The Heritage Foundation

Market Research on Iran

July 16, 2015

The American Perceptions Initiative (API)— a project of The Heritage Foundation—conducts market research among adult Americans on a variety of issues and policy priorities to provide support for strategy and messaging. Market research is designed to explore the relevancy, credibility and support for the policies, concepts, messages and language used as well as the impact they have to create movement and action to support these policies and vision for America.

All of API’s market research is conducted in partnership with Vision Critical and Heart+Mind Strategies. Vision Critical is a well-respected research firm based on North America with research specialist that cover subjects including public opinion, health, technology, consumer goods, media and travel. They work with household brands, government bodies, not-for-profit organizations and the media to help them better understand their customers and stakeholders. Heart+Mind Strategies is an experienced and award winning consulting firm specializing in winning the hearts and minds of the people that matter most to their client’s success.

July 16, 2015 | Market Research on Iran

Iran Nuclear Deal Messaging

Strong Levels of Concern Elicited by Messages

Recent research conducted under the American Perceptions Initiative found that messages about the possible impacts of the Iran nuclear deal elicited strong concern among the voters sampled, with 8 in 10 Americans saying they felt concern about each (80%-84% somewhat/extremely concerned). In fact, about half felt extremely concerned (43%-57%).


Tie Messages to Existing Concerns

While all messages were strong, those linking the deal to existing concerns, such as a nuclearized Middle East or terrorism, elicited more concern. Specifically, communications that tie the lifting of sanctions to a possible increase in funding for terrorist groups elicit stronger concern than other messages.

Communications More Likely to Raise Concern Among Those Who Are “Informed”

Notably, a message highlighting the weak nature of the deal compared to initial hopes was more likely to elicit concern from those who are familiar with the agreement than those who are unfamiliar with it, indicating its usefulness with a more informed audience.

  • The administration first sought to dismantle Iran’s nuclear facilities, but the only thing this treaty dismantles is the sanctions and inspections that have kept Iran’s nuclear proliferation in check—85% vs. 79% concerned

Messaging Tip

  • Tie to existing concerns—Messages linking to terrorism and a nuclearized Middle East highlighted concerns most effectively.

Source: Online survey using a national representative sample of 865 U.S. voters conducted July 13, 2015 with a margin of error of ±3.3%.

About the Author

Mark Schreiber Director, Strategic Marketing
Strategic Marketing

Elizabeth Fender Market Research Associate
Strategic Marketing

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