In every study we do that asked what types of content federal decision-makers trust, thought leadership makes the top of the list. Early results from the 8th Annual Federal Media and Marketing Study (FMMS) are no exception: White papers from professional organizations and research firms rank in top 10 of trustworthy content.
However, to realize the benefits of thought leadership content, these pieces need to reach the right audience. How can you know where your audience is?
One of our clients recently tasked us with finding that out. The client was launching a new division and wanted to know two things: What messaging would best resonate with the audience, and what channels would be best (i.e. where would its clients be most receptive to the message)?
To answer the messaging question, we tested several types of messages with focus groups. The results were eye opening: While the participants knew (and respected) the client for its core offering, they had little confidence that the client could deliver the new service. That told us that the client needed to focus on brand awareness and educating the customers about its capabilities.
To determine where our client should go to reach its prospects, we turned to the data from the FMMS because the study collects data on:
- Job Function and Purchase Responsibility (25-plus occupations and areas of purchase, by product and service)
- Purchase by Dollar Volume
- Media Usage(50-plus publications, 70-plus websites and mobile sites; 15-plus social sites; differences inside the Beltway vs. outside)
- Mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, e-readers for access to email, news websites, social media and video)
- Social Media sites
With this information about buyers, it became easy to determine when, where and how to push out thought leadership content. One of the data runs we performed was how the client could best reach customers based on job description because the client didn’t want to reach all government buyers, just those in a specific role.
Based on the FMMS data, we knew the audience segment the client wanted to reach turns to Government Executive above other publications to learn about industry trends. Therefore, pitching bylined articles (based on industry research and client case studies) was an important piece of the content strategy. The client was able to move forward with confidence that its message would reach the right audience.
As we prepare to reveal the results of the 8th Annual FMMS, it’s a good time to consider using FMMS data runs to help inform your 2017 marketing strategy, as our client did. Unlike some data sources, the FMMS makes data runs available to anyone who purchases the dynamic web-based reporting tool. The tool allows you to cross-tabulate survey results to create your own customized data views, such as job title and product purchases; or job title and web site visits or publication readership. It is by drilling down in the data that you find the best methods of reaching your buyers.
It’s too early to see the results of our client’s content strategy, but we have confidence that the data it’s using to inform its decisions will help the client have a quick impact with its audience.
2016 Federal Media & Marketing Study™ Annual Breakfast and Briefing
What else will the 2016 study reveal? Find out at the 8th annual FMMS breakfast and briefing event.
Nov. 9, 2016 | 8:30 a.m.–noon
TEGNA Conference Center, McLean, VA
While you’re waiting for the results from the 8th Annual FMMS, download the 2015 overview report to learn more about the media habits of your target audience.