Research, Indiana Jones Style

Jen Borucki, HMCC, Marketing Communications Specialist | June 26, 2017

How do you create great rapport with a new prospect? Act like an archaeologist. First, because who doesn’t want to be Indiana Jones and second, it is important to come to the table with some knowledge about their brand, audience, industry and what their competitors are doing. This can go farther than anything else to build a compelling relationship story that endures well beyond the initial sale.

So how do you inspire a little Indiana Jones-type perspective into your next experience marketing adventure?

  • Survey the terrain. What do you know about your clients and competitors already? Where can you gain better insight to fill any potential knowledge gaps? Sources you might refer to are past initiatives, project briefs or prior dialogues you have had with your target audience, whether clients or prospects. Don’t be afraid to arm yourself with a Wikipedia snapshot of your industry or opportunity if that helps. New directions sometimes require a broader net and more generic sources can yield some great observations.
  • Prepare the site. This is where you internalize the preliminary knowledge you’ve gained from your survey. Actively read through your notes – not once, but a few times. Ask questions – about the industry, the opportunity, your competitors and your clients. Look beyond the what’s to the why’s and how’s. Good questions will help you focus your dig to produce the best results.
  • Begin to dig. Ask any archaeologist, this is the labor-intensive portion of the project. You may need to sift through a lot of rubble before you find the nugget that matters most to your program, so set aside plenty of time for this deliverable. Check out client or association websites and public data sources. You might even create a short primary research study where you obtain feedback through focus groups or short telephone interviews.
  • Catalog the find. Digging deeper inevitably provides a wealth of information. This is where you study the “artifacts” that you found, particularly where conflicting data exists. Validate your sources – just because it’s printed on a website doesn’t mean it is true. Digest your information into actionable chunks. Sourcing adds credibility to your data, so make sure you know where every item came from. And if you find anything you missed, go back to the dig site for further investigation.
  • Share your results. Create a research summary you can communicate with your internal and external stakeholders. This might take the form of a formal research report, presentation or dialogue with your team. And save your results in a historical archive. What you learned today will make your dig even more successful next time! If this sounds intimidating, look to an experience marketing partner with agency experience to perform the dig for you!

Empowering your team with fresh perspective requires out of the box thinking. Ready to accept the challenge and put on your archaeologist fedora? Your team will be happy you did!