Creativity vs. Market Research

 Marketers and their agencies value market research insight in developing successful marketing and communication strategies. The more you understand your customer and prospects, the more effective are your marketing efforts.  This is particularly important in today’s extremely dynamic agriculture market where changes in demographics, attitudes, technology, and farming practices are common.

Despite this, some copywriters or art directors strongly oppose conducting market research to guide their efforts.  From their perspective, research restricts creative freedom and their opportunity to produce “standout” communications.


Bad Research Results in Bad Creative

Creativity involves producing original ideas that are unusual or novel. It’s self-expression in its fullest form. Yet, when creativity is applied to marketing communications, the perspective of the market audience must also be considered – not only to produce impactful communications that will get noticed, but communications that highly resonate with your audience with key convincing messaging.

However, for advertising testing, the worst thing you can do is attempt to turn a focus group of farmers into art directors by asking them to review multiple versions of an advertising concept. This is an example of applying qualitative research at the wrong time in the creative process.

We suggest the following best approach to creative development:

  • Use farmer focus groups to gain insight into the brand, product and key buyer values that resonate with the group. The discussion should begin with general observations and then focused on key product attributes and messaging. You also can gain insight into message treatments through “persona” or “style boards” which represent variations in visuals and graphic components.
  • If there are several possible variations in messaging, quantitative testing can determine which version most resonates with the market audience. This can be accomplished through an online panel or CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) surveying.

As a rule, testing completed ad concepts with a handful of farmers is never a good idea because the results do not benefit the creative process.


Good Market Research is the Groundwork for Great Creative

By providing confirmed messaging prior to concepting, you inspire your creative team to develop unique and novel ways to translate the messaging into effective communications. This not only makes the creative process easier, but also ensures greater acceptance of the finished product. Marketers want communications that gets noticed and fully resonates with customers and prospects – good market research ensures that.


To learn more about our research expertise  or if you need an estimated cost for upcoming research, please don’t hesitate to contact Senior Partner, Mark Vogel: [email protected].