An enormous challenge that B2B marketers face is getting good information about their audience and markets. Sure, research is your best bet, but your marketing budget is down two years in a row, you’ve already cut valuable portions of your program and… well… research isn’t cheap.
Before you cut into your marketing budget or scrap all plans for conducting research, ask yourself this question:
Is insight into an industry’s perception of your company, competitors, prospects and clients something you can afford to pass up?
Imagine you’re an investor considering investing in two companies; both are practically equal in market share, markets served, product type, # of employees, years in business, growth history, etc. In fact, the only difference is that company B dedicates $60,000 - $80,000 each year in research to help understand their clients and prospects needs/direction/habits as well as how the industry perceives their company and their top competitors.
I’m sure there are some of you who are looking at the immediate impact of the expense--the cost to the company’s bottom line. Over the course of 5 years company B would have spent between $300,000 and $400,000, and that is assuming that the cost of research does not go up. Certainly the cost is high, trust me, I get it, but not investing in the insight research brings is just too risky for me. For those who are interested in long-term market growth, stability and innovation, research costs don’t seem as expensive because the value is realized in more successful long-term positioning, strategy development, and ultimately, better informed decision making.
In many ways the insight gained by research is a company-wide asset. Consider how knowledge-based information can help an Executive Team, a Board or a President make smart decisions--big or small--that will chart the course of the company for years to come.
If I had a dollar for each time I’ve heard a company executive say they didn’t need research because it’s too expensive and that they already know their market and their audience… I would use it to buy stock in Company B.