the cover of the formation brand loyalty 2020 report, subtitled the need for hyper individualization, featuring a photo of a smiling man typing on a laptop

Engagement, Position, Reputation

Interactive Research Report Triples Formation’s Monthly Media Placements

Martech provider engages customers with a unique interactive research report, driving a boost in media placements and brand credibility.

formation logo





Martech provider Formation recognized its brand and product messaging were indistinguishable from competitors — leaving the organization vulnerable in the crowded martech landscape. To stake its claim in the space, Formation partnered with Walker Sands on a data-based content asset that drove awareness with retail, travel and restaurant prospects and reporters, while bolstering the brand’s credibility and expertise.

The result was an interactive research report and PR campaign featuring an attention-grabbing visual style and compelling content that garnered 25 media placements, seven of which were in top-tier outlets.

total media placements

top-tier media placements

report downloads

The Challenge

Following a rebrand, Formation struggled to establish its solution in the market. The brand lacked the product messaging to differentiate its proprietary machine learning algorithm, which led to disjointed marketing efforts. To help Formation gain traction with key audiences, Walker Sands created a foundational content asset to support cross-channel lead generation, drive a greater volume of media coverage and highlight Formation’s differentiators in the martech space.

The Solution

The team developed a data-driven research report based on a survey of 2,000 U.S.-based consumers to benchmark the state of brand loyalty and personalization. The data findings informed a 49-page interactive research report filled with headline-worthy insights targeted to retail, travel and restaurant reporters. Key elements of the research report included:

  • PDF interactivity: Interactive components were embedded within the PDF report to augment data visualizations. Readers could engage with data visualizations throughout the report via clickable buttons — creating a more exciting and digestible experience.
  • Pitchable Quiz: The team concluded the report with an interactive quiz aimed at determining a brand’s “personalization score.” This provided an opportunity for customers to realize where their brand might be lacking. The quiz element was designed to exist both within the report and on its own as an asset that could be pitched to the media.

Walker Sands developed a media outreach strategy to maximize media coverage for the report, creating a news moment for the brand. For embargoed outreach, the PR team identified reporters at targeted mainstream business and trade media for pre-launch and personalized pitching. This allowed the team to solicit early feedback on the report and start conversations with hard-to-win outlets before launch day. 

The media strategy also included the development of eight angles to drive a steady cadence of media coverage in the weeks and months following the launch of the report. Key industry verticals targeted with outreach included technology, marketing, retail, CPG and travel.

The Results

Walker Sands packaged the report findings into an interactive PDF. This delivery vehicle encouraged marketers to engage with data and page elements, and shined a light on the company’s personalization solution, enabling Formation to stand out among competitors.

The report generated 25 total media placements, including seven top-tier placements in outlets like Yahoo Finance, ZDNet, Adweek, Travel Pulse, CRM Buyer and Hospitality Tech, while the interactive research report drove 255+ downloads, including downloads by major brands like McDonald’s, Walmart, Citi and Marriott.

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