How to Set Marketing Research Goals and Objectives

In a previous post, I laid out a marketing research plan.  The first steps of the marketing research plan was setting goals and objectives.  You might think that this is a same-old, same-old process.  But it isn’t.  I’m going to approach this in a different way that will get you better results.

Begin with the END

Instead of setting your goals and objectives from where you are NOW, imagine yourself ALREADY having achieved your goal – then work backwards and document HOW YOU GOT THERE.

success

The reason for this is very simple.  If you set your goal based on where you are now – there is a good chance that you will get caught up in fixing a problem that is actually irrelevant in getting your business to where you want it to be.

Set your goals and objectives based on your vision for where you want your company to BE and not where it is NOW.

An Example:

If the vision and mission of your business is to help your customers be successful in their business — then imagine your customers being successful and then imagine in what ways you are helping them do that.  This may include things you are currently doing — or NOT.  And this is the key to creating market research goals and objectives that will help you measure the potential market opportunity, the target audience for your products and how they buy.

(I know that this sounds a little way out.  But if you’re wondering how some of the successful businesses you see out there got that way — this is IT)

Take Clate Mask and Scott Martineau from InfusionSoft as an example.  InfusionSoft is an email marketing software that automates your sales and marketing process.  It’s a high-end software and it isn’t cheap.  Clate and Scott found out that their customers really didn’t know how to put marketing messages together — and hence the software didn’t appear to be “working.”

They quickly realized that if their customers knew what to put INTO the software – the customers would make more than enough money to pay the fee for the software and also refer the software to their friends and colleagues.

As a result, they set a goal to have their entire client base double their sales within a 12 month period.

Having set this goal and objective — they were not only fired up and inspired about what was possible for their business.  But their customers bought into the very same goal.

Suddenly finding out what their customers needed or wanted that would help them grow and prosper was easy.

And what do you think happened to their response rates?  Of course, every time they asked their customers what they wanted — these customers were eager to tell them.

So How is this Relevant to YOU?

If you’ve not been successful collecting feedback from your community or if the research you’ve done hasn’t delivered on results — you might want to look to the goals and objectives that you’ve set.

Are these goals and objectives more focused on solving a problem you have today?  If so, that problem might be relevant to YOU but not your customer.

Use Social Media Chatter to Help You Find a Meaningful Goal

Enough of the heady stuff.  Let’s get to the meat of how you can set these kinds of goals and objectives.

If you don’t already, set up several social media communication channels that include the following:

  • Facebook Fan Page
  • LinkedIn Company Profile
  • LinkedIn Industry Group
  • Twitter Account
  • Blog

The next thing you want to do is  start posting articles on your blog that focus on your vision and how you are helping you customers be successful.  Get active on industry community sites and spaces, ask questions, answer questions and participate.  Then, TELL your customers, suppliers, industry experts to participate as well.

If you keep participating and reminding your audience to visit these sites – you will see conversations, get data and start forming relevant, success based goals and objectives.

Trying this backwards strategy of setting goals and objectives might identify new and exciting opportunities for your business.

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Related posts:

  1. How to Write a Market Research Plan
  2. 6 DIY Marketing Research Trends You Can Put in Your Marketing Plan
  3. Sponsored Conversation Marketing to Reach $56.8M
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About IvanaTaylor

Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers, an online publication for small business owners who wear both the sales and marketing hat. You can find her at http://diymarketers.com.