How customer research can bring benefits to a new marketing and PR campaign

When it comes to developing a marketing and PR campaign, understanding why your competitors are winning more work or selling more products than you, might be as valuable as knowing the strengths of your own brand.

Client and competitor analysis will help you to understand exactly what makes clients select a rival, as well as what they perceive as its shortcomings. This will allow you to position your own brand or product in the right place and gain an advantage.

Analysis and research is a step that is often be missed during the development of a marketing and public relations (PR) campaign. It provides essential insights into the target audience, industry trends, competitive landscape, and other relevant factors.

Large volumes of data collected during a desktop trawl or tick box survey, can provide impressive statistics. Quantitative technique employ structured methods, such as surveys and experiments, to quantify variables, providing measurable insights into large and diverse groups.

In contrast qualitative research focuses on non-numerical, exploration of attitudes, behaviours, and perceptions. It uses interviews and focus groups and seeks to understand the complexity of human experiences, views and opinions. A qualitative approach gives clients a richer, context-dependent insight into their target market, and it is often quicker than quantitative surveys to carry out.

Our most successful turnkey projects have involved face-to-face qualitative research as it brings unique advantages for launching a new campaign, product or service.

Firstly, it facilitates deeper insights into participants’ attitudes and emotions. The in-person interaction allows researchers to observe non-verbal cues, which foster a richer understanding of client sentiments that might be missed in written or online survey. Additionally, the direct engagement enables immediate clarification of responses and the exploration of unexpected avenues, enhancing the depth of gathered information.

Furthermore, face-to-face interactions in qualitative research creates a more personal connection between the researcher and the participant. This rapport-building aspect is invaluable in eliciting candid responses and fostering an environment where participants feel comfortable expressing nuanced opinions. This emotional connection is particularly beneficial when exploring sensitive topics or when seeking authentic, spontaneous reactions.

For Cyber Security Connect , a leading cyber security sector conference and exhibition, we carried out research to gather views and opinions from senior information security professionals  (including CISOs and CIOs) about security threats posed from the supply chain.

The research considered the use of different digital protocols, which often varied up and down the supply chain, and considered the risks and threats these posed. The results provided collateral to tease influential sector correspondents to preview the event and form the basis for a key workshop during the conference and attract high calibre delegates.

More recently for WP Housing we were able to identify what key criteria housing providers used, either formally or informally, to select professional services providers to work with. Our analysis revealed the most effective communication channels and messages to reach and influence the firm’s target audience.

Whether it’s social media, traditional media, influencer marketing, or other channels, understanding where your audience is most active ensures efficient resource allocation.

Research results show what clients and influencers are looking for. The analysis then forms the basis for a developing marketing strategies and which marketing assets could prove most successful.

Face-to-face qualitative research enriches a new marketing campaign by providing an insight into how customers and influencers think and view important issues. Ultimately this contributes to a more informed, cost effective and successful campaigns.

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