Thinking outside the plastic box

Many of you know that I have a bee in my bonnet about market research and the gaping chasm in the PR toolbox (wow – how’s that for a mixed metaphor?!) that is left as the well-worn tactic falls over.  

This story below isn’t an insight yet, but it has made me think. The connection between 3D printers and oil isn’t an obvious one. In fact, when I first read the headline, I thought, “BP might be pleased about 3D printing - it uses plastic, and that requires oil”. In retrospect, a sign of over-thinking and not enough caffeine leading me down the wrong path. And actually an illogical one too given the wider manufacturing industry. 

https://www.ft.com/content/6ef4bda6-e3d5-11e6-8405-9e5580d6e5fb

Anyway, for whatever reason, the impact of 3D printing on oil and supply chains didn’t occur to me immediately – despite the article's large-font subheader.  

So what's my point, other than not to let me near the news before I've had enough coffee? When we in B2B PR and content marketing are building a campaign creative, we must make sure that we look beyond the obvious causes and effects. “3D printing will impact manufacturing” is obvious. The impact on supply chains is one further step removed. The impact on oil is yet another step removed. That’s what makes this interesting. That and it’s BP saying it, but don’t let that get in the way of this.

Knock-on effects. That’s the lesson here.

The success of campaigns is not just reliant on using alternative sources of data (though that's really useful) or on being smarter in how we frame market research results on the unfortunate occasions when we have to rely on it. It also requires us to look beyond the obvious cause and effect and look at wider ecosystems. Tenuous links aren’t always to be sneered at.

Picture of Katie de Cozar

Written by Katie de Cozar

Katie joined CCgroup in December 2017 as Head of Enterprise technology and brings a passion for helping her clients deliver effective messages to the right audiences, in a compelling way.

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