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April 26, 2013

Is the Market Research industry changing the way it feels about Marketing & Sales?

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I had the privilege of speaking at the CASRO Management Conference this week in New Orleans.  By the way, if you run a research agency and haven’t been, you need to put it on your calendar for next year!

In addition to speaking, I also had the opportunity sit in on all the other sessions and panel discussions.  Interestingly, about half of the topics revolved around marketing & sales!  At a market research event?

Maybe that’s standard for this particular event, but from my perspective, I was genuinely surprised.  For an industry that doesn’t really seem to embrace marketing & sales, I was delighted to see these topics… and the audience’s very positive response to them, as well.

Is there a shift occurring?  Do MR shops finally understand the value of having a focused marketing & sales effort?  And in particular, dedicated sales people?  To be honest, I’m not sure… but I hope so.

Because it needs to!

As we discussed at the conference this week… our industry is changing and growing… new technologies are coming into the fray…. new companies are springing up and those that can’t keep up are going away.  No longer can research firms afford to move forward with a ‘hope’ strategy (“I hope business improves / I hope we get some new sales leads / I hope we get to bid on that project / etc.”).

  • MR firms need to be proactive with their business development… and sales can help with that.
  • MR firms needs to differentiate themselves from their competitors… and marketing can help with that.
  • MR firms need to be responsive to new opportunities… and sales can help with that.
  • MR firms need to build awareness in the industries they serve… and marketing can help with that.

Here’s the warning… if there’s not a sea-change taking place, then only those few firms that do embrace marketing & sales will win.

Where do you stand?

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