Marketing and communications

Quality research is the foundation of good communication.

Every communicator knows that understanding your audience—what they think, how they feel, their attitudes and their likely responses—makes the difference between run-of-the-mill information and communication that elicits results.

At instinct and reason we understand this. We have staff with more than 40 years’ experience in government and private sector marketing and communications. When researching for communications—whether qualitative or quantitative—we seek to understand not only your audience but what you need from the audience to elicit responses and achieve results. By taking this approach, we make the research work for the communicator.

Divergent and convergent approach to provide evidence-based communication

Providing high level evidence-based strategic advice is instinct and reason’s strength. We approach a communication problem with both divergent thinking (what are all the possibilities—the values, attitudes, behaviours, trends and wider context and factors affecting the communication issue) and convergent thinking (what the best messages and channels) to predict likely responses.

instinct and reason tracks 15 major trends in society to provide the important understanding broader context within which the communication is to occur. As a free service we take these trends into account as part of the context of the research we undertake. This is combined with sophisticated qualitative and quantitative approaches and experience in both gathering and analysing primary and secondary data and interpreting it to provide the necessary evidence and strategic and tactical recommendations.

Marketers and communicators are familiar with qualitative and quantitative research—good qualitative research provides you with rich and deep insights into the reasons behind your audiences’ beliefs and actions and robust quantitative tests the extent of these within your total audience.

Market segmentation is an important ingredient of good marketing and communications. Done simply, segmentation can look at differences between demographics such as gender or age, or experiences such as level of familiarity with your product or service, so you can design and implement different strategies to target difference based on these factors. But segmentation can go so much deeper as the important differences may not exist based on demographics. Psychographic segmentation can look at your audience based on their motivations, attitudes, and values, etc.

Our strength also lies in using a model that asks the relevant questions and in providing evidence-based and operationally practical outcomes. The model is based on recognising the importance of Cut-through, Clarity, Involvement and Persuasion in developing any successful program and communications strategy. In addition instinct and reason has the ability to incorporate choice experiments to determine what are the real drivers and barriers and the optimal communication mix.

Discrete Choice Modelling

instinct and reason can even go one step further. Research often relies on the ‘direct-question’ method and while this approach provides a lot of good information for marketing and communications, it has its limits in being able to identify the key drivers and tipping points that cause people to take a particular position on an issue, to respond to a form of communication or marketing or to use a service/product or not. Sometimes it yields no more information than the fact that people would prefer and want all the benefits but none of the downsides. To overcome this problem we have successfully use choice model experiments.

Examples of recent work include:

  • research for the Australia Day Council to inform its approach to the Australian of the Year Awards
  • research to inform the Department of Human Services on the optimal approach to communicating to health professionals