Top Tips for AEC Industry Market Research with Stephanie Craft, MBA
There’s nothing MARKETLINK Principal Stephanie Craft loves more than a challenge. That’s probably why she loves market research so much. “I become a detective! There is information out there I’m trying to find and I love the challenge of figuring out how I’m going to find it.”
Stephanie discovered she had a knack for research years ago while working as the business development director for a former employer. “I found I really enjoyed researching clients and markets; finding out who decision makers are and how organizations work,” she explains.
These days Stephanie regularly puts her super sleuth skills to use for MARKETLINK clients. “We really enjoy providing strong, proven data the marketing department can use to assist leadership in making decisions,” says Stephanie. “It’s rewarding when we can help a client shine.”
What makes a great detective?
Know Your Resources
“You need both primary and secondary research to get the full picture,” Stephanie describes. “I start by tapping into a solid network of resources, both online and personal contacts. From there, I discover who knows what or which website will offer the best, most accurate information at a nominal cost.”
While doing the actual research can be straightforward, the next steps are critical. “It takes experience and skill to gather the information, analyze it, and turn it into useful recommendations on which a firm make decisions and takes action.”
Take the Time
It all takes time and focus. Many firms don’t take the time to research their existing markets, let alone targeted ones, to know where the markets are headed. But that’s exactly what is needed. “Market research can and should be the engine that drives a firm’s marketing goals and objectives,” Stephanie advocates. “Every year or two before your strategic planning session, build in some research time so you are armed with good data regarding where your markets are going, and if or how you are going to be successful in that market the following year.”
Whether your firm wants to expand into new geographies or develop next year’s marketing plans, by becoming a data detective you can ensure your marketing dollars are spent where they have the best chance of producing a solid return.