Beyond moving merch: research helps extend customer lifecycles

“Make sure your product is better than anyone else’s.” Those words from Joe Martin, CEO of BoxyCharm, stuck with me long after his presentation to almost one hundred students gathered for the StartUp FIU meet and greet at Florida International University on November 15th. The advice is simple, yet often neglected in an age in which so many entrepreneurs and marketers spend much of their energy fighting for the short attention of their target audiences in an attempt to land a sale. While a social media influencer might persuade a consumer to try a new product, its superior value will ensure they come back for more (and bring their friends along).

Marketing research allows marketers to gain real-time information about what their customers truly need and what their competitors are offering them. When a marketer makes it a priority to engage in conversations with their clients regularly, they are better equipped to navigate an unpredictable market. They can maneuver around obstacles with small and swift movements while their competition gets sidelined by them. Good research data can reveal the trajectory of a given market. The extent to which a marketing leader utilizes it can also predict the path of his/her career. And if you’re anything like Joe Martin, it will take you to the top of your industry.

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