How to stop talking like every other market research agency

All The Same

Most market research agencies talk about themselves in exactly the same way

Usually along the lines of…

“We are passionate about delivering strategic insights that help businesses make better decisions. We are a team of experienced researchers, who get to the heart of what consumers think and feel, to unlock business opportunities – and that’s what makes us different”

I wouldn’t be surprised if  you only read the first few words of that before falling asleep skimming down to this sentence.

And I’d bet that’s what most people do when they read research agency’s websites, the ‘about us’ pages in proposals, and company pages on Linkedin.

  • It’s BORING.
  • It’s GENERIC.
  • It’s a WASTED shot at persuading your audience that they want to work with your agency over any other agency out there

Two simple things you can do to distinguish yourself

1Get rid of trigger words

The Behavioural Economists among us can vouch for this – as humans we are cognitively lazy. We don’t want to invest brainpower when it’s able to work just fine on autopilot. And that’s what happens when we read paragraphs that start with “We are passionate about delivering strategic insights”.  We’ve read those exact words a million times over. We know where the paragraph is going and we know how it’s going to end.

These words trigger our brain to switch to autopilot and move on.

Here’s a short list of trigger words that most market research agencies use, that you could try to avoid:

Passionate Strategic
Opportunities Curious
Human truths Innovative
Deliver Dynamic
Engagement Facilitate
Unearth Richer
Flexible Cutting-edge

2Sound human

The words you use should form a relationship with your reader – so that you can connect with, and persuade them. But it’s kind of hard to form a relationship when you don’t sound like a genuine human.

It’s kind of hard to form a relationship when you don’t sound like a genuine human
No one is kept up at night thinking about needing ‘innovative strategies for agile decision making’. So speaking to your audience like that doesn’t connect with them on a level that is natural and relatable.

A trick I have learned for this is when you’re at a networking event, or you hear people in the office talking about what you do – jot down what is said. These are the words that are going to sound real to the reader – because they actually are real!

Here’s an example from my office:

Non-human speak: In recent years, the business landscape has faced radical changes. Smart marketers need innovative strategies, for agile decision-making.

Human speak: Our clients need things done quickly. They don’t have six weeks to wait for a research project, and they don’t want an 80-page deck at the end of it.

That’s all well and good, but can I get an example?

I guess the proof is in the (copy) pudding, so here is an example to show you how it can work

Instead of :

We utilise traditional qualitative techniques and cutting edge online community platforms to deliver strategic insights to your business. We are experts in applying digital technology to research, and ensure our communities represent your target audience, keep them engaged, and deliver insights to drive growth within your business.

Try :

How do I get insights from an online community? We first asked ourselves that question almost a decade ago. Since then, we’ve spent hundreds of hours studying the psychology of people in online communities, conducted dozens of experiments and interviewed thousands of research participants. The result of this means we’re able to:

  • Carefully select the best participants for the project – so you know we’re speaking to the right target audience
  • Develop relationships with our moderation style – tailored to your brand, so we keep participants active and incentive costs down
  • Craft research design suited specifically to online – so you get insights that drive growth for your business

My Shoes are Different

Your brand is unique, so talk about it in a unique way

Your brand is an asset. You’re already using words to describe your agency, but instead of saying what everyone else is saying, use words to differentiate. This beefs up your brand, and romances your reader into hearing what you have to say.

Author: Teri Nolan

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