No one uses rotary phones to make calls anymore, the age of mimeograph paper is long gone, and soon the idea of using “gut instincts” to drive marketing campaigns will feel just as archaic. We have officially entered the age of data-driven marketing—and marketers who rely on their guts alone may find themselves increasingly ineffective in an industry capitalizing on data insights to reach customers.
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Today’s post will be the first in an ongoing series about biases and other traps that can affect the results of your market research. These can come into play at any point in the process, from writing your survey or interview guide, selecting participants, or when conducting your analysis. Being aware of them is necessary not only for those conducting the research, but also client-side employees who are tasked with evaluating the work of a research supplier.
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Personality tests have become popular in the corporate world when evaluating current and potential employees for team “fit.” While the jury is still (and probably always will be) out on their scientific validity, models such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Enneagram, or OCEAN (the “Big 5”) do make it easier to understand behavior in a directional sense.
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Unlike the Lord of the Ring’s “one ring to rule them all,” there is never one message that will resonate with all of your customers. This is true for your own employees as well. With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have turned the lens on themselves. This has largely taken the form of gathering opinions on remote work and maintaining team collaboration, but some companies have sought input from their employees on how to keep not only themselves, but also their customers safe. In today’s political and social climate, addressing the safety concerns of your employees is another area where one message is not going to get through to everyone.
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Whether it’s Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Sam Walton (Walmart) or any other founder who managed to build a multi-billion dollar operation, the question will inevitably come up: “What was the secret?” While these entrepreneurs may mention timing, innovation and hard work as the reasons behind their success, they all emphasized the importance of focusing on the customer first.