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Some (research) to Call Your Own

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When developing communications, particularly thought leadership, one of the biggest challenges can be building a base of information or data to call your own. If you are discussing the benefits of an asset class for example, how much more powerful is the story if arguments are supported with well-grounded facts and figures drawn from in-house analytics. Quality proprietary research has many benefits including the following:

•Validates a firm’s distinctive expertise in a particular area
•Creates information that potentially can only be obtained by contacting the author’s firm
•Defines a firm as the “go to” resource for products and services related to the research
•Can be repurposed for multiple uses in a variety of media

Firms are sometimes reluctant to do primary research, anticipating consumption of significant resources, time and/or money. However, in the age of an abundance of information flow and availability, this is not always the case. Basic data from government sources such as employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics or GDP statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis are available for free. Robust investment product data from sources such as Morningstar or FactSet are often already available in-house for further analysis at most investment management companies.

For firms looking to create a more clearly defined niche of exclusive and ongoing proprietary research, some areas to explore might be:

•Annual qualitative or quantitative surveys
•A proprietary benchmark, measure, index
•A unique tool or app