Analytics, Data & Metrics

How Does Research from Analyst Firms Help Shape Marketing Strategy?

Effective marketing strategies need to be not only driven by data but also data-informed. Here’s how the research that analyst firms conduct can help you create a more successful marketing strategy.

Source: TierneyMJ / shutterstock

Until recently, marketers would be proud to say their work was data-driven. As companies realize it takes more than good information to create effective marketing strategies, a new buzzword has emerged: data-informed. This means marketing professionals must use their experience, judgment, and intuition to interpret and analyze data in order to make use of these valuable insights.

You probably have that covered when it comes to internal data, but your strategies should be informed by external factors, as well. That’s where analyst firms like McKinsey or Forrester come in, providing reliable and unbiased analyses of market trends and best practices, buyer behaviors, and emerging technology.

Also known as marketing research firms, these organizations help marketing leaders make smarter decisions. Let’s take a look at the top three ways research from analyst firms can help shape your winning marketing strategy.

More fire power than your marketing team: Sure, you can do your own research—and many companies do. But just because you can replace the brakes on your car doesn’t mean you should. Research is the primary focus for established analyst firms, and they put all their resources behind it. Now that virtually all marketing is conducted via technology, there are more data available than ever before. And analyst firms are dedicated to surfing the cutting edge of business demands, digging for insights in areas before marketing professionals even know they want them.

Comprehensive view of market trends: Marketing analyst firms are uniquely positioned to research trends across hundreds of companies—and sometimes across industries, as well. This high level of visibility enables them to consider the context of different marketing behaviors and explain why a certain trend might work for one industry or business size and not another. When you’re designing your company’s next winning marketing strategy, you want to learn about those nuances and not just that “ABC Company did XYZ, and it worked for it.” Research from analyst firms helps marketing leaders drill down to the insights that are most appropriate for their industry and size, as well as their customers’ needs.

Trusted independent sources: We all know data can be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on the motivations of the people analyzing them. Indeed, many companies release research reports that are designed to sell products and services rather than inform and advise. By turning to independent analyst firms, you can feel confident that the research you’re considering is free from that bias. For decades, businesses across different industries have trusted analyst firms to produce intelligent research that gives marketing leaders a clear view into the trends and behaviors of the day.

Considering the amount of time and number of resources it takes to conduct marketing research at this level, your organization would benefit the most from relying on analyst firms for market insights. Smart marketers are always working to understand the ever-changing context of their work, and that means your competition is also looking to analyst firms for guidance. Making sure your marketing strategies are informed by quality research can help you stay in the game.