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Accelerating your marketing and sales out of Lockdown

Accelerating your sales and marketing out of lockdown, hints and tips.

Accelerating Your Marketing & Sales Out of Lockdown

The Marketing Club came together to bring you 7 speakers for some quick, actionable and achievable tips for accelerating out of lockdown with your new marketing and brand strategy. In this free and unique webinar discover exactly what you need to do to make your business stand out NOW!


  • BUSINESS PLANNING – Insights for business planning and recovery
  • TEAM BUILDING – How to build a Powerful Plan
  • ONLINE MARKETING – How to pivot and boost sales online
  • WEBSITE ENGAGEMENT – Engaging visitors more on your website
  • GOOGLE VISIBILITY – Gaining more visibility with Google My Business
  • PR COMMUNICATIONS – Communicate better in your marketplace
  • AWARDS & RECOGNITION – How to enter awards you can win now
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6 tips for launching research projects that deliver results

Sapio Research’s Managing Partner joins Eclat Marketing to share practical advice on creating research projects that will deliver results across PR and marketing.

6 Tips For Launching Research Projects That Deliver Results

Recently I had the pleasure of being invited to participate in eClat’s Cyber Beat podcast series. I’m in illustrious company among the Financial Times regular columnists Jane Bird and Stephen Pritchard. They have been keeping their fingers on the pulse on IT security trends for decades and offered some great insights into what grabs the attention of journalists.

One aspect mentioned by Jane Bird is evidence, facts, figures, and infographics on which to build a story. As Sapio is passionate about supporting businesses every step of the way in making informed decisions & extraordinary headlines we happen to have plenty to say in this area.

To keep things snappy for the listeners though we just covered a few tips and chatted about the reasons behind the success of a recent campaign we worked on together.

The Guardum case study is yet to go up on the website, but we identified a good few reasons that led to a brand to picking up the phone to Sapio to ask if we could do the same for them, raising their thought leadership status.

Guardum a great example of a profile building campaign, forming the basis of a webinar which specially led to sales qualified leads. This is why it was successful:

  1. It was conducted among the most relevant audience Data protection / GDPRs looking to understand issues around Data Subject Access Requests and spot future trends
  2. Its specificity of issues was its success.  It also identified new insights on the topic
  3. The survey avoided being self-serving
  4. eClat understood what would be of interest to their client’s target audience
  5. We worked in collaboration, with the initial questions drafted by eClat and fine-tuned by Sapio
  6. The project avoided changing objectives mid-way through, and being unclear on the headlines it was trying to achieve

We discussed the differences between good PR and good marketing research, namely: 

  • Good marketing research is typically objective in nature and takes a more purist approach to sampling the audience, i.e. questions are designed in such a way that one type of response is not more likely than the other, so completely objective.
  • PR research, well bad PR research, is potentially biased because respondents might not be given the response options they’d want to choose. So, for it to be done well it needs to have several potential angles in mind when the questions are designed.
  • MR research = exploration, PR = validation

We both agreed that designing a good questionnaire that authentically hits the mark with journalist or people you want to influence is more difficult to craft than it might appear.

Tips on specific aspects concerning question design of comms research can be found here.

The podcast is below.

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What on earth is a Cross-break?

Explaining the many terms used for a ‘cross-break’ by clients, as well as many others such as repertoire, top 2 boxes etc.

“Looks to my untrained eye that there might be an issue with the data – it’s presenting selected questions across/alongside the sequential/main questions – see screenshot?”

– A not so uncommon client comment

Quantitative data outputs can be daunting, and on first sight, sometimes so are client requests.

Having worked in the market research industry for a couple years now, I’ve dealt with numerous clients, all of whom understand market research in their own way and use (sometimes possibly make up..) various terms to describe what they want or how they want data visually. After a recent conversation in the office over what ‘banners’ meant, we decided it was our duty to share our knowledge surrounding ‘market research jargon’, terms that we have managed to decipher.

According to Merriam-Webster ‘cross break’ is defined as ‘a separation of wood cells across the grain’, however, I as well as fellow market researchers will generally understand the term ‘cross breaks’ as a way of observing data changes across various questions, hence we understand where the confusion stems from.

I associate tabs with web browser tabs and when banner was first mentioned in an email I was sure I wasn’t working on an advertising project. Since then I’ve educated myself on the terms thrown around, for instance standard breaks and banners are all names for cross breaks. Thinking of the data visually, I can see how ‘banners’ is clustered as a synonym for cross-breaks, as you see responses to demographic questions going along the X axis, looking much like a banner going across the page.  

You also hear the terms tabs, tables or data cuts which actually refers to the numerical output of the research project, i.e. excel data tables (sometimes referred to as raw data).  Cross breaks, standard breaks, banners etc. are all in effect types of data cuts.

Clients also have a variety of ways of referring to how they want the data calculated or displayed on the standard Y axis too. Mean scores and standard deviations are common of course, but we also get other phrases in client tab specs (table specifications).

Net score’ is one such term used by clients, it’s often used in grid questions (see pic below) in order to group codes (responses) in a question. For instance, grouping ‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’ to get a higher percentage score. There are yet again other terms used for net scores, such as top 2 boxes and nets.

My all-time favourite word I came across was a ‘repertoire’, my initial reaction was to ‘google it’, and so again I found myself on Merriam-Webster which defined it as ‘a list or supply of dramas, operas, pieces, or parts that a company or person is prepared to perform’. Again this led to a great deal of  confusion! We later found out it simply meant a ‘table listing the number of codes/responses selected in a question’ (i.e. code frame) and has since been added to the research lingo used in the office.

So next time you see a word in your emails you don’t understand, don’t panic, it’s probably just an exciting new phrase for the tried and tested.

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Understanding your excel data tables

Data tables are a great way to show your data broken down into lots of different audience groups - but lots of numbers and columns can look confusing at first.

Data tables are a great way to show your data broken down into lots of different audience groups – but lots of numbers and columns can look confusing at first.

This is Sapio’s guide to help you quickly understand your tables.  Here are a couple of examples.

Single codes questions

This is when response only have the option of giving one answer, so the total will be no higher than 100%.

Single coded question

Looking across the rows you can see how one audience group responds compared to another. In this example we see our older respondents are less likely to have gone skiing than youger respondents.

Multi coded questions

When there is more than one possible answer to a question, the responses don’t have to add up to 100% because each participant can give more than one response.  

Mutli coded question

Statistical calculations: Mean

The Mean Score is the same as the Average.  It typically takes the mid point of each of the bands for the calculation.

Statistical calculations: Standard Error

We also sometimes see the Standard Error on the tables.  This doesn’t not mean that there is a problem with the data. It is instead a way of judging the representativeness of the mean score.  It indicates the variation levels within the data. 

The results from a survey are usually based on a sample rather than the population – to do the full population would be prohibitively expensive. If we interviewed everyone in the population though we might get a result that is slightly different from our survey. But how different?  The standard error gives us an indication of this. It shows the amount of variation in our answers that we might reasonably expect to see if we were to interview everyone or repeat the survey again.

In the example below we can see a mean of £784.96 in our total universe column of 2006 on the left. The standard error is 18.69 (i.e. + or – £18.69 in this case). The law of statistics suggests that if we interviewed everyone we would probably find that the true mean figure is most likely to fall between £766.27 and £803.65.

So our sample is subject to a potential margin of error of +/- £18.69, which is an other way of saying standard error.

Means and standard errors

The standard error figure highlighted in the second column shows that smaller base numbers are subject to much higher variations, in this case +/- £106.50.

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A view from the outside: How 2 charities worked in partnership to deliver stand-out campaigns

PRCA Charity & Not-for-Profit Group event: Creativity in collaboration - How to work in partnership to deliver stand-out campaigns 27th February 2018.

Having received a great response to my earlier ‘view from the outside’, Broadcast media tips for PRs, it’s spurred me on to sharing learnings from my most recent  PRCA meeting.  Although focusing on charities, it was actually quite a curious mix of campaign objectives and implementation.

PRCA Charity & Not-for-Profit Group event: Creativity in collaboration – How to work in partnership to deliver stand-out campaigns 27th February 2018

Our panellists for the evening were:

Shelter’s story

Helen very eloquently took us through her journey of how to improve a charity’s strategic value to the sponsor, taking a greater lead in the ideas and creative process while keeping an eye on the bottom line.

When Helen took on the role of heading up Shelter’s internal creative department it already had a 10-year relationship with Marks and Spencers, whose customers raised over £1m between 2005 and 2009 alone. Understandably, internal stakeholders were keen not to jeopardise this important fundraising relationship. When she arrived in 2015 Shelter produced just a single poster to promote M&S’s Christmas Food to Go campaign which donated 5% of its profits to Shelter.

Within two years Helen not only cemented Shelter’s position as strategic partner to M&S but more significantly increased Shelter’s funding stream with M&S.  The 2017 M&S campaign had a target to increase its revenue by 25% to reach £500k, but smashed it, achieving £600k.

Helen was kind enough to share her key learnings from this:

1.    Get in there early:

a.    Don’t leave it too late to be creative.  Have time to raise and explore unfamiliar ideas. Start thinking about Christmas campaigns in April.

2.    Show what you can bring to the table:

a.    Consider it a pitch, bringing in your experts from PR, digital, strategy etc. and demonstrate what can be done on different platforms.

i.     The campaign changed to including not only posters, but social media (including their own memes), films, POS, packaging, referral mechanisms, collateral at the entrance of stores and inclusion of the mobile journey.

 ii.     Consider the pre-launch, build up excitement about the forthcoming campaign.

iii.     Make the launch an experience. Last year’s launch was held in Waterloo station with an opportunity to sample the products that could be purchased in the nearby M&S.  For travellers with more time on their hands a VR film on the ‘traditions of Christmas’ was available. It enabled them to feel what it’s like to be in a B&B with children running up to Christmas.  Tap and donate points were available on the stand and staff had been trained prior to the event.

3.    Be clear about the goals:

a.    M&S’s marketing team wants to sell sandwiches. Shelter wants to raise funds. Put projects in place that facilitate this.

i.     This resulted in Shelter working with M&S’s own big data and customer insights to identify two target audiences.  One driven by the desire to do good, the other who just wanted a sandwich that tasted really good.  Two distinct campaigns were developed.

4.    Present in person:

a.     Given the creative nature of the ideas and potential difficulty in visualisation, where possible all discussions were had in person or via Skype to facilitate clarity of collaboration.

Peace One Day’s story

Whereas Shelter’s campaign objective is to raise funds for its work in reducing homelessness, Peace One Day’s objective is to increase publicity with the hope that a rise in awareness will have a positive change on behaviour. Peace One Day happens on 21st September each year, with the aim of raising awareness of, and reducing behaviour that results in bullying, violence and hatred.

So in effect the tools and techniques used by Peace One Day are a homage to PR at its best. Jeremy is a very charismatic campaign figure head with laudable ambitions.  He’s also very well connected, with an eye for a story and a head for numbers.

Peace One Day’s focus is as much on proving its impact, reach and worth as making a change happen. McKenzie’s figures have found that since 1999 the message was exposed to 2.2 billion people worldwide, resulting in awareness in 940 million people and a reduction in 17 million violent acts on the day itself.

Although Jeremey didn’t specifically offer advice on key learnings, I’d paraphrase them as this:

1.    Monitor and adapt:

a.    Watch the stats and change efforts where necessary. Work out what’s giving you the biggest impact.

2.    Don’t be afraid of controversy and bringing competitors together:

a.    Burger King and the ceasefire with McDonalds for Peace (One) Day achieved phenomenal success with their McWhopper campaign.

3.    Aim high:

a.    Don’t just think about brands but connect with governments too.

i.     The UN as well as celebrities and businesses can endorse appropriate campaigns

4.    Consider the value of your own brand and being associated with it:

a.    Be clear about the benefits of being associated with you/your brand – it’s not just about what they can do for you, but what you can do for them.

b.    Peace One Day is now creating licencing deals, similar to that run in Formula One, such is the positive impact of being associated with it.https://www.youtube.com/embed/RVqFnkDqEsA?wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1

I hope you’ve enjoyed my reflections, if so you might be interested in what I learnt at the PRCA’s Crisis Management Greenroom, Evaluation Group or ways of spotting fake news.

At Sapio we are keen to understand our audiences and help you to do the same too. We’re not here to do the job of PR & Marketing Agencies, we’re here to support and make you look good.  Drop me a line if an outside perspective could help you with your campaign.

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A view from the outside: Broadcast media tips for PRs

Hints and tips from the PRCA Technology and Broadcast Group Event: Tech opportunities in Broadcast 6th Feb 2018.

Research and creativity are often considered to be two distinct entities; creative flair in competition with a data fuelled strategy. While I’ve got plenty of opinions to counter that, I’ve found that a practical way to overcome this is to try and understand what’s going on in the world of those who wear the ‘creative hats.’

I’m not ill equipped to move within the PR world, but our work is always more impactful if we continue to understand how it will eventually be positioned and used. Fortunately for me, the PRCA networking events are proving to be a great way to get up to speed, fuel my creativity and learn from the masters.

I often write notes, and looking around me at the standing room only event I’m not on my own. So I thought it might be useful to share a few handy tips from the night’s proceedings. Some of course are ‘back to basics’ in their nature, relevant to Account Execs. While a few will be a little fresher and were useful to Heads of Content. A lot of course will depend on your existing experience, but from the conversations I had, it seems there was something for everyone.

PRCA Technology and Broadcast Group Event: Tech opportunities in Broadcast 6th Feb 2018

Panellists for the evening were experienced people PRs typically pitch too:

  • Tessa McCann, TV News Editor, CNBC
  • Johny Cassidy, Business and Economics Journalist, BBC Business
  • David McClelland, Technology Broadcaster and Journalist, BBC and ITV

And this is what they had to say…..

Back to basics

When pitching, understand who or what the programme is about and at who (and the level) it’s aimed.  Check out the show agenda.

  • e.g. CNBC is niche, aimed at investors.  BBC tech and finance programmes tend to be more aimed at people without an interest in business but need to know how world activities impact them.  Things are often delivered best through case studies
  • Broadcast is no longer linear. Destination TV welcomes curated content.
  • Social media channels attract more aspirational viewers.
  • Check the phone numbers you are using.
    • If it’s the same number for more than one person treat them as a team and don’t keep calling it asking for different people.
  • Reliability is more important than face-to-face contacts.
    • Having the relevant people available when needed, often at short notice will get you far more brownie points than a coffee.
  • It’s never too early to pitch for big annual events like Davos.
    • January’s event was receiving (and welcoming pitches in October).
  • Be aware of the time when planning meetings.
    • For example, CNBC does all its planning for the following day by 10am the day before.  Stories after 10 stand little chance of getting in.
    • Breakfast shows welcome evening pitches, particularly if there is a crisis breaking.
  • Identify the best contact method.
    • A matter of individual preference of course – it might be phone, tweet, snapchat etc., and often emails tend to get buried.
  •  When on location be prepared to offer details for truck parking.


  • Understand that broadcast isn’t an opportunity to plug your clients’ goods or services.
    • Apply the ‘So What?’. They are a CEO, so what? What will this product or person add to the situation or story?
  • Undue prominence is a problem. Views need to be balanced and product placement can be a problem.
    • While a Diageo interview won’t be accompanied by a bottle of whiskey, the owner of the UK’s first rum distillery might.  But in doing so they will be challenged by the interviewers and asked the kind of questions that investors or environmentalist might want answers to.
    • Don’t plaster things in huge livery stickers.
  • Don’t ask for a list of questions before the interview.
    • It’s the interviewers job to ask spontaneous, relevant, intelligent questions.  If the interviewee isn’t up to answering spontaneously they are the wrong person for the job. You’ll be given topics, but not the questions.
    • Don’t over media train them.

B2B and prototype products

  • TV and mobile is a visual medium.
    • If the products can’t be physically touched or demonstrated, provide B-Roll. Give this extra footage, even if it’s only sketches or artists impressions. Anything good to be used to cut around the talking headshots helps.
  • No matter how much impact a fancy enterprise system has, it’s only going to be news worthy if its relatable and bought back to a more consumer orientated perspective.
    • Think of all the ways it may solve a problem.
    • Bring in a market analyst that can talk about how the price increase of goods on the shelf will impact the spending power of the man on the street
  • Bad news can be a PR’s friend if the client has a way of solving the problem, or opening up the supply chain impacted.
    • Such as what recently happened with the smaller companies impacted by Carillion’s recent demise which added depth to the story
    • Bring in a tech expert that can demonstrate how their app can counter the problems with password management and data hacking for example, e.g. S/w company Nuance
    • If it’s your client causing the problem, provide a spokesperson
  • Think in terms of the next big trend or how to work with last year’s trends
    • E.g. How do we work with block chain, how can it be integrated? How is plastic waste going to be overcome, who can solve it?
  • Entrepreneurship isn’t a story in its own right without a great back story.
    • The CEO may have to be prepared to be the ‘brandividual’. Each case is judged on its merit.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my reflections, if so you might be interested in what I learnt at the PRCA’s Crisis Management Greenroom. Evaluation Group or ways of spotting fake news.

At Sapio we are keen to understand our audiences and help you to do the same too. We’re not here to do the job of PR & Marketing Agencies, we’re here to support and make you look good.  Drop me a line if an outside perspective could help you with your campaign.

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How to use data sources: United Nations (UN)

This is about the United Nations (UN) data, who can use it and how to use it.

This is part of Sapio Research’s series: 16 Useful Desk Research Sources and how to use them

What is it?

The United Nations (UN) is comprised of 193 member states and acts on issues which are the forefront of humanity, for example, peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production and more.

The UN provides a setting for discussion between members.

The UN has five primary goals:

  • Maintain International peace and security
    • The UN works to prevent conflict by helping parties involved make peace.
  • Protect Human rights
    • Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) brought human rights into the realm of international law, the UN has protected human rights through legal instruments.
  • Deliver humanitarian aid
    • The UN is relied on to coordinate relief for natural and human-made disasters.
  • Promote sustainable development
    • The UN continues to focus on improving people’s well-being. They promote prosperity and economic opportunity, greater social well-being, and protection of the environment.
  • Uphold international law.
    • There are principles of international relation which the UN Charter codifies.

The UN publishes a range of resources including photo, video, radio, TV, and press releases. On top of these the UN publishes the secretary general’s annual report, this is one of the most useful documents the UN puts out.

Who can use it

The resources produced by the UN could mainly be used by policy-makers in local or national governments, their reports highlight world issues that need addressing.

How to use it

One of the most useful publications accessible on the UN’s website is the secretary general’s report. To access this from the homepage click on documents and then secretary general’s report from the drop down list. 

On the following page, you can download the full report and past reports as PDF files. Or, you can navigate by section.

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How to use data sources: The World Bank

This is about The World Bank, who can use it and how to use it.

This is part of Sapio Research’s series: 16 Useful Desk Research Sources and how to use them

What is it?

The World Bank provides developing countries with resources and information. The World Bank group works for sustainable solutions that aim to reduce poverty by 3% by 2030, and increase the incomes of the world’s poorest 40%. The World Bank has funded 12,000 projects since 1947.

Who can use it?

The world bank produces annual reports and to promote innovation, its doors are open. It provides open access to its data, knowledge, and research. The World bank fosters competitive business opportunities. Their site has information regarding, Administrative Procurement and Operations Consulting.  

How to use it

From the homepage, select “what we do”, and select “data” from the drop-down menu, you can also access the research and publications from this menu as well.

From this page, you can search for data-sets, browse by country or indicator, review recently updated data-sets, select from the most recent data sets, and you even have the option to listen to a podcast about the data of a specific topic.

Using the search bar I can find the data-sets I am looking for, such as birth rate.  We are shown a chart tracking birth rate, related charts, download options and choices to view the chart by country and economy.

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How to use data sources: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

This is about The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data, who can use it and how to use it.

This is part of Sapio Research’s series: 16 Useful Desk Research Sources and how to use them

What is it?

The OECD strives for promoting policy that will lead to economic and social improvement. The OECD provides a platform on which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. They work with governments to understand what drives economic, social, and environmental change.

The OECD recommends policies to improve the quality of life; they base their recommendations on facts and real-life experience.

Who can use it?

The findings of the OECD can be used by governments and policy makers to improve the quality of life for their citizens.  The OECD provides charts, data and publications on their website.

Some charts and data you can access without an account. However, their publications require you to sign up for an account.

How to use it?

From the homepage select the data from the navigation banner at the top of the screen.

From here you can see featured charts, search for data or browse by either topic or country. Let’s examine health.

You can select your topic from the dropdown menu.

From this page you can, narrow your search further, look at publications, or view charts.

When you have selected the chart, you wish to view simply click the link. Now you can download or share the chart, make customisation for example highlight countries, change the time-frame or alter the demographic.

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How to use data sources: Statista

This is about Statista data, who can use it and how to use it.

This is part of Sapio Research’s series: 16 Useful Desk Research Sources and how to use them

What is it?

Statista describes itself as a statistics portal; they have integrated data on over 80,000 topics from 18,000 sources into a single platform. They provide their clients with data which is categorised into 21 market sectors. A significant amount of data on Statista is free; they do say however, given the exclusivity and specificity of many statistics a premium account is required to access much of the platform.

Their data includes market research reports, such as the Ipsos Affluent Survey published annually by Ipsos Media, Simmons National Consumer Studies and Consumer Insights from Scarborough Research, as well as trade publications, scientific journals, and government databases.

Who can use it?

Statista is used by companies, business consumers, research institutions and the academic community.

Statista provides information on a massive range of topics, and it divides its content into digital markets and consumer markets. Statista is a great database if you are looking for headline statistics. Furthermore, Statista provides the HTML code for its infographics this allows users to embed charts on their own websites making it a great tool for bloggers and online content writers.

How to use it

To start using Statista select the industry, topic, or market you wish to view.

With a free account you will be provided with an overview as well some charts, A premium account is needed to access more of the platform.

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