Do You Exclude Your Target Audience From Market Research?

As a marketer and formerly a financial services employee, I am tired and by now annoyed of being excluded from market research. I mean sometimes I really want to share my perspective but I get filtered out at the first set of questions. Grr! 

Brands I buy on a regular basis don’t want to hear from me. I wanted to know the reasons of such discrimination and apparently they are not very good – see here and here.

Looking at the list of the excluded occupations, which may include only marketing professionals or go as broad as agency, financial services and other professional services staff, market researchers and as a result their clients filter out the high income, well educated professionals, who potentially have a high share of opinion leaders among them. This to me explains existence of some questionable consumer product and services, lack of awareness on the side of organisations manufacturing/ providing them, and in general deficit of customer driven innovation in consumer industries.

If you are a small or medium sized organisation – say selling green products, high tech products, or providing not for profit services – who invests into research, such filtering out of your most attractive target audience to me sounds like suicide.

You could argue that highly innovative organisations pursue lean approach whereas they release, test and improve, instead of doing research (Henry Ford famously said that if he asked people for what they wanted, they’d say faster horses). But guess what, organisations get to use research as they grow bigger and their marketing services suppliers, such as advertising agencies, use market research already, to shape the strategy and targeting approach for these organisations’ products.

In which case can you afford to exclude the aforementioned group? I think not. At least have a separate focus group or two with those you excluded. In general, when doing research always ask – who are we excluding and why?


About lolkin

the nomad of the Universe, sailing through the unknown, learning to be happy and give happiness back
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