The Second Dirtiest Word In Marketing



Today’s topic is about marketing research, another in our dirty words series. Speaking from the marketing industry perspective we need good research to meet client expectations – but clients seem to hate paying for it. In this podcast Bill Lowell and I discuss why that is.


Is it a part of the general reluctance to invest time, money and energy in legitimate planning or is there some other reason that small and mid-sized companies seem to prefer guessing over knowing?


I think it’s part of an even bigger picture where companies have become very tool focused, abandoning the fundamentals of marketing. These fundamentals are the “basic blocking and tackling” of driving demand – yet they seem like a lost art.


In my experience very few companies have deliberate decision making and planning processes for marketing. Since research is part of the planning effort it gets thrown out with the bathwater.


Fundamentals of marketing include:

  • Disciplined planning and decision making – the opposite of “seat of the pants”
  • Marketing Research – basing decisions on data
  • Customer
  • Competitive
  • Industry


Strategy before tactics – see Sun Tzu

  • Consistent tactics over time – you can’t start and stop and expect it to work
  • Adequate investment – you can’t go to market without resources
  • Establishment of the right metrics – you can’t improve what you can’t measure
  • Integration of tactics – for force multiplication
  • Flexibility – so the plan can change as market conditions change


Most of the above is based on the data gathered by research. If you don’t do it well (or at all) you run into the “garbage in – garbage out” problem.


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