September 27, 2016

Your website has been designed by the best designer you have ever met. Your logo took months to create and used more resources than you care to admit, and your messaging was crafted by your organization’s best and brightest minds. Still, no feedback on the designs, no visible increase in market share, and perhaps most importantly, site visitation and net profit are flat.

So why is this the case? You ask the designers and they can’t tell you. You ask the creative folks and they “feel” it was a success? The marketing department chalks it up to a near miss but no one is offering any clear answers.

Now, if you are a realist missing is and always will be part of the game. The real question is: How do you negate as much missing as possible? The answer is simple yet often itself is missed when creating a digital strategy... research.

The number of digital agencies all over the world dare I say has never been greater and with that the competition never so fierce. Lately at our research and training firm we have been partnering with some of these more forward-thinking agencies and what we are now bringing to their clients and partners has been received with refreshing enthusiasm, quantifiable answers to their questions.

In the last year we have been responsible for helping both businesses and NGOs alike hit more targets and miss less. Before their new designs or messaging ever hits eyes or ears, they are tested with their intended audience. We have quantified the risk and reward of digital communications by pre-testing web and logo concepts, brand and market messaging, and defined which communications strategies are going to work in order to get those digital offerings to the greatest number of people.

There seems to be a prevalent and near toxic perception when it comes to software and digital assets that is based around the theory that once you have the software or the site, the rest will work itself out. Well, without researching what your audience actually wants and expects, you are really rendering yourself defenseless when it comes to the why, what and how of your organization’s digital strategy problem. If you have to ask: “Why didn’t that design work?”, or “What could we have done to improve?”, or “How do we avoid this in the future?”, chances are you need to start incorporating more research into your project plans.

So what are your options? Yes, you have options. I’m not talking about which research firm should you hire I’m talking about your options as far as how would you like to get the research done? Would you like to do the research yourself or work with a professional services firm? Today’s technology offers us both options, providing you have the right training to execute the research. At Growth we are trying to lead the charge when it comes to helping organizations become more research independent if they want to be or give them the option of using our expert services for a reasonable cost.

Having the confidence to use survey research results effectively means having findings you can trust enough in order to make solid resource and financial decisions for your organization. Make sure you are connecting and not missing.

-Nate Laban