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Dangers of Reputation Consultants Cornering Marketing Research Briefs – MD, CMRG

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Against the plethora of challenges plaguing the marketing research in Nigeria, the Nigeria Marketing Research Association (NiMRA), the umbrella association for marketing practitioners in the country has been urged to be a lot more proactive, coordinated, and be more visible with a view to checkmating the incursion of quacks into the Nigerian Marketing Research practice industry.  

This piece of advice was dropped by Femi Daramola, Managing Director, CMRG, yesterday while fielding questions with our correspondent. According to the Managing Director, one of the biggest challenges hampering the growth of the industry is the “incidence of very exciting briefs going into the hands of non-research agencies”.

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Femi, who recently took over the leadership of CMRG, Nigeria’s leading nonaffiliated but world-class research agency, from its pioneer CEO, Lanre Fasakin, lamented, “Owing to the perceived “reputation” of management consultants, companies coming into the country seem comfortable giving research briefs to these non research organisations”.

Daramola holds that a well coordinated and proactive NiMRA can better regulate the activities of members and halt these incursions by nonmembers adding “I particularly desire that NiMRA becomes a chartered body, to better regulate the industry and the practice and as well project the interest of the clients.”

While not glossing over other challenges, Daramola taking a cue from his company revealed that industry needs to acquire and train employees in modern technology, as well as address the associated security, data integrity and reliability concerns. “Researchers still need time and training to learn to use technologies for maximum effectiveness especially in the face of the new-normal occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic”. 

Underscoring the importance of marketing research on building brands and organisations, Mr. Daramola pointed out that marketing research unveils the unique needs, behaviours, habits, and attitudes of consumers/customers and, this gives marketers, brand managers, monitoring and evaluation teams, governments, and other policy makers opportunities to make strategic decisions.

“For your products and services to be well-accepted, you must know the choices and preferences of your target audience. Market research provides you with essential information about your competitors and existing products. Results from the market research offer you insights into what it would take to succeed in the market. Hence, organizations base their business decisions such as sales and marketing strategy on good market research”.

To ensure marketing research reports do not end up on the shelf gathering dust, but rather to provide the necessary ROI, the CMRG Managing Director counsels practitioners and brand custodians that research reports need to provide answers to the objectives of the research, adding that it should include an executive summary, or dashboard.

“No matter how wonderful your report, there will always be those managers who just don’t have the luxury of time to read the entire report. At a minimum, write an executive summary that includes only the information managers will need to make the business decision at the heart of the project.

“Tell an interesting story. No one likes to read about data points only. Telling a story makes your research results accessible and leads the reader to implement. Be brief. Research has shown that we humans are reading less and less. So, keep your report short, simple and use lots of bullet points”, he cautioned. 

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