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The Three C’s of Research

At the onset of any project, it’s important to start with facts, not assumptions. Collect and review the data instead of making decisions based on your personal (or your boss’s) preferences. I’m talking about the “R” word: Research. Research can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Even just a little research can go a long way. Depending on the project, the details will differ, but these are typically the three big buckets to review when starting any project. Let the three C’s be your guide in finding your insight.


The first C encourages a review of your company and brand. What is your brand position? What are your core strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? What is your internal perception of your brand? What makes you tick? Understand who you are and what you have to offer to enhance and leverage, or pivot and persuade.


Next, we review the competitive landscape. What do your competitors look and sound like? Who are they targeting? What is the audience perception of these other companies? The key is understanding what’s out there so you can be sure to stand out.


Last, but certainly not least, research your target audience. Know their demographics and psychographics. Understand the geographic nuances and market climate to determine how this affects their decision-making. Learn about their media consumption habits – where they spend their time online and off. What key benefits do you have to offer your target customers?

Collect this data and extract the insights. From a sales brochure to a full-on advertising campaign, research should always be the first step for any marketing effort. Looking through these three lenses of research will allow for messaging and creative that moves the needle.