If you’re running a business – or taking even decisions for a small team within a greater organisation – then you’re always looking for the key to success. Anything that turns the investment of your time, money and resources from a risky proposition to a near certainty is an advantage, and you need every advantage.
There are no shortcuts to success – making it less of a gamble is always going to mean more work – but there are better routes to the prize, harder climbs, but less risky ones. Today we’re going to take a look at one of those routes.
Data and Insight
One of the best paths towards success, profit and return on your investments (whatever form they take – effort is an investment!) is to follow where the data leads. Lots of success stories place heavy emphasis on individual insight, on gut feeling, on the outside bet that pays for all. But what those stories don’t tell you about are all the people who followed their gut instincts into a dead end.
Data tells you if there’s anything waiting for you at the end of the alley your self-confidence is leading you into. It tells you who wants to buy what you have to offer, and if what you have to offer is right for the people you’re trying to sell it to.
One decision can make the difference between success and failure, especially when you’re just starting out – everything can be perfect, but launching at a price point that’s wrong by less than a pound can wreck everything.
Getting the data you need to make these key decisions with confidence, and turning that data into the real key to success, insights into your market that you can turn into action, takes specialist skills. It’s well worth partnering up with a market research firm to get the best results. They have a broad reach, to canvas consumers beyond people who’ve already expressed an interest in your business. They have the expertise to tell you what the data means, and they have a sophisticated understanding that they pass on to you.
It’s all too easy to think of your customers as an amorphous mass of humanity, with perhaps one key characteristic for you to latch onto (be it that they’re young, old, male or even that they live in North London!). A market research firm can teach you about market segmentation – understanding your market as distinct groups, with different needs that you can target in different ways, with different priorities. This deeper understanding of your customers lets you supercharge your marketing, targeting with precision, spending no more than is necessary, boosting the return on that investment and making the arduous climb towards success a little bit easier and more confident.