The Client

Stout, formerly known as Stout Risius Ross (SRR), is a premier global advisory firm that specializes in investment banking; valuation and financial opinions; and dispute advisory and forensic services.

The Challenge

Every year, Stout’s world-renowned auto recall expert shared his data and insights in a presentation to industry insiders. It included dozens of slides, many of them highly detailed charts. It was very well received the day of the presentation, but didn’t generate much interest outside of the room.

In 2015, SRR hired CBD Marketing to kick it up a notch. Our mission was to turn the chart-heavy deck into an authoritative and readable annual report about how recalls are changing the auto industry.

Stout had two major goals for this report:

  • Generate leads among major auto manufacturers, suppliers and industry influencers
  • Generate additional awareness of Stout and its subject matter expert, building his profile as a national and global thought leader

The Fix

The timing for the first report — "Roadmap for a New Era: 2015 Automotive Warranty & Recall Report" — was perfect. In early 2015, the auto industry was reeling from a record year of auto recalls, including problems with GM’s ignition switch defect and the Takata air bag recall.

Roadmap for a New Era: 2015 Automotive Warranty & Recall Report

To create the report, CBD conducted multiple interviews with the SME, working with him to formulate the "pillars" of the report. CBD also did many hours of research into current auto industry recall trends, reviewing recent stories and talking to other industry experts about recalls to broaden our knowledge base.

After CBD’s content team created an outline, we built a narrative around the data, striking a balance between the analysis offered by the SME and the charts themselves.

This is the template CBD used to create reports in 2016 and 2017 as well.

2017 Automotive Warranty & Recall Report

CBD also developed and executed a media relations plan around the report release at the New York International Auto Show in late March.

The Results

Once released, the report was posted to the SRR website as a downloadable white paper, gated to require name, organization, title and so on to qualify the lead. The 2015 report and subsequent ones the next two years were an unqualified success.


  • The first report generated hundreds of requests and dozens of qualified leads, including from an automaker executive who presented the information to top executives in Europe, major OEM suppliers and other influencers, including law firms.
  • Several notable new clients resulted from these leads.
  • A similar pattern took place in 2016 and 2017, as the reports served as valuable gated content for the firm, generating interest, leads and clients.
  • Media interest further established Stout’s thought leadership position.
    • The 2015 report generated interest from automotive and business media at both the Detroit and New York auto shows, including the Wall Street Journal. More than 20 placements resulted.
    • Subsequent reports drew media interest as well, including from Popular Science and Fast Company.

CBD PR & Social Media services:

  • Custom content development
  • Content marketing
  • Report design
  • Trade media relations
  • Consumer media relations
  • Tracking and reporting