Understanding Market Research : An Tool For Learning

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How to Use Intuition to Understand Market Research Every year companies spend millions of dollars on market research, trying to understand what customers want so as to best satisfy those wants through the company 's offerings. However, in attempting to understand what will satisfy customer wants, companies often focus their market research solely on the needs expressed by customers-the "voice of customer" in marketing jargon. But voice of customer only captures expressed needs, not all of the actual customer needs in the market. By applying intuition to market research, marketers are able to more fully understand the actual customer needs in the marketplace, and to thereby realize a competitive edge in satisfying customers and making sales. Although market research is an invaluable tool for learning the expressed needs of the customer, market research can only capture needs that the customer is able to articulate. In truth, consumers do not always know what they want, and statistical market data, or focus groups, cannot reveal what consumers themselves do not know. The Weather Channel is a good example. In the 1980 's, interest in news about the weather was thought to be strictly local--market research had shown that consumers wanted local weather reporting. But a small group got the idea that a 24 hour weather channel would reach a market of consumers that resonated with an offering of regional and national weather in addition to local weather. Despite what traditional market research and conventional thinking held, the Weather Channel today is a multi-million dollar cable channel enterprise with an accompanying website that receives over 300 million annual views. The history of markets has shown that customers are not good a... ... middle of paper ... ... future competitor activity. Working on the traditional marketing data I had already studied, my intuition would always come through--I would often get a real gut feeling that told me that I had hit the right information stream. I would then follow that gut feeling to hypothesize what action the competitor would most likely take. It was my gut feeling that allowed me to go from an average analyst to one that consistently made near flawless predictions about competitor moves 2-3 years in the future. What would it be worth to you or your company to know your competitors moves for the next 2-3 years? Using your intuition to understand market research is a great combination that leads to a real understanding of the market. This powerful one-two punch will make you money, save you money, and give you a marketing advantage that data alone will never give your competition.

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