Recently there was a high-profile magazine story about a motel owner in Colorado who created fake ventilation coverings in about a dozen rooms, then observed his guests', er... activities. For decades. DECADES.
On top of that, he kept a journal! We're talking thousands of detailed descriptions, many with his own analysis about what he saw. It must be acknowledged that, to a certain degree, this guy became one of the world's experts on human encounters, because he saw countless people from all walks of life doing all kinds of things.
And somewhat like the motel guy, as a research firm we observe all kinds of companies across the spectrum of industry.
Over the years, one of the most interesting things we've learned is that there are re-uses for products and services before sending them to scrap heap. You might be surprised at how often products can valued by other markets within a particular industry.
For instance, ColemanWick was hired by a fasteners manufacturer to, yes, voyeuristically snoop into the inner “lives” of its customers and markets in order to help the company gain a better understanding of its B2B buyers. Lo and behold, our work revealed a B2C market that the manufacturer had no idea existed. I don't have to tell you how thrilled they were to find a new revenue stream.
In truth, there are many successful companies that recognize that adhering to best practices includes conducting research. They know that research experts are bound to uncover surprising data that benefits their enterprise.
A few examples include:
Spotting budding industry trends
Making informed decisions on markets
Enhanced understanding of your competition
These are just some of the many ways research uncovers data that pays for itself many times over.
If you’re into that kind of thing.