Our decision-making is powered by research. When you think about it, we do research daily. Whether it’s viewing someone’s LinkedIn profile before choosing to connect, comparing models when shopping for a new car, or checking out Yelp reviews before visiting a new restaurant, research is critical to evaluating what actions we’ll take. So why wouldn’t you apply that same principle when it comes to PR and marketing for your business?
At Clearpoint Agency, we are firm believers in doing our “homework,” aka our research, when we work with a client. Good research is the basis for an effective PR program that differentiates an organization. Taking the time to perform thoughtful and in-depth research before jumping headfirst into marketing your business can make the difference between a full sales pipeline with qualified leads and an empty one.
Here are 3 methods of research we conduct that add value to any PR program:
1. Competitor Research
You know what they say, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. When performing market research, it’s critical to examine your perceived competitors’ positioning, marketing and communications strategies. Analyzing messaging, announcements, editorial pickup, awards, social media strategy and anything else that falls under the communications umbrella can provide you with an understanding on how your competitors are positioning themselves to your prospective customers.
When doing competitor research, you are not trying to emulate your competition, rather, you’re looking at it from the standpoint of potential threats and opportunities. If all of your competitors are active on LinkedIn, perhaps you need to allocate some time and resources into developing a LinkedIn strategy. Research can also present potential opportunities. For example, if you notice that none of your competitors are distributing press releases, this could be the perfect chance to differentiate yourself and stand out from the competition.
2. Brand Perception
Conducting a perception survey is a smart tactic that will give you the data needed to understand how customers view your brand and how your brand is perceived in the market. When conducted by a third party, brand perception audits are an effective way to get honest feedback. You can use them to identify your company’s strengths and home in on areas where your company can improve.
Brand perception audits provide a deeper look inside your customers’ thinking and how they evaluate which purchasing criteria they value most and which brand attributes they prefer. This type of research can also identify how customers position your products or services among your competition. That’s helpful as you plan your marketing communications strategy.
3. Voice of the Customer
What better way to market your products or services than by using the words from your happy customers? There are a variety of tactics that you can implement to uncover customer perception, including surveys, case studies, interviews, testimonials and press releases. Get creative with it! The possibilities for combinations are almost endless. Leveraging customer feedback across your digital touch points can humanize your brand and help build brand loyalty with your existing customers.
Effective PR and marketing communications starts with solid research. If you take the time to perform this step, it can make all the difference to help you differentiate yourself from your competitors and ramp up your PR program quickly. If you want to learn more about our research offerings, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.