are much more likely to buy than others.  Doesn’t it make sense then to find those customers first?  That’s what good customer research does.

Here’s an example, a retailer who sells televisions.  Obviously they want to sell to people who watch TV.  Does that make ‘everybody’ their target market?  No, of course not.  Different people want different things.  What type of consumer will want the latest 8k pixel model with smart internet capability?  What about the number of HDMI and USB ports?  Does size matter? Yes, of course it does – someone shopping for a 50” screen won’t settle for a 32”.  Effective customer research removes the assumption from marketing, leading to better results.

Research starts with a detailed analysis of current customers – and this is where it is essential to engage a strong customer research company.  Even the multiples with their substantial marketing teams need to contract this out.  Don’t be fooled into thinking you can do this yourself – that’s a bit like watching Grey’s Anatomy and believing you can take out your own appendix.

A reputable retail customer research company can independently uncover essential insights about consumers; who they are, why they buy from you, and importantly, why they don’t.  They can pinpoint where – exactly – marketing investment should be made to prioritise the relevant customer profiles and release the highest return on investment.  Even at that stage financial savings are being made in stemming investment from unprofitable segments.

For further information on how CARD Group, one of the leading customer research companies in the UK, can help you understand your customers better, please contact Albert Hamilton at albert.hamilton@card-group.com or visit www.card-group.com.   We operate throughout the UK, Ireland, the EU and globally.