B2B Thought Leadership & PR Case Study
Santa Fe Group is a worldwide provider of employee relocation and workplace services, helping global organisations to transfer employees between their multinational business units as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. Santa Fe approached Circle Research with a clear brief – “Equip us with the tools needed to become the undisputed voice of authority in our sector.”
The Research Project
We began with a comprehensive audit of competitor materials. This was coupled with a series of interviews with customers and key opinion formers, so that we could better understand what information they would most value.
This activity identified that global workforce mobility trends are often poorly understood, with little information exchange between practitioners who are competing for the same talent pool. We also learned that, as globalisation gathers pace, there is increasing demand for relocation services from new industries and in new countries. When combined, these conditions have created an information vacuum, so our goal was to fill this gap.
To achieve this, we surveyed 1,119 respondents from 56 countries, to establish a robust peer benchmark in the key areas that Santa Fe’s target market wanted to understand, yet did not have appropriate data. The result of this process was the creation of what is now widely accepted as the most authoritative source of information available on the subject – the Global Mobility Survey report.
The Communication Process
Our many years of experience have clearly shown that people like to consume information in different ways. As such, we worked with Santa Fe to advise them on how to communicate the survey findings in multiple formats, as follows:
- The core report for those seeking an in depth exploration of the data
- An executive summary, infographics and social posts for those seeking highlights
- An interactive benchmarking tool and dedicated microsite – www.globalmobilitysurvey.com – which allowed people to prepare a bespoke analysis for their industry sector or country
- A series of round tables and public speaking activities
Before the report was released, Santa Fe educated its’ staff about the Global Mobility Survey, so they felt comfortable fielding any questions from clients. An external communications programme was then developed, to ensure that anyone who could potentially benefit from the report was made aware of it.
Santa Fe then carried out a phased release of the Global Mobility Survey, with it going first to survey respondents and then to the opinion formers who supported the project. This created a network of advocates who talked about the findings with their peer groups.
The next stage was to brief key customers using ‘taster sheets’ which each focused on a different part of the research, and thanks to concurrent PR activity, many of these taster sheets were picked up by specialist press. With headline results in the media, a series of emails were then sent to customers, highlighting the research and inviting them to dial in to a webinar briefing. More than 500 signed up.
All of this interest was channelled back through the microsite, where people could see a preview and apply for a copy of the full report. Registered users were then able to use the interactive benchmarking tool, which also encourages colleague referrals to the site.
The Ultimate Result
Remember that original brief? “Equip us with the tools needed to become the undisputed voice of authority in our sector”. There is no doubt this has been achieved, and more.
Santa Fe receives regular feedback that the report is a highly valuable planning tool. For example, Peter Reilly from the Institute of Employment Studies says of the report, “The Global Mobility Survey report is a welcome addition to our understanding of this subject, not least because it is based on a large sample and with impressive sectoral and geographic coverage.” And Brian Friedman, CEO of the Forum for Expatriate Management adds, “We believe that the data in the report offers the reader an important set of industry comparators providing the tools for mobility professionals to gauge their own mobility programmes against others and to map best practice for the future.”
The report has also informed important strategic decisions. For example, Santa Fe is now developing several new products as a direct result of findings in the report, including a training offer that focuses on the challenges which customers face in emerging markets.
And the report has boosted Santa Fe’s brand profile and positioning as a strategic partner. Tangible outcomes include:
- Visibility to more than 80,000 sector specialists through partner websites, LinkedIn groups, email outreach, academic articles and blogs
- Engagement with more than 3,000 interested delegates at seminars and round tables which are dedicated to discussing the research results
- Consultations with more than 1,000 existing and prospective clients
Within a few months of being launched, the dedicated microsite was receiving over 1,800 unique visitors per month and the interactive benchmarking tool had been used more than 2,000 times.
Ultimately there is no doubt that the Global Mobility Survey report which Circle Research created has firmly established Santa Fe as the ‘go to’ source of information on its industry. Santa Fe has been invited to share findings with leading institutions such as Cranfield University and IMD Lausanne, and has been approach by Oxford University with a view to using the survey data to support its work in this area.