Business executives are faced with important decisions every hour—whether on tactical, day-to-day issues or business-critical strategic matters—they need reliable business intelligence. A wrong decision often results from a lack of information about market conditions, consumer sentiment and the competitive landscape, which leads to wasted time, money and staff resources. In today’s competitive global marketplace, businesses can’t afford to be diverted down the wrong path while competitors forge ahead.
All too often, marketing, product design and executive teams make decisions without taking the critical step of conducting research. Out there in the real world of global business, companies are faced with a range of pressures that often prompt them to move forward without the invaluable armor only reliable market intelligence can provide – or they use old, out-of-date data and research to support their strategic decisions.
Here are four primary reasons companies and C-Suite executives forego research in their decision-making:
1. Faced with price constraints and other choices, they believe they can’t afford the cost of research.
Across the globe, businesses face constantly increasing pressure to reduce costs. In a range of industries, automation of manufacturing processes, regulatory issues and competition from firms in developing economies are leading to significant downward pressure on pricing.
Under these conditions, businesses too often cut the cost of custom research from their budgets.
2. Business executives believe research will delay decision-making.
Time-to-market data collection and research has decreased dramatically. Marketing and product-design teams are now expected to make decisions in record time so products can hit the pavement ahead of competitors. This is especially true in industries like IT, where new technology developments piggy-back on one another and any extra time in development can lead to product obsolescence.
Faced with shrinking time-to insight—with product teams requiring market intelligence in days or even hours—companies are reluctant to undertake what they perceive as time-consuming custom research.
3. Businesses executives don’t have the skills sets internally they believe they need to undertake sometimes-complex research.
For many businesses, the market research department’s main objective is to manage outside vendors and consultants versus actually “doing” the research. The emergence of a range of automated, DIY products has prompted many businesses to bring research projects in-house – and in-house teams don’t have the proper training or experience in handling these types of tools, projects and programs.
Businesses feel the gap between the traditional skills sets and new tools is leaving them ill-equipped to deal with all but the simplest research projects, often leaving them without the market intelligence they need to inform critical, strategic business decisions.
4. Business executives don’t completely trust automated, DIY products to yield reliable results.
Despite evidence that businesses have turned in large numbers to automated research products, they lack overall confidence in the insights they yield. They are often unsure if the necessary expertise has been built into these automated products. And the “proof points” for automation make it tough to compete against the entrenched way of doing things.
Rather than relying on what they feel are undependable results from automated products, marketing teams sometimes turn to traditional (often expensive) sources of business intelligence, or avoid a research project entirely.
The Remedy: Automation + Proven Methodologies
Are you ready to move forward? One big hurdle for executives is “fear of the unknown outcome” that comes with automation.
First, automation of business statistics is everywhere. You’d be hard pressed to find a Fortune 1000-level brand today that’s not using some kind of marketing automation software. Marketo, Hubspot, Oracle Eloqua…platforms like these have transformed the way businesses run their digital marketing programs in an efficient, data-driven manner all based on battle-tested methodologies.
Second, there’s an increased demand for cost-effective solutions that allow businesses to automate the research process but offer built-in expertise designed to deliver high-quality, actionable information in real-time.
Finally, business executives are experimenting with new approaches and have figured out how to leverage our full suite of solutions that combine the power of automation with industry-proven methodologies. We make it easy for businesses to execute product packaging, concept, positioning, or attitudinal studies in a matter of hours – without requiring the user to have deep market research expertise. This allows business executives to gain the invaluable market intelligence they need to make faster, smarter decisions.