By Sandra Bauman and Mary Aviles
How are you doing with your 2015 marketing resolutions? We can confidently say that we are finally checking some of ours off the list (nevermind that it’s the 2013 list!).
Late last year, Sandra attended the Greenbook Insight Marketing Day in New York City. She was so energized by Lucy Davison’s presentation because it highlighted something we are always working on. Lucy’s main contention was that, in order to differentiate ourselves, market researchers must demonstrate our expertise:
“We need to behave as true consultants; charging for expertise by results. To do that we need to be imaginative and creative – and we need to deliver research that makes a difference.”
A key takeaway of that event was that, as consultants, our deliverables ARE our work product. That’s far easier said than done as we’re a) usually prohibited by the proprietary nature of our client research and b) many of us are small or single-entity businesses, extremely tight on time and marketing budget. So, how do we go about actively differentiating ourselves to prospective clients, without trying to be all things to all people, thus nothing to no one?
Here are a few of the things we’re doing to that end:
Two years ago we set thought leadership as a strategic objective for ourselves. This blog serves as one execution point of that objective. We’ve worked hard to learn how about both content creation and content distribution, including becoming very knowledgeable on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and the like. It’s also afforded us the opportunity to learn new techniques for supplementing our qualitative and quantitative projects with social media research. But, for those of you who have also ventured into the world of social media, you know that it’s seemingly never ending. There’s always something new to learn!
Conducting our own research was another aspect of that thought leadership objective. We completed a study late last year and we’re looking forward to several events where it will be featured, including:
- As part of Franklin Street & Simon Associates Management Consultants “Today’s Patient: Are You Ready For Her?” webinar on February 13
- At the sold out, first ever Quirk’s Event on February 22-24
- As part of the FocusVision Webinar Seres: Stocking Your Research Toolkit where we get to co-present with Revelation’s Steve August on February 26!
- And, at Qual360 North America on March 24-26
At that same Greenbook event, Jeffrey Henning suggested repurposing some of the content from within our own proposals to demonstrate expertise–one of those “why didn’t we think of that” ideas that addresses both the proprietary material and the time concerns. Two birds with one stone! We did something similar with secondary research we conducted for a proposal to develop our first infographic, but add Jeffrey’s idea to the 2015 resolution list because there are many industries and topics ripe for mining in our archives. Another way we try to repurpose our legwork while also showcasing some amassed knowledge is on List.ly –a site that allows us to demonstrate topical expertise. Finally, we use Pinterest to demonstrate less tangible aspects of our expertise, more of our personality–using boards like What We’re Reading and What They Said.
For 2015, we’re looking forward to crossing another 2013 resolution off the list as we’ve just invested in proposal management. We’re also actively engaged in launching our own email marketing efforts. And, thanks to some probing from fellow QRCs, we’re experimenting with something on Instagram as well–more to come. How are you doing with your 2015 resolutions?