While most people do not equate marketing research with promotion, the fact is many companies are discovering research can also function as a major promotional tool. The practice of distributing company-produced research reports to potential customers and the news media has been used for a number of years in scientific and technology industries. In recent years the practice has expanded into many other fields, particularly among firms involved in consulting, healthcare and financial industries. Such reports often provide readers with information related to product features and benefits, comparisons with competitor’s offerings and target market perceptions. These reports are produced using high quality graphs and charts backed up by carefully created narratives that proudly emphasize the company’s strengths.
Unfortunately, many research reports produced for promotional reasons are not scientific and thus may not carry much value. While many companies claim the research supports their products, many of these claims may in fact be more fluff than substance since they are not grounded in good research methods.