As we've talked about before on our blog, market research is truly a niche service. There are common types of profiles of market research buyers. These buyers are ones that believe in market research, need it, and understand the value in it. Drive Research talks a lot about market research providing our clients the knowledge, power, and confidence in decision-making and with these 5 buyer profiles it is no different.
We characterize 5 typical market research buyers.
While this list of 5 market research buyers is not exhaustive, it does portray 5 common profiles. These are the types of professionals who are more often than not using market research in their day-to-day, month-to-month, and year-to-year operations (and benefiting immensely from it).
Buyer 1: The Strategist
Strategery. This market research buyer is the ultimate chess player. They use market research to stay not 1 or 2 steps ahead, but 5 steps ahead. The Strategist loves competitive assessment research and competitive profiling to understand where competitors look to differentiate their services. In all of the customer surveys the company conducts, the strategist wants answers to these questions:
How does our company's services compare to the competition?
How does our company's NPS compare to our key competitors?
What do our customers think about our emerging competitors?
The Strategist craves market research because he or she knows it provides an edge. They maximize the value of the market research and its insights to separate their company from competitors. The market research ensures that no other competitor knows the customer better than they do.
"In the Strategist's mind, those who know the customer best, win. In no circumstance will the Strategist let a competitor have more information than they do."
Buyer 2: The Data Hungry Salesperson
The Data Hungry Salesperson knows the ultimate advocate in a sales pitch is third-party or independent market research data. They use it to open sales doors, share knowledge with prospects, and to help close deals.
Why tell the client their firm is very likely to be recommended by customers, when they can show the data to the tune of an NPS rating of +76. It changes the conversation from "I said" to "our customers said".
The Data Hungry Salesperson knows a few good statistics and nuggets can open doors previously closed. By sending a prospect some data that takes the "Did You Know?" approach it piques curiosity. As in, you may not have known your customers are 58% male, 70% of your customers come from these 3 ZIP Codes, or your market share is 26% in this DMA.
This profile loves to integrate customer feedback into CRM tools. Survey responses from a closed-loop process are appended directly to their customer records. So the next time the sales representative makes a phone call they know how happy that customer was with a prior order, why they chose their company, and how they rate competitors. Talk about knowledge and power.
On top of that, the Data Hungry Salesperson also knows market research can be used for lead generation. The closed-loop CX process passes leads to the salesperson which require follow-up. Maybe it's a customer need to buy another product or to talk about other services the company offers. Either way, it keeps the conversation going. Good news for the Data Hungry Salesperson.
This profile's favorite market research includes lead generation surveys and CX surveys.
The Data Hungry Salesperson knows how powerful one statistic can be.
Buyer 3: The Problem Fixer
The Problem Fixer not only loves market research because it identifies problems, but it also makes recommendations and action items to fix it. These problems can be identified through a broad customer satisfaction survey as a first step. Then the problem fixer wants to dive deeper. And deeper. And deeper. They aim to find the root cause in issues.
The Problem Fixer wants to know what drives overall customer loyalty. This can be accomplished through specific importance and satisfaction questions plotted on a matrix or regression analysis which singles out independent variables which most impact loyalty.
This profile enjoys reading through the recommendations and action items from the market research firm's report. Ultimately, the Problem Fixer wants solutions to problems. It's not enough just to identify them, but rather they want action items to fix them.
Because they want to dive deeper they often like to start with a broad study and then move to more ad hoc qualitative work which allows the market research firm to ask why?
Buyer 4: The Statistician
The Statistician is likely the most obvious of the market research champions. Very simply, this audience loves numbers. They follow the famous Peter Drucker quote: "What gets measured, gets managed." This profile cannot imagine making a single decision, let alone developing a strategy without data, numbers, and facts to back it up.
Then after the strategy is employed, they want data to measure its performance so it can be optimized. Then after it is optimized, they want to conduct a Wave 2 in 12 to 18 months to see how the dial has moved. They crave statistics.
You name a market research project and it will likely be a favorite. However, this audience does prefer quantitative work over qualitative because they want objective, factual, and non-subjective results. They say "give me a substantial sample size."
Buyer 5: The Where Do We Start Manager
The Where Do We Start Manager comes in 2 forms. This is either a newly hired manager into a company or a manager of a new product or service line who needs to develop a strategy. The common thread is they don't know where to start and they're looking for data to help guide them.
Rather than make gut decisions about what to do, how to market, what to market, and where to market, the Where Do We Start Manager, starts with exactly that: market research.
This could come in the form of a feasibility study or market analysis study.
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