Paul Holmes 21 Apr 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
As a result of a creative, aggressive PR program, Yankelovich Partners has enjoyed one of its most successful years, maintaining its position as the pre-eminent national thought leader in the market research industry. The catalyst for this success was the promotion of a business paradigm, “Generational Marketing,” which has been widely embraced by the media, corporate marketing, and the entire national advertising community. Tremendous success was also drawn from the introduction of MONITOR etrends and the Application Service Provider decisionDOMAIN, their first e-commerce and Web related products, as well helping to develop and publicize three books including "Rocking The Ages," an in-depth look at the future of generational marketing and how companies must market to consumers into the 21st Century.
The Public Relations challenge was to create awareness of their interactive products and services and develop and enhance the Yankelovich brand as being synonymous with e-commerce marketing, in the face of stiff competition from Jupiter and Forrester Research, companies that provide market research almost solely on the Internet and e-commerce technologies. Additionally, the public relations program had to keep the momentum going following the highly successful launch of “Generational Marketing” and build on the firm’s compelling identity to improve its ability to compete and gain ground in traditional space.
MONITOR eTrends and decisionDOMAIN could demonstrate Yankelovich’s credibility and authority in the e-commerce marketplace, strengthening their position as a thought-leader. By focusing on the specific issues raised by eTrends, we created a publicity “hook” to influence public opinion and build market presence among the online community.
Yankelovich wanted to carve out a niche… leading edge thinking for its target publics…product managers, corporate advertising directors, industry influentials and the public.
An audit of marketing executives and editors showed that the firm was best known for its signature product, the “MONITOR” study, an annual survey of American values, beliefs and lifestyles which not only offers marketing intelligence, but is designed to help incorporate this knowledge throughout client companies’ business decision-making. It has been tracking the values and lifestyles of all Americans since 1971, and serves as a bulwark in refocusing its public image by categorizing the data into “generational cohorts.”
By categorizing the market behavior of age groups and translating into business intelligence, we could demonstrate Yankelovich’s credibility and authority in a meaningful way. Labeling the data as “generational marketing” would provide the niche to begin advancing a unique positioning… and provide a market-driven publicity hook to influence public opinion.
The objective was to make Yankelovich stand for a partnership of experts who provided a single, useful framework to do business. By leveraging the “generational marketing” concept into a broad-based PR campaign, Yankelovich could promote their “generational expertise” and create a highly visible niche, and at the same time, enhance the Yankelovich brand as being synonymous with e-commerce marketing.
The PR campaign capitalized on the company’s authority on the consumer mind-set and showed their ability to delve even deeper on specific e-commerce issues through the creation of etrends. This series of online and offline studies provided marketers with unprecedented insights into the challenges and opportunities of doing business on the Internet, ultimately helping businesses translate data into actions as they develop and build their brands.
The phalanx of publicity using MONITOR data to define generational trends and e-commerce opportunities was achieved through press releases, bylines, speeches and interviews. G.S. Schwartz & Co. then filled the gaps by developing and distributing a weekly factoid for the press, “The Monitor Minute,” containing generational tidbits -- marrying generational expertise with technology foresight -- to ensure constant top-of-mind awareness for Yankelovich’s ownership of the new framework.
G.S. Schwartz has garnered massive press week after week for five years. In 2000, we blanketed the target markets through a regional media tour, speaking engagements and heavy contact with top-tier national business media. Publicity appeared in a significant number of Yankelovich’s target audience trades and top national outlets including marquis features in the THE New York TIMES, THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA TODAY, AD AGE, THE INDUSTRY STANDARD, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT and separate broadcast coverage on ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT, and a legion of others.
It is recognized as one of the top research firms, a leading source not only for consumer statistics but as an interpreter for business and social climates, offering visionary guidance for clients using a “new” system of analysis. The new paradigm, “Generational Marketing,” is widely accepted by marketing and advertising communities, clients, prospects and the media.
The business community not only knows Yankelovich, they request the “Monitor Minute” and Monitor eTrends in an effort to further their insights into the marketplace, and apply that knowledge to their business.
Lead generation and business volume not only increased as companies began to access Yankelovich’s new interactive products, but resulted in the acquisition of their custom-research division by Harris Interactive, and Internet-based market research firm.
The aggressive, proactive nature of the communications effort, which was aimed at creating a compelling, market-friendly niche for the firm, worked. Most significant, a major segment of the advertising and business community is not only buzzing about Generational Marketing as a tool for the new millennium, but also using Yankelovich’s “generational” vision to grow business.