Ten Marketing Research Ideas To Help Grow Your Business


Idea #3 - Sometimes we should listen more to our "gut instincts" than to market survey results.


I am truly fascinated with new product success stories where the marketer has acknowledged the value of listening to internal "gut instincts" rather than relying exclusively on an analysis of the results from a market survey. Quite frankly, it is an area of strategic marketing planning which often goes unnoticed because it fails to fit neatly into the conventional research model of investigating consumer needs, attitudes and buying behavior. Yet, when these very personal and creative instincts are allowed to surface, it is surprising how these ideas can occasionally lead to major new marketing opportunities.


One excellent example of this is the situation that occurred in the early 1900's that involved a father from Michigan by the name of Dan. Each day, Dan found himself facing the unpleasant task of having to grind and mash various foods so he could feed his infant son. As his frustration mounted, Dan finally decided that other parents were probably facing the same difficultly.  Dan's gut instinct was this: There might be a need for soft, processed food that could be fed more conveniently to infants. There, of course, was this important need and it led Dan Gerber to create a very successful business that later became known as the Gerber Baby Food Company. Who knows what would have happened or not happened if Dan Gerber had ignored his gut instincts.

Over the years, we have found that the "disciplined" nature of market research can actually be further enhanced if it also includes a dose of "undisciplined" creativity. In short, we encourage our team of marketing planning and research specialists to allow "gut instincts" to be part of the initial planning and data analysis process.


Does this mean that Gut Instincts should replace market surveys? Absolutely not! Then, where should Gut Instincts fit into the grand scheme of sophisticated marketing research and strategic planning? Most importantly, it should not be ignored. Instead, professional marketers should use their own "inner voice" as a potential source for new ideas and suspected consumer wants. Whatever hunches or theories evolve from this thought process can be added to a total marketing research effort designed to track and understand the ever-changing landscape of consumer behavior and needs.