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Research can be critical to biz success

Regular readers of the Mississippi Business Journal are familiar with our typical layout of news and features, commentary, People to Watch, Strictly Business and then in-depth coverage of a specific industry, economic segment or issue.

Following an editorial calendar made up of a specific focus each week provides us with a valuable organizational tool, and it also allows our many advertisers to tightly target their message to our readers.

Throughout the year, we get up close and personal with a wide range of subjects covering every aspect of business in the Magnolia State: Architects, Engineers, Attorneys, Accounting, Healthcare, Technology, Economic Development, Insurance, Employee Benefits, Gaming, Real Estate, Banking and Finance, Education, Travel and Tourism.
And on it goes.

The focus content complements the rest of our editorial lineup, and helps us to get that much closer to our goal of being “Mississippi’s Essential Source for Business News.”

This week we take our editorial focus section in a slightly different direction with Mississippi Market Facts.

Spinning it out

Market Facts joined our focus roster in 2004, but it followed a more traditional layout and design. For this year’s incarnation, we have spun it out into a section of its own.

We have expanded the number of articles. Created infographics to present more detailed information. And boosted the number of color pages we run to enhance readability.

A starting point

We offer Market Facts 2005 with the hope that the charts, graphs and stories will provide you with key information in an actionable context that helps you lead your business to greater levels of achievement and profitability.

It should also serve as a sound starting point if you’ve been thinking about doing a little market research of your own.

As one senior executive source we talk to this week points out, solid research can make a difference.

‘Cheaper than a mistake’

According to John McKie, senior vice president of marketing for Jackson-based GodwinGroup, a key point for any business thinking about research is to make sure that the final results can help make decisions.

“If you’re going to invest money in a business, isn’t it worth it to invest a few dollars in research?” he says. “It’s a lot cheaper than a mistake. That’s why it’s critical that clients understand that research helps them make decisions. We try to turn it into something that hits the street.”

He recommends research for a major business decision and says it’s much less expensive than a failed business or a bad location.

Working for you

Our editorial team would like to know what you think Market Facts. What should we to next year’s section? What kinds of stories are you interested in reading? What can we do to cover your business better? What do you like to read in the MBJ? What do you hate?

Your answers to questions like these enable us to do our jobs better. And after all, it’s you — the readers and advertisers — who matter. We don’t publish the Mississippi Business Journal for ourselves. We do it to inform, engage, advance and tell the great success stories of our state’s business community.

Let us hear from you. Your story could be the next one we tell.

Contact MBJ editor Jim Laird at jlaird@msbusiness.com.

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