​Research: Walking the Tightrope Takes Preparation

Gail Straus

Nik Wallenda takes few risks

In many ways, he takes fewer risks than most organizations do as he walks on high wires well above the ground and without a net.

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Yet, you know he’s done his research. He understands the extent and limit of his abilities and those of his team. He knows the conditions surrounding him. He invests in the right tools to do the job. He leaves nothing to chance. And, however thrilling it is to watch him, he succeeds.

Most of us don’t need the same thrills and suspense in our work lives. So why do we forego the preparation that will ensure our risks are few?

I’m talking about conducting marketing campaigns without understanding who we’re talking to and how they will respond; about launching websites without user testing; and generally about doing business with no appreciation for how our offer is perceived or what our customers really want from us. I’m talking about the due diligence of marketing research.

Without sound and objective marketing research, we’re taking considerable risks. We risk spending precious marketing dollars on strategies and messages that miss the mark. We risk talking about what’s important to us rather than understanding how our customer buys or what motivates our audience members. At best, we risk wasting time and money and wondering why.

We should all be more like Nik Wallenda and do our homework, invest in a solid foundation that empowers us to thrill our audiences with great products and services.


Magnani is an experience design and strategy firm that crafts transformational digital experiences to delight users and deliver sustainable competitive market advantages for our clients.


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