We often say the gut is a good starting point for developing messaging around your brand or new products and services. After all, you hear what your clients say every day; however, we advocate verifying those assumptions with data. Ad, message testing, and new product research can help you craft a message that resonates with your target buyer and increases the ROI on your investments.
For a real world application of ad, message testing, and new product research, we spoke with Kathy Sebuck, Citrix Public Sector senior regional marketing manager. In late January, Citrix Public Sector launched a government-focused microsite at www.citrixgbc.com to provide external audiences with real-time government IT solution information online. Several months before the launch, the company conducted focus groups to test the messaging and approach.
MC: Why did you feel market research, and focus groups in particular, were an important part of the process?
Kathy: Market research is very important to ensure we reach our target audiences with the right content and messages, so we try to build in this type of check point where we can for larger projects. By conducting focus groups to discuss the microsite objectives with the Federal, State, and Local government workforce, we were able to capture feedback on our approach, content, organization, and delivery.
MC: Did you learn anything unexpected, and if so, did you make any changes based on that information?
Kathy: Yes. We learned our messaging was still a bit too technical therefore, it did not quickly inform the audience know how Citrix could address their pain points. Before the launch, we were able to simplify our messaging, content, and level of detail included on the site. The result is a site that resonates with our audience.
MC: Why did you choose to work with a third-party research firm?
Kathy: We felt market feedback was important to the overall success of this project and we wanted a turnkey option that would help us get unbiased results quickly. In the end, we completed the process in probably half the time it would have taken us to do it internally.
MC: What was the process like for you?
Kathy: The amount of time to prepare for the focus groups was less than we expected because we knew exactly the kind of data we were looking for. The research team had a great process, including interviews, content drafts, and the option to attend the focus group to hear the feedback first-hand. We really appreciated the streamlined process, which helped keep the project manageable given our current workload.
The Citrix focus groups are just one example of how research can help your messaging and product launch. We want to thank Kathy for sharing her experience. To learn more about how the nuances of this type of research, read our QA with Research Director Dave Glantz.