I’ve had the good fortune to learn from some of the best market research minds in the business, helping me to effectively leverage these tools to improve strategies and tactics throughout my career. I’ve led focus groups, conducted surveys, and created custom contact information for each ad, mailing, and promotion to test messages and methods and to track leads. I’ve monitored and measured web traffic with Google Analytics. And I’ve worked closely with sales, IT, customer service, and other departments to better understand where customers come from – and why.
One of the more unconventional ways I’ve used research is to generate earned media coverage. A well-crafted study can help position a company as a leader in a particular field, especially if they are already providing a relevant solution that reflects the results.
As a freelancer, I’ve found that it may not always be affordable – or practical – to test and measure every initiative. But even if we employ these tools judiciously, the data we do gather can be tremendously useful in gauging the general effectiveness of our marketing efforts.