Bridging the Gap Between Market Research and Marketing Activation

Jun 12, 2018

One of the biggest struggles in using market research is incorporating the findings and implications into a marketing activation plan. Anyone in market research or marketing knows there can be a disconnect between the two teams, and sometimes researchers and marketers butt heads as a result.

Marketing activation seeks to establish a brand or product message through an extensive marketing campaign and strategy that could include anything from social, TV, or online engagements. The end goal of a marketing activation strategy is to garner brand awareness and eventually lead consumers down the brand or sales funnel. Most commonly, market research provides support for marketing activation plans by way of  segmentation and message testing. But there are some best practices and solutions that can bridge the gap between your market research and marketing activation that takes it a step further.

Audience Understanding Should be Translated Across the Organization

How often do organizations spend large sums of money on a segmentation study only for the data to go unused? Often segmentations are conducted with the intent to be leveraged by sales, product, and marketing teams, yet they don’t always reach that point. But segmentation and other audience understanding research include critical information that can be highly useful for marketing activation strategies:

  • Demographic and psychographic criteria of the target audience
  • Insight into how a consumer thinks about, talks about, and uses a product or interacts with a brand
  • Identification of unmet needs and new opportunities

Information, like that above, can and should be shared with an entire organization. Taking it a step further, this audience understanding can be used by market researchers and the marketing team to develop a list of target audiences, platforms, and messages that are likely to resonate most in the activation strategy. Further, keywords or consumer language that come to light through research efforts, like in the case of qualitative exploratory studies, can be leveraged in external communications.

Product and Competitive Testing Can Provide Additional Insight

Independent of a general consumer understanding, studies to do with product testing, competitive analysis, or concept refinement can also be applied to the target audience to help prioritize the marketing strategy. For example, understanding that one product successfully performed among one target audience, but not another, helps to prioritize and tailor the marketing activation strategy. Or perhaps it’s a deeper understanding of competitors and their performance relative to you that can help to determine which brands to position and activate against. Either case, marketing teams can focus more efforts on those audiences more likely to consume the product before looking to tackle less inclined consumers.

Big Data Will Truly Build the Bridge

While traditional market research methods can only provide what consumers self-report or how they expect something to influence their purchase behavior, big data can actually provide insight into the reality of consumers’ behavior online, in-store, and more. Being able to incorporate this into a market research and marketing strategy means the two teams don’t have to be at odds with one another, and marketing activation can and will become more data-driven.

Through big data and a better understanding of how to develop innovative research methodologies, market research will be able to apply throughout a product strategy to marketing activation. And thankfully, with customer preferences changing so quickly nowadays, utilizing market research, and an agile one at that, can lead to a stronger, more impactful strategy. To learn more about the steps GutCheck has taken to infuse big data and primary research to develop deeper insights that add more value, watch the webinar below.

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