The process of strategic planning is very broad. It typically involves a management team who gets together to talk about strategy, operations, human resources, and marketing for the upcoming quarter, year, or longer term. It's a process in which goals and benchmarks are created for the organization. It often lays out a vision and approach for all divisions in an organization to ensure everyone is working towards common goals.
How can market research be used to fuel strategic planning?
Several options exist for this and Drive Research strongly recommends strategic planning market research. Data often doesn't have a seat at the strategic planning table which could be a costly mistake. Using market research in your strategic planning process ensures you have a 360 degree evaluation of all factors which influence a strategic plan. Even the outcome and report from your market research can serve as a significant building block for your strategy. Drive Research can customize market research projects so the report is catered and modeled after a strategic plan with recommendations and suggestions.
Strategic planning focus groups are a good option if you would like an independent moderator or mediator to manage group discussion. This focus group can be designed as a strategic planning group discussion with your management team or several focus groups can be created with each division or operation within your organization. The results of these focus groups ensure your internal stakeholder comments are accounted for and your strategic plan is driven by internal feedback from all sections of your organization.
In-Depth Interviews (IDIs)
These stakeholder IDIs are one-on-one interviews conducted by the telephone or in-person. Unlike focus groups, IDIs allow for more confidential and individual time with each stakeholder. Interviews are summarized and analyzed into a report which like the focus group report, can fuel direction.
External Stakeholder Research
If you work for a non-profit or community-based organization it might be worthwhile to reach out for feedback with external stakeholders. These could include community leaders, government stakeholders, or even out-of-market experts. Drive Research is conducting a strategic planning project currently where we are reaching out to external stakeholders who manage similar organizations in other areas of the country. Through these interviews we learn about what has worked, what has not, and recommendations they have for strategy.
Customers should always have a seat at your strategic planning table. No strategy will be more aligned with customer expectations than one that is developed based on customer feedback and needs. A quick online survey can accomplish this. The survey can be designed to ask both open-ended and closed-ended questions which will provide your organization with the data it needs to create evidence and fact-based strategies.
Several other options exist for strategic planning market research but these are the 4 most common you should consider. All of these studies create efficient ways of collecting feedback from both internal and external constituencies. Strategic planning market research creates a more organized, sound, efficient, and effective process for your organization.
Drive Research is a strategic planning company in Albany, NY. Interested in more information about our market research services in Syracuse and how we acquire our scientific and reliable data? Contact us at info@DriveResearch.com or call us at 315-303-2040.