5 Reasons So Many Market Research Pros Suck at Marketing Themselves

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[Editor’s Note: this post originally appeared on my personal blog, DanaStanley.com.]

It’s ironic, isn’t it? We’re advising others on marketing strategy and tactics; our advice is used to formulate email campaigns, website copy, online and offline advertisements and more.  Yet our own marketing is often no better, and in some cases is even worse, than that of many other industries.  I’ve discussed this observation with many others in market research, and I’m far from the only one with this opinion.

As marketing advisors, shouldn’t we be leading most, if not all, other business categories when it comes to marketing our businesses?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do have a few thoughts about why many market researchers aren’t particularly good at marketing their businesses.  Here are the top reasons I came up with.  I invite you to comment on these ideas and suggest others as well.

1) We are not comfortable with self-promotion.  

Most of us did not grow up dreaming of being business moguls.  We tended to be good in school and nearly all of us went to college.  We “fell into” the research field because we were good with numbers and interested in social science.  Marketing doesn’t feel comfortable; it feels too close to its dreaded cousin, sales.

2) We don’t practice what we preach

We spend our time evaluating our clients’ marketing, but for one reason or another, we don’t spend time evaluating our own.  On any given day we may be conducting a website visitor survey for a client.  How many of us invest the same time and effort in ourselves?  Very few, it seems.

3) Our products and services, especially our new ones, are so awesome they will market themselves

This one is simply self-delusional.  If you’re thinking this way, snap out of it.

4) We are wary of new methods

Twitter? Facebook? Blogging? Email marketing? Those take effort to learn and can seem scary at first.  Also, ROI can be challenging to measure, and if there’s anything we love, it’s numbers.

5) We think we don’t have time.

This one is a doozy.

We don’t have time to find more customers? We don’t have time to demonstrate value? We don’t have time to promote our industry?

Please.

What do you think?

Am I wrong on some or all of these?  Did I miss anything?

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About Dana Stanley

Dana is the Editor-in-Chief of Research Access.

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