Budget season is here and that means it’s time to start planning for 2020 if you haven’t already. With every new year comes new objectives, goals, and challenges. How will you choose the right tools to assist your organization in breaking new ground and making 2020 the best year yet?
By setting aside a portion of budget dollars for market research, businesses can be assured they are taking a step in the right direction. Much like when planning for your 2020 budget, it is important to establish clear goals when deciding what type of market research methodology is right for your specific business needs.
Luckily, marketing research is successful in solving several common business challenges by providing organizations with the data and evidence they need to increase profitability, generate new leads, satisfy current customers, maintain a positive work environment, and create an effective content marketing strategy.
Market research comes in many different shapes and forms. It is not always easy to decide what methodology is best aligned with your 2020 goals. In this blog post our full-service market research firm will discuss common business objectives and how investing in market research can help you achieve these goals.
Our full-service market research firm discusses common business goals and how budgeting for market research can help achieve these objectives in 2020.
1. Generate new business with non-customer surveys
Goal: Generate new business
A common business goal when looking to the new year is generating new business in order to increase profitability. Maybe you have many repeat customers and they are more than satisfied with the product or service you have provided. However, in order to grow your business, you are looking to acquire new customers.
Add Non-Customer Surveys to Your 2020 Budget
Non-customer surveys are a great learning tool for all types of businesses and should absolutely be included in your 2020 budget. Based on your target market, whether it is a national audience or those who live or work close in proximity, surveying non-customers can provide detailed insight into why your target buyers are not currently doing business with you.
It is can be difficult to capture contact information to reach those who match a customer persona but are currently giving their business elsewhere. Not to worry! A market research firm like Drive Research will use a unique and tested approach to recruit non-customer survey respondents who match your ideal customer.
Whether this non-customer survey is conducted online, by phone, or by mail participants will be asked a series of questions in relation to your organization, their buying behaviors, and level of satisfaction with their current provider (likely your competitor), likelihood to switch, and so on.
The answers to these questions can unveil marketing and business strategies to implement in 2020 in order to increase the number of new customers. Better yet, these strategies are no longer based on guessing but are built behind real consumer feedback and evidence as to where there is a gap in the market.
Learn more about how to survey non-customers, here.
2. Increase customer retention by creating a customer experience (CX) program
Goal: Increase customer retention
Customer retention refers to the ability of a brand or product to keep customers over a period of time. A high customer retention indicates a business is able to keep returning customers satisfied.
Even more importantly, a high customer retention means an organization is not losing customers to their competitors. In many industries, it is a consumer market – this meaning, a customer has several different brands to choose from.
Many factors impact the buying decision of a customer including price and quality of product or service, but one factor is predicted to be the ultimate brand differentiator in 2020: customer experience (CX).
Add a Structured Customer Experience Program to Your 2020 Budget
More and more organizations are recognizing the importance of a structured CX program for their business. With every new customer or client that leaves, so does a piece of your business, and that piece of your business is given to a competing organization. A large majority of why customers leave a business or decide not to go through with a transaction is because of poor customer service.
According to American Express, more than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase or transaction because of bad service and 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.
By investing a small portion of your 2020 budget to create a structured customer experience program, your organization is able to keep a pulse on customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
With the help of a market research firm, customer data is collected on a regular basis measuring positive and negative changes as they are happening. This allows your organization to act fast to any poor feedback and reduce the number of customers leaving for a competitor.
3. Maintain positive employee retention with employee satisfaction surveys
Goal: Maintain a positive employee retention rate
Our customers aren’t the only people who deserved to be happy and satisfied, but your employees too. It is important to understand what encourages employees to drive profitability and remain committed to your organization.
There are multiple reasons an organization may add employee engagement research to their 2020 budget. Some common reasons organizations use employee surveys is to measure job satisfaction, employee engagement, new employee and departure surveys, and employee well-being.
Add Employee Satisfaction Surveys to Your 2020 Budget
Although many organizations choose to place a large amount of their budgets on improving customer-centric strategies, it is just as important to pay attention to the opinions and feelings of those who work for us. Losing top performing employees can come at a very real cost. There are also significant costs associated with new employee training programs.
By obtaining employee feedback, organizations are able to better understand employee’s needs so they can become better brand advocates, performers, and less inclined to go on the hunt for a new job.
The employee survey process is quite simple. However, the toughest part of the process for some organizations is welcoming real, unbiased, confidential feedback from employees. Let a market research company help act as the middle man.
It is imperative to work with a third-party market research firm when conducting employee surveys in order for the Voice of Employee (VoE) research to prove successful. By hiring a third-party employee survey firm, employees are able to feel most comfortable providing their honest feedback about working for your organization as all responses are anonymous and confidential.
There is also the additional bonus of the firm creating customized survey templates and unbiased employee survey questions for your organization.
Additionally, benchmarking your employee survey data can help your organization understand where it compares to industry, organization, and national standards with categories such as career development, compensation, benefits, demographics, and more. This information cannot be found through secondary research but a third-party employee survey firm will have access to all of this data.
4. Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy with Original Research
Goal: Improve Content Marketing Strategy
To achieve success in 2020, you cannot afford to ignore the power of content marketing. Content marketing involves various types of deliverables from blog posts, to whitepapers, to webinars, to press releases, to compare cards – the list goes on and on.
With the rise of search engine optimization (SEO), producing quality, fresh, and original content is more important than ever. For this reason, when a buyer searches on Google for a service or product in which you provide, it is best to be on the first few pages of their search results.
In fact, 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engine sites. A great way to start creating fresh content and further optimizing for SEO is with the use of original research.
Add Content Marketing Research to Your 2020 Budget
Consider adding a line item for market research in your 2020 budget involving research-driven content. This is a type of market research designed to produce fun, original, and creative content you may be currently lacking. One content survey can provide a whole year worth of content that will help advance your organic search ranking.
Additionally, and perhaps the main reason many organizations use content marketing research, is to share the data in a creative and meaningful way that generates fresh eyeballs and leads for their organization.
You may be wondering how exactly content marketing research works. With the help of a market research agency, an online content survey is designed, programmed, and fielded to a target audience of your choosing.
For example, for the past two years Drive Research partnered with a content marketing firm to uncover common challenges regarding content creation for those in the financial sector. The target audience of this content survey was people who work in the marketing department for banks and credit unions.
Once fieldwork for the survey is complete, a market research firm will compile the results in a detailed, yet comprehensive report. Usually when an organization completes a market research project, they keep their findings confidential and in-house. However, with original research it is meant to be shared in all facets of your marketing initiatives. The content survey report can act as a guide for your 2020 content marketing strategy.
One survey question can equate to one blog post and help position your organization as a thought leader in your industry. The data collected from content marketing research can also be transformed into many different downloadable pieces to help build your website or email promotions. This will certainly help with lead generation from potential customers who you have not been in contact before.
Lastly, a great use of content surveys is creating fresh website copy and sales collateral. Research-driven content can be used to compare your organization to a competitor and showcase key differentiators as told by real customers.