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Market Research and Big Data, Meet PR

Christine Miller

Marketing has a new face. Big data, analytics, market research — whichever you prefer — is changing the industry. As CMOs are acting more as IT professionals than advertising gurus, marketing campaigns are increasingly crafted and implemented around market data.

But what does market research have to do specifically with PR? Since starting here at Walker Sands, I have come to find that the answer to this question is: everything.

Here are three reasons every PR professional should have an understanding of market research and data:

Telling the Right Story

Effective PR is sharing interesting, relevant and authentic stories with audiences who care. As data becomes an increasingly relevant news reference, PR professionals need to be able to find a story within a pile of numbers and graphs. A background and understanding in market research allows PR professionals to reveal insight from data and knowledgeably and creatively communicate the takeaways.

Finding and Pleasing the Right Audience

So, you’ve sifted though the data and found the perfect angle for your next relevant story. But who wants to hear it? Market research can aid in effectively targeting who, where, when and how specific audiences consume their news. Once an audience is targeted using market research, a PR professional decides if the news should be pinned, tweeted, status updated, YouTube uploaded, in print, online — you get the picture. The principle of pleasing an audience is simple: satisfy them. The marriage of market research and PR can highlight where and how audiences want their news and offer them exactly the satisfaction they expect.

Keeping Up with the Trends

If you walk into Walker Sands, you will notice every PR whiz on Twitter, Facebook, Google, email, YouTube and a plethora of other news sites all at the same time. Whether we are cognizant of it or not, we are performing observational market research every day. What is currently trending is an indicator of how consumers want PR to connect with them. Communication is what we do. Being up on every trend is what keeps us innovative.

PR is storytelling at its most modern. With the influx of market research data, PR professionals need to be able to effectively analyze data, pull insight and communicate a data-driven story with an audience that increasingly demands authenticity and relevancy.