Method Research wrapped up its best year yet in 2021. Over the past twelve months, our team conducted quantitative and qualitative research and acted as in-house data consultants on 17 client projects. We also launched our first-ever Method Research Report which further solidified Method’s reputation for keeping a pulse on the tech landscape and knowing consumer opinion.
The year’s crop of reports and consulting projects resulted in strong placements that positioned brands as thought leaders and were the driving force behind messaging initiatives and lead generation, as well as serving as resources for internal development.
Product Discussions Led to Product Development
One of the exciting new capabilities our research team added last year was qualitative focus groups and discussion boards. 1Password leveraged both to conduct research into how software engineers (and their companies) manage secrets. They dove deep into people’s thoughts by engaging with software engineers who deal with secrets, via a discussion board, over four days.
1Password gathered additional insight from a select few of these software engineers in live, in-depth 1-on-1 conversations and virtual roundtable focus groups. In these extended sessions, 1Password was able to show a live demo and get valuable feedback on their product. The participants’ feedback was collected to help with product development and marketing, highlighting how data can be used beyond media relations.
Making Sustainable Chic
Our clients are always looking for creative ways to garner media attention, but sometimes high-tech can mean hard-to-understand. This was the case for sustainable materials company Genomatica that licenses its technology processes to create widely-used products and materials from plants, rather than fossil fuels. As the company was looking to raise the profile of its plant-based nylon with mainstream audiences, Genomatica turned to us to lead a consumer research program.
We designed a survey focused on a hot consumer topic — fast fashion — and broader sustainability (or lack thereof) in apparel. The results highlighted consumers’ overwhelming support for clearer labeling and wider availability of sustainable options in clothing, providing a platform for Genomatica to raise awareness of how clothes are made. The report earned glowing coverage in the “Bible of fashion,” key trade publication Women’s Wear Daily.
A Method Research First
This year, Method released its first internal research project: Is Empathy Dead In America? A Method Research Report. From initial concept to report creation and design to final pitches, the entire report was created by our in-house research and marketing teams. Our research found that 73% of Americans think it would be better for society if people were more empathetic, although 42% of Americans say empathy has decreased over the past year and 81% are concerned about the decline.
The report also dove into brands’ roles in driving empathy in society. We found that even though aligning with a cultural moment can drive conversations and positive mentions for a brand, customers prefer to see a company’s tangible efforts. After our team wrote and designed the report, our media relations team conducted outreach that resulted in strong coverage in communications trade media, including MediaPost, PR Daily, and O’Dwyer’s PR.
Tried and True Still Works
Our media contacts are often looking for data on trends as they happen. BambooHR, for example, recently conducted three studies that each took a new angle on HR and employees in the current working climate. These traditional surveys focused on the expectations vs. realities of remote work, employees’ feelings around remote work culture, and career progression amid the pandemic.
BambooHR’s research turned out to be timely and relevant for reporters in the benefits, HR and career spaces. The reports were picked up by outlets like Business Insider to support stories on broader employee trends and as tentpole narratives for BenefitsPro around the state of office work.
Even as we see growth in new areas, Method Research and our clients still have a great deal of success using traditional surveys to create reports and inform media outreach. We have much to look forward to this year, including what will be our second-annual Method Report, and growing both our quantitative and qualitative outreach.
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