Market researchers and strategists have a symbiotic relationship. Strategists offer a hypothesis or point of view, creating meaningful relationships between data and facts. It’s a matter of connecting the dots, not collecting the dots. While data gives voice to the consumer, strategists factor in cultural context to present a holistic picture of the narrative the data is trying to tell.
Even though some overlap between market research and strategy may occur, they are two distinct disciplines. Data informs while insights inspire. It is the strategists' responsibility to discern nuances in the data and codify campaign strategy to engage targeted segments of the population, in-culture.
About eight years ago, however, the total market approach threatened in-culture marketing. Essentially a synonym for general population, total market made few allowances for diversity and inclusion. While the popularity of the approach started to wane a few years later, it was the cultural awakening of 2020 that sealed its fate. Or so we thought. More consumers became culturally aware last year, but many brands still struggled to identify and connect with subcultures present within the general population authentically. Brands subscribing to the total market approach casts a wide net, diluting their messaging and alienating multicultural consumers.
As a result, the total market era was plagued by cultural missteps and marketing faux pas because brands were simply out of touch.
In this episode of The New Mainstream podcast, Deadra Rahaman, Vice President of Brand Strategy at Huge, discusses the relationship between market researchers and strategists and how the total market approach threatens in-culture marketing.