When you’re running a business, and looking to make decisions about the future, you need to feel confident that you’re making the right choices. Founders and CEOs are under a lot of pressure – this stress is well known and easy to understand: people’s salaries (and therefore whole lives) are resting on your ability to make a good choice and keep your business profitable. It’s this stress that goes some way to explain the high wages CEOs and other executive level personnel can command.
Shoring up your decision-making processes with objective data can lift some of that burden from your shoulders: data about the market, about your customers, about your rivals in the industry give you a foundation of fact you can base your decisions on, and even the ability to predict the outcome of the choices you’re making.
Unfortunately, you likely don’t have time to become an expert on statistics and data interpretation as well as in your industry, your employees and your clients. Trying to perform your own data gathering and interpretation will simply stretch you too far, and leave you unable to do your job effectively. As a CEO or founder, it’s your role to take high-level decisions that steer the future of the company, not become mired in minutiae. What you need is expert help.
Brand intelligence companies and market research firms don’t just perform surveys. While this is a vital function they can help you with – your reach only extends as far as people who’ve already chosen to shop with you, come into a branch of your business or otherwise share their contact details with you, while market research specialists have access to a cross section of your entire potential market – it’s far from the only thing they can do for you.
One of the most important functions a good market researcher will perform for you is the interpretation of data. If, at the end of a research project they simply present you with a spreadsheet showing how people responded to your questions, they’ve left the job half done. What you need are insights: interpretations of that data that even a non-expert can understand and use to inform their business decisions. Extracting insights from a dataset means connecting multiple results to create a ‘story’ that tells important things about your customers, and that you can use to supercharge your decision-making and make sure you’re heading in the right direction for success.