[insert-author-info] On February 18, SMPS-NY Professional Development held “Iron Marketer—Who Will Use Research to Reign Supreme?” where a group of top marketers and researchers shared their approach to research, to managing expectations, to evaluating information, to influencing within the decision making process, and more. Michael McCann, Business Development and Marketing Manager for The Clarient Group, and our evening’s moderator, kicked off by asking the experts about firm leadership reacting, instead of properly using research data, and how they (the experts) overcome these challenges. Laura Pasternak, Principal and Chief Brand Strategist for MarketPoint, explained that everyone involved needs to understand what the research will and will NOT do for you, often requiring an education process before the data dig. Another question referenced the, often overlooked, key forces in an organization’s macro environment: Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, Technological, Legal, Ethics, and Demographics (STEEPLED), and how these influence the decision making process. Francis Gretes, Principal of Gretes Research Services, advised that all should be considered individually. For example, when was the original research done, can you identify trends? Brian Ferry, Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications for Hunter Roberts Construction Group, added it is critical to verify assumptions of your firm’s currently successful markets to look to the future and identify what might be next. During the discussion, Lauren D’Urso, Director of Marketing for Gensler, offered a global perspective on sharing data internally once collected, verified, and organized. “It is key to have channels in place to communicate the information across your organization. This supports a culture of research.” Once our Iron Marketers shared their insight, it was time for battle! The audience broke into four groups, with two teams evaluating the same data:
  1. as a Houston, Texas, architectural firm’s Business Development Director, use the provided information to make a case for which market to pursue: hospitality or residential; and
  2. a young, dynamic architectural firm in Seattle, Washington, has to use the provided information to make a case for how the firm should grow: expanding geographically in current verticals or into new verticals within Seattle.
Each of the four teams presented their case and two victors were named! Click here to see photos from the event!