Customer research – essential for an effective communications strategy

What is the single most important thing for your customers? What is the first thing they think about on a Monday morning? How do they perceive your business and the services you provide?

The answers to these questions are invaluable. In fact, they’re pure gold dust, and being armed with such powerful customer feedback is the most effective way for your business to develop a communications strategy that really works.


A simple question with an illuminating answer…

Ask yourself this simple question: is your business basing its communications strategy on hard facts derived from in-depth customer research; or, as is often the case, from purely anecdotal evidence and opinion? If the latter is true for your business, the best-case scenario is that you could be leaving a lot on the table with new opportunities obscured by a lack of key information, while the worst-case scenario could mean that your communications strategy is actively working against you.

The good news is that there are two simple ways to unlock the full potential of your business: quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative research is great for tracking campaigns involving a large audience, but for b2b businesses the number of customers is usually relatively few (at least compared to the commercial marketplace). For those businesses based on personal relationships, qualitative research really helps to get to the core of what drives your customers, how they think, and how they feel towards your business, your services, and your performance.



The best part about qualitative research is that it benefits both parties, and customers are not only willing to participate but actively want to help. Ultimately, the insights and recommendations that they provide can result in a better service for them, as well as better performance for you!



Your research-based, tailor-made communications plan

The research conducted by Medicine Man’s experienced research team tends to break down into a handful of key themes and issues, where via sensitive questioning, listening, and understanding we are able to create a research-based communications plan tailor-made according to the conclusions of our research.

Over the past year we’ve been commissioned to speak to many of our client’s customers via one-to-one interviews, within a questionnaire framework to elicit insightful responses and individual nuances. The unique insights that emerge from such research enable our clients to reappraise how customers understand their business, and to build a plan that strengthens relationships, capitalises on new business opportunities, and even improves the way they communicate internally.

As a strategic communications business, we’re committed to supporting our clients in their continual growth and performance ambitions. As with any journey, before you arrive where you want to be, you need to make sure you are starting in the right place.




Our five top tips are:



Use the business plan with all available insight as the basis of the communications plan to deliver the specific communication objectives agreed i.e. brand identity, positioning and value proposition, website, customer digital comms campaigns


Use the basis of the plan to create a framework questionnaire employing a mixture of sector specific information related to the target customer audience, and more existing customer relationship based questions to ascertain what they are looking for and how the find working with your business


Take time to identify the correct mix of customer interview candidates that represent the sectors and services you currently provide, and some where your future business ambitions lie


Provide 20-30% more customer interview candidates than required as planning and booking the interviews to meet the respect target interview quotas can be challenging within specific time frames


Use the summary report to sign post the key initiatives that need to be considered when aiming to achieve the longer term business strategic vision initially mapped out in point 1. Refining and recalibrating communications planning messaging and campaigns to ensure they are more effective