All of Granite Partners’ consulting engagements involves some sort of primary research, either as part of a SWOT analysis to assess market position, or customer interviews or surveys, or investigations into new applications for existing products. But there are other uses for empirical research – one of those is for PR media exposure.
If your company does field research, product development, manufacturing or offers a service, you might be able to use your own internal corporate data, and publish your findings as they apply to the general public, and promote those findings to increase awareness of your company.
Generally, for a business to receive media coverage, they need to craft and offer a story that is timely, urgent, relatable and relevant. Under the right circumstances, research findings can be all of that and more. If you’ve invented a new chemical formula for use in your products, there is likely extensive research on that new formula regarding it’s safety, it’s physical properties, it’s applications, it’s effects when reacting with other substances, and a host of other attributes. If you look at those results in a slightly different way, you might find that there is news in that innovation. If you were to find that the new formulation enhanced lubrication between plastic parts, for example, or had other solvent properties when used against marker or crayons, or some specific stain, that product could be marketed to a whole new audience. Your research might be promoted as something like “New Formula Removes Crayon Like Magic – new Kid-Safe Formula”.
Taken further, if you are a service company, say a cleaning service, and you regularly poll or survey customers after they’ve received their service. Typically, there would be questions regarding the customer’s satisfaction with the job, what they liked and didn’t like, did the operators do a good job, did they arrive on time, etc. It would be very easy to add a couple of questions to that survey regarding the use of organic cleaning products, favorite fragrance used in the cleaning process, how the customer gauged the “level” of clean achieved, and others. In aggregate, that data could easily be used in an eye-catching headline “Only 35% of Consumers Prefer Organic Housecleaning Products – Majority Feel Organics Offer Reduced Effectiveness” and the subsequent release copy could go into detail about how customers don’t show a preference for organic cleaners citing that they don’t clean as well, based on your own company’s primary research. It’s not a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal article, it’s not a scientifically-vetted study, but it’s honest, it has actual customer data included, and it shows a preference that might surprise readers – and what it really does is create a platform for you to gain some exposure for your company as a thought leader in the industry.
We’ve found in our experience with clients that primary research always pays for itself in terms of marketing insight, and some data has revealed trends, shifts in perception, and new applications that have yielded millions in sales and new growth for the companies that initially commissioned the research. Forward-thinking companies usually understand the value of the data we uncover, and the most innovative among them use that data for multiple purposes, including those described above. When weighed against all the additional uses for the facts that the data reveals, research is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools you have in your toolbox. Take a few minutes one afternoon and review your internal corporate research data on your products or services or customer’s buying behavior, and see how many attention-grabbing headlines and stories you can wrench out of it – you might be surprised at the resources for media coverage you’ll find hidden there!
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