For Dinosaurs it was a Meteor. For Research Consultancies it was Google. But Not Our Client…
One of the most respected technology research and strategy consultancies in the nation today is not only thriving in the current market, it’s one of the few that survived the mass research consultancy extinction brought about by the emergence of Google. It’s also a BuzzTheory client. There’s some math in that. We think. We’re marketeers not statisticians, but yeah, there’s some math in that.
Casualties of the Google Wave
Around the time the dot-com bubble burst and the whole world witnessed (or lived) the overnight evaporation of wealth, jobs, companies and business models across the tech landscape, another force was stomping out business models—Google. For years, management consultancies had used proprietary research to pay for operations and generate leads. When Google exploded onto the www search scene, business units could research many statistics themselves. The data may not have been quite as good, as many have argued, but it had one distinct advantage over the information developed from carefully crafted surveys and analyses: it was free. The result was the rapid destruction of most of the research-based management consulting industry—especially among the smaller and mid-sized firms that didn’t have accounting, IT and other hands-on consulting units to cling to as the market moved out from under their feet.
Repositioning in the New Age
One of these research firms, headed by a management team that recognized the trouble emerging around them, engaged BuzzTheory to help the firm find new ways of leveraging the company’s strengths for revenue opportunities. After taking stock of the client’s resources, we identified two key assets that could be leveraged for a repositioning of the company’s research – its benchmarking business and its annual market sizing and opportunity studies.
New Press Relationships
We developed a strategic media relations plan to help the firm shift away from using its annual market sizing and opportunity studies – the best in the industry – as locked-down, direct-revenue-generating-assets. Instead, we converted the primary purpose of those studies to press-friendly data sets. Our client began giving unprecedented access to the kind of deep-dive information press teams previously did not have access to—from trade press in our client’s space to national and international media, including all the major financial publications in the US, Europe and Asia. Since the investment community religiously scours those publications for information, these new media placements opened new doors to the investment banking community, which still spends on high-value research in support of portfolio engagements.
From Intellectual Assets to Marketing Engine
As transformative as the repurposing of the firm’s research was, the most significant change we affected for our client was leveraging its annual benchmarking studies to identify the best performing companies in its industry. Our operating theory was the awards would generate significant brand development and media exposure as awards winners – many major stock market and industry powerhouses – promoted their wins through their media and investor relations units. We also saw the awards as a direct revenue generator for the firm’s research activities since firms wanting a shot at winning awards would have to participate in the benchmarking programs, helping to offset revenue shrinkage from the company’s traditional research reports revenue stream. It also underwrote the entire public relations effort.
Bigger, Better, Stronger than Ever Before
Our efforts transformed the company’s presence, revenue streams, brand awareness and lead generation. We exceeded our major media goals, generated revenues from well-heeled business and investment clients, developed lucrative press partnerships not only for exposure but for value-added research and lead-generation campaigns, and turned the firm into a household name within its target markets. The firm is thriving and expanding with new offices in news cities.