If you've worked in the marketing industry for 10 minutes, you know that most companies don't leverage the power of research. Or they think that they already know their customers/clients well enough to jump right to developing creative tactics.
A client from my old agency spent $75,000 to build a content rich microsite in hopes of engaging current clients and attracting new ones. However, they never conducted one bit of research to find out what their audience might want. No poll on their current site. No email. No third party survey. No industry survey. Nothing.
The fallout, of course, is when a project like this is deemed "unsuccessful," it's put on the agency. Our business has a short term memory problem, so reminding a client that you suggested research many times doesn't play.
So, how can we help companies understand the importance of market research?
Present more case studies of its effectiveness?
Change the name from "Market Research" to "Creative Discovery"?
Only work with clients who understand the importance of it (yeah, right)?
Seriously, what can we do? What do you do?