The Importance of Upfront Research in Online Marketing

Research is like eating veggies

Do your research to be big and strong!

I can hear the groans of disapproval already but this is something that needs discussed.

I promise to be quick with my thoughts today and get you on your way.

Simply stated, if you are interested in online marketing success then you need to do some level of research before spending resources. While research is important to online marketing decision making, it doesn’t need to be painful to be effective.

Research is the process of gathering data and turning it into information so you can learn more about things that are unknown. It’s truly a tool to help you make educated decisions for your business. It does this by giving you a picture of what is occurring now so you can hopefully affect the future. The trouble is many companies believe they have a clear view of their business and marketing needs. They may stop short on digging a little deeper because they feel like they have a firm grasp of their position and perception in the market.

Another way to define research is to say it’s an objective search for information. Maintaining objectivity in research is important if companies are to have realistic confidence in its findings. Outside help can provide the objectivity needed for a fair assessment. A perspective that hasn’t been indoctrinated into company politics and historic belief systems keeps everyone honest.

Regular objective research is not only used for the purpose of learning, it is also critical in making good decisions. Decisions based on business objectives and clear attainable goals. The end game with research should be doable recommendations. And after those recommendations are implemented you need to schedule regular reviews in order to understand their impact on the bottom line. Are they working? Does something need adjusted? This is where agility pays dividends!

I truly believe more is lost in indecision than in the wrong decision. So use research to plot your course and then make tweaks to that course in order to realign your efforts. Analysis paralysis is a real thing and can seriously stunt your online marketing efforts. Parents always tell their kids to eat their veggies to grow up big and strong. Kids don’t always like their veggies just like business people don’t always like researching. In the words of my father, you’re going to eat your veggies now or eat them later. Might as well get it done before they’re cold and gross!

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