In this video, I’m going to be talking about a topic that often gets glossed over when people talk about market research: objectivity and empathy.

When companies embark on a market research campaign, they usually dive right in to talk about surveys, qualitative interviews and performance indicators. However, one first step that doesn’t get much love is thinking objectively about your business.

Really take a look at your current efforts and put yourself in your client’s shoes.

Do they feel empathised with and communicated to with your marketing?

Are there more effective ways that certain aspects can be portrayed?

Does your copy talk too much about you as a company and too little about the client’s needs and how you will serve them?

A bit of objectivity is great, and I’m certainly not saying that other parts of market research can be completely thrown out of the window, but getting a good grounding in empathic and objective thinking can help you come up with survey questions or bring up general areas of your marketing strategy that needs updating.

Take yourself outside of your business as if it were somebody else’s deal entirely. It can be hard to do. Setting up and maintaining a business comes with a lot of emotions. You need to try and cut yourself off from that momentarily. If it helps, try and put yourself in the shoes of a specific customer and think of it as a bit of role play.

How did they find your business?

How did they first reach out to you?

What marketing materials would they have had to have seen in order to take them through that process?

As a copywriter I will of course encourage you to think about the language you’re using. Is it accessible and welcoming or stuffy full of jargon?

How about your design? Is your fancy design work putting any roadblocks in the path of practicality? Or is your website totally built for functionality and not that easy on the eye?

Whether you’re simply thinking objectively or doing a bit of client role play, it may also help to get another person’s opinion; ask a trusted colleague, friend, or relative to take a look at things with you. They could point out things that you haven’t even noticed.

Why do I think that this is such an important first step?

First off, it’s free! Some elements of market research can end up quite expensive, but using your imagination (at least at the time of filming this video) is still totally free.

Secondly, it can be fun. I’m one of those strange people who finds marketing psychology totally fascinating, so applying it to real life marketing situations takes that to its logical conclusion.

The psychology of marketing is incredibly interesting and I’ve written about it before.

You can get other people on board to share their opinions too. Collaboration and picking other people’s brains can be fascinating and can throw up ideas that would never even have occurred to you.

Taking an all round objective look at your marketing message is a valuable exercise, both in and of itself and before a market research project, so get those mental cogs turning!