Not too long ago, here at Corona we became aware of an RFP (request for proposal) from an out-of-state agency calling for market research services on behalf of its client, who provides energy efficiency related services.

Oftentimes, when evaluating for-profit sector RFPs, our Insights for Strategic Marketing framework allows us to identify where potential customers stand in terms of a true strategic marketing process, and where our market research, data-driven insights and consulting services can plug in. Insights for Strategic Marketing helps us determine how we can make the most impact for our clients and inform important marketing decisions to help move companies forward.

The first sentence of this particular RFP’s Project Overview section read as follows:   “We are at the beginning stages of a brand overhaul and major awareness/customer acquisition campaign for a client…”  In the same paragraph, the overview went on to say that a “baseline consumer research study” was desired, and also that messaging options should be tested as part of this study.  Like one of those tricky fill-in-the-blank quizzes we used to get when we were kids, the very first paragraph showed us they were in want for quite a bit of information. The current target market customer profile was provided, however, which was very helpful.

So we fed this RFP language into Corona’s Insights for Strategic Marketing machine and then we pushed the big orange start button.  The machine rumbled, flashed its lights, shook a little, sounded its whistles, and gave off a little smoke.  Then, the market research and strategic consulting possibilities slowly emerged.  Fortunately, our machine (we still need to give it a name) produces market research/consulting options in their logical order, so we can develop questions and “check off” boxes prior to developing a proposal.  Options that were provided included:

Strategic marketing – market research and consulting:

–          Market study (assuming solid market segmentation is in place)

–          Rebranding and brand positioning study

Marketing execution – market research and consulting:

–          Integrated campaign and message/creative development

–          Integrated campaign and message/creative testing

–          Pre- and post-campaign brand awareness measurement

–          Post-campaign ROI measurement (from customer acquisition)

Our market research and consulting services can be helpful in any or all of these distinct areas.  And when pondering the integrated marketing execution that could be considered, there are of course many additional possibilities.  So, in short, we took a few steps back and asked some questions about overriding objectives to ensure that our market research/consulting scope would be directly and most effectively aligned.

Okay, so we really don’t have an actual machine,  just our own insights and foresights based on experience and our own intellectual horsepower (which also admittedly sometimes sounds whistles and gives off smoke).  What would your “machine” say in this kind of a situation?