Optimizing Value Market Research

Optimizing
Value from
Market Research
(Part Two)
Panel Discussion with ORC International experts:
Scott Laing
Senior Vice President, Marketing Research
Natasha Kennedy
Senior Vice President, Strategy Research Solutions
Brian Cruikshank
Managing Director
Executive
Summary
In Part One of our roundtable discussion about best practices in
extracting maximum impact from business intelligence, we looked at
the reasons companies struggle with getting the most value from their
market research efforts. In Part Two, we offer suggestions about how
organizations can take strides to improve in this area.
Brian Cruikshank
Managing Director
There are four key areas of research that when aligned (or used to
their fullest throughout the organization) promise optimal business
growth:
•
•
•
•
Customer — Focuses on customer experience, customer
acquisition and retention.
Strategy — Big picture industry and market trends — How
should companies change/modify/realign their strategy to best
meet changing industry or market conditions?
Marketing — Includes brand positioning and strength
along with issues involving products, prices, promotions, and
place.
Employee engagement — Focus on employee motivation
Natasha Kennedy
Senior Vice President,
Strategy Research Solutions
and innovation as well as alignment with business strategy
and culture.
Our panel is composed of:
•
Scott Laing, Senior Vice President, Marketing Research
•
Natasha Kennedy, Senior Vice President, Strategy
Research Solutions
•
Brian Cruikshank, Managing Director
Scott Laing
Senior Vice President,
Marketing Research
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How can organizations
enhance performance
by harnessing synergies
across more than one
or two of the four areas?
How can they better
use business intelligence
across the organization?
Natasha: The customer and/or marketing team could use strategy
research to better understand the market prior to launching a new
product. They should know the size of the available market, whom
they will compete against, what their customers value, and map that
to products or solutions concepts. They also have to figure out how
they will differentiate themselves. This would then assist in fine tuning
parameters for product development or market positioning research.
Organizations should also align human capital to where the
market will grow. We worked with an organization that was
about to staff salespeople in Indiana and California. Through our
in-depth interviews and secondary research, we discovered that
most of the growth, however, was going to come from Arizona and
Illinois.
Organizations can more effectively plan execution tactics and budgets by determining potential revenue growth via revenue forecasts
based on real market-sizing numbers. Furthermore, organizations
should keep tabs on their competitors by leveraging competitive
intelligence dashboards and/or monitoring reports. This will provide
timely knowledge of changing market trends, competitor advances,
innovations, and potential market disruptions.
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How can organizations enhance performance by harnessing synergies
across more than one or two of the four areas? How can they better use
business intelligence across the organization?
Scott: I think there’s some low-hanging fruit with marketing. For example, clients
commonly ask for segmentation, the bedrock of nearly any marketing program. Many
clients are frustrated with traditional segmentation approaches — the big primary research
studies that do deep profiling. The result is typically a range of interesting personae, but
rarely a clear next step about how to find and reach out to customers and prospects.
We’ve taken the traditional segmentation assignment and significantly enhanced it by
making use of the new world of data. Clients want to make use of all assets, particularly
customer relationship management and sales force automation resources. To address this,
we create direct linkage from segmentation back to clients’ databases, enabling them to
implement clearly targeted programs. This requires some database skill that’s not typically
part of the researcher’s toolkit, but we see our investment in this area embraced by clients
across a wide range of industries. What’s most exciting is hearing a client say, “I know
what to do next!” — a great compliment to any researcher.
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How can organizations enhance
performance by harnessing
synergies across more than one
or two of the four areas? How
can they better use business
intelligence across the
organization?
Brian: I think there is an opportunity to use strategy research more
effectively in the innovation process by informing marketing
research and customer experience leaders as they develop plans
and analyze the marketplace from many angles. For example, we
have conducted substantial work in the tablet PC category for a
major mobile phone provider.
Our strategy research team examines the tablet PC market to
understand how rapidly tablet prices are dropping and the
features/functionality consumers are willing to trade off for a
lower-priced device.
We can help our clients determine the market opportunity for
lower-end tablets sold by a mobile phone provider and where the
competitive threats/opportunities lie. We can then take that into a
primary market research program that identifies segments of
homogenous tablet users based on their attitudes and behaviors
regarding tablets. Then, additional quantitative market research
helps to identify the price sensitivity and feature, brand and size
trade-offs each target segment is willing to make. The resulting
simulations not only help our clients determine the strength of
various offer scenarios, but also allow them to determine the
strongest response options when competitors react to their initial
offer in the marketplace.
Effectively use
strategy research
to inform your
innovation
process
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About the Authors
Scott Laing
Senior Vice President, Marketing Research
Providing substantial experience across all areas of product development
marketing, Scott Laing – Senior Vice President of Markets & Products for ORC
International – is focused on developing and delivering services that support
client decisions for market entry and expansion, product line innovation, and
go-to-market execution.
Scott possesses a wealth of experience in multiple areas, such as defining and
implementing partnership and lead generation strategies, leading executive
workshops aimed at helping clients define their marketing objectives and
measurement strategy, and various analytical marketing and product management
roles. Prior to his current role, Scott was co-founder and principal of Parametric
Marketing, a research and advanced analytics specialist company.
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Natasha Kennedy
Senior Vice President, Strategy Research Solutions
Brian Cruikshank
Managing Director
With over 24 years’ experience in market research, Brian Cruikshank – Managing
Director for ORC International – is focused on client development and expanding
the services in the Customer, Employee, Markets and Products, and Strategy
research areas. A seasoned leader, Brian held EVP and other senior leadership
roles at Ipsos Marketing, Ipsos MediaCT and Ipsos Insight divisions in the U.S.
He successfully guided the growth strategy and integration of multi-industry and
cross-functional teams. He was also a founding member of the Angus Reid Group
in the U.S. and prior to that worked for Custom Research Inc.
Natasha Kennedy – Senior Vice President of Strategy Research Solutions for ORC
International – is responsible for managing the strategy practice’s core offerings,
which include market sizing, emerging and adjacent market strategies,
competitive intelligence, and knowledge management solutions, all with a focus
on developing and managing a portfolio of strategic research solutions that
support and accelerate client growth initiatives.
Natasha draws on more than 20 years of executive-level experience in global
market research, strategy, and consulting. Her deep expertise also includes
managing business development, operations, product development, knowledge
management, HR, finance, and IT.
During her career, Natasha has also worked with client organizations as
wide-ranging as Starbucks, eBay, and USAA.
Learn more about this topic and others at ORCInternational.com, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook.
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