The Problem

A multi-national business services agency recently completed a series of acquisitions, all while experiencing increased competition in their home market. The organization knew they needed to revitalize their presence at home and build awareness for their services in new geographies. As the team begin mobilizing their marketing efforts, they sought a way to benchmark their current brand awareness levels to determine how well their marketing activities were impacting reputational growth.

The Approach

We developed a market research study that allowed us to measure agency awareness among key decision makers as well as gather data around agency consideration and selection factors to help inform future marketing strategy work.

Screener Criteria

We spent ample time upfront honing in on the professional demographics (e.g. title, industry, function) and professional psychographics (e.g. had a role in selecting or influencing agency decisions) that were required to ensure we surveyed the “right” people in our study.

Measuring Aided Awareness

We asked respondents to share which agencies they were aware of from a given list, a process called measuring “aided” awareness. Unlike unaided awareness, where respondents are asked to provide names without any lists, aided awareness is beneficial when it’s thought that top-of-mind recall may be low.

Building Marketing Strategy Intelligence

In addition to awareness-related questions, we also included questions to help understand how well decision makers understand and differentiate services offered by the agency as well as which factors or characteristics are most important when selecting this type of company.

The Results

The agency enjoyed the following benefits upon completing the market research project…

Awareness Benchmarking

The agency received a clear read on the market’s awareness of their firm as well as the awareness of key competitors. Not only did they have an objective number they could use to benchmark changes in awareness over time but they also had a concrete measure to use with internal stakeholders and convince them of the need for incremental marketing investments.

Marketing Strategy Opportunity Identification

The research identified that decision makers can’t differentiate certain services from each other. It also isolated gaps in the characteristics decision makers look for when selecting this kind of agency and how the agency was perceived. These data points allowed the agency’s marketing team to identify marketing content opportunities to educate prospects and change overall perceptions.

Study Replicability

By documenting the methodology, we ensured that the survey could be repeated as often as necessary. This ensured that future studies to “read” aided awareness were done exactly the same way for credible longitudinal benchmarking.

Did You Know...

B2B surveys are almost always pricier than B2C surveys because respondents require higher compensation incentives to participate. If you’re not ready to make that investment, you can consider qualitative interview research instead. While you won’t enjoy the benefits of large samples sizes for statistically significant responses, you will get deeper, more nuanced feedback that can inform strategy and execution.


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