Challenge/Issue: Our client planned to concentrate its advertising and marketing efforts to enhance its awareness as a leading supplier to the federal government and state and local government markets over a 12-month period. Since the return on investment of marketing dollars utilized in advertising and other marketing campaigns can be difficult at best to measure, our client wanted a way to quantify the penetration, impact and effectiveness of its campaigns.
Approach: We proposed an annual Attitude, Awareness and Usage (AA&U) study for both the federal and state and local government markets. The purpose of an AA&U study is to understand and measure perceptions, attitudes and awareness of a company in its marketplace. The AA&U study is designed to and bring meaningful insights to the normally intangibles of company and brand image. In addition, an AA&U study can help an organization assess its image strengths and weaknesses relative to the competition. Both client AA&U studies were administered via a telephone survey.
Results: A key survey result showed that our client edged out its leading competitor by a narrow margin for both unaided and aided awareness in both markets. Our client is using this benchmark data as a baseline and targeted its marketing efforts at widening this margin. The information on how our client was perceived relative to competitors was also used to shape our client’s strategic sales and marketing communications plans and messages for. As a specific example, the research pointed to a key unmet need with potential 8(a) partners, which our client was able to fill and further develop its channel program in this area. We are currently in the planning processes for repeating these studies for our client. For our client, the initial benchmark survey and subsequent follow-up surveys are valuable tools through which to measure its changing perceptions relative to competitors over time.