Market research helps you understand your market, accounts, buyers and users. But who should take the lead on this? Product management, sales or marketing? The CMO takes the lead on market research. But only collaboration will make it effective.
The Natural Owner of Market Research:
Features, opportunities and understanding buyers are all important to the marketing group. But what really makes market research hit home for your organization is customer feedback.
Hearing from the horse’s mouth what matters to prospective customers does the following:
- Uncovers where your customers are spending time (and money)
- Helps you define an engaging brand
- Identifies points of failure
- Helps you identify information sources and influencers
- Keeps you up to date on the ways customers stay connected
All of this information can be used to generate more leads for sales. It can also be used to provide the product group with unique customer insights.
The marketing group’s main responsibility is drumming up and maintaining demand. Because of this, they are the natural organization to drive market research efforts.
So you, the CMO, will typically take the lead on market research. But – and this is important – the product and sales groups should be involved.
Market research should be done in collaboration with the rest of the leadership team.
How Market Research Helps Product Management:
Opportunities and features are where market research is helpful for the product group.
Market research uncovers gaps in the marketplace. Within these gaps are opportunities to serve customers in a new or unique way. A way that your competitors haven’t tapped into yet.
With market research you can find out how customer behavior is changing. You can also find out what your competitors are up to.
With this information, the product group can better decide:
- What products to offer next year
- What products to retire next year
- What products need feature upgrades or changes next year
How Market Research Helps the Sales Organization
Understanding buyers is where market research is helpful for the sales group.
Thorough market research leads to more effective customer profiling and buyer personas. These profiles outline the objectives and obstacles of the target market. And they’re critical to the sales team’s success.
Understanding the behavior of your customers helps Sales determine what customers need. Only then can Sales identify what problems customers are willing to pay to solve.
Start Here to Hit Your Number in 2016:
Market research most often starts with the marketing organization. But to be successful, Sales and Product Management must be involved as well.
This collaboration leads to more comprehensive results for your company. And ultimately that will lead to better strategic alignment among the functional groups.
We dive deeper into the topic of market research in our latest research report. This critical exercise is the first step toward strategic alignment in 2016. The next step is to register for a workshop session with an SBI expert. We’ll review the 2016 report with your team and help apply it to your organization. Click here to register.