Using Research to Generate Media Buzz


Most food and drink managers don’t need telling that the uses of market research are far reaching – from helping launch a particular product, answer particular detailed questions through to helping reinvigorate an entire whole category. As well as informing internal strategy, one of the key benefits of FMCG market research is in establishing your position as a ‘Thought Leader’, through providing quotable statistics and inspiring opinions. An increasing number of big name brands and retailers are recognising the value of being perceived as authorities in their field – something which differentiates them from competitors and can help earn the approval of stakeholders and potential customers.

Publishing an annual ‘State of the Market’ – type reports is a good way of demonstrating authority over a category or a market as it generates content which can be easily quoted in the media, thereby creating news coverage and getting your company name out there and associated with forward thinking news. However, generating original quantitative and qualitative content is an investment in time, money and intellectual horsepower.

Simply compiling data which is already out there is rarely enough to get noticed. Conducting your own market research is therefore often necessary. However, it is important to understand exactly what you hope to gain from conducting any research to ensure it is worth the investment and does not just become a cash drain.

Large scale quantitative surveys are the logical way forward here as they generate the kind of robust statistics that can be widely quoted and discussed. A large sample size is important as a small sample risks creating unreliable findings which could be subject to ridicule and risk doing more harm than good. It’s important here to start with the end in mind through thinking of what would make an interesting finding which you haven’t seen anywhere else. To do this, it is incredibly important to use a market research agency with experience and knowledge in your field.

Compared to an agency specialising in your industry, a generic market research agency claiming to work in a wide range of markets will lack the knowledge of your industry to provide truly insightful and pioneering questions. Findings are only as interesting as the questions they result from, and weak questions will create uninspiring findings. An agency experienced in your industry will also provide the added benefit of knowing how best to present the findings in the most appealing and interesting way for your stakeholders – highlighting the key points of interest for them.

For smaller companies looking to boost their profile, though unable to invest significant amounts in market research, purchasing a couple of questions on an omnibus can prove a worthwhile option. This is best when a question can be thought of which will give an interesting, punchy answer to a specific question not being asked by anyone else. For example, a food company producing vegetarian protein snacks may ask a question around how likely respondents would be to buy such a product. These findings could then be used in a website article and over social media accounts.

Generating online interest in your brand is something which is increasingly important in a world where average time spent online continues to grow year-on-year. Making effective use of market research techniques to create influential findings is one of the key things any brand can do to draw attention to themselves and stand out from competition.

From a low investment omnibus question to a large scale quantitative survey, there are options for everyone and making use of these techniques and becoming known as an authority in the market is something brands should, not only aspire to, but no longer afford to ignore.

If you’d like help with generating media interest through research, putting together an annual report or conducting research into a key commercial or food and drink marketing topic, then please do get in touch. Contact [email protected].

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