Expert Panel 2000: Web Tools to Help You Master Your Market
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Expert Panel 2000: Web Tools to Help You Master Your Market

KMC needed to establish a presence among marketing and business professionals in small to medium sized businesses who require market intelligence to make informed business decisions.

Paul Holmes

  DeepCanyon, an aggregator of the most authoritative market intelligence reports on Internet strategy for business professionals, was incubated by parent company Hewlett Packard in 1998, launched in November of 1999 and spun off from HP in February 2000. DeepCanyon’s strength included technology, site development, expert research professionals on staff and content partners from the top market research and analyst firms in the U.S. (i.e. The Yankee Group, Forrester, Giga, ARS and IntelliQuest, among others).  DeepCanyon provides top quality reports from leading research firms at a reduced price, increasing accessibility to a broader audience.   Market research companies perceived DeepCanyon as a way to secure revenue from new markets, ranging from the less expensive unbundled reports to their full-scale research reports. The site also provides useful free services, hot stats, and fee-based personalized research consultation. KMC took on DeepCanyon’s next challenge: to increase visibility among DeepCanyon’s target audiences, lead them to the site, thereby increasing subscribers and purchasing of reports.
The KMC Group determined that marketing and business professionals were the primary targets.  The KMC Group analyzed where the key technology centers in the U.S. were located as well as which markets would be receptive to DeepCanyon’s suite of services. The KMC Group researched each association to ascertain if DeepCanyon could access their membership through their programs. This research included contacting the association and speaking with the president or program committee to determine if it might be possible to speak, sponsor, co-host an event.
KMC needed to establish a presence among marketing and business professionals in small to medium sized businesses who require market intelligence to make informed business decisions. The KMC Group’s main objective was to increase awareness of the cost-effective, easy-to-use solution available from DeepCanyon. Raising awareness would encourage audience members to visit the site, register as a user and utilize the wide range of free resources as well as the fee-base consulting service. DeepCanyon felt that by using the site, their audiences would be compelled to purchase reports and fee-based services.  This would generate revenue for the company, solidify relationships with content partners and generate new content partners thus enabling the company to grow.
Audience: Marketing professionals, research professionals, business decision-makers at small to medium sized companies, CEO’s, sales & marketing directors and media from marketing, business & technology publications
The KMC Group needed to educate target audiences regarding the need and utilization of market intelligence as well as provide recommendations on how to conduct or secure this research. KMC recommended developing a high quality program of panel discussions describing the value, challenges and methods to obtain market intelligence that would interest target audiences. KMC leveraged the reputation of local and national specialists including analysts, DeepCanyon customers, key journalists and professors in market research to secure as panelists. KMC organized the program in regional high-tech “hot spots” including Seattle; Austin, Texas; Silicon Valley and Boston reaching a high concentration of DeepCanyon’s target audience.  KMC staggered events to best utilize resources and create a “rolling thunder” viral marketing effect.   KMC combined events with media relations, advertising and direct mail to increase the impact of the program.
KMC selected expert panelists for each of the five cities with relevant expertise in market research. KMC secured participation with local associations in each of the selected cities to increase event attendance. KMC worked closely with Motive Graphic Design, Babcock & Jenkins Direct Mail and ES Drake Advertising to develop a compelling advertising and direct mail campaign featuring DeepCanyon collateral material.  KMC conducted local media relations programs to supplement advertising and direct mail efforts.
KMC researched and secured top associations in each of the target cities, appropriate venues, identified and secured panel participants, handled event logistics, sent 70,000 direct mail pieces to members of DeepCanyon’s target audience, conducted media relations and transcribed panelist presentations for follow up media relations campaign.
Associations rarely accept programs organized by specific companies since they are concerned about being seen as backing a particular company, being “bought” by sponsors, or not providing value to their members.  KMC convinced each association that the panel program would be of interest to their members, the panel participants would be of high caliber with a national or local reputation, content would be generic and educational, and that we would not be selling DeepCanyon but rather simply using them as an example. KMC communicated regularly with the organizations.  As a result, both partners were very pleased with the content the high-caliber panelists provided to their membership.
Another obstacle was to secure high-quality panelists for each location, communicating extensively to secure participation and hone their presentation.  KMC scheduled meetings before the event to walk through each presentation.  The first panel event in Bellevue, Washington demonstrated inconsistency among the panelists. KMC spent time with each of the panels, individually as well as in a group to increase fluidity and generate a more effective information-rich presentation. A noticeable improvement in panelist presentations was seen due to pre-event conference calls and individual interaction.
The program was undeniably a success. During the planning stages, The KMC Group set a series of measurable objectives and exceeded expectations:
  • We set a minimum attendance objective of 100 people per event in each city. The total number of attendees for all five events totaled 754, exceeding our goal by over 50%.
  • Obtain 200 registered users in each city within 45 days of each regional campaign. The number of registered users substantially increased by 1,500 since the first event in Bellevue, exceeding the goal of 66%.
  • Generate 60% awareness of DeepCanyon with target audiences in expert roadshow cities. According to the Babcock & Jenkins Webprofiler statistics, owners/presidents made up 21% of the audience, and consultants and VP/directors of marketing made up 11%. The largest percentage of attendees, 58%, were from companies with fewer than 50 employees and 47% of those who registered use the Internet for more than 11 hours a week for work and research purposes.
The KMC Group also conducted local media relations within each market to garner additional attendance and increase awareness of DeepCanyon. Media coverage was placed in The Seattle Times,, KCPQ TV, Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, and The Seattle Times.
As a result of the DeepCanyon roadshow program, potential partnerships were formed, large numbers of DeepCanyon’s target audiences were reached and the initial steps in building an effective joint relationship with content partners were established.  The KMC Group was also given the opportunity to build relationships with top associations and consultants such as ES Drake Advertising, Motive Design and Babcock & Jenkins Direct Mail.
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