Market Research Before Launching a PR or Marketing Campaign

Before you launch your public relations, social media, advertising or marketing campaign you want to know who your audience is. And not only do you want to know your target market, you want to know what they think, like and buy. And how do you find that out? Market research surveys, right? I mean that’s the way the big boys do it. Millions are spent each year to find out the secrets of how target markets think, feel, and spend their money. But here’s another question: is that money well spent?

There was a market research survey that asked those involved whether a Stradivarius violin was worth a million dollars. The response was overwhelmingly in the affirmative. The following question was whether the participants would like to have one. Again they responded with a resounding yes. The final question in the survey was whether the participants would buy one. Well, you can guess the response to that question. Without the right questions, or without enough follow up questions, that type of research can lead you down a blind ally or take you round in circles.

Market research can be valuable, but it can also be expensive and ineffective. There have been studies done using MRI’s to discover what parts of the brain we use to make hypothetical decisions and what parts we use to make actual real world decisions. It turns out different parts of the brain are activated. That’s where the disconnect comes in. Traditional market research deals with hypotheticals, i.e. would you like this color product better than that? How much would you pay for this product? Would you buy this product? That’s different than making an in-the-moment, real world choice. Database research sounds good, because it has a tangible ring to it. It’s sounds factual, statistical, yet it can often be wrong.

Different companies take different approaches, Google is big on market research, but it’s not your standard market research approach it actually has its users become part of the product building process. On the other hand, when Steve Jobs was asked how much market research went into developing one of Apple’s products his reply was “none.” He explained that it wasn’t the customer’s job to create the product.

So what should companies who need to watch their marketing budgets do when it comes to market research? Be savvy. Use social media sites to ask questions. Do your own limited market surveys. Then you need to rely on your passion and your intuition, listen to your gut. When it comes down to it, a company needs to be built on passion and belief in one’s product or service and you don’t find that in market research studies.

6 Easy Steps to Launch a Product

Launching a product is one critical and very delicate activity that a company faces. It is through product launching that you finally make a clear stand as to why the consuming public should patronize and buy the product that you are endorsing. All elements of the product launching should be properly addressed; otherwise, it may lead to the destruction of the entire product. Below are some of the easy steps on how you can launch a product:

1. Make a pre-test of the product prior to launching it. This will involve testing the entirety of the product against a controlled variable. You choose the kind of tests you may need to conduct on the product under given controlled respondents. Take note of the reactions.

2. If the pre-test yielded some negative comments, work on those comments and re-develop your product before you finally launch it. Make sure that you adhere with the scheduled time.

3. Set the date of the product launching. Choose the right and appropriate date when you will be launching the product. Make sure that the date does not coincide with any another important company event or any nationally celebrated events or activities.

4. Create a press release to entice publicity from other forms of media. The more publicity that you get the better exposure the product launching will get.

5. Invite people who can draw crowd on your actual product launching. Celebrities and well known personalities can basically help your product launching event to catch more and more potential buyers.

6. You can engage into some form of gimmick like giving away freebies or give away gifts to those people who are showing interest on the product launching. Or even more, you can press release these gimmicks to entice and attract more and more people to come during the actual product launch.

10 Ways a Video Production Can Drive PR Business

Video has become a must have weapon of the PR armoury. From showreels to event filming; mood reels to video news releases, there are now plenty of ways that a video production can help you and your clients stand out from the crowd.

Here are 10 ways that you can use a video production in PR:

1. Bolstering an online press release

Assuming a press release is genuinely newsworthy; adding video to the package increases its impact and widens opportunities for exposure. Here’s how:

* Video that’s clearly aligned to the story of the press release can reinforce core messages in an engaging way.

* Video is easy to share – blogs, micro-blogs, forums and viral emails spread information and create a buzz about a story.

* Video attracts attention from search engines, especially when supported by a keyword-rich title and a paragraph about its content.

2. Creating a VNR – video news release

A Video News Release is a press release in a video format. Usually running 90-seconds, it’s distributed to television stations for airing in news programs. Quality content, striking footage, strong interviews and powerful sound bites are a must. A VNR is worthwhile if you have a launch, event or new research findings to publicize. The key is that the story must be newsworthy enough for inclusion in television news bulletins.

Program editors sniff out shameless publicity stunts a mile off, so there must be a very strong ‘hook’ that passes the “So What?” test.

3. A promotional tool on your website or blog

Alert clients & new business prospects to new video content on your website or blog. There are myriad ways in which you can use it as a tool to showcase your credentials as an effective, creative PR business; or to create a personality for your brand that reassures prospective clients that you’re a good bunch:

* Upload a show reel of recent, impressive campaigns.

* Conduct short interviews to introduce key personnel.

* Create a video tour of your company office.

* Post video testimonials from existing clients.

* Create “how to…” videos that demonstrate your expertise.

4. Creating jaw-dropping moments at events

Want a powerful opener to a conference?

A dramatic montage for awards ceremonies? An eye-popping attraction at a road show or launch? Professional video production brings an extra dimension to events; creating instant kudos for a brand, product or service; presenting information & emotion in a glorious cinematic package. The video can be transformed into other life forms once the event is over – for example, a DVD show reel or web cast.

5. Go guerrilla with marketing video

YouTube is chock full of guerrilla marketing ads, the best of which attract attention from newspapers and TV news, as well as enhancing the page ranking of featured brands’ websites. Making a video and uploading it to a site like YouTube is relatively cheap, but the exposure for a client’s product or message can be amazing.

6. A pitch tool to wow potential clients

With new technologies launching every day, PowerPoint doesn’t look that ‘powerful’ anymore. Agencies that want to reinforce their forward-thinking approach need to invest in smarter ways to present to clients. A video can create the ‘wow factor’ needed for PR agencies to grow their business. A package might include market research such as Vox Pops, talking-head interviews, montages of news coverage, ‘mood reels’ capturing the essence of a product and client testimonials. And, instead of static tables to present data, motion graphics bring facts & figures to life.

7. Evaluating campaigns

A video presentation that demonstrates business benefits achieved for a client by a campaign could be the key to building an ongoing relationship. Presenting the brief given, the strategy developed, the tactics used and, most importantly, the results achieved, an exciting video presentation leaves clients wanting more. A journalist endorsement captured on film, or a street Vox Pop demonstrating a shift in public opinion, delivers rock solid proof that PR is working.

8. Show reels

The plasma screen in the office reception can be an advert for a PR agency. Instead of playing daytime TV, blast out a show reel highlighting the agency’s best work.

9. Team building & client bonding

Create a video record of an office away day, or a hospitality event for clients. Play the film at the end of the day, or send it on a DVD to attendees after the event. The entertainment value will be a great boost to the bonding experience and sense of camaraderie between colleagues and/or clients.

10. A lasting record of a launch

Capture the vibe at a celeb-studded launch. Video can offer a lasting who’s who of attendees and a testament to the atmosphere of the occasion. The PR or events team responsible for staging the event can use it as a promotional tool to secure further similar projects. And clients can also utilize the film – perhaps to big up their brand to retailers or attract sponsors for future events.