Why Smart Research Is Critical to Your Success

Ask the right questions before you spend your ad dollars

Most businesses recognize that researching and developing a strategic plan is crucial for success, but are they being smart about their research? Is their research current? Do their strategies consider current marketing trends? Are they asking the right questions to their target audience? Questions like these are just the tip of the iceberg (which, if you’re not careful, you’ll ram right into). In order for a property to develop a successful strategic plan, they must first look at how they conduct their research.

The Importance of Effective Market Research

It is a rapidly changing world. The moment that your property has a firm grasp of the market, the market shifts, requiring you to adapt. By starting your market research as soon as possible, you will not only position yourself for success, but you will save time and money in the long run. To gain a competitive edge, effective marketing research on a continual basis works best. By being smart in your research and using it to your advantage, it will lead you to smart identifiers:

  • Identify challenges that you currently face.
  • Identify strengths that you may not have known were present.
  • Identify what is unique about your property and competitors.
  • Identify the opinions, perceptions and behaviors of your guests.

These identifiers are just a small sample of how effective market research can lead to smart results.

Looking Inward for Success

But what kind of agency would we be if we didn’t practice what we preach? Using the same process that has proven successful for our clients, we looked inward and discovered an opportunity to improve our own service offerings. In order to help our clients stay current in the market, we have enhanced our own research and creative processes.

Applying the Results of Research – Effectively Applying Ad Dollars

One example of the benefit of smart research that we have been able to apply to our clients has been discovering how and where to effectively spend advertising dollars. Through research, we found that over half of card-holding players are noticing and responding to general advertising via mobile devices, laptops and PCs, more than other forms of traditional media. So how does that translate to a useable data point for clients? This doesn’t mean to shift all your ad dollars to digital, but it does help identify how powerful digital advertising has become. This leads us to creating a better media mix, ensuring we reach the right audience through an efficient use of our client’s budget.

This is just one example of how the right kind of research can lead to greater ROI, not just for the present, but for the future.

Being Aware of the Future

2020 is here, which means that budgets should have already been prepared and planned for the next four quarters. But ask yourself this question – have you based any of this year’s budget on data or research that was conducted last year? Or is it based off research from the year before that? Or the year before that? Have you lost a specific type of player in the last year? Have you gained new players? Do you need to cut back or expand? A budget based off smart research will lead you to success, not only this year, but in 2021 and beyond.

When Is the Right Time for Research?

  • Before Yearly Budget Process
  • Before and During Expansion Projects
  • When Developing Marketing Campaigns
  • When Adding New Amenities
  • When Your Research Is Out-of-Date

The Bottom Line

There are so many investments that come with being successful, and one of these investments should be the right type of research. Investing in smart research works to lower your risks, increase sales, improve guest/management relationships and measure your brand’s reputation and development.

Brand development, creative, media planning and placement work when they’re done through smart research. Understanding and investing in research ensures that you are approaching decisions that create a positive impact on your business challenges and goals.

Mark Astone
Mark Astone 11 Articles