877 Believes in the Power of Proof.
Before diving into the creative side of a campaign, we (and by “we”, we mean our marketing analyst Casey Hodgin) pour our blood, sweat and tears into the ever-important preliminary stage that determines the outcome of the entire project: research.
Identifying relevant facts and figures right off the bat is what allows us to understand our partners and the industries in which they work on a deeper level. Plus, when it’s all said and done, we’re able to prove our agency’s effectiveness through concrete, measurable methods.
Why Is Thorough Research Necessary?
We’ve got a few reasons.
-Research, on its most basic level, provides our team with an objective, overarching understanding of the topic at hand.
-While developing the project, our creative team can refer to the holy grail — A.K.A. the research guide — with any questions they may have. The copywriter can implement statistics from the research guide directly into the content. The designers can get a better feel for the organization’s likes and dislikes. Having solid research nearby at all times is quintessential in producing outstanding results that always keep the company’s wants and needs at the forefront.
-Our research serves as the anchor point from which our marketing, creative and design choices emanate. Does the final result align with our initial findings? If not, we may have to make some adjustments in order to better cater to our partner.
-Finally, there’s no better way to prove your success than with a before-and-after analysis. If we can show our partners how far they’ve come since they began collaborating with us, we indubitably know we’ve done our job right.
What Does 877’s Research Process Look Like?
1) Assess the organization’s wants and needs and get a general scope of the project at hand.
2) Compile links, resources and data and determine which facts and figures are the most pertinent to the topic.
3) Organize findings into preliminary documents to provide digestible insights for the team and organization.
4) Go straight to the source. We take research into our own hands in the form of surveys, polls and focus groups to get a better feel for the local market.
5) Review, fine-tune and update your facts as needed. Even after the project is completed, it’s important to re-evaluate and analyze the research often to ensure it’s up to date.
What Makes it Unique?
While other agencies certainly prioritize research, 877 goes above and beyond to make it an integral part of our process. Our partners come to us expecting to see fantastic design and creative work, but what they don’t expect is to learn something about their industry and themselves.
Before embarking on most major projects, we provide our partners with an all-inclusive research guide, a more concise summary of this guide and a document with well-thought-out suggestions that we believe will lead to results. On top of that, we go the extra mile to conduct our own, local research in the form of surveys and focus groups.
Our research component must be thorough, uniform and easily accessible in order to provide everyone – from the creative team to the company we’re working with — the same insights and resources.
Tips for Improving Your Research
Gather Multiple Sources — Your facts should, if nothing else, be factual. Double, triple check multiple websites and outlets to verify that the information you’re presenting is, in fact, true.
Make it Digestible — Avoid jargon that only those in the industry would know. Use as little words as possible in order to get your point across.
Think Ahead — Your information must be relevant, and it’s your job to decide what qualifies as such. If it diverges from the main point and there’s no way it will help your team later, don’t include it.
Break up the Text — Charts and graphs are a more visually appealing way to display information than 12-point Times New Roman on a sheet of paper. If your data can easily be presented with a graphic, take advantage of that!
Hopefully after implementing these tips into your research routine, you’ll have a great foundation that serves as the driving force behind each project you create. Good luck!