For this blog post on PR and community management I’ve chosen to take a look at Property & Portfolio Research (PPR), a company I subscribe to that provides high-end research and forecasting for commercial real estate investors. In addition to these products, PPR publishes a series of white papers about portfolio strategy du jour that are pretty highly regarded. PPR makes for an interesting case study since it’s a relatively new entrant into this space, which has a small, finite group of potential customers.
In general, PPR projects a narrow, targeted message about the quality and insights its products offer, which leads to better decision making. This targeting is a luxury the company can afford since its customer base is a fairly finite and well defined audience, consisting almost entirely of large, mainly institutional investors. Given the definition around this customer base, PPR’s promotional efforts tend to focus on the middle of marketing ‘funnel’ by focusing more on evaluation. Intuitively this makes sense, as most industry participants are at least somewhat aware of PPR, so promotions tend to focus on the depth, breadth, and quality of PPR’s materials as opposed to describing what it is they do. Indeed, given that most prospective customers are likely aware of the company, PPR’s challenge is to convince customers that its services are worth the high subscription cost. The challenge is therefore not to engage and educate prospective customers on what the company does (which the firm name helps communicate – there’s no mystery here).
Given that most of PPR’s customers likely seek out the company (as opposed to the reverse), PPR does not appear to really engage in social or mass media to mass market its product. TV and print ads are non-existent. Social channels are also minimal. There is no Twitter feed, no Facebook page, and no YouTube materials (PPR is however on Linkedin).
The company does do an excellent job of continually engaging with customers to remain top of mind and communicate their value. I regularly receive emails on new research papers and forthcoming webinars. I also periodically get calls from their sales staff inquiring about whether they’re meeting our needs. Regarding ideas for improvement, PPR should think about sponsoring some national industry conferences and events. These allow for great targeting and can further cement PPRs reputation as a premium product for serious investors by associating with quality events that draw its clientele, which would give it a chance to showcase its products in a more intimate setting.