It’s interesting to see that market research continues to play a significant role in setting political agendas and determining the focus for the Australian government as we head towards a September 2013 Federal election.
An analysis by The Australian newspaper has shown that Government departments spent a record $35 million on market research last financial year on everything from opinion polling and focus groups to customer surveys.
The market research was carried out by a Government keen to test the public mood on issues like the carbon tax, plain packaging, tourism, the NBN, private health insurance rebate changes and banking reform.
The Australian article highlighted that ‘the ability to commission and draw on the information collated from these forays into community attitudes is one of the key advantages of incumbency. It allows a government to fashion ministerial talking points, to identify problems in service delivery and to assess the popularity of policies – before and after they are implemented’.
While many organisations may not have the Federal Government’s budget, the importance of professional market research in shaping business and marketing decisions is highly significant for large organisations to SME’s.
Effective communication with existing and potential customers is crucial in shaping the organisations approach to both customer service and marketing. If organisations don’t know what their clients or customers want how can they shape their products, services or messages to have maximum appeal?
The business of running for Government places an emphasis on knowing what people want. During the 2012 presidential election in the United States it was reported that both Obama and Romney spent over a billion dollars each to influence voters. Data analytics played a huge role in determining what was working and what wasn’t throughout the campaign. Now that a date for the 2013 Federal election has been set monitoring the opinions of the public will become even more crucial for strategic planning and campaigning.
Digital technology now means that it’s possible for both large organisations and SME’s to conduct market research in a relevant and engaging way. Getting elected is serious business, but so is knowing what consumers and customers want.