Is Marketing Research still relevant in this time of volatility? | Inquirer Business
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Is Marketing Research still relevant in this time of volatility?

/ 11:27 PM March 30, 2022

Inquirer Academy Online Training Workshop Article_Marketing Research for SMEs

Marketing research could be defined as gathering the information that is needed to make decisions about a business.

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Let’s look at some data from McKinsey & Company, which was gathered after the first year of the pandemic:

  1. More than 60% of consumers have changed their shopping habits and they intend to stick with them;
  2. 40% of consumers have tried new brands; and
  3. Only 12% said that they will shop from the same retailers and brands as they did the year before.

If you are only realizing these data points now, your business may be challenged to continue successfully capturing the purchases of your customers.

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We asked our subject matter expert on Marketing, Ms. Jinggay Gallardo, on her insights that may be drawn from the McKinsey study, and other information that would help businesses be in the know in this new environment.

  1. 1. My customers are now shopping online and I need to have or boost an e-commerce presence. If I have a big number of brick-and-mortar stores, like optical shops or dental clinics (services that cannot be rendered online), it is time to evaluate which ones should stay or go, and innovate consumable products that can be sold online.
  2. Brand loyalty is fast disappearing. Customers of the market leaders are looking at smaller, more available (online) and affordable brands. New brands that are able to launch effectively on the digital marketplace enable news about them to spread rather quickly. The convenience of digital stores like Shopee and Lazada has attracted even global brands like Revlon to make sure that they are present there and within reach of their customers.
  3. 3. Store loyalty is also fast disappearing. The birth of Metro Mart and even VP Leni Robredo’s Community Mart, an online palengke delivery service, is forcing the big box stores to pivot into including or improving grocery delivery services.

Steve Jobs of Apple famously said that he did not pay too much attention to customer research, particularly with respect to what customers say they want. Instead, he was very “adept at seeing under the surface of what customers want now; they just don’t realize it until they see it.” But nobody, not even Jobs, could have predicted the rollercoaster marketers are still currently on since 2020.

Most small businesses will not find themselves in this enviable position of being able to know what their customers need and want.  However, this does not mean that all small businesses must take a complicated, scientific approach to study the marketplace and their perspective as well as current consumers. Marketing research among small businesses ranges from no research at all to the hiring of a professional research firm. Along the way, there will be both formal and informal approaches, the differences again being attributable to the size, industry, and nature of the business along with the personal predispositions of the small-business owners or managers.

Nonetheless, it is important for small-business owners and managers to understand what marketing research is all about and how it can be helpful to their businesses, and the constant decision-making they will need to make, particularly in a quickly-changing Marketing environment.

Ms Jinggay Gallardo will conduct a virtual workshop titled “Marketing Research for SMEs: Understanding and applying techniques for better decision making” on April 26-27, 2022. It is an eight-hour virtual workshop beneficial to marketing professionals and key strategists of an organization, as well as entrepreneurs.

For more information, you may write to [email protected], or send an SMS to these numbers 0919.3428667 and 0995.1346744.

For your other online learning needs, Inquirer Academy could assist you in designing and facilitating a virtual workshop, a webinar, or a self-paced online course for your organization.

The author is the Executive Director of Inquirer Academy.

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