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How to use market research in your PR and communications strategy

How to use market research in your PR and communications strategy
March 30, 2020 Beckie Chaddock

Market research can be a valuable element to include in a PR and communications strategy. Not only does the media like strong news stories supported by robust, fresh data and statistics, the process of gathering and analysing data from a target market often provides businesses with a wealth of information about their target audience and an opportunity to connect with clients too.

In this article, the PR team at V Formation highlights how market research can benefit your PR and communications strategy, and shares some top tips on how to get the most out of the findings.

Market research is an effective tool used to help businesses understand their clients or customers as well as gain an insight into industry trends. The information it provides can be an excellent sounding board from which to launch new products and services and get your business’s name in the press, making it a worthwhile element to consider including when creating a PR strategy.

The benefits of market research

  1. Keeping ahead of emerging trends

The information learned from market research about a respective target market can be really useful to gain a more detailed insight into emerging trends. It can help to pinpoint gaps in the market or inform you of potential opportunities that you had not previously foreseen. Being one step ahead of the game can be particularly advantageous if you want to position your business as a leading industry expert or strengthen your position within your specific sector.

  1. Hitting the headlines

Having authentic data that belongs to you is an extremely valuable asset when it comes to pitching news items to media, helping you to stand out from the crowd. Leading with a strong, punchy statistic-driven headline that is supported with reliable data, particularly in the current ‘fake news’ climate, can be a productive and credible way of getting your name into your wish list of media publications.

  1. Measuring the success of a campaign

Market research can also be used as an effective means of measuring the success of your PR or marketing campaign – something that can often be notoriously difficult to do. If used for this reason, it allows you to measure attitudes and brand awareness before, during, and after a campaign to see how they change, delivering invaluable insights to enable you to adjust and improve the campaign tactics and ultimately demonstrate the value of PR.

Top tips for conducting a research survey

When it comes to actually creating and analysing your research, there are a number of do’s and don’t’s to consider. Here, we share some tips on the initial planning of your research and what to consider when writing your research questions:

Planning

  • Spend a good amount of time exploring the topic. This will help to ensure you’re not repeating something already out there. Think about what it is you’d like to achieve from your research and work from there. Try not to be too obvious!
  • Consider who you want to target. Do you want to target general respondents or be more specific? Good market research providers can hone in on a very specific audience for you.
  • Once you have identified your audience, decide how you would like to break down the data in order to provide all the information you need for your PR campaign, and hoped-for headlines, with data splits including age, gender, demographics, job role, region and city.

Writing the questions 

  • Work backwards – have a strong idea of what you want your top-line and back-up statistics to be from the start and work backwards from there.
  • Make sure each question is relevant – make the most of the opportunity to gather as much data as you can rather than relying on one statistic alone.
  • Avoid jargon and assumptions – try to use language that all respondents will understand.
  • Avoid lengthy questions – how a question is written within the research is how you need to write it in any subsequent press releases or blog, so it’s important to be clear and concise.
  • Overly complex questions could also incur drop-outs from survey takers, ultimately delaying your results.

The V Formation team has worked with a number of our clients to develop, implement and analyse different pieces of market research. We recently worked with employee engagement innovators HIVE360 on an important piece of research into the key engagement drivers for UK employees. Our initial proposal through to delivery of the supporting PR campaign and comprehensive report on the findings of the study took just under four-weeks!

From news and features, through to market research and sponsored content, our PR team can support your wider communications strategy and generate fresh content that resonates with your audience.

To discuss how V Formation can raise your company’s profile and make sure your voice is being heard by the right people, please call us on 0115 787 0206 or contact us here.