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Tips for Focus Group Success

April 4, 2006

You’re likely familiar with the purpose focus groups. Conducted as open-ended discussions with a small group of potential buyers, focus groups are a qualitative research tactic used to uncover opinions and attitudes toward a particular concept or topic. Companies often utilize focus groups to probe and prioritize the factors for motivating trial, purchase, and ongoing use of a product or service. Or, with that information already in hand, they’ll use focus groups for assessing and improving marketing messages and creative executions planned for a product or service promotion. However, even with the best laid plans, focus groups are only successful when ... Read more

Face It: Cheaper Isn’t Always Better

March 17, 2006

Unquestionably, with customer feedback in hand, your organization could make improvements in numerous areas. So, why not have your sales reps provide that input? Working on the front line with customers every day, they’re in an excellent position to collect and share this important market research, right? Wrong. In fact, it’s highly likely that such an approach will produce inaccurate and/or incomplete data that does little to drive meaningful operational improvements. We’ve seen numerous organizations make the “do-it-yourself research” mistake in the name of cost-efficiency. Some make assumptions about their clients’ opinions based on what their sales reps and other customer-facing ... Read more

Improving Upon Your Next Member Survey

March 2, 2006

Conducting membership surveys is a common and wise practice among associations. If done correctly, they help an organization validate its assumptions, shed light on unexplored areas, improve upon current practices and programs, and help shape future initiatives. However, beyond the occasional tweak here and there, many haven’t revisited the structure and content of their survey instruments since they first developed them. To maximize the insights gleaned from your next member survey, ensure it accommodates three key areas of feedback: Importance of both current and upcoming initiatives and member benefits Satisfaction with current and planned initiatives and member benefits Open-ended opinions on areas of interest ... Read more

Mastering Events with Research

February 22, 2006

Events are an excellent opportunity to build not only awareness, but also a better understanding of, and loyalty for, your brand. That’s why many associations, government agencies, and companies host trade shows, user conferences, seminars, road shows, and the like. In fact, according to a 2005 MarketingSherpa survey, in-person seminars and road shows are the number-one favorite lead-generation tactic of IT marketers. On the flip side, events are an expensive marketing tactic and, if poorly planned and executed, can actually be detrimental to your organization’s brand and market perceptions. The key to event success is to avoid planning in a vacuum. By ... Read more

Recall Studies Measure Advertising Effectiveness

February 9, 2006

We’ve emphasized in numerous Research IT articles the importance of conducting brand awareness benchmarking studies to gauge the holistic impact of your integrated marketing campaigns. But, how do you measure the effectiveness of individual tactics? Clearly, with lead-generation activities like direct mail, e-mail blasts, and trade shows, you can employ a closed-loop system to calculate each program’s response rate, cost per lead, and sales conversion rate. But, unfortunately, such an approach can’t be applied to paid advertising,?? a tactic that typically doesn’t drive leads but is nonetheless very important for building, changing, or maintaining a differentiated brand identity. That’s where ad recall ... Read more

Getting More Leverage from Your Research Results

January 23, 2006

After investing in research, your organization now has a much better understanding of the market’s requirements, opinions, and behaviors. These insights can help drive the development of more appealing products and services as well as messages that will better resonate with customers and prospects. That’s quite a return on investment. But, you may be overlooking an opportunity to get even more return on those research dollars. We’ve worked with many clients who have leveraged research studies to position themselves as thought leaders in the market. They’ve utilized key findings to secure press coverage, create exclusive customer and prospect events, develop a ... Read more

Research: A Reliable and Robust Marketing Metric

January 11, 2006

Without conducting research, measuring a marketing campaign’s impact in the marketplace can be difficult at best. Certainly, you can count the number of business reply cards, landing page forms, and phone calls that a campaign generates. But, while important, lead counting doesn’t begin to tell the whole story of whether or not an integrated marketing campaign is moving the needle on the brand meter. Even worse, boiling campaign results down to a lead count encourages those in the executive suite to view marketing as a sales support expense rather than a strategic market development investment. Such a view doesn’t respect ... Read more

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