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Market Research Blog

Updates from CFR

Nonprofit Market Research 101: A Crash Course in Affordable Feedback

Posted by Communications for Research on 12/6/2018

Just because your business isn’t in the business of making money doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from solid market research. On the contrary, the case could be made that nonprofits need market information just as much as the for-profit sector because even though they might not have a physical product to sell, they still have to access community..

SAP & Qualtrics: The Acquisition That Shook the Market Research Industry

Posted by Communications for Research on 12/3/2018

Earlier this month, SAP, the software giant, bought Qualtrics for $8 billion in cash and surprised the entire market research community, including us here at Communications for Research. Therefore, we thought it would be fun to explore why this deal took place and what it means for the market research community.

How Fieldwork Market Research Can Play a Critical Part in Your Research Strategy

Posted by Communications for Research on 11/22/2018

“Seeing is believing.” It’s a saying that holds particular meaning for ambitious companies, as customer observation is often the only way to tell how and why and when customers really use a product. By meeting up with consumers in their own environments – the places in which they live and work and shop – you can push past what they say they..

5 Reasons Why Market Research is Vital for Startups

Posted by Communications for Research on 11/15/2018

Embarking on a new business venture can be scary. With limitless variables affecting any one outcome, success is never guaranteed. However, an investment in the right type of insurance can significantly increase the likelihood that a company’s idea, as well as its policies, will reap profitable reward. Start-up companies that use their time and..

Market Research vs. Market Analysis: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Communications for Research on 11/8/2018

Companies use data to gain information that provides insight for future decisions. It can be an arduous and lengthy process, sometimes confusing even the most seasoned research professional. It’s even further complicated by the fact that there are several ways to go about getting data with terms to describe each that are often used..

Why Market Research Fails

Posted by Communications for Research on 11/1/2018

“Knowledge is power.” It’s an old adage that states the obvious: acquiring information helps people uncover their mistakes, predict opportunities and redirect action, making it easier for them to prosper in the future. Indeed, knowledge is powerful. And it’s the same for companies. The more facts they have, the better decisions they make. In..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 29, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/31/2018

 

Corn harvest is at 63% overall; the same progress as the five year average and ahead of 2017 by 11%.  NC and TN area nearly finished with harvest at 95% harvested.  IA, MI, NE, ND, SD, and WI are the only states under 50% harvested.

Soybeans harvested are at 72% overall.  This is behind the progress from previous years by 9%.  LA is nearly..

What is the Importance of Market Research?

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/25/2018

It’s hardly surprising that better information yields better results. If you measure your foot, you get shoes that fit. If you read your science textbook, you get better grades. If you make a list, you remember what to buy at the grocery store. Why, then, do so many companies believe that market research is a negotiable component in their..

Market Research and Focus Groups: When Do Focus Groups Make Sense?

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/22/2018

With the adoption of technologies that offer convenient engagement opportunities, it might seem as if the traditional focus group has seen its day come and go. Market research online communities (MROCs), mobile and social media platforms that allow near 24/7 feedback, as well as chat rooms and video and photo diaries, mean market researchers..

How to Use Neuroscience in Market Research for Better Results

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/18/2018

Market research relies upon a respondent’s ability to articulate his or her feelings about a particular product, idea and/or experience. Through market research measures, especially qualitative ones, businesses attempt to bring to light the intricate motivators affecting consumer buying behavior. Yet, we all know that feelings are rarely..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 15, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/17/2018

 

Corn mature is now at 96% overall with IN most recently reporting 100%.  Corn mature is projected to reach 100% overall through this week.  Corn harvest is at 39% overall.  This is ahead of 2017 by 12%!  All states are reporting at least 15% harvested and NC is reporting 91% harvested; nearly finished.

When Does Your Business Need B2B Relationship Assessments?

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/15/2018

Consumer needs dictate business operations. What people want and believe they need propels companies around the globe to provide products, services and encounters to meet those demands. For business-to-business transactions, where sales cycles are long and complicated with high financial stakes, companies must ensure that they meet their..

The Basics of Pharmaceutical Market Research

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/11/2018

The pharmaceutical industry is a multi-billion dollar business tasked with researching, developing, manufacturing and distributing drugs for human and animal use. The stakes are high; lives and money are on the line each time a new medicine is conceived. And because the process from drug conception to its delivery is a long one, it’s important..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 8, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/10/2018

 

 

Corn mature is at 93%; ahead of previous years by at least 10%.  IL, MO, and NC are reporting 100% corn mature.  In the corn mature stage, the only progress behind that of previous years is in TX where the maturing progress is behind 2017 by 4%.  All other states are meeting or exceeding their progress in previous years.  Overall corn..

Big Data + Market Research: How They Work Together

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/8/2018

Contrary to what you might think, big data isn’t a substitute for quality market research. While it is easy to assume that the information that big data affords can replace the singular data sets that come from an organization’s own research efforts, the fact remains that market research will always be needed to create context around the..

An Introduction to Education Market Research

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/4/2018

Despite the rising costs, more and more Americans are choosing to pursue an education. The last decade, especially, has ushered in new ways of learning that enable people of all ages the chance to finance and receive certificates and degrees (high school, bachelor’s and associate) that might previously have been unattainable due to..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 1, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/3/2018

Corn mature is now at 86%; 20% ahead of 2017’s progress.  NC is reporting the most progress at 99% mature.  Corn harvest is at 26% harvested.  Most states are reporting at least 10% harvested with MN, ND, and PA reporting under 10%.  Overall progress is ahead of 2017 by 10%.

Soybeans dropping leaves are now at 83% overall.  This progress is..

3 Reasons Why Free Market Research Reports Are a Bad Idea

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/1/2018

In today’s rapidly changing markets, it’s critical that businesses make the most out of their budgets, as well as their time; otherwise they risk losing out to their competitors. It’s not enough to have a great product. Companies have to strategically think about the ways they manufacture, distribute and promote it, as well. And because market..

How Technology is Changing Healthcare Market Research

Posted by Communications for Research on 09/27/2018

The U.S. healthcare industry is completely different than it was 10 years ago. Thanks to things like social media sites, blogs, mobile and wearable technologies, as well as artificial intelligence and big data, Americans are demanding, assessing and sharing information and taking a proactive approach to their care as they never have in the..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of September 24, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/26/2018

Corn dented is almost finished with 97% dented overall.  NC and TN are the most recent states to reach 100% dented.  This progress is ahead of previous years by 4-5%.  Corn mature is now at 73% overall.  NC and TN are reporting over 90% mature.  Furthest behind is CO at 39% mature; this progress is ahead of CO’s progress from 2017 by 10%.  Corn..

2 Things About User Experience Surveys You May Not Have Known

Posted by Communications for Research on 09/24/2018

Spend any time with a marketer these days and you’ll likely hear the term “User Experience.” It’s a buzz phrase that’s catching on in nearly every industry imaginable, but that doesn’t keep it from being frequently misunderstood. And if a company attempts to measure user experience via a user experience survey, it can mistake and misuse the..

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Primary Market Research

Posted by Communications for Research on 09/20/2018

Primary market research is the backbone of any successful business. With competition and innovation, as well as evolving technologies and consumer needs, changing industry landscapes seemingly overnight, business leaders must keep their fingers on the pulse of the market around them in order to keep their companies relevant and profitable. ..

Why Utilize Human-Centered Design for Market Research?

Posted by Communications for Research on 09/17/2018

It seems intuitive: businesses succeed by designing products and services that meet specific needs of their consumers. These companies put themselves in the shoes of the people they wish to serve and try to determine what those people most need and want in order to give it to them in the most profitable manner possible.

What is Considered Advanced Market Research?

Posted by Communications for Research on 09/13/2018

Unless you have a crystal ball, it’s hard to predict just what the future will hold. And knowing what the future holds isn’t a concern that only worries individuals. For businesses, it’s a question whose answer often means the difference between them staying afloat and sinking like a stone in a wildly turbulent sea of competition.

So how does..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of September 10, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/12/2018

Highlights: Corn, cotton, sugarbeet, and peanut harvest has started. Winter wheat planting has started. Soybean harvest projected to start this week.Corn dented is at 86% overall; this progress is ahead of previous years by at least 10%. Only NC is behind the progress from previous years and NC is one of the states with the most corn progress...

How Do You Measure the B2B Customer Experience?

Posted by Communications for Research on 09/10/2018

According to research completed over the past five years, by 2020 customer experience (CX) will be the single most influential factor for consumers as they make the decision to support one brand over another. It’s a telling prediction, and one that highlights consumers’ heightened expectations as technologies, social media and other..

Marketing Research vs. Market Research

Posted by Communications for Research on 09/6/2018

Unless you’re a professional researcher (or perhaps a linguistics professor!), you might not understand the difference between the terms “marketing research” vs. “market research.” In fact, you might not have ever even considered there was a difference. But in the business world, where the devil often really is in the details, knowing the..

3 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making with Customer Experience Surveys

Posted by Communications for Research on 09/3/2018

With quality customer engagement replacing the traditional ad campaign as the main stimulus to sustainable brand awareness and greater customer satisfaction, the commonplace customer experience survey is assuming an increasing level of importance in a company’s overall business strategy. No longer is it used as a simple indicator of past..

5 Common Problems Solved with Market Research for Startups

Posted by Communications for Research on 08/30/2018

It’s easier than you might think to have a good idea. But it’s harder than you think to make it work. For startup companies, it’s the execution of the vision that’s the difficult part of their business plan, not coming up with the vision itself. Solid market research, however, can help these fledgling businesses understand the market and, thus,..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 27, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/28/2018

 

Corn in the dough stage reached 100% in MO this week!  Overall progress is at 92% in the dough stage.  This progress is ahead of that from previous years by at least 7%.  Only NC is behind their progress from previous years and NC is reporting 97% in the dough stage at this time.  Corn dented surpassed the halfway point to reach 61% this..

5 Ways to Incorporate Personalization into Market Research Surveys

Posted by Communications for Research on 08/27/2018

In today’s technology-driven world, “personalization” has come to mean more than the monogram that’s stitched on our expensive bathroom towels. With machine learning using algorithms to calculate customized results for us in real time across multiple platforms whenever we want, we are now seeing material unique to our own experiences, a type of..

5 Misconceptions About Market Research Surveys

Posted by Communications for Research on 08/23/2018

It’s often said that the only bad question is the one you didn’t ask. Certainly for market researchers (and the companies who hire them), this is the case. The mighty survey, that storied list of questions, has become synonymous with knowledge and, in turn, power. Asking the right questions can help companies identify and address issues, create..

3 Compelling Reasons Why You Need B2B Customer Assessments

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/20/2018

All customers are not created equally. For B2C consumers, personal satisfaction is the single most deciding factor in the purchasing process. But for B2B consumers, satisfaction is only one part of a multi-step process. Indeed, satisfaction might be spread among many stakeholders, as B2B purchasing decisions rarely rest in the hands of only one..

How Successful Businesses Make the Most of Their Marketing Research Processes

Posted by Communications for Research on 08/16/2018

There’s a saying in the business world: “If you’re not changing, you’re dying.” A bit dramatic, maybe, but it’s a sentiment that smart businesses take to heart if they want to stay relevant in a quickly and constantly evolving world. One of the best ways that companies can stay abreast of trends and monitor their own status within a market is..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 13, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/15/2018

Corn silking is now finished for 2018!  We are on to corn in the dough and dented stage.  Corn in the dough stage is now at 73% this week; this higher than the past progress by 15-17%.  Only NC is reporting progress behind their progress of previous years.  NC is also one of the furthest along states at 91% in the dough stage. All states are..

10 User Experience Best Practices for Online Surveys

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/13/2018

An online survey can be a useful (and quick) way to get solid, usable data for your business. It can also be an easy way to seriously irritate a large number of people. There are countless articles on the worldwide web about online surveys, cautioning businesses to avoid everything from too many questions to too few respondents. If you want to..

3 Types of Market Research: Which Does Your Business Need?

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/9/2018

The field of market research is a swiftly evolving one as social media platforms and other burgeoning technologies allow massive amounts of information to be gleaned in decreasing amounts of time and effort. But while big data has changed how researchers around the world collect and analyze information, it hasn’t changed the ways researchers ..

6 Rules for Writing Successful Survey Questions

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/6/2018

Designing survey questions is not the time to satisfy your latent desire to be the next great William Shakespeare or David Sedaris or Agatha Christie. No matter how much you long to demonstrate your mastery of words or your comedic flair or your ability to enthrall, surveys should be straightforward, simple and totally free of the kind of..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 30, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/31/2018

Corn silking reached 100% in IL and MO this week.  All states are reporting at least 65% silking with the average at 91% silking this week.  Corn in the dough stage is at 38% overall with all states now reporting corn in this stage.  The average progress in this stage is ahead of that from previous years by 17-18%.  Next week’s report will..

What Motivates Someone to Take a Market Research Survey?

Posted by Communications for Research on 07/30/2018
We’ve all done it: thrown away or ignored a survey. Whether it was because we didn’t have the time or the interest to fill it out, the result was the same. Some company didn’t get the information it wanted. So what can businesses do to motivate someone to take a market research survey? After more than 20 years in the business of market research..

6 Resources That Will Make Your Company Better at Product Testing

Posted by Communications for Research on 07/26/2018

Testing a product is a critical step in the market research process. It’s also a step that can be easily overlooked by businesses reluctant to face possible criticism for a product or service in which they have invested their time and money, not to mention their hearts. Nevertheless, quality feedback on a product before it officially makes its..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 23, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/24/2018

Corn in the dough stage is now included in the progress report.  This is a stage of growth where the corn kernels have a ‘doughy’ consistency due to the continued starch accumulation.  Overall, corn in the dough stage is at 18% which is 10% ahead of the average from previous years.  All states except for ND and WI are reporting some corn in the..

Why You Should Spend More Time Thinking About Market Segmentation

Posted by Communications for Research on 07/23/2018
Most businesses don’t succeed on luck alone. Most invest a lot of time and resources into uncovering what consumers want and how much they are willing to pay for it through comprehensive market research studies. They also segment their market; they divide their consumers in to groups based on similar, shared characteristics. This enables..

How Does a Field Service Firm Differ From a Full Service Market Research Firm?

Posted by Communications for Research on 07/19/2018

Picking a company to assist you with your business’s market research needs goes beyond simply determining which one to choose. It also entails picking the right kind of research company for your needs.

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 16, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/17/2018

Corn silking made a lot of progress through the week and is at 63% overall!  This is up 26% from last week as well as 2017 and the five year average.  IL, MO, and TN are the states reporting over 90% silking and will likely reach 100% this week.  Only NC is behind their 2017 average and NC is at 90% silking which is one of the furthest along..

3 Reasons Why it is Critical to Test Your Own Survey

Posted by Communications for Research on 07/16/2018
In an age where consumers are pulled in a variety of directions, not just by a massive amount of product offerings, but by countless types of messaging across numerous platforms, it’s essential that businesses create opportunities for positive encounters with them at every chance. They must meet consumers in their stores, through their..

Three Ways to Show Your Survey is Meaningful to Participants

Posted by Communications for Research on 07/12/2018

Surveys are powerful tools when used in appropriate manners. But too frequently the ubiquitous survey is used as a “Hail Mary” attempt to win the game without knowing which game is actually being played. In order to gain any advantage in a competitive business world, surveys should only be used when there’s no clear path to the goal on your own

5 Signs You Need Help with Your Pricing Research

Posted by Communications for Research on 07/9/2018
A good product is only as great as its availability. You can have the best idea in the world, but if you can not source its production and/or consumers can not afford it, it’s useless. That’s why it is paramount that businesses of all types do their due diligence to ensure that each product they offer is priced effectively, not only for the..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 2, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/5/2018

Corn silking is ahead of progress from previous years by nearly 10%!  Some states are still reporting 0% corn silking but, for the most part, these states are still on track with their progress from previous years.

Soybeans are now 100% emerged and blooming progress is at 27% overall.  All states are now reporting soybeans blooming; last week..

5 Best Practices for Using Screening Questions

Posted by Communications for Research on 07/5/2018

Surveys are great ways for businesses to get valuable information, but only when they are given to the right groups of people. For a survey to have valid meaning, businesses must first accurately identify and then qualify the people they believe possess the most knowledge and insight about the topic at hand. It is logical and might even seem..

4 Common Complaints When Taking an Unprofessional Survey and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/28/2018

If you’ve been in the market research business for any length of time, you already know that it’s impossible to please everyone, especially at the same time. Whether it’s consumers dissatisfied with a company’s products, clients dissatisfied with your investigative services or the public dissatisfied with research experiences – finding the..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of June 25, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/27/2018

Corn is now 100% emerged and the report includes the progress of corn silking.  Corn silking is at 5% overall which is 1-2 percentage points ahead of the progress in previous years.  Not all states are reporting corn silking yet, but TX and NC are reporting 57 and 47% silking.  Despite the strong progress of 47% silking in NC this is behind..

3 Types of Market Research Reports: Which is Right for You?

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/21/2018

An effective market research report is one that demonstrates a clear understanding of research goals, utilizes proper research techniques to draw meaningful insights and maintains a steadfast respect for the people requesting it. It helps a company anticipate obstacles and address emerging opportunities. In a competitive market, where consumer..

Custom Survey Coding: Why It is More Important Than You’d Think

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/14/2018

The free-form responses that people give in surveys are often the best source of impactful insights that your company can gather. But how do you make meaning from them in a way that translates to quantifiable evidence of anything? The answer lies in coding. Coding in analysis takes the answer to each open-ended question in a survey (called a..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of June 11, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/12/2018

  

Corn planting is finished for 2018!  Corn emerged is at 94% overall with MO reporting 100% emerged.  All states are reporting at least 70% corn emerged with many reporting over 90% emerged.  This progress is ahead of that from previous years by 1-2%.  Corn condition is sitting at 18% excellent (10% in 2017), 59% good (57% in 2017), 19% fair..

Telephone Depth Interviews: Data Collection Advantages and Disadvantages

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/7/2018

With the advancement of web-centric methodologies, it might seem that today’s market researchers no longer have any need for the traditional telephone interview. Specifically, the telephone depth interview might seem like a waste of time when the Internet seemingly offers much the same benefit with fewer associated costs. But with the world’s..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of June 4, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/5/2018

 

  

Corn planting is nearing the end at 97% planted!  No new states are reporting planting finished, only IL and MO are at 100% planted.  IL and MO are ahead of progress from previous years as no state reporting 100% by this time in 2017 and the five year average does not show states at 100% yet!  Overall progress is 2% ahead of that of..

What’s the Difference Between Key Informant Interviews and In-Depth Interviews?

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/24/2018

Years ago, in the burgeoning field of cultural anthropology, ethnographers began discreetly observing research subjects from within a community. It was a novel approach; instead of bringing subjects to them in a controlled setting, researchers would immerse themselves within a group, asking questions and conversing with individual subjects with..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of May 21, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/22/2018

 

Corn planting is nearing the close for most states.  Overall corn planting progress is at 81% with only one state reporting under 50% planted.  PA is reporting 35% planted but also reported only 1.5 days suitable for fieldwork this week and 4.5 days the week prior.  Compared to 2017 progress PA and SD are the furthest behind.  SD had the most..

How Technology is Changing the Way We Think About Advertising Testing

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/17/2018

We all know the power of advertising. It can teach, sway, announce. It relays information about a company’s product or service and can raise awareness for its brand(s). Hopefully, it will promote sales. Advertisers, in their quest to capture valuable market share for their clients, often use flashy graphics or catchy audio bites in the hopes of..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of May 14, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/15/2018

  

Strong planting progress with corn this past week, all states (except for TX) were able to get at least 10% of their corn crop planted.  TX was able to get only 1% more planted this past week and TX reported 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork.  IL, MO, and NC are reporting over 90% of corn planted!  The corn planting season had a slow start..

Does Mobile Friendliness Affect Survey Responses?

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/10/2018

Just because people are taking your company’s survey doesn’t mean you can call it a success. Numbers don’t matter unless they’re the right ones. To ensure that results are truly relevant, companies must attract those respondents whose opinions most closely represent their preferred target market. It’s not an easy task. If just anyone could do..

Why Trust is So Important to Market Research Survey Relationships

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/3/2018

The foundation of any good relationship is trust. Partners must feel safe with one another; they must feel confident with one another; they must rely on one another. Within a business setting, the importance of trust is the same. To succeed in a competitive world, companies must cultivate positive connections with consumers, partners,..

10 Top Tips to Build a Better Customer Satisfaction Survey

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/26/2018

Designing a great customer satisfaction survey is a challenge. It’s hard to know the right questions to ask, the right tone to use, the right people to target. And if you add in a desire to impart any sort of retainable value for survey participants on top of collecting the information you need, well, even the most efficacious of researchers..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of April 23, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/24/2018

  

Corn planting has started in CO, IL, and IN for this season!  Corn is still off to a slow start.  Historically, all corn states have been planting by this time of year.  IA, MI, MN, ND, OH, PA, SD, and WI have not started their corn planting yet.  Corn planted is currently at 5% overall, this is a two percent increase through the week but is..

Phone Surveys: Data Collection Advantages and Disadvantages

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/19/2018

Polling potential or existing consumers is often the first step when it comes time for new businesses to enter the market or existing ones to add new products. And in today’s tele-connected world, no longer do researchers have to rely on focus groups, in-depth interviews or direct mail surveys to get the job done. Instead, a host of remotely..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of April 16, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/17/2018

 

KY and NE have started planting their corn crop!  Overall, progress is at 3% planted with only seven states in planting.  The five year average shows 13 states in corn planting by this time.  Overall, progress is behind last year by 3% and behind the five year average by 2%.  Of the 18 corn planting states, TX is making good progress.  They..

3 Key Tactics to Motivate People to Take Your Surveys

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/12/2018

The key to success is often knowing what people want and giving it to them. Whether it’s a mother choosing the right remedy for her baby’s cries or Microsoft pitching its search engine Bing as its latest “next best offer” (NBO), the ability to gather, process and translate information for practical application is what fuels achievement over all..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of April 09, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/10/2018

 

Corn and sugarbeet planting has started for 2018!

Currently only five states have started their corn planting; KS, MO, NC, TN, and TX.  TX is already reporting 58% planted.  This time last year they reported 59% planted.  NC had a productive week going from 1% planted last week to 13% planted this week.  All other states are reporting under..

What is TDI in Market Research?

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/5/2018

Alexander Graham Bell debuted the first functional telephone in 1876. However, the foundation for his invention started more than 25 years prior and incorporated the works of nearly ten other innovators racing to connect people over time and space. With the eventual widespread use of telephones and other telecommunications devices, the world..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of April 02, 2018

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/3/2018

 

Crop progress is now being reported for 2018.  Three crops being planted right now are cotton, rice, and sorghum.  Next week’s report is expected to include corn, spring wheat, and sugarbeets.

Cotton is being planted in only two states at this time, AZ and TX.  Both states are ahead of their progress in 2017 and their five year average. ..

4 Qualities Successful Market Research Firms Have (And Qualities to Look for Before Hiring One)

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/2/2018

As technological advances continue to offer more and more opportunities for improved production time and costs across all areas of human life, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to see the value in paying for what they think they can do themselves. This is especially true within the realm of market research, where digital media..

How to Use Market Research Techniques in Digital Marketing

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/29/2018

Way back in 1995, Newsweek published an article titled “Why the Web Won’t be Nirvana.” Go ahead. Read it. It’s almost laughable now. Little did its author know that the one thing he so disparaged would become the driving force of the 21st century. What was once thought to be a passing distraction is now the single biggest influencer for a whole..

What Does IDI Stand For in Market Research?

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/26/2018

The in-depth interview (IDI) is a qualitative research method that utilizes a moderator to garner information from one respondent, either in person or over the telephone/Internet. Market researchers frequently turn to IDIs as a first step during business-to-business (B2B) research encounters. The one-on-one format promotes an intimacy that..

4 Innovative Ways to Reach Gen Z Consumers with Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/19/2018

We’ve heard a lot of hype about the Millennial generation currently flooding the market with trillions of dollars in spending power and their need for social connection and professional accolade. But what about the group immediately following them? Generation Z includes all those folks born after 1995. And while they are all still relatively..

Market Research in 2018: Trends to Watch

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/12/2018

As 2018 stretches new and unblemished before us, it’s important to consider the ways in which the market research world can be affected by changing civic dynamics, as well as continuing adherence to those strategies designed to foster better consumer understanding and engagement. While 2017 was a year dedicated to Big Data, 2018 will be the..

5 Ways to Use Market Research to Improve Brand Authenticity and Trust

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/5/2018

Brand authenticity is quickly becoming more than a catchphrase for savvy-minded marketers looking to cash in on the very human need for transparency. Yes, people have always held a healthy disdain for the phony, fake and insincere among us, and it’s natural that some suspicion carry over to the business world. But pair that distrust with the..

How to Choose the Best Chart to Display Your Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/1/2018

Pictures tell stories. According to Napoleon Bonaparte, “A good sketch is better than a long speech.” It was true over 200 years ago, and it’s true today. According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people the world over are visual learners. For the majority of us, what we see forms what we understand: we need to see it, to believe..

Agile Market Research: What Does It Mean & Which Techniques are Used

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/28/2018

People around the world over want more: more money, more information, more stuff. And in the past, it was thought that to get more, you had to do more: research more, work more, reach more, produce more. But what if doing more to get more could be replaced by doing only the things that get you more? What if, instead of wasting time and energy..

4 Ways Audience Intelligence Can Help Inform Your Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/26/2018

Turning insights into strategies that yield positive results and increase ROI is the number one goal of all businesses. And the number one way that those businesses can achieve that goal is by listening to their consumers and giving them what they want. But matching the right content to the right consumer at the right time can be a tricky..

What is a Microsurvey and How are They Used

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/23/2018

It’s evident that the world continues to spin at an ever-increasing speed for most people. Think about our preoccupation with fast food, mobile phones, convenience stores, Google. We want things and we want them now. With expanded and sustained reliance on those commodities that promote speed and efficiency, people are actively altering the..

4 Common Questions that B2B Market Research Can Answer

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/22/2018

It’s often thought that business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) market research are two sides of the same coin. In actuality, we think they are two separate coins. While each focuses on the buying habits of consumers, the makeup of those consumers is fundamentally different. B2C consumers frequently reach the multiple millions..

Three Helpful Tips for Crafting Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/22/2018

“If you don’t ask, you won’t know:” It’s true for everything from possible holiday gifts to supper choices. Asking someone for information can mean the difference between a disappointed spouse at Christmas or a satisfyingly filled belly after dinner. It can also mean the difference between a thriving business and one that is merely surviving...

3 Market Research Strategies for Improving Direct-to-Consumer Retail Channels

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/21/2018

It’s a fact that established and even storied businesses face increasing competition from new endeavors already married to 21st digital technologies. Specifically, the traditional wholesale distribution channel with middlemen providing the means, as well as the end, to product placement is quickly being replaced by a direct-to-consumer (DTC)..

Online Research Communities: What Are their Benefits?

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/16/2018

Think about the last twenty years: Increasingly, people have looked to technology to provide solutions for everyday tasks. We’ve moved from snail mail to email; from paper catalogs to online ordering; from books to eReaders; from blind dates to dating websites; from local banking to mobile deposits; from yearbooks to Facebook. It’s evident that..

River Sampling vs. Panel Sampling: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/15/2018

Sampling. It’s a simple word for a complex process. Market researchers across all industries and in all locales often struggle with matching the right sample audience to the right questions in ways that produce the most actionable results. And while all researchers understand the importance of randomly selecting a sample from an entire..

How Market Research Helps Your Business Develop a Gap Analysis

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/14/2018

A gap analysis is an assessment tool that helps businesses determine the amount of difference (or “gap”) between where they currently are and where they want to be in the future. A large gap separating a company’s desired allocation and use of its resources and its actual allocation and usage can highlight issues that need to be addressed and..

4 Tips to Find the Perfect Business Research Firm

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/12/2018

Businesses are born and die each day. The key to a sustained and productive company lifespan is constant review, innovation and growth. And one way to officiate meaningful analysis, creativity and advancement is by finding a business research firm to assist you. Business research firms specialize in finding and evaluating data so that companies..

The Ultimate Guide to Demographic Questions in Surveys

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/9/2018

Demographics are the statistical data showing the socioeconomic characteristics of a population, such as age, income and education levels, gender, race, ethnicity and marital and employment statuses, among others. They often shape the interests, behavior and mindsets of consumers and, thus, are used by businesses to help define an “ideal..

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Market Research Survey Company?

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/8/2018

The average lifespan of a company in the 21st century has decreased from 33 years in 1965 to 20 years in 1990 to a predicted 14 years in 2026. It’s a scary trend that highlights the need for quality intelligence that can guide businesses in ways to stay relevant and in the forefront of consumer consciences. Sending a survey out into the..

Branding Research: 4 Strategy Tips

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/7/2018

“The more you know, the more you grow:” an adage that applies to everything in life. Know more, and you can see more, do more, be more. In the market research world, branding research is the tool with which businesses evaluate a possible market in anticipation of a brand launch, identify brand value(s) and assess consumer awareness,..

5 Quick Tips to Build a Better Customer Satisfaction Survey

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/5/2018

At some point, every company needs to assess how well it is satisfying the needs of its customers. Indeed, companies should be continuously checking in with the people using their products or services. Measuring customer satisfaction can help companies garner the feedback necessary to improve processes and products, address customer concerns..

An Introduction to In-Depth Interviews

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/2/2018

Oftentimes, one of the first things companies do when starting a large-scale market research project is conduct in-depth interviews (IDIs) with various types of respondents; IDIs can help businesses uncover information about which they weren’t previously aware, thus providing a means for narrowing or sharpening subsequent research focus.

What ..

3 Signs You Should Invest in Marketing Research Studies

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/1/2018

Whether to dole out money for something you’re not sure is wanted or even necessary is something that all of us question at one time or the other: “Do I really need this?” “How will I use it?” “Is there something better out there?”

Likewise, the standard “To buy or not to buy?” is a quandary that many businesses face when thinking about a ..

Why Your Market Research Surveys May Be Failing

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/31/2018

There are great ways for businesses to garner feedback on products, company practices, consumer perceptions, market demographics and numerous other issues. But, oftentimes, businesses are perplexed because their surveys are not yielding the right or even enough information for them to initiate meaningful change. It’s a common problem and can..

Market Research Trends: Machine Learning

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/29/2018

Uber. Siri. Spam filters. Netflix. iPhoto. Mobile check deposits. Google. Spotify. Even some medical diagnoses. What do all of these things have in common? They utilize revolutionary computer insight to predict the future. It seems like science fiction, but computer insight, otherwise known as artificial intelligence (AI), is becoming a..

Survey Companies: 3 Things to Know Before Deciding on One

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/26/2018

Remember last year’s presidential election? Donald Trump (seemingly) came from behind to defeat the presumed forerunner Hillary Clinton. Poll after poll, survey upon survey; all models had predicted an easy win for Clinton. It seems crazy that they all were so wrong. But it happens. For an example from the marketing world, think about New Coke..

Don’t Make These Mistakes With Your Marketing Research Opportunities

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/25/2018

The world is rapidly changing. Innovations in the past 100 years have arguably outpaced the progress made in the previous 2,000+ years! Consider these facts about 1917 (compiled by entrepreneur Peter Diamandis): airplanes were just beginning to take off; only 23% of the world’s population could read and only 6% of Americans had a high school..

What is Bulletin Board Research?

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/24/2018

Remember the old school bulletin board from your time as a student: the wide expanse of cork that displayed a variety of artwork, information and advertisements? The bulletin board of the past served as an exhibit; a catalyst for discussion; a means to broadcast activities. It was the hub of information gathering and sharing.

Today’s market..

How Can Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing Help Your Business?

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/22/2018

Computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) is a quantitative research approach which utilizes a trained interviewer to conduct a scripted interview (read directly from a computer screen) with a subject over the phone. The interviewer immediately records the participant’s responses electronically in to a computer program via coded options...

DOs and DON’Ts for Focus Group Recruiting

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/19/2018

Recruiting a focus group is often the first step businesses take when beginning a market research study. Focus groups are great ways to begin exploring assumptions about potential products, consumers and the competition. They utilize dynamic interaction amongst peers to gain valuable, albeit general, insights that can help steer a business..

4 Lessons We’ve Learned from Designing Market Research Studies

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/18/2018

Quality market research is often the driving force a business needs to secure a competitive advantage within today’s marketplace. It can propel growth and exposure by providing companies with intelligence about trends, consumers and competitors that strict observation or intuition can not predict. Our team at Communications for Research (CFR)..

How Automation Plays a Role in Market Research Design and Testing

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/17/2018

Today’s market research firms are increasingly turning to automation in an effort to provide cheaper and faster results to their clients. It makes sense; automation has played a part in human existence since at least the 3rd century BCE when Ctesibius invented an automatic clepsydra (water clock), improving upon the older version by automating..

3 Quick Tips To Refine Market Research Survey Recruiting

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/15/2018

The results of a market research project are only as good as the data on which it is based and quality data stems from quality sources. Because of this, it’s paramount that businesses understand the importance of recruiting the right people for their opinions, perceptions and expertise when undertaking a market research study. Being able to..

3 Ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Evolving Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/12/2018

While artificial intelligence (AI) is not new — in fact, the building blocks were laid way back in the 1950s — we are now starting to see this scientific approach make its way into the market research world. 

First of all, it is important to highlight that the market research community’s rather slow adoption of AI — compared to other fields,..

6 Skills Your Market Research Partner Should Have

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/11/2018

Partnering with a market research firm is often a necessity for today’s businesses if they want to compete in the current, increasingly competitive, marketplace. A good market research firm can help businesses identify and target consumers, recognize emerging industry trends, gather product feedback and monitor competition. But what makes one..

How to Avoid Common Market Research Mistakes

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/10/2018

Competing in today’s market means companies must be smarter than in the past. Utilizing market research to better understand consumers, industry trends and competition is often the best way for businesses to boost their profitability and visibility within the marketplace. Gone are the days of simply having a novel idea and presenting it to the..

4 Focus Group Best Practices: What to Keep in Mind for Recruiting

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/8/2018

It’s often easy for today’s market researcher to forget the value of human connection. With the rise of the Internet, and social media especially, researchers (and the businesses that hire them) can be lured into thinking that digital engagement is a suitable substitute for personal interaction. But quality market research focuses on a range of..

Should Your Market Research Involve External Survey Programming?

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/5/2018

Surveys are important quantitative research tools that enable businesses to better understand “who” wants or needs their specific goods or services and the “what,” “when,” “where,” “how” and “why” those consumers use them. They are especially useful because they can be representative of a large segment of the population and can be standardized..

Market Research Trends: Social Media and Qualitative Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/4/2018

The value of qualitative research has undergone a major shift in the past decade with the changing technologies of the 21st century offering broader, easily accessible and nearly constant chatter from which a company can mine for data. Being able to reference subjective information on products and services 24/7 via the Internet and social media..

How to Evaluate Your Market Research Results

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/3/2018

It is evident that a quality market research project depends on proper evaluation, yet it’s frequently the hardest part of a project to tackle. Often, too much data confuses your focus and leads to inaccurate predictions. The first step is to organize and reduce your data set. But once you’ve culled and assembled your information, how do you..

3 Common — but Costly — Social Media Market Research Mistakes

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/29/2017

Let’s start with the good news: there are plenty of reasons to conduct social media market research. For example, this approach drives engagement and interaction with participants, it is relatively easier for researchers to segment participants, and of course, the most glorious factor of all: the investment level is typically lower compared to..

3 Major Mistakes that Businesses Make with DIY Market Research Focus Groups

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/28/2017

Businesses that invest in focus groups obviously want to generate reliable, relevant data that can be used to make smarter, faster and ultimately more profitable decisions on everything from product development to customer service. Indeed, there’s a reason why market research focus groups have been around for several decades: they work!

Or..

Market Research Insider: Is a Mail Survey Right for Your Business?

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/27/2017

For several valid reasons — with cost being at the top of the list — many businesses opt to take advantage of internet-based technologies to generate market research data. These technologies include the web, email, social and mobile, although the “Internet of Things”, wearables and online-integrated virtual reality are making their way up the..

3 Ways Market Research Can Help You Switch from Traditional Marketing

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/22/2017

The world of marketing is an ever-changing landscape of ideas and trends meant to boost product development and its range of appeal to a similarly ever-changing consumer base. Whereas traditional marketing techniques rely on direct mail or phone campaigns, print ads, television and radio broadcasts and “word of mouth” referrals with little..

6 Recruiting Incentive Ideas to Entice Potential Respondents

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/21/2017

When considering any productive research project, the outcome – the information gained by the process – is, clearly, the ultimate goal. And to obtain reliable, timely and relevant information, a market research firm must recruit and trust a knowledgeable and engaged group of people from which to draw its conclusions. But how do you recruit..

6 Questions to Answer Before Getting a Market Research Quote

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/20/2017

Market research aims to provide clients with the information needed to better place a product or service within a marketplace. Companies, whether large or small, can make use of market research agencies, and, in fact, good market research is often the linchpin that keeps your enterprise solidly connected to the pulse of consumer and market..

3 Focus Groups Best Practices Regarding Participants

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/18/2017

It is an axiom among everyone from engineers to chefs that the cohesiveness, quality and value of a system is fundamentally dependent on its inputs. The right inputs (however that is defined) create a system that does what it’s supposed to do. Conversely, the wrong inputs undermine a system — and make it somewhat dysfunctional at best, and..

Market Research Trends Spotlight: Virtual Reality

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/15/2017

One of the most exciting and dynamic trends in market research is integrating advanced virtual reality research technologies.

The word “advanced” is important, because virtual reality has been used in the market research field for several years. However, until recently, the technology was prohibitively expensive for many non-enterprise level..

5 Ways that a Skilled and Professional CATI Interviewer Improves Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/14/2017

Computer-assisted telephone interviewing — or CATI — is a method of obtaining qualitative market research data by integrating four core components: computer software, a script, a CATI interviewer and, of course, a participant. Here is how each of these elements work together to generate valuable market research:

The CATI interviewer contacts..

B2C Market Research: 4 Best Practices to Ensure That You Get Actionable Insights

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/13/2017

The essential purpose of B2C market research is not, contrary to what some people outside of the market research field believe, to generate information from customers.

Obviously, this is a core part of the story. But it is just a means to an end, because what businesses need — and what they are paying for — is actionable insight, so they can..

Branding Market Research: 7 Key Questions to Solve

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/11/2017

A brand is not a slogan, a label, a phrase or a logo. Rather, it is a valuable — and in most highly competitive marketplaces, an invaluable — business asset that must continuously be monitored, adjusted and optimized.

Indeed, relying on previously-generated brand equity for too long is a recipe for losing market share and mindshare. Just ask..

4 Traits the Best Qualitative Research Agencies Have That Make Them Stand Out

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/8/2017

Today, with the fast-paced rise of digital resources, social media and other modern technologies, it is often necessary for your business to employ a market research firm in order to stay competitive and quickly and effectively address issues that you might not have the ability or time to do yourself. In these situations, it is paramount that..

The Ultimate Guide to Focus Group Recruiting

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/7/2017

Focus groups provide market research firms with efficient ways to garner qualitative data from several people at one time. Whereas an interview can be lengthy and provide only feedback from a singular perspective, the focus group can capitalize on the group setting by utilizing peer interactions and dynamics to gather a (relatively) quick and..

6 Factors that Affect the Cost of Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/6/2017

When first contemplating a purchase of any sort, most people start with: “How much will this cost?” Of course, the answer depends on a variety of factors: “How are you going to be using the product?” “Does it make sense to purchase a top of the line model with enhanced features or will a basic one provide all you will need?” “Will the product..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of November 27, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/28/2017

 

Today’s Crop Progress Report is the last report of the season.  The first weekly report for 2018 will start on April 2nd, 2017.

Since last week, soybean and peanut harvest have finished for the year!

Corn progress is still behind that of previous years but only by 3%.  We’re seeing 95% harvested overall with MO most recently finishing their..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of November 20, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/21/2017

 

Corn harvest is getting closer and closer to completion at 90% harvested this week.  TN is now reporting 100% harvested; TN and NC are the only states finished with their corn harvest.  By this time last year, IL, KS, KY, and MO were finished with their harvest too.  Each of these states are reporting over 90% harvested at this point.  ..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of November 13, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/15/2017

 

All states are now in harvest and a few are reporting harvest finished!  The Crop Progress report only includes harvest progress for crops other than winter wheat (which is nearly finished with planting and 84% emerged.)

NC is the first state to report their corn harvest finished!  Overall, harvest progress is at 83%; behind previous years..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of November 6, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/7/2017

 

Corn harvest had a productive week; IA, MN, NE, ND, and SD were able to harvest over 20% of their crop through the week.  Each state was able to make at least a little bit of progress this week.  NC and TN are reporting 98% harvested; both are behind their progress from 2016 but only by 1-2%.  Overall, corn harvest is at 70%--behind 2016 by..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 30, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/31/2017

 

Rice harvest has finished for 2017!

Corn harvest is at 54%; more than halfway through!  This progress is still behind that of previous years but not as far behind as last week.  We saw over 20% behind previous progress last week and with the harvest work done this week, we see the corn harvest behind but by less than 20%.  MN had the most..

3 B2C Market Research Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/25/2017

Just as their business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) sector counterparts, firms in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space need to conduct market research in order to understand their customers, competitors and marketplace.

However, the means and methods they use to generate data must take into consideration obstacles that are..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 23, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/24/2017

 

Corn mature is now at 96% overall with IL and TN reaching 100% last week.  All other states are expecting their corn crop to reach 100% maturity through this week.  This progress is ending 1% behind the five year average and 3% behind 2016’s progress.  Corn harvested is now at 38% overall, a 10% increase from last week.  This progress is..

4 Common Types of Market Research Surveys & When to Use Them

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/23/2017

People who live in extreme northern and southern parts of the globe have dozens of words for snow, because there’s far more than meets the eye (or can get packed into one heck of a snowball or snowman).

In the same manner, market research professionals have several ways to describe market research surveys. Below, we highlight four of the most..

How Market Research Can Help You Escape from Conventional “Interrupt” Marketing

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/20/2017

In a lot of industries and marketplaces, the word “conventional” is loaded with negative connotations. However, that’s really not fair: because sometimes conventional is just fine.

But when it comes to marketing spend, conventional isn’t a good word — because it refers to what is known in the industry as “interrupt” marketing; and that’s not a..

3 Ways that Video Technology is Improving Market Research Now & Into the Future

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/19/2017

Referring to video as a “technology” can seem rather quaint, seeing as how the first cameras to capture color images emerged in the 1950s, and video telephony was born in the late 1960s (courtesy of the AT&T picturephone, which reportedly cost over $500 million in R&D).

Even in the world of market research, video has been around for decades...

Best Practices for Reporting Market Research Analysis

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/18/2017

At Communications For Research, we recruit and train a roster of new market research experts, to work alongside our specialists who have decades of experience in the field. We also provide advice and consulting to marketing agencies that deliver (or want to deliver) market research services, as well as businesses that have an in-house market..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 16, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/17/2017

 

Corn is now at 90% mature nationwide, every state is reporting at least 70% corn mature with many reporting 85-100% mature.  Corn harvest is at 28% harvested overall; this is behind the five year average by nearly 20%.  MN, ND, and WI are reporting less than 10% harvested where they have had nearly 30% harvested by this time of year in the..

What Will Market Research Focus Groups Be Like In 100 Years?

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/16/2017

One of the “cringiest” things that a person can do is to find a story, TV show or movie from 40 or more years ago, and see what its creator thought that living in the year 21st century would be like. In fact, you don’t even have to back that far!

As recently as the 1990s, pundits, futurists and other prognosticators depicted a scene in the “not..

Why Data Collection Means Nothing Without Data Analysis

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/13/2017

When doing market research, the study itself can often seem like the most important part of the project. However, the data collection from a market research study means nothing without data analysis and application. Here’s why:

  • You don’t have proper context for the data.

While having data is a good start, you need to put that data into..

4 Things About Market Research Projects that Your Boss Wants You to Know

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/12/2017

So, your boss has tapped you as the company’s market research wizard, and tasked you to turn disparate raw survey data into profitable business intelligence, huh?

The good news is that regardless of whether you just joined the team or are a seasoned veteran with your own parking spot and nickname, you can grab this ball, run down the field,..

5 Proven Ways to Improve Market Research Survey Responses

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/11/2017

One of the first things that many businesses discover — and often the last thing they discover before they decide to outsource their market research to an agency — is that generating a sufficient number of market research survey responses is much, much harder than they expected.

Indeed, from a distance, the process almost sounds automatic: put..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 9, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/11/2017

 

Corn mature is at 82% overall; this is behind 2016’s progress by 10% and a 14% increase through the week. No additional states are reporting corn 100% mature (NC reached 100% last week) and all states are reporting at least 50% mature.  Corn harvest is now at 22% overall; NC and TN are reporting over 80% harvested.  All states are behind..

Market Research Analysis: 3 Common Misconceptions

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/9/2017

Market research analysis is one of the most important — yet misunderstood — pieces of the overall market research project puzzle. Here are the three most common misconceptions:

Market Research Analysis Misconception #1: Making Incorrect Inferences About a Population

Understandably, businesses that invest in a market research project are eager..

7 Rules for Designing Market Research Studies that Drive ROI and Results

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/6/2017

Over the years, we have designed thousands of market research studies for hundreds of businesses nationwide. And while each client is unique, we know that great research outcomes are rooted in great market research design.

To that end, here is a look at our 7 rules for designing market research studies that drive ROI and results for our..

How Consumer Market Research Improves Business Strategies

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/5/2017

In the B2C space, the importance of smart and effective business strategies cannot be underestimated. However, despite this axiom, many businesses — especially smaller firms — struggle at times to generate the quality, reliable information they need to develop and optimize their strategies. As a result, they are forced to react to events after..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 2, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/3/2017

 

Corn dented is at 96% overall and expected to finish through this week.  This will finish the 2017 season with dented progress behind previous years.  Corn maturing is behind progress from previous years as well.  We are seeing 68% mature with NC now reporting 100% mature.  2016’s progress was at 84% at this time of year; a 16% difference. ..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of September 25, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/26/2017

 

Corn dented has reached 100% in MO this week for an overall average of 93% dented.  This progress is still behind previous years but only by 2-3%.  All states are reporting at least 80% dented with the majority reporting at least 90%.  Corn mature is at 51% overall!  NC and TN are reporting over 95% mature while every state except WI (at 23%)..

Communications for Research - 20 Years in Business

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/24/2017

As Communications for Research (CFR) reaches a landmark anniversary of 20 years in business this week, I wanted to take this opportunity to share my perspective on this major milestone. As milestones such as these mean something different to each individual, it's important for me to share where we started and the journey this company has taken..

Market Research Trends Spotlight: Market Research and Artificial Intelligence

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/22/2017

Recent advancements in artificial intelligence — such as machine learning, deep learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics — are helping to make market research more valuable and applicable, and at the same time, more accessible and cost-effective. Indeed, whereas in the past AI-augmented market research was something that only..

4 Signs that Your Business Should Invest in Market Research Surveys

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/21/2017

If conducting market research surveys has been on your radar screen for weeks, months or even years and you aren’t sure whether it’s time to pull the proverbial trigger, here are 4 signs that moving forward with your intention is the right move for your business and bottom-line at this time:

  • You’re getting crowded out by your competition.

..

B2B vs B2C Market Research: How It Differs

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/20/2017

In essence, market research is about capturing, analyzing, interpreting and reporting on data about a market, so that organizations (e.g. corporations, public sector agencies, non-profit groups, etc.) can make informed and therefore successful decisions pertaining to customers, products/services, competitors, and so on. For example, a business..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of September 18, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/19/2017

 

Corn is finished with the dough stage and continues through denting and maturing.  Corn dented is at 86% overall now with NC reporting 100% dented.  Progress remains behind 2016’s progress by 6%.  Every state except for WI (67%) is reporting over 70% dented.  Corn mature is now at 34%; this is 16% behind the progress in 2016.  Every state is..

5 Common Types of Central Location Testing Methods that Could Benefit Your Business

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/18/2017

Central location testing (CLT) is a qualitative market research approach in which research takes place in a specific, controlled environment such as a shopping mall, restaurant, school, church, community center, hotel, testing lab, or other suitable location.

Key Advantages 

Central location testing offers researchers several key advantages..

A Look Back at the History of Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/15/2017

In one form or another, market research has been around for centuries — because there has always been an effort to understand target audiences and cater to their needs, whether they are customers, members of an association or group, and so on.

However, many experts believe that the modern-day understanding of market research was born in the..

Market Research Recruitment: The 4 Perspectives that Must be Aligned

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/14/2017

To people outside of the market research field, recruiting a sufficient number of suitable study participants may seem like an administrative task. That is, you figure out what questions you want to ask, find enough people to answer them, organize the results — and you’re done.

Well, not quite!

In fact, businesses that have attempted to..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of September 11, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/12/2017

 

Corn in the dough stage is nearly finished at 96% overall, IL and TX are the newest states to report 100% this week.  This stage is projected to be finished during this week.  This progress is behind 2016 by 3% and behind the five year average by 1%.  Corn dented is now at 75% overall; 10% behind 2016’s progress.  NC is reporting the most..

Market Research & Workflows: How to Reach Your Audience With the Right Messaging at the Right Time

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/11/2017

If you’re looking to take your marketing efforts to the next level, one option you might consider investing in is marketing automation software. Instead of manually sending out emails and social media messages, marketing automation can make repetitive tasks easier which is why it is so popular. One of the most useful tools marketing automation..

5 Best Practices for Presenting Market Research Results

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/8/2017

Once market research data has been collected and evaluated, the findings must be presented to stakeholders. This may seem like a straightforward and relatively simple process, but quite surprisingly, presenting market research results is an area where many projects run off the rails. When this happens, instead of being empowered with actionable..

Market Research Recruiter vs Full Service Firm: Which Does Your Business Need?

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/7/2017

When looking to do market research for your business, you’ll need to make the decision on whether to utilize in-house expertise or hire an external firm for specific tasks or for the entire project.

If you are confident in the market research experience of your in-house staff, begin by designing the study and inspecting the plan. Through the..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of September 4, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/6/2017

 

MO and ND are the first states to report 100% of corn through the dough stage!  The overall dough stage corn progress is at 92%.  This progress is behind the previous years by 2-3%.  At this time last year, TN and TX were reporting 100%.  Corn mature is now at 12% overall with every state reporting at least 1%.  This progress is still behind..

How to Solve One of the Biggest — and Most Common — Problem with Market Research and How to Solve It

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/4/2017

It goes without saying (but we will say it anyway just in case there are some lingering skeptics out there) that market research, when it is done right, is one of the smartest, safest and surest investments that a business can make. After all, what is more useful for better and faster decision-making than reliable customer, competitor and..

Market Research Trends Spotlight: Qualitative Facial Expression Recognition Technology

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/1/2017

One of the most exciting, innovative and promising trends on the market research landscape almost sounds like something out of a science fiction movie: qualitative facial expression recognition technology.  

This technology provides penetrating and sometimes profound insights into how qualitative market research methodology participants..

3 Ways that Market Research Improves the Sales Process

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/30/2017

Regardless of what industry they work in, sales professionals must constantly strive to ensure that sales cycles do not take an excessively long time, because the opportunity cost can quickly become unjustifiable and unsustainable. After all, if a sales professional spends 10 hours in a week engaging and nurturing a prospect, that is 10 hours..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 28, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/29/2017

 

Corn in the dough stage is now at 86% overall, this is behind 2016’s progress by 4%.  In 2016 NC reported 100% through this stage and this year NC is reporting 99%.  All states are reporting over 70% through this stage except for CO (63%) and PA (56%).  Corn dented is now at 44% overall, up 15% through the week.  All states are reporting over..

3 Ways that Market Research Drives Inbound Marketing Success

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/28/2017

Inbound marketing is an approach that uses automation to drive leads into a sales pipeline, in order to nurture as many qualified prospects as possible into profitable customers — and ultimately, cultivate them into loyal brand ambassadors.

Unlike traditional (a.k.a. “interrupt”) marketing such as broadcast and media advertising, inbound..

How Market Research Helps Businesses Find the Most Lucrative PPC Keywords

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/25/2017

PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is potentially one of the most cost-effective ways for B2B, B2C and B2B2C businesses to reach prospective customers when they are actively looking for a solution. What’s more, PPC advertising can be delivered through mobile devices, integrated into either/both search engine results and content networks, and..

Observational Research: Data Collection Advantages and Disadvantages

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/23/2017

Observational research — sometimes called field research — is a form of non-experimental research designed to watch (i.e. observe) behavior as it organically and spontaneously unfolds in a natural environment.

While observational research has been used for decades in a variety of disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, cultural studies and..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 21, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/23/2017

 

Corn in the dough stage is now at 73% overall; behind the progress from 2016 by 7%.  IL, MO, NC, TN, and TX are reporting over 90% of the corn crop in this stage while all states (except for PA with 47%) are reporting over 50%.  Corn dented has reached 29% overall; CO, ND, PA, and WI are the only states reporting under 10%.  NC is reporting..

How Market Research Helps Improve Retargeting Results

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/21/2017

Retargeting is the process placing a small text file on a website visitor’s computer — called a “cookie” — in order to send them a tailored ad in the near future as they search and browse third party platforms, like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and so on.

Here is an example: a business that sells gourmet coffee selections..

Market Research and SEO: Are You Going After the Right Keywords?

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/18/2017

The success or failure of a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising investment is often less a matter of ad copy and more a question of keyword selection. After all, what fundamentally separates PPC advertising from conventional advertising is that it’s designed to engage prospects at a time when they’re somewhere between “interested in finding a..

Why Combine Implicit & Explicit Techniques for Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/16/2017

Whether you’re starting a market research project in-house or looking for an agency to hire, you want to be sure that you’re using the best methodologies and techniques to get desired results. We’ve discussed the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative and quantitative market research before. So today we’d like to take a deeper dive into..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 14, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/15/2017

 

 

Corn silking is nearly finished at 97% overall and is projected to be at 100% during this week.  IL, IN, NE, NC, TN, and TX are now reporting 100% corn silking.  Last week only MO was reporting 100%.  All other states are reporting over 90% silking.  This progress is behind 2016 by 2% and behind the five year average by 1%.  Corn in the..

5 Steps to Creating a Successful B2B Market Research Survey

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/14/2017

Creating a successful B2B market research survey requires careful planning and development; especially since the data will be used to make key business decisions regarding investments, resources, strategy, and so on. Generally, the process involved five steps:

Step 1: Define the Problem

While market research can — and typically does — reveal..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 07, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/8/2017

Corn is in the last few weeks of the silking stage at 93% nationwide.  This is behind the progress from previous years but up 8% from last week.  MO is reporting their corn finished with the silking stage this week.  Corn in the dough stage is at 42% nationwide, up 19% from last week.  2016’s average progress for this time of year was at 50%. ..

Mid-Year Report: 5 Market Research Trends

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/4/2017

As we’ve just passed the midway point of 2017, we thought it would be interesting and instructive to take a look back at the first six months of the year, and get a sense of the top 5 market research trends that are setting the pace and tone in the industry:  

Market Research Trends Watch #1: More businesses are using market research surveys to..

What is the Role that Consumer Empathy Plays in Market Research?

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/3/2017

Psychology Today defines empathy as “the ability to recognize and share the emotions of another person.” Or for those who prefer their definitions from the literary world, there is always Harper Lee’s classic description from To Kill a Mockingbird: “you can’t really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.”

Well, for..

When Does it Make Sense to Use Mixed Mode Research?

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/2/2017

Mixed mode research is the process of conducting both quantitative research (e.g. surveys and field observation) and qualitative research (e.g. in-depth interviews and focus groups), and leveraging both types of data to generate deeper, and ultimately more reliable, actionable and profitable market research insights.

Note that both types of..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 31, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/1/2017

Corn silking continues to progress with an 18% increase through the week.  No states are reporting 100% but MO, NC, TN, and TX are reporting at least 95% silking.  All states are reporting at least some of their corn crop in the dough stage.  Last week the overall progress was 8% but is now at 23%.  NC is the only state reporting over 80% of..

When Should You Outsource Market Research for Your Company?

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/31/2017

If you’ve decided that it’s time to start a market research project, one of the first decisions you will make is whether to do market research in-house or to outsource. To help you make your mind up, here are several scenarios when you should keep the project in-house and when you should hire a market research agency:

Do Market Research..

How Beginners Can Analyze Market Research Data

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/28/2017

When doing market research for the first time ever or the first time in awhile, the methodologies and data may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with them. If you have market research data that needs to be analyzed and you’re not quite sure how to reach insightful conclusions, here are 3 simple questions you should answer:

1...

4 Reasons Why Agile Market Research is on the Rise

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/27/2017

In a business context, the concept of “agile” has its roots in the software development world. It evolved out of a need among software developers to find a smarter, simpler and faster way to incorporate ongoing feedback, deliver emergent solutions, and establish transparency among all stakeholders including customers.  

More recently, the..

5 Best Practices for Using Social Media Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/26/2017

While there have been several major innovations in the market research world over the last decade — and many more are emerging, like facial expression recognition technology and smartphone/tablet-driven ethnography — arguably no development since the web and email has had a greater impact than social media.

However, this does not necessarily..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 24, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/25/2017

  

Corn silking has surpassed the 50% mark!  Overall progress is at 67% with a couple states almost finished—MO at 92%, NC at 97%, and TN at 96%.  This progress is still behind past years.  Corn in the dough stage is now included in the report!  This is the stage of development where the starches are accumulating in the kernel giving it a..

Consumer Insights vs. Market Research: Which One is Right for Your Business?

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/24/2017

There is a great deal of debate these days centered around whether consumer insights or market research will deliver the best data & results to your business. Many folks in the consumer insights camp proclaim that their approaches and methodologies are superior, while just as many in the market research space lay claim to the higher ground.

At..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 17, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/18/2017

  

Corn silking is now at 40% overall with all states reporting their corn crop in this stage.  This is behind the progress from 2016 by 13%.  Last week, WI was the only state not reporting corn in this stage; they are now reporting only 5% (24% behind 2016).  NC and TN are the only states reporting over 90% of their corn crop in this stage. ..

Market Research Trends Spotlight: Accelerated Time-to-Market

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/13/2017

Time-to-market is one of the most critical competencies a business must have, but also one of the most challenging — especially in areas like manufacturing, where product development cycles are measured in years, and first-mover advantages can translate into massive market share and, in many cases, sustainable marketplace leadership.

Indeed,..

Online Qualitative Bulletin Board vs Focus Group: Which One Works Best for Customizing Products?

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/12/2017

A growing number of companies — led by billion-dollar brands like Nike — are enabling customers to customize products as part of their buying experience. As noted by TechCrunch: “Rather than being passive, the customer is now becoming a part of the product development process.”

Of course, companies do not have to be as big (or well-heeled) as..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 10, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/11/2017

  

Corn silking is now at 19% overall, behind last year’s progress by 11% and behind the five year average by 8%.  All states except for WI are reporting their corn in this stage.  TN and NC are already reporting over 80% of corn silking.  NC is actually behind their progress from previous years by 1% while TN is ahead of their five year..

3 Common and Costly Market Research Mistakes

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/10/2017

“Market research is easy. All we need to do is ask our customers questions, right? How hard is that? Heck, we can even have the interns do it in a few days —a week, tops.”

If you’ve heard — or possibly said — something similar to the above, then you know from dismal experience that pretty much every assumption is wrong (and I pity those..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 03, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/6/2017

  

Corn is fully planted and emerged.  The report now includes the percentage of corn silking.  Currently, the overall corn crop is at 10% silking.  NC is ahead of every state with 78% of their crop at this stage.  CO, IA, MI, MN, SD, and WI have yet to report their corn in this stage.  NC, TN, and TX are all reporting over 60% of corn..

How to Get Quality Market Research on a Small Budget

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/5/2017

The business landscape is full of myths and misnomers, such as that you need a huge infusion of capital to turn a great idea into a successful business (as billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban astutely points out: “in every business, sales cures all”). 

Another persistent misunderstanding is the belief that quality market research is..

How Market Research Benefits the Manufacturing Industry

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/30/2017

While market research is valuable — and frankly, necessary — in all sectors and industries, it is particularly vital in the manufacturing space, where the costs and consequences of making misinformed decisions can be severe; and in some cases such as when it comes to major new product launches, entering new markets, acquiring businesses and so..

4 Best Practices for Creating Effective Market Research Interview Questions

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/29/2017

In law school, aspiring lawyers are warned never to ask a question to which they do not already know the answer. Well, while this may be sound guidance in the legal realm, it is not applicable on the market research landscape, because the purpose is to generate fresh new insights — and that means creating effective market research interview..

Market Research Trends Spotlight: Enhancing Customer Experience

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/28/2017

One of the most biggest reasons that businesses conduct or commission market research, is so they can discover new and better ways to enhance customer experience — and this is definitely a step in the right direction. According to research by Walker Information, by the year 2020 customer experience will be the most important and influential..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of June 26, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/27/2017

  

Corn emerged jumped 2% from last week to finish in time for this week’s report.  The next growth stage of corn is the silking stage, which is already at 4% for this year. That’s just 1% below where the states were at this time last year, and also 1% behind the 5% average from 2012-2016. We currently see IL, IN, KS, KY, MO, NC, OH, TN, and TX..

Market Research Trends Spotlight: Mobile Ethnography

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/26/2017

Mobile ethnography is one of the most innovative and exciting trends in market research today. However, before we dive into some of the means and methods, it’s important to point out that the basic concept of ethnography itself isn’t new – in fact, it’s been around for centuries, and has used by sociologists and other social scientists as a..

3 Best Practices for Building Rapport with Market Research Focus Group Participants

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/23/2017

At Communications For Research, over the years we have developed and delivered hundreds of focus groups for clients in a variety of industries, from manufacturing to retail to B2B professional services, and the list goes on.

While each focus group is unique and must be aligned with project-specific variables, there are some core principles that..

Should You Use Qualitative Recruiters for Your Next Market Research Project?

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/23/2017

Market research is less like a puzzle, and more like a system. That’s because with a puzzle, it’s possible to have a few missing pieces here and there, and still have a sense of what is being depicted. A system, on the other hand, isn’t as forgiving. If any component is missing, it ceases to function.

That brings us back to market research: if..

5 Ways to Use Market Research Surveys to Generate Content

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/22/2017

On today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, the importance of quality content is more important than ever. For example:

  • 47% of B2B buyers access 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep (Source: DemandGen Report – 2016 Content Preferences Survey)
  • Content marketing leaders enjoy 780% more website traffic than non-leaders...

How Brand Mapping Links to Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/22/2017

Brand mapping – sometimes called perceptual mapping – is an insightful way for businesses to quickly glean how their brand is performing relative to competitors in terms of customer perception.

While there are a variety of different types of brand maps, the most common approach is to use a 4-quadrant grid, with each quadrant representing a..

Market Research Trend Spotlight: Market Research Online Communities

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/21/2017

One of the most interesting and exciting trends on the market research landscape is the emergence of market research online communities (MROCs). This involves bringing respondents together on a secure and organized online platform, so they can participate in various market research-related tasks and exercises, and engage in discussions with..

Best Practices for Dealing with Market Research Ethics

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/21/2017

While market research in one form or another has been around for decades – actually, make that centuries – it is not an exaggeration to suggest that we are currently living in what could be described as the Golden Age of Market Research.

There are a few reasons for this rather lofty designation, including the rise of the internet and web in..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of June 19, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/20/2017

  

Corn emerged overall is at 98% and expected to be finished before next week’s report.  The next growth stage of corn is the silking stage which will be included in the progress report next week.  We see IL, MN, MO, NE, NC, and SD reporting 100% of the corn crop emerged.  According to the five year average, NC is the only state that has..

Why So Many Marketing Agencies Partner with Market Research Firms

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/19/2017

The fastest-growing and most profitable marketing agencies enjoy some key competitive advantages in their respective marketplaces, including renowned expertise, a dedicated team, advanced technology and a roster of satisfied clients (who aren’t shy about sharing glowing testimonials!). However one more piece of the puzzle doesn’t get a lot of..

20 Market Research Questions That Your Business Needs to Answer

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/19/2017

Market research is not just the most potent, proven and practical method to answer critically important business questions, but it is the only way that does so in a reliable manner. Otherwise, instead of getting meaningful data, executives and leaders are forced to rely on gut feels and guesstimates. That’s not strategic – that’s luck!   

Below..

Best Practices for Running Focus Groups Online

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/16/2017

Over the last couple of decades, the internet, web, social media and email have all combined to dramatically — and in some ways, profoundly — change the design and delivery of market research. One of the most interesting and innovative advancements is running focus groups online.

Indeed, there are some key advantages to running a focus group..

Why Choose a Secondary Market Research Supplier Instead of a Primary Market Research Company?

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/16/2017

There are many key decisions that you need to make before launching a market research project – and among the most crucial, influential and fundamental is whether to choose a secondary market research supplier, or partner with a primary market research company. Before exploring this decision, it may be helpful to briefly cover the difference..

Why Customer Feedback is So Valuable to Your Market Research Plan

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/15/2017

One of the ironies in the world of market research, is that while customer feedback is so incredibly valuable, many businesses fail to see it as a part of their market research data collection strategy. While many market researchers just want to push forward and discover new opportunities in product offerings and new markets, some of the best..

What Roles Do Profiling and Segmentation Play in Market Research?

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/15/2017

At the core, all businesses – regardless of the industry, sector or field -- want to send the right messages, to the right customers, through the right channels, at the right time, and in the right way. This is where profiling and segmentation enter the picture, and can make the difference in helping a business rise to the top of its..

Why Hiring a Market Research Recruiting Company Makes Sense in the Manufacturing Industry

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/14/2017

Many marketing managers in the manufacturing industry – along with the executives they report to – are unpleasantly surprised to discover that their robust, comprehensive and important market research effort is running into a rather fundamental and totally unexpected obstacle very early on in the process: they cannot find enough qualified..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of June 12, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/13/2017

  

Corn planting has finished for 2017!  Corn emerged is nearly complete as well, at 94% overall.  Emergence progress is behind 2016’s progress by only 1% and is on track with the five year average.  All states are reporting over 80% emerged with PA at 80% and NC at 99%.  Corn condition is down slightly from last week.  A decrease of 1% in good..

The Critical – yet Often Overlooked – Question to Ask When Evaluating Phone Survey Companies

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/12/2017

When it comes to evaluating various phone survey companies, it makes sense that you would ask about experience, capacity, areas of expertise and cost. These are fundamentally important aspects and it is safe to guess that these are already on your list of questions. 

However, there is another critical question to ask when evaluating phone..

When Should Market Research Focus Groups be Part of Your Research Plan?

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/9/2017

Whether they are conducted in a physical setting or virtually through technology, market research focus groups continue to be one of the most valuable methods of generating qualitative data.

Indeed, there are precise and penetrating insights that simply cannot be gleaned through other primary methods, such as direct mail, online surveys, or..

What to Look for When Hiring a Market Research Consultant

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/8/2017

Market research consultants can be an invaluable resource that help businesses define their optimal research objectives, guide the process forward, take advantage of opportunities. Perhaps most important of all, they can also help mitigate or avoid risks that if left unchecked can undermine the investment in market research and lead to biased,..

Why Concept Testing is Critical to the Success of a New Product or Service

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/7/2017

The business world is full of inspiring success stories, from the launch of the industry-changing iPod in 2001, to the unveiling of category-creating Google in 1998 -- and the list goes on.

However, any belief that these astonishingly triumphant products and services were the result of “catching lightning in a bottle” or “being in the right..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of June 05, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/6/2017

  

Corn planting is coming to an end, just 1% behind progress from previous years.  No states are reporting their corn planting finished; all states except for PA are reporting over 90% planted.  Last year we saw IA, MN, MO, and WI finished with planting at this time.  Corn emerged is at 86% overall, behind the five year average by 1% and last..

How to Analyze Market Research: Statistical Methods for Beginners

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/5/2017

One of the most important innovations in market research is the emergence of tools that enable beginners to analyze market research data. This is especially valuable for looking at the same data sets in ways, and attempting to glean new and interesting insights.

While these tools have various strengths and weaknesses – i.e. some are easier to..

Common – Yet Fatal – Mistakes When Interviewing Market Research Participants

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/2/2017

One of the biggest challenges that businesses face when they conduct market research, is that participants do not, well, participate as well as they should. As a result, the information and insights gleaned from the effort are biased and unreliable, and can lead to some remarkably bad decision making. Indeed, there are numerous examples of..

The Market Research Process: How to Achieve Success In 6 Steps

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/1/2017

The best coaches tell their players over and over again that if they “do the right things the right way, then success is inevitable.” Well, if Vince Lombardi or Tony La Russa opted for a career in the market research industry, they would no doubt try and hammer home the critical link between process and results.

Below, we highlight the 6..

The Advantages of Agricultural Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/31/2017

While market research is valuable -- and usually vital -- in all sectors, it is especially important in agriculture. This is because the traditional agricultural business model involved farmers marketing products to known buyers. In fact, in many cases, fundamental farming and growing decisions (i.e. what to grow, how much to grow, when to..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of May 29, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/31/2017

  

Corn planting is coming to an end with progress at 91% overall.  All states are reporting over 75% planted with most others over 90% planted.  The overall progress is behind previous years’ progress by 2%.  NC is reporting the most progress with 98% planted, this is 1% ahead of last year’s progress and the same as the five year average. ..

How Branding Market Research Drives Better Business Decisions

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/25/2017

Before looking at the important role of branding market research and why it is essential for smart, strategic business decision-making, it is helpful to take a step back and look at a related concept that for some companies like Apple, Google, Coca Cola, Microsoft, GE, Amazon, IBM and several others is worth billions of dollars: brand awareness.

3 Scenarios When it Makes Sense to Conduct Nationwide Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/24/2017

In recent years, one of the most important and beneficial developments on the market research landscape has been the rise of locally-targeted market research. Many shrewd businesses are “thinking globally, but acting locally” when it comes to market research, thanks to a growing suite of powerful tools that can reveal granular-level insights..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of May 21, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/23/2017

  

Highlights: Sugarbeet planting is finished for 2017, sunflower planting has started, and LA is finished with rice planting.

IA, MN, MO, NC, and TN are reporting over 90% corn planted, the end of planting is near!  Planting progress is catching up to progress that we saw in previous years.  Overall planting progress is at 84%; this is the..

What Separates Top Market Research Companies from the Pack?

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/22/2017

In every industry, there are a small number of class-leading firms who set standards, establish frameworks and develop visions. Then there’s the pack of middle-of-the-road firms that work hard, but simply do not have what it takes to reach and stay in the upper echelon.

Naturally, this distinction between elite and ordinary is clear in the..

Understanding Primary Market Research vs. Secondary Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/19/2017

One of the most important distinctions in the market research world is that between primary market research vs. secondary market research. While they are not as profoundly different as (to invoke Mark Twain) “the lightning bug and lightning,” they are nevertheless separate paradigms of market research, and need to be approached accordingly.

..

Why Market Research is Essential for Choosing the Right AdWords Keywords

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/18/2017

While AdWords has the potential to be an effective and profitable customer acquisition strategy, the fact is that many advertisers fail to generate the results they expected. So they may get some clicks and customers, but they typically do not maximize their potential ROI.

What’s behind this AdWords inefficiency and underperformance? While..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of May 15, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/16/2017

 

At a glance, all crops had good planting progress since last week!

Corn is now at 71% planted, up 24% since last week.  MN is reporting 84% planted when they had only 35% planted last week.  The overall is still behind 2016’s progress but only by two percentage points.  NC is right on track with 93% planted, this is the same as their 2016..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of May 8, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/9/2017

 

Corn planting progress is still behind progress from previous years.  We are seeing 47% planted overall when we saw 61% planted in 2016.  IN, NC, OH, and TX are reporting more progress than this time last year.  All other states are reporting less progress than 2016.  Some states have surpassed the halfway point; IL, IN, IA, MO, NC, TN, and..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of May 1, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/2/2017

 

 

The corn crop is 34% planted for the 2017 season; progress is the same as the five year average.  Through the week, OH and IN planted at least 30% more of their crops.  Both states are still showing progress ahead of previous years.  Furthest behind their 2016 progress is MN with only 12% planted at this point in time and 57% planted in..

How to Get Actionable Insights from B2B Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/26/2017

B2B market research is a potential gold mine of business intelligence that can increase mindshare, marketshare, competitive advantage, revenues and profitability. In other words: it can do everything that executives want, need and spend virtually all of their time trying to make happen.

However, the operative word in that paragraph is..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of April 24, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/25/2017

 

 

 

Peanut and soybean planting has started for the 2017 season!

Corn planting continues to lag behind progress in previous years.  This year’s slow progress may be due to weather conditions; it has been too wet to get equipment into the fields and start planting.  Last week, of the corn planting states, only NC and TX saw at least 5 days..

What Factors Comprise the Cost of Market Research?

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/24/2017

One of the most important questions that we are asked from prospective clients – and also among the first – is some variation of: “how much is this going to cost?”

Understandably, there is no standard answer to this question, because market research is a project – not a commodity. It is not like purchasing equipment, technology, real estate and..

How Big Data Market Research Improves Business Decision Making

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/21/2017

A few years ago when big data arrived on the scene, there was some speculation (such as this) that big data signaled the end of the market research industry.  

At Communications For Research we have been leaders in the market research industry for more than 20 years. Throughout this time, we have lost count of how many “disruptive..

5 Market Research Screening Best Practices

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/19/2017

When it comes to maximizing the value of market research and using it to make smarter, faster and more profitable business decisions, a critical -- though often overlooked -- aspect is screening the right participants, and weeding out those who are unqualified.

If potential participants are not properly screened, then the insights they provide..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of April 17, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/18/2017

 

Corn planting progress is behind compared to previous years.  We are seeing only 6% overall planting progress where 2016 was at 12% planted by this time of year.  Individually, most states are also behind their 2016 corn planting progress.  TX is ahead of their 2016 progress by 11% and ahead of the five year average by 6% with 60% planted. ..

3 Reasons Why Market Research is Essential for B2B Sales

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/17/2017

For B2B sales organizations to thrive – and for their sales reps to consistently meet or exceed quotas – a “trial and error” method of knowing who, why, what, when and how to reach qualified prospects is not just risky: it is unsustainable. Indeed, it only takes a bad quarter or two before competitors and investors detect blood in the water,..

Why Market Research is a Must for the Healthcare Industry

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/14/2017

It is widely understood that market research is an essential strategic investment in industries such as consumer packaged goods, technology, hospitality, entertainment and the list goes on.

However, there is another industry where market research is arguably even more important, because the end goal is not exclusively to generate sales and..

How Market Research Makes Keyword Research Easier

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/12/2017

Keyword research is vital in today’s online ecosystem, because it affects many different marketing efforts from SEO to content marketing. However the process of doing keyword research can sometimes be difficult, tedious, costly and risky if you’re not sure exactly what to look for. Therefore in order to find the right keywords to make marketing..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of April 10, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/11/2017

Corn planting for the 2017 season has started!  Planting progress, on average, is close to previous years’ progress.  The average for this time last year was 4% planted and we are seeing 3% planted (which is the same as the five year average).  It is worth noting that all states that have not started corn planting also did not start by this..

How Texting Improves Market Research Outcomes

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/10/2017

When it comes to advanced communications technology, much attention these days is paid to leading-edge concepts like IoT, virtual reality, AI, machine learning and so on. However, amidst this futuristic discussion remains what might be considered an “old favorite” (at least by today’s speeds and standards) on the communications technology..

5 Reasons Why Successful Marketing Agencies Partner with a Market Research Consultant

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/7/2017

For marketing agencies, competition for quality clients is not just fierce: it is relentless! At the same time, marketing projects and campaigns are growing increasingly complex and multifaceted, which makes protecting profit margins tougher than ever.

Yet despite this, successful market agencies are thriving and creating an even wider gap..

4 Things to Look For Before Hiring a Market Research Recruiting Firm

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/5/2017

Recruiting is a critically important aspect of an overall market research project, and it directly determines whether the insights gleaned will be intelligent, actionable and practical – or questionable, confusing and inapplicable. Indeed, it does not matter what advanced technology tools are used, or how much money is allocated to focus..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of April 3, 2017

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/4/2017

Crop progress has now started for the 2017 season!

Cotton planted is now at 4% overall, averaging 1% ahead of last year.  The only states reporting cotton planted are AZ and TX with 21% and 7% planted respectively.  These were the only states to have cotton planted by this time last year too.  Over the five year average AL, CA, and GA have had..

How Market Research Can Optimize Your Display Ad Spend

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/3/2017

While there are many strategies and tactics on the digital advertising landscape, one method in particular that has the potential to generate enormous ROI is display ads.

As the name suggests, display ads are text, video and/or audio ads that are shown on websites that align with an advertiser’s target audience. For example, an insurance..

3 Scenarios When Market Research is a Bad Idea

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/29/2017

As one of the country’s most experienced full-service market research firms, you might assume that we always emphatically answer “yes!” to the question “should we do market research?”

However, you may be surprised to learn that there have been numerous times over the years where we have found ourselves in the rather interesting position of..

5 Questions to Help Determine Your Market Research Budget

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/28/2017

It is widely understood that large enterprises invest millions of dollars a year on both quantitative and qualitative market research. However, it is far less well known that market research is just as important -- if not in some cases more vital -- for smaller businesses, since competing primarily or exclusively on price is typically not an..

Why Market Research is Essential for Choosing the Optimal Distribution Channels

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/27/2017

Whether a business sells tangible goods such as medical devices or office furniture or delivers intangible services such as legal advice or employee training, the fact remains that one of the biggest factors that will determine short-term success and long-term survival is choosing the optimal distribution channels.

While it goes without saying..

Why Your Business Needs Custom Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/24/2017

While the market research landscape is broad, one of the most visible sources of market research are analyst reports created by research firms. These secondary research sources are available in virtually every major industry, sector and field, and for a wide range of issues (e.g. risk management, customer acquisition, employee collaboration,..

3 Keys to Market Research Screening Success

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/23/2017

Developing an optimized set of screening questions involves striking a fine balance between filtering out the wrong research participants and ensuring that your sample size isn’t too narrow based on selection criteria.

On the one hand, the questions must effectively filter in/out potential research participants; otherwise, they are simply not..

Data Collection Solutions to 3 Common Business Problems

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/22/2017

When developed, designed and deployed appropriately, data collection solutions play a key role in generating actionable market research insights that can solve a myriad of business problems. Below, we highlight 3 of the most common and valuable data solutions your business can benefit from:

1. How Data Collections Solutions Generate Market..

When Does Your Business Truly Need Market Research?

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/9/2017

As noted by Dun & Bradstreet: “No matter what size or type of business you run, performing market research is critical to your overall success, as it serves as the foundation of your entire business strategy, from sales and marketing to product development.”

This is accurate advice and wise counsel. However, for some businesses -- particularly..

Why Market Research is Essential for Competitive Intelligence

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/8/2017

Competitive intelligence is a vital -- yet often overlooked -- piece of the overall competitive analysis puzzle. Much more than a simple (and often superficial) SWOT analysis or marketplace scan, competitive intelligence does a deep dive into not just what current and future competitors are doing, but more importantly, WHY they are making key..

10 Key Product Testing Market Research Insights

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/7/2017

As colorfully noted by Entrepreneur.com, launching a new product into the marketplace without conducting rigorous product testing market research is like “jumping off a cliff into the sea, blindfolded -- unthinkable, life threatening, treacherous and unnecessarily risky. Many new ideas and products are successful because their creators..

How Market Research Helps Optimize & Personalize Your Web Content

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/6/2017

In the offline world first impressions are obviously important, but in the online world they are flat-out essential! For example, research by HubSpot has found that 55 percent of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on a website before heading for the exits (i.e. “bouncing”). And the folks at SiteProNews.com shave that time by nearly 50..

How a Market Research Agency Helps Optimize Your Business’s Social Media

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/3/2017

When social media began nudging its way onto the business landscape, it was widely viewed as a fad. After all, what would be more amusing – or perhaps absurd – than conventional, staid businesses like folksy Old Farmer’s Almanac (est. 1792) or chemical conglomerate DuPont (est. 1802) sending out messages 140 characters at a time, or asking..

Why Market Research is Necessary Before Choosing SEO Keywords

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/15/2017

In the context of online marketing, “keywords” refers to search terms that people plug into a search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, etc.) in order to find relevant websites.

Naturally, being on the other end of this search process is valuable and coveted. For example, if a business provides laptop repair services in St. Louis, then showing up at or..

How to Build Better Buyer Personas with the Help of a Market Research Agency

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/14/2017

One of the fundamental tenets of successful marketing and sales – and consequently, more revenues and profits – is not just understanding the products and services that are being offered, but fully comprehending WHO the ideal customer is. In this sense, if the offering is the bow and the business is the archer, then the ideal customer is the..

Should Remote Data Collection Be Part Of Your Market Research Plan?

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/13/2017

A key question that your business needs to answer before creating an optimized and strategic market research plan, is whether remote data collection should be part of the mix; and if so, to what extent and degree. Before exploring this pivotal aspect, it may be  helpful to clarify a couple of potential misunderstandings.

The Value of Combining Market Research and Analytics

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/10/2017

While they both focus on deeply understanding business issues, in the past market research and analytics were viewed as distinctly separate functions.

That is, market research concerned itself with brand and product/service issues, and gathered data directly from customers (both prospective and current). Of course, this is not to suggest that..

How to Set Market Research Goals & Objectives

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/9/2017

Some businesses make the common – yet fatal – mistake of diving straight into their market research plan; or in some cases, start collecting data (usually via more easily available channels and methods, such as social media or email) before setting objectives.

However, in order for market research to generate actionable insights and be worth..

How to Properly Use Market Research to Position your Brand [Guest Blog]

Posted by Joshua Beam on 02/6/2017

Market research and brand positioning strategy can be seen as two complementary processes which should go hand in hand to deliver maximum results in terms of creating a powerful and differentiated brand identity.

Instead, the two processes are often seen as sequential. In other words, you 'do' your market research and then you plan your brand..

Marketing Agencies: 4 Services a Market Research Firm Should Help You Offer to Clients

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/3/2017

A growing number of marketing agencies are partnering with market research firms so they can offer their clients value added services, and ultimately generate better results – and with that, boost their reputation, revenues and profits.

Naturally, choosing the right market research partner requires due diligence; because just as not all..

3 Best Practices for Creating a Data Collection Plan

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/2/2017

There are several plans (and even more sub-plans) that combine to create a robust, comprehensive and above-all successful market research initiative -- and one of the most important pieces of the puzzle is a data collection plan. Below, we highlight 3 best practices to ensure that you head in the right direction with your data collection plan..

Data Collection Services vs. Full Service Market Research: Which is Right for Your Business?

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/1/2017

As you prepare to launch a market research project, one of the most important elements of your strategic plan relates to data collection. This catch-all term refers to the what, who, when, how and why of generating relevant information that, when analyzed, validated, organized and articulated, ultimately provides you with what matters most, and..

3 Advantages of Hiring a Full-Service Agency for Market Research Recruiting

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/31/2017

A critically important piece of the market research puzzle is recruiting. As the term suggests, this is the process of identifying suitable participants from a pool of qualified samples, and engaging them through strategically-selected qualitative data capturing methods, such as (but not limited to) in-depth interviews, focus groups, online..

Quantitative Research Design: Methods & Appropriate Uses

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/26/2017

In our previous blog, we looked at the methods and appropriate uses for qualitative research design. Now, we continue with a look at quantitative research design – which, like its qualitative cousin, is often quite misunderstood in terms of what it is, what it does, and why it should (or should not) be part of the overall data gathering plan.

..

Qualitative Research Design: Methods & Appropriate Uses

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/25/2017

To say that the only difference between quantitative research and qualitative research is that the former concerns itself with numerical data while the latter concerns itself with non-numerical data, is – to paraphrase Mark Twain – like failing to see the difference between lightning and the lightening bug.

In a subsequent blog post we will..

3 Things to Know About Your Research Opportunity Before Finding a Market Research Agency

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/24/2017

People of a certain vintage may remember an old TV commercial that said “an educated consumer is our best customer” (and those of you who missed it the first time around can watch the company’s chairman and wife proclaim it via the magic of YouTube).

Regardless of whether one is selling (as in the case above) men’s clothing or, indeed, market..

In-Depth Interviews: Data Collection Advantages and Disadvantages

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/23/2017

In-depth interviews – which are sometimes referred as depth interviews, or by the a acronym IDI -- are a qualitative data collection method that involves direct, one-on-one engagement with individual participants. In-depth interviewing can take place face-to-face, or in some cases over the phone. However, for the latter to be effective and..

Should You Do Market Research In-House or Choose an Agency?

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/20/2017

When it comes to advising businesses on whether they should do market research in-house or choose an agency, you may think that our automatic recommendation is going to be the latter. After all, we are a market research agency, and serving clients is what we do.

However, the most important pillar of our agency is integrity. Thus, when the..

Why Partnering with a Market Research Firm is so Valuable to Marketing Agencies

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/19/2017

Marketing agencies must constantly find ways to add value to their client engagements, and just as importantly, keep profit margins from eroding – or in some cases, disappearing entirely. That’s where partnering with a market research firm plays a key role.

Specifically, here are the 3 reasons why partnering with a market research firm is so..

Best Practices for Recruiting a Market Research Focus Group

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/18/2017

Focus groups can be a highly valuable source of qualitative market research, which can ultimately be leveraged to achieve key business goals such as improving customer service, developing products, increasing brand awareness, and so on.

However, it is extremely important to keep in mind that not all market research focus groups are created..

Quantitative vs Qualitative Market Research: Which Method Is Best for You?

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/17/2017

While there are many important decisions to make when planning a market research effort, one of the most important and fundamental is whether to conduct qualitative or quantitative market research.  In the world of big data and social media, sometimes we become subject to our own bias toward quantitative data.  In contrast, for those that find..

4 Downsides of Do-it-Yourself Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/13/2017

There are many situations when businesses may productively and profitably take the do-it-yourself route. Great researchers seek to understand the limitations of the solutions they are using both as a research and business solution. Here are 4 reasons why DIY research is often not the best option:

1. Poor Quality

Quality is not just an aspect of

The 3 Factors that Determine the Value of Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/4/2017

As you might expect, many of the prospective clients we hear from are enthusiastic about market research. That is, they recognize that there are answers and insights that can only be obtained through professional-grade market research, and they are eager to see how we can help them achieve their goals.

However, some of the prospective clients..

Should Your Market Research Involve Usability Testing?

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/3/2017

In order to maximize your investment in market research, it is important to determine whether usability testing should or should not be part of the project.

Essentially, usability testing concerns itself with developing a qualitative understanding of the extent to which potential customers find a product easy-to-use and suitably functional...

How to Turn Marketing Research into Action

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/29/2016

According to a classic textbook authored by Keller and Kotler: “Management is faced with many choices involving possible marketing actions. The goal of marketing research is to provide management with actionable information that will allow managers to make better decisions and ultimately reduce risk.”

Obviously, this is true, but more..

Should You Use Bulletin Board Focus Groups for Market Research?

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/28/2016

A bulletin board focus group (sometimes called an online focus group) is a web-enabled innovation in the qualitative market research world. As the name suggests, this approach uses an online forum to connect with participants through moderated, asynchronous (i.e. not in real-time like an IM chat) discussions that typically last for a few days...

A Year In Review - 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/20/2016

Looking back, 2016 was an incredible year for myself and the company.  From personal accomplisments to company wins, I'm proud of what the Communications for Research team has been able to achieve.  As we look ahead to 2017, I wanted to share a glimpse at where CFR has been, where we are now and where we are going:

Choosing a Market Research Agency? Here’s Where to Start

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/19/2016

If you are looking to work with a market research agency, you are about to make a smart investment that will support a wide range of results and advantages. However, the results and advantages you receive will be widely affected by which type of market agency you choose.

Factors such as experience, competence and cost-effectiveness are..

Marketers: 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate the Power of Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/16/2016

As a marketing professional, despite your deep knowledge of what life is really like in the marketing world, you may be underestimating the power of market research. That is, you may appreciate that it is important, but not recognize that it is essential to the success of your organization or client; not to mention, the long-term health of your..

How Technology is Changing Qualitative Market Research Studies

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/12/2016

Technology has changed qualitative research studies dramatically because every step of the research process has adapted to new possibilities. When businesses and marketing agencies understand and ultimately leverage these shifts, they can position themselves well ahead of their competition, and much closer to their customers.

In the first of..

Why Great Market Research Begins With A Great Question & Plan

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/9/2016

When you’ve identified a business problem that you want to solve, it’s time to utilize market research to inform your decision making and problem solving. Before you can start recruiting respondents and collecting data, you need a specific question and a detailed research plan. Therefore, here are the 4 reasons why great market research begins..

What to Look For When Hiring a Market Research Firm

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/8/2016

Whether you’re in the process of creating a marketing campaign, developing a new product or finding new product opportunities, doing market research can be the difference between educated success and blind disaster. If you have a market research question in mind, it’s time to find the right market research firm to work with.

When interviewing..

Exploring 3 Different Types of Market Research Agencies

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/7/2016

Market research is an essential piece of any successful business puzzle; especially when it comes to product development, pricing, promotions and positioning. As boldly and accurately concluded by Entrepreneur.com: “Failing to do market research can amount to a death sentence for your product.”  

However, while market research is vital, it is..

3 Mobile Market Research Trends for 2017

Posted by Communications for Research on 11/30/2016

Mobile Market Research Trend #1: More In-the Moment Market Research

One of more transformative aspects of mobile market research, is that it enables businesses to intercept participants while they are engaging in specific consumer action (e.g. browsing through a mall or store), or very shortly after they have finished an action (e.g. made a..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of November 28, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/28/2016

2016 corn harvest is now finished!

Marketing Agencies: How to Correctly Use a Market Research Consultant

Posted by Communications for Research on 11/23/2016

As a marketing agency, you need to achieve similar goals to ours as a professional services provider: deliver service that impresses the customer so much that the outcomes actually win repeat business and earn a reasonable profit doing so.

Crop Progress Report for the Week of November 21, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/22/2016

IL, KS, KY, MO, NC, and TN are now 100% finished with corn harvesting for 2016! CO, IN, IA, MN, NE, OH, SD, and TX are all 95-98% finished, so it’s likely that some of those states may hit 100% in next week’s reporting. All states but one are at least 91% finished; MI is at 83% but saw a 13% increase in amount harvested since last week. This..

Online Surveys: Data Collection Advantages & Disadvantages

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/22/2016

Online surveys have become the default tool for many market researchers. This is for good reason.  Often times the ease of access to using online surveys actually causes issues in itself.  Below, we highlight the advantages and disadvantages of this market research method.

Telephone Interviewing: Data Collection Advantages & Disadvantages

Posted by Communications for Research on 11/18/2016

On today’s market research landscape, new and innovative data collection methods are taking advantage of the web and email to reach more samples, gather more intelligence, and generate more actionable insights.

Debunking 4 Market Research Myths That Can Cost You Customers and Profits

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/17/2016

There are some myths that should be debunked as quickly as possible, because they trigger negative consequences. On the business landscape, among the most costly and consequential of all myths are those related to market research.

3 Common Business Problems That Market Research Can Solve

Posted by Communications for Research on 11/16/2016

Virtually all businesses would agree that market research is valuable. Yet some of them -- and particularly newer firms -- believe that market research is only necessary or applicable when there is a specific research question to answer like “what should we call our new project management app?” or “what colors options should we offer in our new..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of November 14, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/15/2016

MO and NC are finished with their 2016 corn harvest!  KY and KS are reporting 99% completed, both ahead of their historical averages.  MO finished at this same time last year.  IL was finished at this time last year but are reporting 97% harvested this week.  Overall corn harvest is at 93% harvested, ahead of the five year average by 1% and..

How a Market Research Agency Streamlines the Research Process for Your Marketing Agency

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/14/2016

As a marketing agency, your clients depend on you for data-driven insights and actionable intelligence -- to replace what they are likely using to make important business decisions: anecdotal evidence, “best guestimates” and in many cases, good old fashioned gut feels. 

Crop Progress Report for the Week of November 7, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/8/2016

Corn harvest is at 86% nationwide with TN reporting 100% harvested this week.  MI is reporting only 53% harvested.  An increase of 13% from last week but still behind last year’s progress by 21%.  Most other states are reporting at least 80% harvested.  Overall, harvest is 1% ahead of the five year average and behind last year’s progress by..

The Pros and Cons of Face-to-Face Interviews for Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/7/2016

Face-to-face interviews have long been a staple of the market research landscape, and the ability to glean valuable insights from this method is a core reason why generic online surveys are fundamentally limited. Simply put, there are inherent aspects, features and possibilities in a face-to-face interview that cannot be captured or replicated..

3 Reasons Why Your Market Research Should be Utilizing a Focus Group

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/2/2016

The heart and soul of marketing – and ultimately, sales and profitability – is not found in products, pricing, positioning or promotions. In fact, the essence of marketing is governed by customers! In other words, the most fundamental objective of a business is not to sell. As noted by the “father of business consulting” Peter Drucker, it is to

Marketing Agencies: 4 Tips to Get Your Clients to Act on Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/1/2016

 

In addition to providing research solutions to many businesses and marketing agencies, Communications for Research goes a step further by advising marketing agencies on how to get their clients to act on market research – because that’s where the proverbial “rubber hits the road”.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how valuable and insightful our..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 31, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/1/2016

Corn harvest saw progress of 14% through the past week for 75% harvested overall.  This is behind last year’s progress by 7%.  SD is nearly finished with harvest at 99% harvested followed by NC at 98% harvested.

How to Find Your Target Audience for Market Research Interviews

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/31/2016

When it is developed, planned, administered and analyzed properly, a market research interview process is an incredibly valuable source of customer intelligence. Market research interviews are still widely used to capture insights today because they produce relevant results for improving decision making in several common business situations...

How Social Media Plays a Part in Modern Market Research

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/28/2016

As noted by Business2Community.com, “understanding customers in their natural environments rather than asking them what they want, is exactly why social media listening is such an exciting opportunity for marketers today”.

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 24, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/25/2016

Corn harvest is in full swing, corn crops are at full maturity and ready to be harvested nationwide.  Harvest progress increased by 15% through the week for 61% overall.  This is about where the five year average lies and 9% behind last year’s progress.TN is reporting 98% harvested, NC reporting 96%, and KY at 94%.  MI is reporting 27%..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 17, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/18/2016

Corn mature has now reached 100% in IL, KS, MO, and TN.  This stage is at 97% nationwide with the majority of states reporting more than 90% progress.  Corn harvest is 46% finished; 3% behind the five year average and 8% behind last year’s progress.  TN is reporting 97% harvested and NC is reporting 94%.  MI is reporting 16% harvested which is..

When Should Market Research Companies Get Involved in Product Development?

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/17/2016

It is firmly established that market research is an essential part of successful product development. Since many businesses do not have the internal resources to conduct high quality, reliable market research (even large enterprises often outsource this function), the key question is: when should market research companies get involved in..

3 Reasons Why You Should Use a Market Research Agency vs. A DIY Survey Builder

Posted by Communications for Research on 10/12/2016

As wisely noted by Dun and Bradstreet: “No matter what size or type of business you run, performing market research is critical to your overall success, as it serves as the foundation of your entire business strategy, from sales and marketing to product development.”

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 10, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/10/2016

Corn is nearly finished in the mature stage, overall is at 93%.  MI is reporting 79% which is the only state under 80%.  This stage is 5% ahead of the five year average and 1% ahead of last year’s progress.  Corn harvest is behind the five year average, which is identical to last year’s average, by 3%.  We did see an increase of 11% harvested..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of October 3, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/3/2016

Corn has progressed to the mature stage and harvest is already underway.  NC is reporting 100% corn mature while nationwide is reporting 86% progress for this week.  This is ahead of the five year and last year’s averages which are 79% and 82%, respectively.  All states are now harvesting corn.  NC and TN are the furthest along with harvest at..

MRA CRC 2016 Key Takeaways

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/3/2016

I attend 3-5 research conferences a year. If I am lucky, 1 per year turns out great.  What makes a conference great? 

Crop Progress Report for the Week of September 27, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/27/2016

Nationwide, corn is nearly finished with the dented stage at 97% progress.  SD has recently reported 100% corn at this stage.  Other states (besides MO and NC) continue to head towards the 100% mark.  Corn mature is reported at 73%; ahead of the five year average by 9%.  NC is reporting 99% mature while CO is reporting 41%.  CO and MN have..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of September 20 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/20/2016

Corn mature increased by 20% since last week for an average of 53%.  This is ahead of the five year average by 5%.  NC is reporting 98% mature and CO at 22%.  Corn harvest is starting to pick up; MN and CO are the only states not reporting harvest yet.  Nationwide average is 9% harvested with NC reporting 82%, TX 63%, and TN 61%.  Other Midwest..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of September 12 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/13/2016

Harvest has begun for corn, cotton, sugarbeets, and peanuts.  Winter wheat planting has now started.  Winter wheat is at 6% planted average across all growing states.  WA stands out with 32% progress so far.  Some states have not begun planting yet; mostly southern states.  All states producing sugarbeets have started harvesting.  The harvest..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of September 5 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/7/2016

One more state has reported corn in the dough stage as finished, TN.  All other states are close behind with all reporting at least 85%.  Nationwide average is at 96% in this stage; last year it was at 95% at this point in time and the five year average is 94%.  Progress of the corn dough stage should finish off right on track, if not ahead,..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 29 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/30/2016

Corn in the dough stage has risen to 92% nationwide with NC and TX reporting 100% and TN with 99%.  The majority of states are reporting over 80% corn in this stage with the exceptions of MI and PA with 78%.  Corn dented increased 20% from last week!  TN is already reporting 90% of corn at this stage.  All states, with the exception of TX, are..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 22 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/22/2016

Colson Steber and Chris Kreiling are attending the Farm Progress Show being held in Boone, Iowa on August 30, 31, and September 1, 2016.  If you are also attending please reach out to Colson (csteber@cfrinc.net) to see if we can arrange a time to get together.  While we have a few business meetings scheduled, we are really looking forward to..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 15 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/16/2016

Corn is finished silking for the 2016 season.  We are seeing progress in the dough and denting stage reported this week.  Dough stage is at 73% nationwide, 13% ahead of historical progress.  CO is reporting only 30% at this stage but that is an 18% increase from last week.  NC is still the farthest ahead with 97%.  All states are now reporting..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 8 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/9/2016

Corn silking is at 97% nationwide and expected to be finished by next week’s report.  Corn at the dough stage is at 53%; this is 11% ahead of past averages.  NC is already reporting 93% at the dough stage followed by TN at 88%.  Corn dented is now included in the report.  This is the R5 growth stage and named for the dent that appears on the..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of August 1 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/2/2016

There was a small shift in crop quality for corn from last week.  1% went down in good and fair and we had an increase in 1% reported as excellent and very poor.  Corn in the dough stage is now at 30% nationwide.  This is 5% ahead of the historic average and last year at this time.  All states are now reporting their corn at this stage.  ND and..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 25 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/26/2016

The report is now including percentage of corn at the dough stage.  This stage takes place around 24-28 days after silking.  It is called the dough stage because at this point of kernel development the starch in the kernel is milky and has a consistency similar to dough.  Only two states are not reporting this stage of growth (CO and ND) while..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 18 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/19/2016

In TN, NC, and MO corn silking is reported as nearly finished at over 90%.  Across the nation, silking is at 56% which is 10% ahead of the 5 year historical average.  Most states, about 60%, are reporting a greater percentage of corn silking than they have over the last 5 years at this time.  Overall, the states are 10% ahead of the historical..

5 Tips Research Consultants Can Use for Handling Difficult Clients

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/13/2016

Thinking that your job would be better without hard-to-deal-with clients should not apply in a profession where you are genuinely passionate about your work. Yet, it can sometimes feel like clients are doing everything they can to ruin your day.

Crop Progress Report for the Week of July 11 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/12/2016

Corn silking is at 32% nationwide, all states are reporting corn silking in this week’s report.  NC is already reporting 81% silking while more northern states (CO, WI, MN, and OH) are reporting less than 10%.  This week’s silking status is 9% ahead of this time last year.  Corn condition is also better than last year.  We are seeing an..

Five Things Research Consultants Do That Drive Clients Away

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/6/2016

Business to business relationships inevitably involve some risk, but only a few of these contracts devolve into an unpleasant enough experience to send the client packing. In the world of research consultants, such horror stories are even fewer and far between.  

5 Habits of Highly Effective Research Firms

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/29/2016

Market research firms are guided as much by business principles as they are by science. No matter how well-put-together their data collection is, without a sound management and client relations strategy, their business will suffer.

Crop Progress Report for the Week of June 27 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/27/2016
Corn is finished planting for the year and the progress report now includes percentage of corn silking.  Silking is a stage of pollination which is necessary for the corn plant to produce ears of corn.  Corn silking is at 6% across the 18 states planting which is right on track with the historical average.  TX and NC are already reporting..

9 Market Research Consultants You Should Follow on Social Media

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/22/2016

Great ideas in any industry do not come from a text book or a manual; they come from people. People inspire, create and, above all, lead the way towards new or better ways of approaching problems.

Crop Progress Report for the Week of June 20, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/20/2016

Soybeans are projected to be finished planting next week.  The crop is at 96% planted overall with IA, MI, MN, and ND reporting 100% planted.  All soybean states besides KS, KY, NC, and TN are reporting over 90% planted.  This is ahead of the progress from past years.  With planting slightly ahead of schedule for soybeans it looks like..

3 Questions Client-Side Researchers Should Answer Before Hiring a Market Research Firm

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/9/2016

The decision to hand off some of the work in a market research project should be made with a full perspective on the potential risks, benefits and consequences. Client-side researchers that simply choose an option as a way to save time could face unexpected deviations from their plan as a result.

Crop Progress Report for the Week of June 6, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/6/2016

Corn is nearing the end of planting with 98% progress. IA, MN, MO, and WI are reporting 100% planted.  All states are reporting at least 90% planted with OH the only one sitting at 90%.  This week’s progress is right on track only varying 1% from last year and the historical averages.  Corn emerged jumped 12% from last week which puts it 1%..

"Only Big Companies Needs B2B Market Research" & Other Market Research Myths

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/2/2016
Thousands of companies do themselves a disservice every year by pushing aside or ignoring pressing market research obligations. The fact is that no matter what size an organization is, they will need data in order to make informed decisions, increase their chances of finding success and avoid wasteful or risky practices. Businesses looking to..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of May 31, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/31/2016

Corn is 94% planted and 78% emerged currently. This is an 8% and 18% increase from last week, respectively. Corn progress continues to be right on track with historical averages both with planting and emergence. IA, MN, and MO are reporting 99% planted and are expected to finish soon. Every state reporting shows at least 84% progress so we..

Online Market Research Tool Showdown: Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, and More

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/26/2016

Full-time and temporary researchers alike are blessed in this day and age with more possible online surveying tools than ever before. Between choices like SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics and a host of the other possibilities, there are more options than ever designed to help satisfy your research needs.

But just like anything else in life, all survey..

Crop Progress Report for Week of May 16, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/16/2016

Corn is now 75% planted and 43% emerged across the country. All planting states are close to or more than halfway planted, with percentages ranging from 34 in MI and OH, to 96 in MO. This crop is currently 5% above its historical 5 year planting average, with an 11% jump in planting since last week. However, planting is 7% behind where it was..

3 Great Examples of Quantitative Research as Content Marketing

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/12/2016

Quantitative research as a component of market research is most often used internally. Organizations typically use the information yielded in these studies to make crucial decisions based on information about their clients, their competitors and the field in general. Still, the information obtained during these research studies can often yield..

Research Project Management Made Easier With 1 Simple Tool

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/10/2016

Quantitative research can present a slew of challenges between the project launch and the gathering of completes, making these projects particularly difficult to manage. In fact, challenges arise on the daily! These issues can cause friction with your clients, blow your budget and allow your timeline to run wild. That’s why we’ve outlined key..

Announcing a Change in Ownership at CFR

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/4/2016

I am happy to announce that, as of Monday, May 2, Curtis Burrow and I are the new owners of Communications for Research, Inc. (CFR) after having purchased the business outright from founder and outgoing president, Jim Steber. After creating this company and adeptly overseeing its operations for 18 years, Jim has decided to retire.

How We Find Your Market Research Sample

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/29/2016

For all our talk about research design, sampling and best practices, we thought it was about time we discussed how professional companies like CFR can aid with locating market research samples. In the most basic terms, our industry connections and ongoing relationships with partners afford us privileged access to former study roster lists,..

How to Estimate the Sample Size You'll Need for Qualitative Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/21/2016

Unlike quantitative research, there are few formal statistical guidelines governing the design and execution of a qualitative study. Without available concepts like randomness, confidence intervals or margins of error, estimations like the sample size needed for qualitative research become more intuition than formula-dependent.

The 6 Core Techniques for Market Research Sampling

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/19/2016
The 6 Core Techniques for Market Research Sampling

Crop Progress Report for the Week of April 18, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/19/2016

This week planting for corn, cotton, rice, sorghum, and sugarbeets had at least a 1% jump in progress from last week. Sugarbeets saw an increase of 36% in planting progress from one week to the next! Rice only increased by 16%, and the other crops by anywhere from 1% up to 7%.With the exception of cotton and sorghum, each of the crops in the..

Basic Things to Consider in Market Research Sampling

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/15/2016

Market research sampling is the process of taking the entire population you want to describe — such as all U.S. residents over the age of 18 — and selecting a smaller portion to represent this population. If sampling is done properly, then the market research study can save time and expense while still accurately describing the population as a..

Crop Progress Report for the Week of April 11, 2016

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/11/2016

Corn planting has begun! Corn is 4% planted across the US, with 12% finished in KY, 18% in NC, and 43% completed in TX. TN, KY, MO, and OH are at 4% or lower so far this year, while 11 of 18 states in the Midwest have yet to begin planting,

Is Your Sampling Dooming Your Marketing Research? Here's How to Tell.

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/7/2016

Most of the time, performing poor market research can be worse than not performing market research at all. Why? Because we often base our business decisions on the results of market research data, and flawed data can lead us down the wrong path.Collecting a misrepresentative sample is one of the most common sources of such a problem, but luckily,..

3 Questions You Need to Answer for an Accurate Market Research Sample

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/5/2016

Obtaining a representative market research sample is crucial to getting the insights you need. Otherwise, the data will yield inaccurate or misleading trends, hurting your ability to make smart decisions in response.

Think You Know Market Research Plan Best Practices? Take Our Quiz!

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/30/2016

Writing a market research plan using best practices can provide the perfect document for research teams and stakeholders to consult throughout the project. However, not every research team is familiar with every detail that can help them construct the best research plan possible. Think you have what it takes to be a research plan writing..

Two Things the Free Online Survey Design Sites Don't Want You to Know

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/23/2016

Free survey design tools are available everywhere online, and they are becoming quite popular for both B2C and B2B marketing research. Individuals wishing to send out a lightweight, quickly arranged straw poll can do so from the convenience of their own workstation.

The Worst Advice We've Heard About Field Research Data Collection

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/18/2016

A research project manager we know took a consumer economics class from a well-meaning but misguided professor. In his attempt to make research studies more accessible to students, he would be lenient to a fault. Even still, most of his teaching tendencies were not objectively harmful — except one.

Four Surprising Things that Can Affect Your Data Collection

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/15/2016

A lot of thought goes into surveys or other research designs to eliminate problems that could lead to inaccurate data. However, even if everything is ostensibly considered during the design phase, some factors could arise during implementation that unexpectedly influence responses or the data collection itself. Some of these factors are so..

Cross-Sectional Surveys: The Right Time and Wrong Time to Use Them

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/8/2016

Cross-sectional surveys are a lightweight research tool that is easy to implement and requires limited resources compared to other research methods, making them quite popular among research groups. However, popularity and affordability are not always the best measures of a research method’s viability. Some research questions would demand the..

“Excuse Me, Do You Have the Time?”: Timing's Role in Field Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/3/2016

While many field research teams take care to consider various market demographic variables, they often leave out another critical variable: time. By itself, time can be a major factor that influences study data like survey responses. For instance, surveying a cohort about their utilities experiences right after a natural disaster could yield..

4 Essential Elements of a Successful Field Research Work Plan

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/1/2016

Whenproperly constructed, a field research work plan can be the most beneficial resource available to research teams. By having an easy-to-consult work plan document, teams or individual researchers can perform their needed tasks virtually autonomously. No constant delegation is needed, and any potential challenges will ideally have solutions..

How Mobile Is Changing Survey Data Collection

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/18/2016

The advent of mobile surveying has caused subtle, but no less monumental, shifts in how the world of corporate market research is conducted. Advances in survey data collection methodology and the use of mobile devices like tablets as a field data collection tool have led to the evolution of mobile surveys into their own niche.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Primary Data Collection Methods

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/16/2016

Gathering primary data for the purposes of market research has many advantages, especially when research teams very deliberately choose their data collection method. The right primary data collection methods could help cement the continued success of the research project, whereas the wrong one could incur unnecessary extra costs without..

3 Problems Everyone Has with Quantitative Data Collection – How To Solve Them

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/11/2016

Quantitative studies are popularly lauded as much more concrete, scientific and compelling than qualitative studies. The simple fact is that proper quantitative research can be quite expensive, requires very controlled conditions and often lacks the depth or specificity qualitative studies can provide — at least in regards to how small and..

10 Myths About Mail Surveys

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/9/2016

 

 

While considering study methods, many research teams unfairly write off the classic direct mail, or “snail mail,” survey as a viable tool. This venerable method of obtaining responses has fallen out of vogue in the face of online, email and mobile surveys, but without good reason. The decline most likely stems from generally-accepted..

Four Actionable Tips to Improve Your In-Depth Interviews

Posted by Colson Steber on 02/5/2016

In-depth interviews are an excellent source of primary data for researchers looking to answer more complex or open-ended questions, but only if best practices are followed. If you are looking for ways to improve the quality, accuracy or relevance to your in-depth interview responses, read on to learn four of the most important guidelines you..

Benefits of Mixed-Mode Surveys

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/28/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Researchers have been challenged in recent years in how to overcome flat or declining survey response rates. And in the age of the internet and mobile phones, they are also tasked with figuring out the best approach to target and communicate with their desired survey population. In order to combat these issues,..

Best Practices: Phone Surveys in Mixed Mode Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/21/2016

 

When using a mixed mode survey approach, the behavior of the researcher has an influencing role in the outcome of the phone call. Phone surveys are a critical opportunity to gain buy-in from your recruit and to clearly communicate their instructions for completing the online survey. If a researcher is hard to understand, follows the phone..

Easy to Answer Screener Questions Make for Better Responses

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/14/2016

Building surveys that give you highly accurate responses that pertain to the focus group is a challenging task. Tightening up your script and working hard to make one question flow into another will go a long way in helping you engage and keep your respondents. Keep your audience in mind and understand that they do not know or utilize the..

Survey Design Best Practices Online and Over the Phone

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/12/2016

Creating an online survey presents a variety of challenges, and there are specific survey design best practices that are imperative to catching the attention and interest of the respondent. When creating demographic survey questions that successfully screen the respondents, it is important to recognize that most will not read the entire survey,..

Simplicity Matters in Survey Designs

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/7/2016

You could be collecting general feedback, performing evaluations, or assessing an event’s success, but no matter what the design of your survey is going to be a huge first step.

Mix Up Your Mediums

Posted by Colson Steber on 01/5/2016

Monotony is never a good practice for any industry, but it can be downright dangerous to the big picture in market research. When it comes to multi-channel survey methods, it is important to remember a few key details about how to execute online and telephone surveys. The first key fact is to remember to mix up the mediums and the questions used..

The Top 3 Developments in the Market Research Industry in 2015

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/24/2015

2015 was a big year for market research. As more market research companies entered the field and more clients requested their services than ever before, a rapid metamorphosis is taking place. Many developments that had been effecting change deep behind the scenes have now emerged as mainstream. A renewed interest in market research investment..

Five Steps to Enhance Your Social Listening Research Results

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/22/2015

Social listening has been an emerging topic that has seen widespread adoption throughout 2015, with 43 percent of market research firms currently using the technique and 33 percent actively exploring ways to implement it, according to GreenBook. Media mentions of social listening have also steadily increased throughout 2015, as evidenced by ..

Three Ways Market Research Consultants Can Help Clients Set Better Objectives

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/10/2015

Customers often think they have one question they want answered, but then it leads to several more down the road. This can be frustrating for researchers, but this is exactly why market researchers are hired: to help guide the process and define objectives for a project.

The Three Most Important Lessons We Learned in 2015

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/8/2015

We learned quite a bit in 2015 here at Communications for Research (CFR). Like any business, we had our share of surprises, our challenges, our wins and losses. In fact, if a year goes by and we don’t feel that we have learned a lot, then that is something to be concerned about. We strongly believe in learning every chance we can and taking the..

Keys to an Effective Relationship with Your Field Research Partner

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/1/2015

As a research consultant, you are tasked with taking ambiguous and complicated research situations and designing studies to gain insight into consumer behavior. Your clients rely on you to analyze the data you gather. Then they expect you to share key insights and strategies on how to move forward and use the data for the better of the business.

3D Printing Set to Take Manufacturing World by Storm

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/26/2015

One of a market researcher’s key roles is to uncover the trends of today that will impact your field tomorrow. Staying on top of these developments allows you to react in time and remain competitive. With this in mind, let us take a look at one of the most revolutionary changes to happen to the manufacturing industry in years: 3D printing.

How Manufacturers Can Improve the Quality of Their Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/24/2015

Consumer-facing industries like packaged goods and consumer electronics spend a tremendous amount of time agonizing over market research, but B2B industries like manufacturing can often be seen placing less emphasis upon it.

Perhaps this trend exists because the general public’s tastes are difficult to presume or because larger volumes of..

The Technological Evolution of Manufacturing

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/19/2015

The image of manufacturing in the public’s eye may be mired in the industrial machinery of the post-WWII era, but current centers are modern, sleek, and packed with technology. Even more emerging technologies are completely revolutionizing the strategies and methods that manufacturing uses to produce the machines, parts and goods that the world..

How Manufacturers Can Gain Contracts Through Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/17/2015

Manufacturers must have an intimate knowledge of what their clients demand in order to satisfy the very technical needs of most buyers. The expectations of these clients are both rigorous and precise, with the threat of terminating contracts and jumping ship to another manufacturer always looming. Without guidance from research, manufacturers..

Manufacturing Research Consultants, and the Ambiguous Bidding Process

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/12/2015

Communication for Research frequently receives requests from manufacturing research consultants at agencies that are trying to win business. To do so, they require a quote for research work to fold into their proposal, but unfortunately, they typically lack a lot of information. They tell us everything they can about the project, but because..

Recruiting for Manufacturing versus Consumers

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/10/2015

Recruiting for the manufacturing industry is dramatically different than recruiting consumers. Working with an agency that is not experienced in manufacturing can lead to missed deadlines, poor show rates and less than ideal recruits. In fact, a new client of ours, a research agency, just experienced this difference first hand.

Assisting Marketing Agencies with Research in Manufacturing

Posted by Colson Steber on 11/5/2015

Communications for Research is uniquely positioned in the market place to provide valuable assistance to marketing agencies with their research in manufacturing. Many marketing agencies attempt to do research for their clients in-house, or they find themselves at a loss for who to contact, especially in the manufacturing field. Agencies also..

Making the Best of the Current State of Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/29/2015

We recently had the chance to talk to Fred Bingle, an independent market researcher and owner of the company Bingle Research Group, Inc. Fred shared his experiences within the industry and gave some great insights as to how he thinks other researchers can best operate in its current state.

Why Your Sample Size Is Probably Too Small

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/27/2015

Many studies on usability, online A/B testing, market research and countless other areas draw conclusions when, frankly, they should not be. Why not? Their sample size is too low.

Avoid HIPAA Violations During Research Recruiting | CFR Inc.

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/22/2015

Whether you are a professional recruiting firm or part of a research team with a medical focus, running afoul of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can result in serious penalties.

As such, recruiting research subjects within a specific medical demographic can be quite tough. After all, walking up to a clinician and..

3 Reasons to Rethink DIY Research Recruiting

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/20/2015

You have your research design completed, you have all the legal issues cleared and your spreadsheets are set up for some fresh data. All you need now are people.

At this point, many research teams begin wondering how they can go out and find participants for their study. However, they may soon realize that the task of tracking down the right..

Conquering Market Research with Recruitment Solutions

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/16/2015

This month we had a chance to chat with Greg Snyder, a partner at the research company Unisearch Partners. Greg gave us his insights and recruitment solutions as someone who understands both the client and supplier perspective.

 

Why Would A Focus Group Facility Need a Research Design Partner?

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/15/2015

Communications for Research (CFR) regularly partners with numerous focus group facilities across the US to facilitate research design projects on their behalf. These facilities operate as their own individual firms, with their own clients and own research recruiting practices. But like any business, they experience limitations in what they can..

Best Practices for Increasing Response with a Corporate Research Survey

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/13/2015

If you’re a corporate researcher using a tool like Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey® to target prospects or customers with surveys, you are not alone. These tools are extremely popular among corporate researchers. Researchers using these tools are clearly looking to interest their participants in hopes of gathering valuable insights. But more often..

Turning Manufacturing Tradeshow Data into Something Actionable

Posted by Colson Steber on 10/8/2015

Businesses that generate vast amounts of data in a short amount of time need to keep up with the data trail. For example, manufacturers that attend tradeshows may walk away with upwards of 25 thousand people’s contact information. But how do you turn that data into something significant and actionable? That’s where Communications for Research..

Telephone Research: Landline versus Wireless Matters

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/24/2015

If your latest round of research involves telephone research, you may want to ask what percentage of answers are being collected on cell phones versus land lines. The latest report from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) supports an ongoing upward trend in wireless-only households, with 106 million adults (44% of all adults) living in..

Innovation in Market Research: Key Takesways from the GLC/MRA 2015 Fall Conference

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/24/2015

Personally, I do my absolute best to be “all in” and engage in every single thing the conference has to offer me during the time it takes place. As someone working to build a business and a career in the research industry, conferences are the best opportunity available to get research education, build my network, and get invigorated about..

Hospital Network Uses Census Sampling to Drive PR Campaign Development

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/22/2015

Recently, a PR agency reached out to CFR to help them form a strategy for its communications plan regarding cardiac care. Their client was a major hospital network in a large U.S. metro area. This agency needed solid research to back their PR and marketing campaign development, had fixed deadlines to get the job completed and limited internal..

IT Spending in Healthcare on the Rise, Growing Fast Towards 2019

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/17/2015

The healthcare industry has seen a tremendous amount of disruption in recent years, owing both to the creation of technology like cloud computing and the regulations passed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Fueled by both of these forces, healthcare has surged into the future era while outpacing many other industries when it comes to investing..

3 Ways to Improve Patient Outcome Measurements Through Patient Self-Reporting

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/15/2015

Outcome-focused care has been more than just a hot topic lately; it has been the driving force in many sweeping changes that have shaken up the healthcare industry. Healthcare research has directed its eye upon outcomes to ensure that providers are actually adding value to patients’ lives instead of merely putting a metaphorical Band-Aid on..

Big Data Is Transforming Healthcare in Big Ways

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/10/2015

The healthcare industry has always been grappling with the huge volumes of information they generate during providing their services. Now, that data may actually be helping companies.

Three Questions Healthcare Providers Should Be Asking on Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/8/2015

Thanks to the efforts of healthcare market research, we now know the tremendous impact employee satisfaction can have on patient outcomes. Because of this correlation, healthcare market research should also measure the happiness of employees if it wants to truly examine ways providers can improve upon patient experiences.

What Do Wireless Households Look Like?

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/8/2015
Mobile platforms continue to lead the way in the market research field.  To emphasize just how important wireless connections with customers are, we've illustrated some interesting demographics on wireless households.

The Evolving World of Qualitative Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/3/2015

This month we had a chance to chat with Rick Weitzer, the principal of Prell Organization. Prell conducts qualitative and quantitative market research online and offline in order to address issues and create solutions within a business’ branding strategy and beyond. Let’s take a look at what we discussed. 

Effective Questionnaire Design Results in Big Impact

Posted by Colson Steber on 09/1/2015

I recently received a request from a client, a large equipment manufacturer. They were under pressure to gain insight as to why customers were buying a particular type of farming equipment. They needed answers, fast. While they had drafted an initial questionnaire design, they were forced to choose between re-shuffling resources on their end to..

Market Research Design Should Match the Brand

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/27/2015

Today the importance of data and market research touches every department within a company. Everyone wants to get their hands on data, every department wants access to quality feedback. Parallel to this, there are numerous free or affordable online questionnaire tools, accessible to anyone with a desire to ask questions and learn more.

4 Ways That Market Research Can Help You Improve Branding Strategy

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/25/2015

Market research is vital for ensuring that your products can meet the needs of your market or that they can enter into relevant conversations consumers are having. At the same time, market research can extend beyond the general persona of “marketing” and affect your brand position as a whole. Most of the world’s most successful brands like..

Mobile Continues to Shape Marketing Research Trends in 2015

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/20/2015

 

Mobile has proved to be far greater of a disruption in the marketing industry than any anticipated. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the market research realm.

Health Care Market Research and the Importance of Inclusive Sampling

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/13/2015

The hot topic right now in health care market research is the Affordable Care Act. It has paved the way for insurance companies to target a wider range of potential customers. The concept of the insurance market place is quite straightforward, but like many things, the process is much more complex. Each state runs its own exchange, and along..

Dodd-Frank Under the Microscope: Research Design in Financial Services

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/11/2015

Research design can have a huge impact on the ways policies are evaluated and how new policies or policy changes are enacted in response to research discoveries. The conclusions drawn from research have enormous potential to inform later decisions on banking regulations, for instance, specifically in financial services where consumers are..

3 Research Design Guidelines to Get the Best Data from Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/7/2015

Reconsidering survey design and research design periodically can help make your process more effective and your data more useful. Market research can become routine, especially for firms that specialize in conducting field service interviews and surveys, but evaluating your current techniques and trying to adopt best practices from across the..

Spotlight on Agricultural Research with Shea Viviano of IPSOS

Posted by Colson Steber on 08/5/2015

We recently had the opportunity to talk with agricultural research expert and IPSOS vice president, Shea Viviano. She has been in the market research discipline for about 20 years, and is now part of one of the world’s leading research companies. More specifically, Shea is involved in market research for the agriculture industry. Here’s what we..

New Agricultural Research Charts the Future of Farming Through Data

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/21/2015

Agriculture has seen dramatic changes in the past several decades that are transforming familiar pastoral scenes in exciting ways. Automation, big data analysis, virtual consolidation and technology all strive towards the common goal of increasing yields while using fewer resources. So what does the future of farming hold?

3 Ideas to Make Agricultural Research Data Exciting for Consumers

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/15/2015

Consumers are voraciously interested in the agricultural world when information is framed in the right context. Whereas just a decade ago no one really thought about how a tomato ends up on someone’s sandwich, hot topics like sustainability and locally-sourced products are now on the tip of many consumers’ tongues.

4 Ways to Improve Your Online Survey Response Rates

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/8/2015

Online surveys are often the default choice for people doing market research. We capture the voice of the customer, test responses to new ideas or gather much insight to aid key business decisions. The problem is that surveys are useless if next to no one responds to them. After all the hard work your company spends on crafting a survey, you..

Does Revealing a Survey Sponsor Hurt a Typical Survey Response Rate?

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/1/2015

When starting your qualitative or quantitative market research, you always want to collect enough responses to ensure high quality results.  The typical survey response rate is influenced by many factors, but a one major one is whether or not you decide to disclose your survey sponsor to the respondents. Depending on the situation, it could..

3 Tips for Converting Telephone Recruits into Online Survey Completes

Posted by Colson Steber on 06/24/2015

Quantitative market research has evolved to the point where online surveys are the default choice for many. Online surveys offer quality data collection that is often more economical that telephone research. Often within smaller geographic markets and specific target audiences, a mixed mode method of recruiting by telephone to go online is used..

When to Use Donations as a Qualitative Research Recruitment Incentive

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/18/2015

In today's society, it can be hard to get something for nothing. When people are asked to do something, even if it is easy or does not take a lot of time, they want something in return. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult for qualitative market researchers to find participants unless they offer some kind of recruitment incentive. However,

Should you Offer An Incentive to Your Market Research Participants?

Posted by Colson Steber on 05/13/2015

The primary goal of your market research is to garner accurate data that can be used to gain insight to aide business decisions. In order for this to occur, your market research participants must meet certain criteria and be of a certain caliber. This is the only way to be certain of genuineness and honesty in your participants’ responses.

What Incentives to Offer to Maximize Research Participant Recruitment

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/7/2015

Research participant recruitment is a combination of a labor of love and a strategically thought out process.  There is no magical perfect answer.  Every time, you have to make an honest assessment of the variables and make a decision that makes sense.

What Marketing Consultants Need to Know About Market Research

Posted by Colson Steber on 04/3/2015

If you are a marketing consultant it is a good bet that you have encountered client problems that need market research to solve. Whether you decide to do the research yourself or outsource to a market research company, it is essential that you provide these services with a focus on accuracy and expedience.  Your customers depend on you to help..

4 Things You Should Do After Hiring a Field Data Collection Vendor

Posted by Communications for Research on 03/25/2015

In an earlier post, we talked about how to choose the right field data collection vendor for your specific market research project. As we mentioned at the time, the selection itself is only one side of the equation. The other side is how you actually prepare them for the task at hand. 

There's good news and bad news here. The bad news is that,..

5 Best Practices for Good Survey Design

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/23/2015

There are numerous tools out on the market to instantly create a survey, but that just makes it easier to have poor survey design. The design of a survey takes more than the ability to put one up on the Internet, it also takes some understanding of the objectives of a survey, the audience, and how to test and measure questions and their..

Pick the Right Field Data Collection Vendor for Your Market Research

Posted by Communications for Research on 03/20/2015

There’s probably nothing worse for a market research consultant than to get halfway through an engagement and realizing that your field data collection partner isn’t getting the job done. The client is expecting you to come back to them with analysis that will knock their socks off and you simply don’t have the critical primary market research..

5 Tips to Continuously Improve Client Relationship Development

Posted by Colson Steber on 03/18/2015

Every researcher dreams of having long-term valuable clients and vendors that continuously help advance their own interests. Researchers thrive on repeat business. Having a good relationship with clients is necessary for the success of any marketing research company. It is important to nurture any potential relationships with clients and build..

Thinking back: 2011 AMA Research and Strategy Summit

Posted by Sample HubSpot User on 09/2/2011

  The 2011 AMA Research and Strategy Summit has come and gone. It was a great opportunity to meet others and learn about the forecasted future of the research industry. We heard from industry leaders and company representatives about where they see research in five or ten years. The underlying ideas were the steps into social media and taking..

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