Rigorously analysing customer data and conducting comprehensive market research surveys to generate useful insights are laudable initiatives, but unless they result in tangible plans that drives effective marketing strategy, then the exercise is largely redundant. Sadly, after spending some thousands of pounds, many excellent data and research projects have led to very little in terms of a real contribution to the marketing plan.
Often, the reason is that, beyond the presentation of the findings of an insight project, the marketing team are not actively encouraged to meaningfully explore the implications of the findings for marketing strategy, or how to exploit them to the advantage of the brand.
A vital stage in the planning process is to identify and explore the profit opportunities and threats revealed by the analysis within the market or customer base. These are then prioritized in terms of their potential to the business. The best opportunities are selected, and the means by which their potential can be realized is explored regarding which customers should be targeted with what sort of messages in which channels and when.
In this way, the insights revealed lead to tangible marketing and communication plans rather than floundering and sinking in the wash of ‘business as usual’.