Ten Marketing Research Ideas To Help Grow Your Business


Idea #1 - Get your CEO to be more personally involved in direct customer feedback.


Recently, the CEO from one of the world's largest and most successful automotive manufacturers was reported in the Detroit News as saying . . .
"Our company is still not as customer-focused as it could be!"


Without knowing the specific internal workings of this particular corporation, one can only speculate about the possible factors that may be involved. As a market researcher who has spent many years conducting customer surveys for major corporations, I believe that part of the answer can be found in the following observation: There is a definite tendency for senior management to be isolated from its ultimate customers.


This observation was first dramatized to me several years ago when the president of a consumer food storage container manufacturer in Chicago (which competes with Tupperware) was invited to attend a series of six focus groups with homemakers to better understand the perceived strengths and weaknesses of its product line compared with various competitive entries. Initially, the president resisted the idea, but later agreed to attend the first session only. Surprisingly, the president stayed both days to view all six focus groups and later exclaimed: "I've learned more about my customers in these last two days than I have in the past 20 years of running my company!"


Naturally, senior management cannot be expected to spend large amounts of time observing focus group interviews. However, as part of a "walk-around" management strategy that encourages senior executives to get face-to-face exposure to both front-line employees as well as customers, it may be possible for top management to maintain an even clearer vision of how its customers think, feel and behave.This, in turn, could help energize the entire company's efforts to stay more alert and responsive to changing customer preferences and concerns.