Market research is one of the marketing terms that gets thrown into the mix along with activities such as product development, branding, promotions and advertising, etc. But I would just like to stress the importance of marketing research and how it makes up an integral part of a wholistic marketing plan.

As one of the least visible tools in a marketers ‘box of tricks’, research often gets overlooked in favour of the more visible marketing efforts, for example an attention grabbing print advertisement or a stunningly beautiful television commercial with a musical score that moves you.

To the average punter it would seem that these ads we watch on the telly, the billboards we view on the way to work and the ads we read in a magazine are by the far the most impacting weapons in the marketer’s arsenal, but I will strongly contest that an unguided missile will fail to achieve its objective every time! No matter how large its payload.

Yes, research takes time and it costs money, but it’s false economy to be leapin’ before you’ve looked. Research in marketing identifies your target market, your brand awareness, recognition in the marketplace and will allow you to quantify the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Again, I have to stress that to achieve the goals you have set for your organisation, research must be integrated into your marketing mix.

Research can help you build knowledge of your industry sector allowing you to focus all the resources at your disposal on where it will be most impacting, and over the length of your campaign for evaluation and provide feedback. In short, without the use of research you’ll be flying blind never knowing for sure where you started from or where you’ve ended up.