Marketing Research is Important in a Downbeat Economy


Share on LinkedIn

The May 17th Wall Street Journal weekend edition contain an article (“Consumers Are Downbeat on Economy” by Sudeep Reddy) that stated “Consumer sentiment about the economy dropped to a 28-year low amid surging gasoline prices, falling home prices and a weakening job market.”

When the economy tightens many unusual marketing messages start to pop up to compete for your attention. For example, my wife’s dentist recently sent a direct mail piece that contained the following sentence:

“Health is always at the forefront of our minds and as you are probably aware our government will soon be sending us economic relief checks this summer. What a great opportunity this could be to assist you with your goals for reaching optimal dental health. If it has been awhile since you have experienced our incredibly thorough oral health evaluation or if you have treatment pending … now is the time!”

My hat is off to her dentist for using our government’s economic stimulus program as a creative angle for pitching dental health. However; she already schedules at least two visits per year and has never let her dental health take a back seat. In that light, he could have saved some of his direct marketing budget by doing a little homework first (like reason checking his own patients’ records against the proposed list) before launching his campaign.

In the B2B world I also seem to be getting more pitches that reflect a minimal amount of homework. For example, just last Friday I received the following message:

Hello Alan,

My company places media for leading B2B technology companies that are interested in generating high quality leads and advancing their brand awareness.

XYZ Company partners with our clients to support their business goals. We are committed to understanding our clients’ businesses and providing innovative and cost effective placements, without incremental spending.

I would appreciate 15 minutes of your time to explore how we might be able to help your company exceed its business goals. Is there a time early next week that fits your schedule?

Thank you,

John Doe
XYZ Company

When I get messages that reflect the tone above I’m often tempted to reply with the following:


Thanks for the note. I’m actually looking for media companies that are not interested in partnering and only want to take my budget and run. Company’s that don’t care about our goals – only making sure their own sales objectives are satisfied. Organizations who have no idea what business issues our solutions address and no interest in understanding our targeted personas. Finally, it would be a great help if you could help us generate poor quality leads that are not checked against budget, authority, need or timeframe.



OK, I’m just kidding – kind of.

Granted, John Doe with XYZ Company probably doesn’t have detailed information or records on my company; but he still needs to do his homework and be more specific before I’m going to give up even 15 minutes on a phone call.

TwitterCounter for @alansee

Add to Technorati Favorites

Alan See
Alan See is Principal and Chief Marketing Officer of CMO Temps, LLC. He is the American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year for Content Marketing and recognized as one of the "Top 50 Most Influential CMO's on Social Media" by Forbes. Alan is an active blogger and frequent presenter on topics that help organizations develop marketing strategies and sales initiatives to power profitable growth. Alan holds BBA and MBA degrees from Abilene Christian University.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here