We use qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to reduce a large number of concepts to a meaningful set for further development. Our  metrics continue to be:

  • Consistency with the overall brand positioning strategy
  • Comprehension of the message and how can comprehension be improved
  • Relevance with respect to how well the communication addresses a need
  • Does the message strike the right emotional chord emotional chord in a way that is tied to customer values
  • Does the message compel the customer to take action (e.g. look for additional information about the brand, contact a sales representative, etc.

Let’s not overlook the quality of the sales aids that sales representatives distribute too customers and prospects. Companies continue to spend heavily on developing libraries of sales collateral materials. Relatively few companies understand the usage dynamics of these materials at the sales force level thus making it impossible to calculate an ROI for the millions being spent of sales. We have been very successful in conducting research among company sales representatives to determine:

  • Which materials are being used and with what frequency
  • At what stage of the sales cycle
  • Among what decision maker titles
  • What sales aids do the reps want
  • What are the sales reps reactions to new sales aid concepts before new materials are produced

We have helped companies dramatically trim their sales collateral budgets and shown them how to develop the right content for sales aids so that these materials are more relevant to the customers need for information.

We have done similar work among B2B decision makers to pilot test new sales aid concepts to provide companies and their agencies clear direction on how to make sales aids more attention getting, more effectively engage the decision maker in the contact, activate the decision makers desire for product demos and proposals, and create a new group of customers become advocates for the company because they perceive the company to better understand their business and pro-actively bring solutions and not just products to the table.

One tool that is particularly useful for both B2B and B2C companies to test their messaging is REALTip. This is a hybrid qualitative and quantitative method that allows clients and agency personal hear and see direct reactions to new communications materials. Using super-groups, which consist of 25-75 targeted customers in each setting to provide a quantitative assessment of a series of communications materials on key issues such as comprehension, clarity, relevance, creating interest in the product and so forth. Clients can see tabulated results instantaneously to customer reactions to the various concepts.

Then, the group’s participants are broken into smaller focus groups to gain immediate feedback as to why they evaluated the concepts as they did. The benefit is more quickly identify which communications concepts are effective and how they can be further improved.

Communications Assessment

We used to live in a world of information scarcity where customers and prospects relied on measured media for most of their information about products and services. But today we live in a world of information abundance. Virtually every customer and prospect is hyper-connected to an extensive influencer network. We search the Internet for information on practically everyone aspect of our lives from how our bodies work to what are the ingredients in that can of crushed tomatoes we are considering buying. Not only is today’s customer informed but they are hyper-vigilant to find the vest value (e.g. standing in a store and checking prices at other.) Today’s B2C and B2B customers are empowered to control the sales process as well as questions product claims and sales tactics.

The consumer decision process used to be short and easily compartmentalized for research purposes. Today the customer journey is complex and always causing customers to re-think their last purchase decision when it comes time for a replacement purchase.