Research results are generally expected to generate new and surprising insights. Findings, in other words, show the responsible persons’ concrete paths for future success. This is sometimes the case – but by no means the rule. And: consumer surveys have their limits.

Consumer surveys are a helpful tool for understanding people and anticipating their possible actions. Consumers rarely think about how to develop a new advertisement for a product or the emotional charge of their brand. Clients who expect consumers to come up with solutions to management challenges will be disappointed in most cases.

Not infrequently, such expectations then lead to sentences such as … “we already knew that…” or “…is that all?…” when discussing the results: I have heard these statements more than once in recent years when talking about the contribution of research studies to the challenges of marketing management.

What is wrong with a responsible marketing manager receiving feedback that he is up-to-date and knowledgeable about his customers or markets?

I consider this case an achievement for the management. If a research project does not reveal anything surprising and “only” supports existing hypotheses, that confirms that management has done its job p

Consumers are good at mercilessly tearing apart their clients’ ideas, concepts, and planned measures. That hurts, especially when you are there live during such discussions and your convictions and work, for which you have toiled for weeks, come under scrutiny. But precisely, these experiences provide the necessary insight that ensures optimization in implementation.

And the demand for new knowledge? I don’t know of a single research project in which there were not at least three or four target-oriented insights that could be used for improved market cultivation or optimized products. The outside view can help us understand what drives “them out there.” This is especially true if, as a marketing manager, you have to convince your superiors and colleagues internally and gain knowledge.

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