Reimagining PR and Marketing through Context-Based Market Research with Jaroslav Kaplan

media publications context analysis

Reimagining PR and Marketing through Context-Based Market Research with Jaroslav Kaplan

Katheriana Davis, October 25, 2023
The entrepreneurship world is full of secrets, and sometimes the road to success can be hard. This is why books like Business Incognita: how to expand the boundaries of entrepreneurial thinking, by Jaroslav Kaplan, become essential, especially when one is trying to sell a product or service. Being an expert in business development and in finding innovative means for growth, Jaroslav Kaplan brings a whole new perspective when it comes to PR and marketing: the method of context-based market research. In this article, we will explore some important factors from the works of Jaroslav Kaplan.

The world of physics and what can it teach us

One of the most outstanding personalities in the physics world in the 20th century was definitely John Wheeler. Together with Niels Bohr they developed the theory of nuclear reactions and came up with the concept of the “black hole”, describing a space that has such an enormous gravity power that attracts all matter, including light.

Jaroslav’s innovative vision is directly related to his ability to combine concepts from different areas. What does physics have to do with PR? Why should I care about black holes if I simply want to sell a product? That’s exactly the point that Jaroslav wants to make: we should be looking for innovative ways of approaching market research. After all, and coming back to physics for the best examples, it was Eisenstein who said that the definition of a fool is the person who does the same thing over and over expecting different results. No one explains this better than Jaroslav himself, as he does in his articles and books. Let’s delve into his chain of thought and discover a new approach to PR.

Breaking the glass

Once we thought of the world as existing “out there”, independent of us, and we, the observers, imagined ourselves to be safely hidden behind thick glass, not interfering in anything, but only observing. However, we now know that this is not the case, and that the world works differently. It is time to break the glass and get out.

John Archibald Wheeler

Following Wheeler’s example, let’s just break the glass and step outside, into that place where our audience lives and breathes. Now, from the outside, let’s analyze how our audience interprets our message. A common mistake among marketers and entrepreneurs is to assume that what we want to convey is clear to the other person. Such an assumption can be bad for business, and here is why.

In English, there’s a saying that goes: What would you do if you were in my shoes? This is a metaphor describing a person’s ability to see the world through another person’s eyes. The truth is that every individual reacts differently to the same situation, to the extent that many times we can’t understand someone else’s behavior. Moreover, this even happens among members of the same family.

So, why should a PR agent or entrepreneur care about this? Because, in the same way we may not understand our neighbor’s behavior, our audience may not understand our message. It’s as simple as that. What we take in from this is that we must learn to be in our audience’s shoes. How would we perceive our own product if we were on the other side of the river?

The importance of the point of view, a game changer

The first thing that we need to ask ourselves is: did the person receive our message? This is extremely important, yet often ignored. To continue with the same line of examples, quantum physics has demonstrated that the observer can interfere with the experiment’s results. In other words, the understanding and appreciation of a situation (or service, or product) depends on the person’s point of view and on his/her conception of the world.

Representatives of a famous philosophical ancient school discovered that the laws of culture are different than the laws of nature. While the latter are always the same, the habits and behaviors vary according to the cultural context.

In this regard, a problem arose with comparing different rules and habits in order to find out which ones are better. The choice between these different rules turned out to be dependent on the worldview of the members of this society. Thus, we can infer that each one of us sees the world depending on the community we grew up in, and the set of principles dictated by that society. Moreover, this can be taken to a smaller scale, and we can infer that, in the same community, points of view will vary according to the family that raises us.

So, how we see and understand the world is based on four simple questions:

-What is right and wrong?

-What is the meaning and purpose of the human being?

-How to achieve happiness?

-What does it mean to have free will?

The answers to these questions will depend 100% on events, traditions, tastes, and conceptions from our community. In other words, they depend on the logic of the said society.

Understanding other people’s point of view when sending a message

It’s safe to say that a person’s point of view influences his/her decision-making. This means what they will buy, consume, watch, listen, and so on. Now we understand that every person, or even every audience, has their own logic when making decisions. In the same way, it will influence what they consider valuable, expendable, or vital.

When we are building a PR strategy, we shouldn’t assume that the audience thinks with the same logic we do. Thus, the goal of every PR strategy must be that the audience understands the message in the way we expect them to do it. Naturally, this is no easy task. But who doesn’t love a challenge? Jaroslav surely does and, thanks to this, he developed an outstanding experience when it comes to context-based market research.

Final thoughts

A sales process has two parties, and the same goes for communication of all kinds. When it comes to PR, understanding the receiver’s point of view and perception of reality is key. It doesn’t matter how good is our product or how well we present it if we don’t stop and analyze how the other person sees it. Jaroslav’s Kaplan approach is as innovative as it is vital when it comes to putting together a successful PR strategy for ourselves or our clients.