Use insight in 2013 to help prove ROI

The need to prove return on investment to justify marketing spend on campaigns will continue into 2013 and research is one way to alleviate that pressure of knowing whether an idea will fly or fall.

Mindi Chahal

Research is by no means an easy option or quick way for marketers to run with an idea and research agencies have criticised requests for swift research for this reason.

In the next 12 months there will be challenges in understanding the worth of research and the data it produces. The industry will also need to stand up to requests for fast research as it takes time to get good research data.

Jane Frost, chief executive officer at the Market Research Society says: “The greatest problem most marketers have is using research as a partner in their process of understanding the customer and finding better ways to relate to them.”

Frost believes that marketers are not inquisitive enough and need to be eager for insight very early in the process. If research is used it needs to be included at the planning stages.

Other issues marketers will face when using research include being able to ask the right questions in the first place, the process of understanding the data and then applying it effectively. Frost also warns of standard answers producing standard answers.

For example, I often get recommendations from Amazon based on what I have previously bought, from books about the stock market to iPad accessories even though I have no interest in stocks and I don’t own an iPad.

This is because my behaviour is being tracked in the most simplest form and not taking into account whether I have bought something for myself or as a gift. If at some stage in the process it asked that question and explained that recommendations would be made based on the answer given these recommended products might be more targeted to what I might want to buy.

Bombarding consumers with irrelevant information doesn’t serve the recipient or the sender well. Research, that asks the right questions and is applied in the right way, will help marketers create personalised, targeted campaign based on data and insight rather than assumption or going with campaigns that have worked previously.

That personal touch is one of the key trends for next year as more consumers seek exclusive experiences, targeted communications and niche product marketing tailored to their interests.

Insight and data will become increasingly important to achieve that level of personalisation because if you don’t know your consumer they might not want to know your brand.

Entries for the Engage Awards 2013 are now open. If you want to be recognised for your hard work over the last year, submit your entry here.

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