Educating Your Audience into a Sale: Marketing & PR Based on the Foundations of Scientific Study

How do organizations build relationships with publics with whom they want to engage?

They research them.

In the past, research was gathered using surveys, interviews, various types of polling, and direct mailing. Today, however, businesses do not have the time to wait for consumers to respond to these methods of research. Even more significant, past research methods did not accurately describe targeted populations.

Modern research methods rely on many factors.

Modern research begins the minute consumers log onto the Internet.

Modern research begins with every purchase a person makes in an instant.

Modern research is not only quickly gathered, but almost always accurate.

Finally, modern research not only helps organizations with understanding their demographic, but it also makes predictions all to maximize sales.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, how is this research conducted?

Most research today, as stated previously, begins through monitoring the daily activities of those being studied. Often, our activities are being researched without our knowledge. By using online metrics, researchers gather information by:

  • Creating online alerts for topics and clients
  • Screening social media for client mentions and negative feedback
  • Reviewing the client’s website and any related press to more effectively understand their business or product
  • Researching news releases for facts and statistics
  • Finding a public to build relationships

These methods make up the initial stages of a research campaign.

Researchers might take these initial findings and focus their attention on:

  • Collecting data for analysis on clients and/or particular strategies used
  • Analysis of content placed in media as it relates to tone, message, relevance and importance to the client
  • Studies related to data collected on the results of campaigns and public demographic (communities of interest)

After gathering all of this information, researchers use business analytics to understand target populations, look at statistical data on previous campaigns and data on the population, and review return on investment methods (ROI). Essentially, this information is used to predict the success or failure of a campaign.

From this information, organizations have a better idea of who their public is, what their needs are, and how to engage in successful marketing strategies that ultimately lead to a long-term relationship between the two entities.

How does this research translate in the real world?

All of these complicated steps at information gathering is to make sure the organization’s message is clearly understood by their publics.


First up, the Apple iPod….

One great example of the way in which research methods translate into product sale is the press surrounding the Apple iPod’s initial release in early 2000. The company focused its language in terms of how many songs the iPod could play (roughly a 1000) as opposed to the amount of data it could hold (5GBs).

For techies understanding how much space 5GBs actually holds is no problem, but for those who are not tech-savvy, translating 5GB into 1000 songs goes a long way in making the sale. The research behind even structuring the language so that it was accessible to its target market was a part of this campaign.

Then, there is Intel’s Xeon Processor….

Another great example of the way in which research and development plays out in the real world is Intel’s latest processor, which costs close to $9,000. Advertised as a professional grade piece of equipment, the target audience would be companies running servers with large databases.

The processor boasts having 60MB of cache (most have 8MB, at the time of this article) with 24 cores with Hyper-Threading Technology, bringing it to 48 logical processors, each with a maximum speed of 3.4 GHz, all in 1 single CPU. For the everyday organizational rep, even this language might be too didactic.

For readability and accessibility to organizations that might be interested in purchasing new equipment, Intel translates all of this information into language that explains the processor’s functional attributes by using words like “demanding performance” and “computer-intensive embedded, storage and communications applications.”

In both cases, the organizations recognized the need to explain to the clients the functional aspects of the product in layman’s terms because, while tech-savvy people might be a part of their publics, they are targeting music lovers and big corporations, respectively.

Ultimately, the research conducted by the folks in research and development at both Apple and Intel has made all the difference in promoting their products and connecting with their publics.

For public relations….

Research can cut down on the amount of time used to accurately assess appropriate publics in which organizations might engage.

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