Posted on: Monday, February 20th, 2012
Most people like to give their opinion about things.
That’s why I recently took a call from a lady representing a market research company in Toronto. As I am in the field, I never turn down receiving a survey when asked.
She was conducting a survey on behalf of TD Bank; a very well known bank here in Toronto and the one I personally use; hence, I specifically was called. We call this type of survey a “loyalty survey”.
So I sat back and went through the process.
From the onset, she was noticeably nervous; in fact, I perceived her goal was to quickly get through all the questions before I hung up on her…
I wasn’t rude, I had no attitude towards this, I am quite happy with TD as a bank so I patiently answered her questions one at a time.
Now aside from her nervousness, I made note of her company’s methodology. Most notably, all the questions were: “Rate this from 1-10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the best…”
I am a believer of any survey is better than no survey or any data is better than none; however, after about 10 minutes of rating things, I honestly “shut out” and wasn’t really participating in the questions.
You see anyone can ask questions, but they have to be worded in such a way so as to get your answers and keep the person at least somewhat interested and involved.
Surveying is a game of communication. You have to be comfortable in asking your questions and you have to know how to create proper questions that elicit communication back.
After I shut out as mentioned above, I had still another 10 or more minutes of questions. Admittedly, my attention drifted off and there was no one home for the last 10-15 minutes, so did she really get my true answers? Was I really involved in a good communication process at this point? The answer is no.
As I like this banking facility, I starting giving 7 and 8 answers (out of 10) “on automatic” for the remainder of the questions. I am sure TD paid quite a fee for these surveys.
Recently I looked through some competitor market research websites to see if there was anything of interest in 2012 on their sites. One immediate observation I made was how some companies spent a lot of time trying to technologically woo you with the complex names for their methods or show off their sophisticated premises. One even mentioned how they used “out of the box” methods.
Bottom line though is that surveying is a communication process of asking proper questions, by a trained person who is excellent on the phone and/ or in person, and acquiring answers by the person being surveyed.
The interest is invoked by the surveyor and from proper wording of the questions. You can have the best computers, phone systems, SKYPE, 100’s of staff in cubicles, whatever… the above in bold is what it is all about. That’s our methodology.
Another methodology we employ:
At On Target Research we will ask, for the most part, Open Ended questions.
Example of an open ended question:
“What did you like most about The Super Bowl?”
Example closed ended question:
“Please select from the following choices…”
In most cases, the answer to the opened ended question is much more valuable as it is exactly what the person thinks in his own words and it gets them involved; hence, we have some communication happening.
On Target conducts their surveys on the phone or in person employing only trained phone surveyors with good communication skills.
Getting “research” from the internet, published several years ago is old news. Even last years’ news is old, the way the markets are currently.
People’s buying habits and thoughts on products and services change all the time. You need to re-ask your questions and stay in tune with the minds of your ever changing clients and markets.
Well, I hope that answers Our Approach for you!
By the way, at On Target Research we have even taken it a step further: all our staff have completed extensive communication courses, after all that’s what it’s all about.
On Target Research Canada
Market Research vs. Marketing Research
Posted on: Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
|The terms “market research” and “marketing research”, while related to and inter-connected in the field of marketing, are two very different forms of work in determining what a business should be doing in introducing a new product or service to a potential customer segment.
The American Marketing Association has two formal definitions for each activity, and these are:
Market Research: The systematic gathering, recording, and analyzing of data with respect to a particular market, where market refers to a specific customer group in a specific geographic area.
Marketing Research: The function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information–information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications.
If you are like me, your eyes probably glazed over when trying to digest each of these definitions. Yet understanding the meaning and difference is key, especially if you are a small business preparing to make an investment to gather quality information to confirm your product’s viability and how to reach a target customer. So let’s simplify:
Market research is, quite simply, research into a specific market for a specific product. The over-riding question that is answered in detail is: “Is there a type of customer in this geography that will buy my product?” Market research establishes whether the answer is yes or no, and also looks at the spending habits of the target customer as well as analyze your competition (among other things). Market research shows whether a connection is possible between the product and the customer.
Marketing research is about researching the marketing process that will make that connection. What is the product’s message that will appeal to the target customer? What are the avenues of communication (traditional advertising, internet marketing, events etc) to let your future customer know that your business and your product exist? And, what will make your product stand out from your competitors?
Market research establishes whether a specific product will meet a customer need. Marketing research shows the best ways to make the customer aware of the product and why they need it. Both types or research are necessary to support your success in delivering your product to market.
To find out more on how OnTarget’s market research and marketing research can help your business, contact Louie Pateropoulos at 416 219 0905 or email me.
Customer Surveys and Direct Marketing
Posted on: Sunday, May 1st, 2011
|Direct marketing is a form of advertising that allows organizations to communicate straight to the customer.
Advertising techniques used can include mobile messaging, email, interactive consumer websites, online display ads, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, and outdoor advertising.
Direct marketing emphasizes a focus on the customer, data, and measurement and is characterized by:
- Message are addressed directly to members of a target market. Addressability can be email addresses, mobile phone numbers, fax numbers and postal addresses.
- A specific “call to action.” – The message may ask the prospect to call a free phone number or click on a link to a website.
- An emphasis on trackable, measurable responses from prospects.
Direct marketing is practiced by businesses of all sizes — from the smallest start-up to the Fortune 500. A well-executed direct advertising campaign can prove a positive return on investment by showing how many potential customers responded to a clear call-to-action.
Direct mail marketing is attractive to many marketers because its positive results can be measured directly. If 1,000-piece mail campaign results in 100 responses to the promotion, one could say with confidence that campaign led directly to 10% response rate.
For marketing initiatives with a web-based call-to-action, the Internet has made it easier for marketing managers to measure the results of a campaign. This is often achieved by using a specific website landing page directly relating to the promotional material. The call to action will ask the prospect to visit the landing page. The effectiveness of the campaign can be measured by taking the number of promotional messages distributed (e.g., 1,000) and dividing it by the number of responses (people visiting the unique website page).
While many recognize the financial benefits of targeted campaigns, some direct marketing efforts using particular media can often generate poor quality leads, either due to poor messaging strategy or because of poorly compiled contact databases. This problem impacts marketers and consumers alike, as advertisers don’t like wasting money on communicating with prospects not interested in their products or services.
This means that, prior to embarking on any direct marketing campaign, knowing your target customer, and what message will be effective, is key. And the best way to uncover those is through a marketing survey.
To learn more on how customer surveys can help your business, call me – Louie Pateropoulos at 416 219 0905 or email me.
Market Research: Myths Exposed
Posted on: Sunday, May 1st, 2011
It’s ironic that the best candidates for market research are often the companies or individuals that think they have all the answers. They are easy to pick out. It’s even easier to point out why the authoritative research delivered by On Target could help these companies and individuals:
“Why do research? We already have the best product on the market.”
Posted on: Sunday, May 1st, 2011
Let me begin with a story.
In the winter of 1991, like many here in America, I sat glued to CNN’s coverage of the historic toppling of the statue of infamous founder of the KGB in Dershinky circle near the Kremlin. Little did I know or suspect that 6 months later I would be delivering a seminar to 200 Russian businessmen in Moscow on the use of market research and surveys in developing positioning and branding strategies for advertising, marketing and public relations campaigns.
Posted on: Sunday, May 1st, 2011
Congressman Gerard Fox walked into his office looking like Ichabod Crane in pin stripes. His secretary, Elizabeth Miller, who had been wearing the same beehive style hairdo for four decades, followed him into his office, placed a stack of pink messages neatly on his desk and then waddled down the hall and out the North door of the Rayburn House office building to sneak a smoke.
Positioning is a technique that is most commonly associated with marketing, advertising and public relations. But as you can see, it also works in literature.