Five Market Research Shortcuts
Last week I had the pleasure of being a guest on the KAJ Masterclass podcast. We spoke about branding and marketing fundamentals. One topic that came up repeatedly was the need for market research. Throughout my career, I have seen many leaders—in both the for- and not-for-profit sectors—dismiss investing in market research as a waste of money because they were confident they knew what people were thinking.
They did not.
As I’ve said before, messaging is a two-way street. If you’re just sending your message out and not taking others’ messages in, you’re bull-horning, not communicating. Market research can be time-consuming and expensive, but it is time and money well spent. However, if you can’t secure either, here are some fast and affordable ways to listen to your constituents.
Don't Know Where to Start? Try this simple tool.
It happens to all of us from time to time. We get overwhelmed with so much to do we do not know where to start. Here’s a tool that can help: The Eisenhower Matrix. It’s a simple 2×2 that lets you map out steps based on the amount of effort they take relative to the amount of impact those steps will have. The Matrix can be a huge help when it comes to activities like rebranding your organization, determining a marketing strategy, or updating your product or offering.
In most situations, we recommend starting with those items that take little effort but have a big impact. Who doesn’t love a quick win? Next, move on to the more difficult activities that also produce a big impact. Finally, move on to those activities that don’t have a lot of impact, first those that don’t take a lot of effort followed by those which do. (HINT: People rarely get to #4, but that’s okay!)
Let’s take rebranding your organization as an example. Under the first quadrant (little effort/big impact) you might have updating social media accounts or changing email signature. In the second quadrant (big effort/big payoff) you would have activities such as employee uniforms or building signage. Activities that have little impact but take little effort (third quadrant), might include branded pens, and an example of something that little impact but take a lot of effort (fourth quadrant) would be getting your spouse’s grandfather to tell all his friends about what you do.
In this recurring feature of Focal Point, we profile people and organizations on a mission! If you have someone to suggest, let us know! This month, we’re featuring our Nonprofit.ist.
We all need a little help from time to time. Nonprofits are no exception. Consultants can help in a number of ways, such as with an issue that’s outside your expertise; a persistent challenge that won’t go away; or you want an outside perspective or set of hands to come in and help.
The Nonprofit.ist seeks to create a more just and equitable nonprofit sector. They work to improve the field with opportunities that address diversity, equity and inclusion in both consulting practices and in the nonprofit sector. Specifically, they:
- Create an anti-racist toolkit for nonprofit leaders
- Engage experts in training and professional development around racial equity frameworks
- Focus on creating a diverse and inclusive directory that reflects the world we live in.
If you or your organization have a story to share about how your message impacts your work, don’t be shy! Let us know! We’re always looking for new guests.
"I've always tried to present a positive view of the world in my work. It's so much easier to be negative and cynical and predict doom for the world than it is to try and figure out how to make things better.
We have an obligation to do the latter."
— Jim Henson
Born this month in 1936, James Maury Henson was an American puppeteer, animator, cartoonist, actor, inventor, and filmmaker who achieved worldwide notice as the creator of The Muppets and Fraggle Rock (1983–1987) and director of The Dark Crystal (1982) and Labyrinth (1986). He was born in Greenville, Mississippi, and raised in Leland, Mississippi, and University Park, Maryland.