The Value Of Market Research In Business, Part 1

Quirks Marketing Research Review, January 2013

One of the great things about the advent of the internet, and specifically social media, when it comes to market research is the ability to follow and “virtually” meet just about anyone.  This is true for being able to connect up with customers, do market research on perspective buyer groups, or socially listen to current customers.  For me, one of the things I have found to be most beneficial is to follow and read from thought leaders within the market research industry.

One of these though leaders, and someone I have mentioned before, is Kathryn Korostoff, president of Research Rockstar LLC, a Marlborough, Mass., provider of market research training.  Whenever  I see her name on something, I always make sure that I take the time to read it.  This came true again in this months Quirk’s Marketing Research Review with the article Research as a profit center? It’s closer than you think.  In the article, she discusses four ways how market research can be a value add and profitable, just not a cost, and the implications of these on the industry as a whole.

[Now a quick side note…Why did I title the blog with a “Part 1” at the end.  Well, it is simple, the value of market research in business cannot be written in a simple blog or article.  Because of that, I will likely write a series of blogs to talk about my perspective.  However, don’t expect one every week, as I will likely scatter them when I get the feeling to write more on this.]

No in the article, Kathryn Korostoff talks about one path that I was involved with for over eight years, Market research departments as in-house agencies.  For the two builders that I worked with covering 4 different markets, this was me.  I worked in a department (albeit limited in size and often a department of 1) that did nothing but market research for the company.  One of my initial managers referred to us as “internal consultants”.

If you think you think about the role of a consultant, they come in to an organization and, based on their expertise, provide an independent analysis of the situation they were hired for.  Often times, they have cart blanch access to anyone and anything.  In a similar vein, we were the same way.  Although we worked for the company, we were to be independent from the rest of the management team.  In fact, I know sometimes I saw my role as devil’s advocate just to make sure we were headed down the path we really wanted to be.  At the same time, I knew the goals for the company and respected them at the same time.  At sales budgeting time, I was looking at what sales wanted, usually on the lower side of the spectrum, and what management wanted, usually on the higher side of the spectrum.  My opinion was based on history, market variables, and trends.

Kathryn’s comments regarding project cost reduction, market research becoming “recentralized” are spot on as I saw this myself.  Her other comment about finding ways for the company to generate revenue by offering its services to other clients, I feel, is very valuable and already being done by some organizations

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “The Rhino Crash Blog…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at

About J. Nolfo
Well...there is a lot to know. #Cx, #Analytics, #SM, Specialty #AgChem, #StL sports, & more. FT @BASFAgProducts. @Mizzou Alum. Supporter of the #Rhino. Tweets my own. #SMMW17 attendee....Dad...Hiker...Scouter...and so much more.

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