The recent recession and the lingering period of uncertainty that followed has had an odd effect on some business leaders. Yeah, I know we all need to conserve cash. I get that. But most of us need MORE information about what our prospective customers are thinking, need, prefer, want, and would pay for…NOT LESS. We can’t afford to make costly mistakes investing in products and marketing based on outdated information! Who cares what your customer survey results were in 2007! It’s like “dog years.” Those 5 YEARS are equivalent to 35 YEARS when it comes to marketing!
Even though museums competed against places like zoos and theme parks in 2007, area residents would still visit. Today, those same museums face funding cuts and are now competing more with children spending their time texting on smart phones than with zoos. A secret shopper project we recently conducted as part of a strategic assessment/growth strategy planning assignment revealed how incredibly behind many businesses have gotten over the past 5 years. Wouldn’t more frequent market research help family focused organizations catch up?
A community banker who was competing for a signature on the next subprime mortgage deal in 2007 is just now coming out of his/her shell after cleaning up the book of bad loans, foreclosures, and short sales. A few years ago, community banks had a window of opportunity to compete against the huge financial institutions because so many people were angry about government funded bailouts and the underlying causes of the recession. But today, many of us have almost accepted the realities of this “new economy” even though consumer confidence varies on a daily basis. How frequently should community banks conduct their market research to guide decisions about how to compete for your and my trust?
In 2007, I was in my 3rd year hosting a weekly online peer to peer radio talk radio show with Presidents of midsized companies. If we had ignored (or not done) market research, would we have missed the cue to become completely video based, use YOUTUBE, and shorten the interview segments?
There are many cost effective options out there, including secret shopping companies, customer satisfaction survey firms, interviewers who can focus on specific targets, etc. Isn’t it more expensive and risky to fly without a net!
Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST®. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions. Her midsized BtoB clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. She owns and operates a suite of companies that help privately held midsized companies achieving accelerated growth with sustained profitability® through opportunity & resource analysis, 4 approaches to strategic planning, executive advisory services, growth financing, and targeted search. 2012 is Ambler’s 8th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer syndicated on line talk show that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. An archive of over 300 interviews is available at www.GrowthStrategistShow.com. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.