How to Shine in the Media with Market Research
By Angela Burtch, Vice President, Merrill Research
When we think of using market research we think of purposes like positioning, new product development, product evaluation, and customer satisfaction measurement. But, sometimes market research can be a unique way to create content to create buzz or position your company as a thought leader in the industry.
Here are three examples of how our research services helped our clients sparkle. And a checklist of what to keep in mind if you embark on research-based content.
- A women’s health platform provider and a professional services firm commissioned us to gauge sentiment among women regarding important healthcare issues and to give them a voice going into the 2020 election. The results of the online survey we conducted were very revealing and were featured by several media outlets, including Forbes: Dear Future President, The Women Of America Have A Message For You (forbes.com)
- CyberSheath Services International helps DoD contractors become CMMC compliant. They asked us to conduct an online survey among prime and sub-contractors to get the first-of-its kind industry perspective on the preparedness for compliance changes. This study of the Defense Industrial Base established CyberSheath as the industry expert and go-to cybersecurity provider. It provided information-rich content for conferences, webinars, and press releases. Here’s one of their uses of our research: More than 87% of Pentagon Supply Chain Fails Basic Cybersecurity Minimums – CyberSheath
- Our client, SafelyYou, is a leader in providing AI-enabled technology to help detect and prevent falls among seniors, specifically those with dementia. We developed an online study among executives and caregiving professionals to understand the occurrence, cost, and impact of falls. This research was instrumental to their 2022 State of Falls report cited in media and conferences. Here’s one application: Resident falls cost providers $380,000 per year, on average: report – McKnight’s Senior Living (mcknightsseniorliving.com)
So, do you think your company could benefit from research-based content to promote your company? Here are some tips to help you dazzle:
- Make sure you pick the correct sample for the job. This is critical. Not all sample suppliers will be able to source all targets. Some specialize in B2B while others concentrate on consumer targets. Still, others focus on health care. Who you include in the research, where they were sourced and how they were recruited will be scrutinized by editors.
- Consider doing some up-front qualitative research to better understand the burning issues in the minds of your target audience. This will help you create a questionnaire that addresses the most interesting topics in the language of the respondents.
- If you want the research to be picked up by media outlets, use larger sample sizes. A sample size of 150 may be enough to answer your internal questions and may be statistically valid; however, a sample size of 500 is more convincing and more likely to be picked up.
- Lean on your research provider to doublecheck your communications that are based on the research. Something as simple as two numbers getting flipped or a misinterpreted statistic could damage the credibility of your study and your company. We strongly encourage our clients to have us review collateral before it’s published—and when we do—it averts problems.
- Choose a research company that has experience in designing, collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing research used for communications purposes.