Here at M3 Group, we believe in the Power of Three. People remember things when they come in threes — think the Three Musketeers, the Three Stooges or Goldilocks and her three bears. It’s not a coincidence, it’s science. We believe in the Power of Three so much that we created a proven, trademarked marketing approach called the M3 Method to help our clients achieve their marketing goals. This method starts with the Magnify, or research, phase.
During the Magnify phase, we take an enhanced look into the whole picture of your brand. We focus in on what’s happening in your organization, gain insight into what your competition is up to, look at why your target customers fall in love with what you do or how you do it and ask questions to help uncover the motivations behind their decisions. What are buyers’ hopes and fears? How do they behave? That’s the information that helps us leap forward with a clear view of what engages your target audience.
This vital step helps us gain the information we need to position your brand effectively and create an effective omnichannel marketing plan that will help you reach your goals.
WHAT IS MARKETING RESEARCH?
We’ve all probably done some research in our lives for a paper or science project. In marketing, we use both primary and secondary research methods to learn about audience perceptions of your brand, their demographics and the psychographics (audience needs, aspirations, wants, habits, etc.) that drive purchasing decisions. Some of our common primary research methods include:
Discovery Meetings: These meetings are the beginning of our partnership. This initial collaboration helps define an understanding of your organization and overall goals, objectives and strategies. We meet with you to tap into your thought process and discover the details needed to ensure we’re on the same page for exceeding goals.
Brand Audit: Brand audits helps gain a fundamental understanding of where your brand stands in its existing state. Businesses and organizations have a vested interest in understanding how their brand is perceived in the marketplace amid changes in time and culture.
Competitive Analysis: The competitive analysis takes a closer study of your direct and indirect marketplace rivals, as far as their brand and their product. It helps reveal what is and is not working in their approach and tactics. This strategy identifies major competitors and researches their key demographics, products, sales structures, communications and positioning, social media, and marketing strategies.
SWOT Analysis: A SWOT analysis is a simple but useful tool to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization. Strengths and weakness are frequently internally related, while opportunities and threats commonly focus on the external environment.
Focus Groups: A focus group is a research tactic aimed at collecting data from a group of individuals brought together for an in-depth discussion. Businesses and organizations rely on focus groups to get feedback from a targeted group on products, brands and services.
Depth Interviews: Understanding how your target audiences perceive your brands, products and services is critical. By conducting interviews with key stakeholders, we can get a firsthand understanding of brand perceptions, awareness and attitudes. Additionally, we can get insight into purchasing decisions and the buying cycle.
Surveys: An online survey is a structured questionnaire that target audiences complete over the internet generally through filling out a form. Online surveys are a great tool to get fast responses.
Buyer Persona Development: The purpose of personas is to create realistic and relatable user-centered representations of your key audience. We use personas to provide insight into your customers’ lives, decision-making processes and media consumption habits. We also use personas to understand how your brand uniquely solves customer pain and creates gain for them. Our goal is to help them emotionally connect with your brand for the long term.
All these research methods help glean information necessary to build a robust omnichannel marketing plan. If you aren’t sold on the value of the Magnify phase, here are three more reasons to invest in research.
GIVES A 360-DEGREE LOOK AT YOUR BRAND
There is nothing more valuable than knowing your brand inside and out. Although you may have an idea of how your marketing efforts are going or what your customers and staff think, talking to key stakeholders and having an unbiased, third-party audit of your brand can affirm and/or garner new insights that you wouldn’t otherwise have known.
Additionally, research gives you information on your industry and the competitive landscape. Learning what your competitors are doing, how they’re positioning their brands in the marketplace and seeing what marketing methods they’ve had success with can help you set your company apart. Looking at the bigger picture will help you discover what’s truly unique about your company.
This 360-degree view will help you position your brand in a way that resonates with your target audience and build brand affinity.
HELPS YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
Do you know why your audience purchases certain items or services? What are their biggest frustrations? How do they consume media? What do they want from a brand like yours? Investing in research can help you answer those questions and many, many more. Knowing and understanding your audience is crucial for any brand because it takes the guesswork out of marketing. It helps inform your marketing plan, so you aren’t spending your valuable time and resources on marketing tactics that won’t reach your audience or that they won’t respond to. Research helps you work smarter, not harder.
PROVIDES BENCHMARKING DATA
One of the most important parts of marketing is being able to measure the success of our campaigns. You’re investing a lot of time and valuable resources into marketing, so you need to be able to prove it’s helping you meet your goals. Research gives you baseline numbers about awareness, attitudes and behaviors toward your brand. These benchmarking numbers enable you to see growth over time and determine if marketing tactics are working. This data also allows you to evaluate and adjust campaigns as you go to see better results.
WRAPPING IT UP
As you can see, research is the foundation of any good marketing plan. Skipping the Magnify phase leaves your brand susceptible to wasting time and money, making the wrong impression with your audiences, missing opportunities to reach your audiences altogether, or having your brand get lost in the shuffle.
Research sets the stage for the next Motivate phase of the M3 Method, or brand and plan creation. We can confidently say you will spend more time, money and find the marketing process infinitely more frustrating trying to create and executing a plan that isn’t informed by research. Research of this caliber brings the best results to any brand’s marketing efforts.
M3 Group has the resources and expertise to build a highly effective omnichannel marketing plan that will help your company stay top of mind and see real results. Learn more at m3group.biz.
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