This week Marks and Spencer’s announced a down turn with pre-tax profit dropping 88% to £25.1m, from £216m in the same period a year ago. In response to this they have made a fast and furious safe-keeping decision to close 30 stores and open 120 Simply Food stores.
The retailer’s new chief executive, Steve Rowe, said more than 100 UK stores were in the firing line as part of a wider shakeup designed to end a long-running slump in clothing sales and devote more space to its more successful food business. He outlined plans to open 200 new Simply Food outlets.
Because financials and statistics aside, M&S will have carried out market research to really understand what their customers think and feel. They have made huge executive decisions ensuring they bring back up their profits long term in uncertain times.
In September I attended one of Sleeping Giant’s Talks (if you haven’t attended one yet then you MUST give it a go) at Westminster “Digital Marketing Post-Brexit, How to thrive in a Changing World.” This talk was hosted only 3 months post-referendum and Luke Quilter from Sleeping Giant said “this is the hardest talk I’ve had to host and deliver” as it was so soon and we’d hoped things would be clearer.
However, amongst many useful snippets, an important lesson I did take away with me that day was that during these uncertain times we MUST really understand our strengths and weaknesses and equally important we need to know what our customers feel about our brand and service or product. This can be done through market research, in response to conclusive insights, we should REFINE and refine again and be bold with our tweaks and adjustments in terms of our marketing and business strategies.
Inspired by these events I have created some quick, easy, useful and actionable top Market Research activities that will help you explore and thus providing you with conclusions and insights to your business offering. Findings that will equip you with the safe knowledge that you really understand your customers and you are offering exactly what they love about your company.
By employing a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods, you will gain a broader picture and you will gain anecdotal stories giving a more human element to your analytics. Using M&S as a leading example, whose Chief Executive Steve Rowe said this is the “beginning of the beginning”, he understands he has to make dramatic change to see through tougher times ahead.
Always think – acquisition, conversions and retention and apply your research insights to each aspect of your customer journey!
Have you already sought customer knowledge in the face of Brexit? If so which market research methods did you carry out? I hope you find this useful and perhaps try just some of these research methods that will seriously equip with you REAL outcomes and help your 2017 strategy.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to make comments in the comments box or email me if you have enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org If you’d like to learn more about our new Market Research brand OH! Market Research please click here.