Don't Only Look Back
Every piece of research, by itself, only captures a moment in time. It is not the whole picture. It is just a snapshot from the times, places, and people in which it occurs. So while it may be true that we have to look at the past for information, when making business decisions, we must consider that our data isn't evergreen.
Using old research, looking too far into the past can lead us astray. It's no great insight that outdated information can be misleading. We need to look at the past as an opportunity for learning and improvement. For business research, that comes best through tracking studies.
Trackers are quantitative by nature, taking enough respondents to produce statistically meaningful outcomes. It’s the statistical world that makes trackers a valuable tool for business decisions, putting consumer answers securely in the realms of numerical reasoning. We ensure that each wave of tracking has enough respondents to enable our team to analyze results on the top line, but also by important cuts, like gender, age, socio-demographic and geographic locations. These cuts, will also include sufficient respondents to make results worthy of action.
As more data that builds up over subsequent waves, the more valuable the information will become for making business decisions. Tracking important performance indicators (KPIs), and realizing what other changes could influence them to rise or fall will help keep goals in sight and efforts on track. Tracking allows the execution of the big strategic and business plans that can often end up taking lots of time and end up stuck in a drawer.
Tracking allows marketers to think in an ongoing way. It should be utilized to understand assumptions, whether they are accurate, and whether they are holding up over time - or whether you might have to do adjustments and change your assumptions.
Ultimately, without tracking, you are leaving a lot up to luck and hunches. Instead of hoping for that best, take advantage of tracking studies to make informed decisions and actively search for ways to increase income, decrease prices, cultivate consumer loyalty and, ultimately, promote growth.