Instead of relying on marketing research, this segment turns to highly credentialed consultants for fresh insights and approaches. The Consultant Oriented reject marketing research. They believe it takes too much time, doesn’t provide sufficient customer insights, and isn’t used anyway. Not expecting their managers to present hard data to back up their recommendations, they don’t see the need for marketing research.
Convinced their buyers can’t tell them which features and benefits they want, the Consultant Oriented see research as a dead end. Geared to a mass market, those in this segment don’t have a need to design products or services based on what customer segments want.
While critical of marketing research, the Consultant Oriented worry they don’t have the information to face future competition. Because they lack confidence in the information they have, the Consultant Oriented are less willing than our other segments to propose new directions to management.
This segment believes that target marketing is the most efficient way to make money. Working for companies looking for change and innovation, Sophisticates invest in new sources of information, such as seminars and industry publications. Although they rely on external rather than internal data, Sophisticates are frustrated because they feel the marketing research they get isn’t actionable. Working for companies that face intense competition, the Sophisticates believe they need new sources of marketing information.
With this need, Sophisticates look for people with interesting methods or unique systems. Moving beyond demographics and behaviors, Sophisticates want insights into what motivates their customers to buy their products. For this segment, improved targeting would come from using a system integrating attitudes with demographics and behaviors.
The Internally Focused have a very low opinion of marketing research. They feel most marketing research is a waste of money because it is neither actionable nor believable. The Internally Focused rely on internal, rather than external, data and secondary, rather than primary, research. If they do commission research, it has to deliver simple and direct solutions to their marketing problems. Their markets are defined by a few key characteristics, rather than sophisticated profiles.
Any consultant they use has to have significant experience in their industry. While they feel most consultants tell them what they already knew, they are too busy to meet with new ones. Other potential sources of new information are of no interest. Their management wants straight-forward answers, and so they make “seat-of-the-pants” decisions based on whatever data is available.
Those in this segment consider themselves and their departments to be computer literate, capable of using the most sophisticated information technology. The Technology Adept realize the future will belong to those using the latest information available.
The Technology Adept work for companies focused on short-term profits over long-term investments. At the same time, they expect decisions and recommendations to be based on solid research data from sales, not attitudes. The Technology Adept are focused on a mass market, rather than on niches.
Armed with marketing research they believe is both reliable and actionable, this segment feels it has sufficient insights. This research gets used enough to be worthwhile, especially with the help of suppliers, who deliver on time and on budget. For the Technology Adept, new consultants would have to be highly rated and have external credentials, such as a book.