Use research to pre-empt strategy

Mindi Chahal

Research is often used to look at advertising campaigns before and after they run to gauge a response to a particular brand, but branching out of these parameters can throw up some interesting results marketers might not know about. 

This can mean looking at data that hasn’t come directly from market research surveys, questionnaires or focus groups: it can also mean looking at places where brands are being talked about online, for example online forums, on social media and review sites.

This adds to the depth of the insights that market research can bring into the marketing mix and the campaign at the planning stage. 

Research that looks at a certain sectors from different angles can also provide valuable insights.  

For example, research from fundraising platform Give as you Live shows that 87 per cent of Britons believe that their favourite retailers are failing to support good causes. 

If those brands were aware of that insight, communication could have been built into campaigns. Alternatively a company may consider the need to highlight its work to improve its reputation with customers. 

The data is part of a study of over 2,000 Britons who have been asked about retailers’ CSR activities and their impact on customer loyalty and spending. It finds that nearly half (49 per cent) of Britons would spend more money with a retailer, if that retailer donated to a charity. 

Research reveals that the worst performing retail sectors are cinema, electronics and gadgets, books, games and DVDs, DIY, holidays and sport and leisure. 

The charity angle also arises in a report into second-hand buying from GMI that reveals charity shops are the most popular offline destination for second-hand shopping with 67 per cent of people who buy in this way getting items from a charity shop.  

Also, the older the respondent, the more likely they are to have purchased used items in charity and second-hand shops. 

Understanding what else matters to consumers through branching out research approaches could inform strategy in building campaigns that have greater resonance with the people you are targeting. 

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