I’ll admit it. I’m a research junkie. Any chance I get, I binge out on information. Nearly every topic interests me. Business, animals, cooking, history, relationships, the sciences… you name it. My curiosity leads me down learning paths every day.
This trait, the natural tendency to research and learn everything I can about a subject, has become my trademark throughout my career. As I enter into new roles, companies, and industries, I spend most of my free time learning everything I can about the project in front of me. I study the ins and outs with a ruthlessness that only other learners would understand. My desire to “know” consumes me, and turns out, that’s a great quality in a marketer because we use the knowledge to create solid strategies to attract customers.
Research in Action
Several years ago, I was hired for a role at an education startup. When I arrived on the scene, a small group of students was going through the first cohort of the course — a beta-test of sorts — and the school administrators were busy working on ways to recruit more students. I was hired to assist with recruiting and operations.
As usual, my tendency to learn about the role (and the industry) led me to see why the administrators were not meeting their recruitment goals. It was understandable that they had trouble with recruiting because no one on the team had a marketing or sales background. However, I learned from weeks of research how these educators could use their expertise to attract potential students. By studying the industry, the ideal student profile, the psychology behind their decision to enroll in similar courses, and how our competitors attracted students, I gained a deep understanding of our target customers and how to reach them.
Armed with knowledge, it was time to share my findings with my colleagues. To do this, I created a short presentation using Canva.com. I love using Canva! It helps me organize my thoughts, and I find that since most of us are visual learners, skimmable presentations are ideal when sharing almost every type of research with others.
- You can take a look at the Target Customer Analysis I developed for this education startup: Download the Presentation PDF
After sharing the presentation with my peers, I was asked to share it with the CEO. A bit nervous, I drove to headquarters and met with him about my research. We discussed all aspects of the startup in detail and he was impressed with my deep understanding of the market. About one month later, I was promoted to a role in Business Development (more on that story later) and I’m certain it was because of the “overtime” I put into research. It’s a skill, and borderline obsession, that has paid dividends for me, my clients, colleagues, and managers. Research sets me apart from other marketers.
P.S. If you have a marketing project you think I might be interested in, please feel free to schedule a Collab Sesh on my calendar! I reserve a few hours each week to talk to people about their companies and careers, and I’d love to learn more about the cool things you’re working on and how I might make them cooler.