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Push Polling Isn’t Proper Market Research

April 11, 2012

We are deep in the season of political polling, and regardless of anyone’s political leanings, it is easy for us all to get swept up in the who’s up and who’s down of the Republican primary battle. The scrutiny will only build as we get closer to November’s general election, when polls will try to predict everything from the presidential winner down to mayoral races all over the country. Political polling is a highly specialized niche of market research. At their best, market research surveys of all stripes allow us to gain insights into people’s behaviors and opinions, and tease out ... Read more

Deciding Between Phone and Online Surveys

April 11, 2012

Now that online research software and panels (pre-screened individuals who agree to participate in surveys in exchange for an incentive) are commonplace, our clients often ask whether surveys are best conducted on the internet or via phone.  It’s a good question, but unfortunately the answer isn’t clear cut.  Like most business decisions, it requires an assessment of the pros and cons of each option within the context of your specific circumstances. Telephone surveys offer several key advantages.  With the help of various automation tools, making random contact with a representative sample of the targeted population is fairly straightforward in many markets.  ... Read more

Maximizing Research Response Rates

April 11, 2012

An ever-present challenge in market research is maximizing survey response rates.  In fact, voicemails, caller id, gatekeepers and spam blockers are so pervasive, that it’s common for the response rate to be less than 10 percent of the study’s sample size.  Here are some must-haves for achieving an adequate population of completed surveys. A Quality List:  Optimally, the list is 5 to 10 times larger than the reasonable sample size established for the study, is tightly aligned to the target audience, includes names and titles, and has been recently cleaned and updated. Well-Prepared Interviewers:  Even highly experienced interviewers must be trained for ... Read more

New Study Release: Social Media Use Expands in Government Space

April 10, 2012

The growth in the use of mobile devices to stay connected is expanding the use of social media, which in turn will affect the form and content of information on the Internet. This is just one key finding of Market Connections’ second annual Public Sector Social Media Study released October 18. Strategic Communications Group (Strategic), a PR firm specializing in the use of social media, collaborated on the project. Market Connections’ President and CEO Lisa Dezzutti presented the study findings to a standing-room-only crowd at a breakfast event October 18 at the Tysons Corner Marriott. “We are seeing mobile usage driving social media,” ... Read more

The Poor Performance Problem

April 10, 2012

From GovSupervisor, April 11, 2012 If you are ever in a conversation lull at work and need to generate some immediate energy, bring up the topic of federal employee poor performance. The issue is resonant and generates great emotion. We’ve all heard the stories of the sleeping employee, the one who could never complete a simple assignment without asking endless questions and involving the entire department in high drama, or whose products had to be reworked every time. Yet, as we shall see, this issue is widely misunderstood. There’s more to the picture than meets the eye. It is also no small matter. OPM’s ... Read more

7 Habits Of Highly Successful Government Contractors

April 10, 2012

From GovPlayers, April 11, 2012 We recently sat down with Jennifer Schaus of Jennifer Schaus & Associates in Washington, DC. The firm provides a full array of government contracting services. Services are typically offered on a part-time or consulting basis and include: sales, marketing, business development, lobbying, GSA Schedule help and more. Ms. Schaus provided some insight on how to win in government contracting. Many firms eagerly enter the government market with great expectations and big dreams but are quickly devastated as they attempt to navigate through the red tape, acronyms, procedures and heavy competition. Some of the most successful companies – ... Read more

Service Contractor Magazine Highlights Social Media in the Public Sector Study in Center Spread

April 9, 2012

Obstacles to federal employees’ use of social media for work are declining. According to Market Connections Inc’s new Public Sector Social Media Study released Oct. 18, just 19 percent of agencies surveyed reported they ban access to some or all social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, down sharply from 2010, when 55 percent of agencies banned access. With use becoming more ubiquitous and accepted across the government, vendors need to know the right ways to engage with their federal agency customers. The study found that federal employees are using social media to inform decision  making, educate the public, access information and ... Read more

NEW VIDEOS: Real-World Social Media Insight from Corporate and Government Marketers

April 8, 2012

The social media event we hosted in October 2011 with Strategic Communications Group featured an exceptional panel of corporate and government marketers who have ownership of their organization’s social participation. They hailed from Deloitte, Intelsat General, Polycom, General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Defense. The panel offered advice for marketers who desire to integrate social media into their mix of external communications tactics. Three brief videos provide real-world perspective from panelists to help public sector marketers define a social path for your organization. Advice for an Organization Evaluating Social Media Building Internal Support for Social Media Measuring ROI for Social Media Panelists ... Read more

Controlled Social Networking: Like, Comment, Share.

April 7, 2012

From the Federal Blue Print blog, November 4, 2011 This month, Market Connections released its annual report on social media in the public sector.  Government employees and contractors are using social media more than ever before, both for personal use and in the course of their job responsibilities.  In fact, the most common use of social media sites, particularly blogs, is used for information finding in the decision making process.  In 2010 half of all users responded that social media sites were banned in the office, but in 2011 that has dropped to 19%. After hearing these results, we posed the ... Read more

Social Media in the Public Sector 2011

April 7, 2012

Market Connections, in collaboration with Strategic Communications Group, presented an overview of findings from the 2011 Public Sector Social Media Study to a full house at the Marriott Tysons Corner on October 18, 2011. The overview includes: Who’s using social media and how among government and contractors Top devices and locations for accessing social media Most popular commercial and government-specific social media sites Top tools used to inform decision-making How organizations are measuring social media ROI Key takeaways and recommendations for government contractors using social media Simply click here to download an overview of the study results. Read more

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