Effective market research can be the difference between a public relations campaign that succeeds and one that fails. Because public relations does not happen in a vacuum, market research is a great way to get a sense of the environment. By knowing in advance about the state of the market, the behaviors of consumers, and the strategies of competitors, you will be better able to position your company in the best possible light and maximise media impact.
5 Top Tips
- Check out competitor strategies. Note their responses to crises, the image they put forward, and the way they create a relationship with customers. Gather information from their websites and brochures, press releases, and relationships with the media. In doing so, you can use their successful strategies to prevent the chance of repeating or coming too close to another company's message and strongly positioning yours.
- Choose your target market. Gather information and data about your target audience base: economic status, family size, shopping preferences, personal goals, level of education, political opinions and personal views. Use customer surveys, published data about your area and demographic data to inform your research. Develop a comprehensive profile of your ideal customer so that you can better target a PR campaign.
- Investigate customer sensitivities. Consumers react to public relations campaigns based on factors in their personal and professional lives. Gather information that will give you insight into their mindsets. Look at current events locally, nationally, and around the world, and plan how they might effect customers' mood, economic status, and views of your industry. From that information, determine how your market's needs and wants have changed and how you can better make emotional appeals using PR and media strategies.
- Figure out what the market is missing. Investigate the strategies of businesses that produce related products or services and identify the features, benefits, or services that are missing. Based on the market needs, consider how your company or that of your client can fill the gaps. In doing so, you may discover the basis for your PR campaign
- Lay out your market research plan. Based on the information you found in your initial research, plan organised activities that are designed to get more specific information. If you have discovered that customers are missing a sense of personal relationships in your industry, you might organise a focus group or survey to learn more. Research published information, interview existing customers, or analyse consumer behavior in relation to national economic health to obtain the full picture.