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Market Research Creativity: 4 Ways to Do More with Market Research

Getting Employees Fired UpYou have built up your in-house market research resources. Maybe standardized on a new survey platform. Perhaps hired some more market research staff. That’s great. Now that you have those skills and tools in place, let’s look at a few applications you may not have considered that will hone your competitive edge.


It’s hard to be passionate about your employer if you’re not sure that it’s actually doing anything meaningful for its customers. Insights into customers’ needs, attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions can fire up your employees to deliver great service. The more information employees have about customers, the more devoted they will be to meeting needs with excellence. Too often, customer survey results are only shared with the marketing team—but broader distribution of select results can be a powerful employee engagement strategy. [Read more on igniting employee passion by clicking here.]


Quotes from customers about what they like or dislike about your company or its competitors, or about their perceptions of sales processes or customer service, can be very powerful. (Don’t share any negative feedback about an individual in a public setting. Do share kudos.) Letting your salespeople hear new, even shocking things, will sensitize them to client needs. They’ll be less likely to be blinded by their own perceptual filters, more likely to hear the whole story and take action.

But don’t just tell your people what’s going on. Ask them, too.


Have you ever surveyed your employees to find out what companies they admire?  What CEOs they think exhibit the best leadership?  Which competitors they consider strongest or weakest?  How they think your company rates against the competition?  Give employees a chance to share their observation and opinions about the business; you’ll harvest great insights and engage them at the same time. Who, after all, knows your company better? They’ll appreciate the opportunity to share their opinions, especially if constructive action is taken in response.  But have a plan: if no results are shared and no action taken, employees will feel it was just an empty gesture.


I’ll bet you can come up with ten questions to ask your shareholders, or your Board. What are their perceptions of your company?  How do they feel about the types and frequency of company updates?

This information doesn’t obligate you to act on their every whim. Knowing what they think may be half the battle.  If their perceptions are aligned with reality, great. If not, there may be opportunities to close those gaps.  Do they think the company is not socially responsible enough?  Maybe it is, and you just need to communicate all that you’re doing. Are they overly concerned with its short-term versus long-term prospects?  Maybe you need to do some more education about management’s strategic direction.

[Do you have staff that could use some market research training? Check out our online classes; most are under an hour, and all can be viewed conveniently from any web browser.]


Kathryn Korostoff

Kathryn Korostoff is founder and lead instructor at Research Rockstar. Over the past 25 years, she has personally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 bylined articles in magazines. She is also a professor at Boston University, where she teaches grad students how to analyze and report quantitative data.

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3 thoughts on “Market Research Creativity: 4 Ways to Do More with Market Research”

  1. I think you brought up a really nice point about engaging with employees on customer topics. At my internship, we did lots of focus groups with the employees which gave the market researchers good insights into the consumer’s behaviors as well as it showed employees the important aspects of the products!

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