Colson Steber is calling the closing out of the trilogy!
Previously at the start of COVID, then again in 2021, Colson spoke and now today’s conversation really brings us full circle on the journey he and his business have been on for the last few years.
We start out by getting an update from Colson on how business has been going, specifically the..
By the time we’re asked this question, something typically has gone wrong on a project. We answer that question with another one, namely, “What happened?” This is where we listen before taking action. Creating a way forward to solve the problem at hand requires that we understand what happened..
Our clients are experts at what they do – creating innovative solutions for their own clients, providing thought leadership that shapes the industry, and helping to steer meaningful business solutions. But if they’re honest with themselves, many of the business leaders we partner with spend more time than they’d like micromanaging the research..
Every business endeavor needs a comprehensive plan with established processes in place. It’s also crucial that while the big picture covers all the bases, it must be customizable and fine-tuned as needed for each customer’s audience and goals, both long and short-term. Nothing is guaranteed, but with a well-crafted and thorough process, the odds..
Business leaders in marketing, research, communications, and development are specifically charged with moving the business forward. Relevant consumer insights can be difficult to achieve and keep up with, no matter the level of professional expertise. There’s still a lot to be said for plain old common sense and what you absorb anecdotally from..
A lack of time or access to outside resources, such as a large sample of your target audience or highly experienced interviewers, might affect your ability to complete a research project in-house. In any case, it may be best to bring in a research vendor to help execute your project.
Hiring a Market Research partner takes away the pressure of doing it yourself, but finding the right market research partner can prove to be a challenge.
All market research aims to gather honest answers from the right participants to inform accurate decisions. Trust and good communication are meaningful in all aspects of any relationship and are undoubtedly crucial when choosing the proper market research partner. But what is marketing research at its core but the gathering and study of customer..
2020 could have been a disastrous year for market researchers, with no in-person focus groups or in-depth interviewing and drastically reduced marketing budgets. But agile researchers pivoted, and methodology utilizing technology is not only here to stay but exploding in 2021.
Both structured and unstructured data overwhelm businesses from..
Our Co-CEO of Communications for Research (CFR), Colson Steber, joined David Masover on the Driving B2B Sales Revenue podcast to discuss essential moments for company growth and valuable advice for business development. Colson built the company from the ground up - growing up himself in the business. Attributing his success to dependable..
When considering market research needs, defining key results may be clear, but finding the right market research operations team can prove to be a challenge. Quality research results do not happen by accident. They are a result of carefully planned projects committed to end-to-end quality control.
For consultants to stand out from the competition, research offers a unique point of distinction to increase project win rates. Pitching data-driven solutions can add value and credibility to strategic recommendations for better business impact.
A new project – a potentially big project – comes down the pipeline, and creates immediate excitement. But the winning of the work and the doing of the work are two different things.
Is aggregated data enough, or is custom research necessary? Will engaging a specialized or a full-service research firm best suit our business objectives?How do we know if our product/service is market-ready? How can our product/service experience better traction once in the field? Can existing data from past research be gleaned for new insights?
For executive leadership in the market research industry, time is taken up by the ongoing activities that fill every professional's working day - leading the team, working with clients, managing the business, reading and writing reports. Great leaders are expected to run a tight ship efficiently on a lean budget.
From seasoned insights professionals, to those just dipping their toes into the water of marketing research, collaborating with a recruiting or logistics focused market research operations partner can be a daunting task. Research preparation is time-intensive and complex.
Unlike quantitative research projects, there are few formal statistical guidelines governing the design and execution of a qualitative market research study. Best practices regarding randomness, confidence intervals, margins of error, and estimations for sample size needed are not standardized for qualitative research. Ultimately, these decisions..
With a steady stream of survey projects at various stages of design, bidding, recruitment, programming, fieldwork, or analysis, the details can be overwhelming for teams. But delivering data-driven stories to steer important business decisions requires confidence in data accuracy. Teams work hard to proactively eliminate factors that could skew..
Once the basics of market research sampling are understood, specific techniques can be explored. Each research project objective is best served with a certain type of market research sampling.
While there are many important decisions to make when planning a market research effort, one of the most crucial is whether to conduct qualitative or quantitative market research.
In brief, quantitative market research refers to the process of collecting large amounts of data through surveys, questionnaires, and polling methods. Conversely, ..
There’s little doubt that profitable businesses have good products and services. But the case can be made that good decisions are actually the key to good — and sustainable — business practice. Knowing when and how to pivot course when needed is critical to maintaining relevancy in ever-changing markets, regardless of how great a product is or how..
Like any type of research, the purpose of market research is to gather information, specifically information concerning the validity of a product or service within a particular market. This type of information makes it easier for companies to anticipate and meet consumer demand, thus allowing them to better satisfy their customers and stay ahead..
You know what people say about assumptions, right? In the business world, they can do a lot more than color you a fool, though; they can sabotage even the most brilliant business decisions, often leaving you and your company with more losses than gains. Of course, many companies take a leap of faith when they start out, presuming a consumer need..
Nowadays, if you aren’t digital, you aren’t maximizing your potential. Especially in a world dealing with COVID-19 and its resulting social isolation, having an online presence is the only way to stay relevant, engaged and informed. For businesses, in particular, harnessing the Internet has moved beyond mere convenience; customers are now..
Wondering where CFR got its roots? Curious about Colson's 5 core daily habits? In this special podcast episode, Colson joins Merrill Dubrow and shares about his journey and success.
To research and report on the confidence levels of industry executives within the pet food industry, we partnered with Petfood Industry magazine. Our Q2 report has just been published and you can read all about here!
Like many other businesses, Communications for Research is adapting to the "new normal." While most of our calling operations have transitioned to working from home, our physical call center in Waynesville is back open and renamed as the "Research Engagement Center."
History is rife with stories that sing the virtues of trusting one’s gut. Famous entrepernuers from Steve Jobs and Richard Branson to Anna Wintour and Oprah Winfrey have all mentioned the role intuition has played in their decision-making processes. But while there’s little question that instinct can encourage magnificent discovery, the value of..
A company’s success relies (at least partly) on its customers’ perception of it. The saturation of great products and even greater marketing techniques has made competition in most markets relentless and fierce, forcing brands to up their games with customized and personalized service offerings that set them apart from everyone else. When..
Infectious disease has always been a part of human history. Ancient latrines along the Silk Road show evidence of parasitic worms going back at least two thousand years. Dig further (pun intended!), and you have scientists unearthing bones from primitive hominids that indicate contagious bacterial infections were affecting us even then — at least..
As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on human lives, the global economy remains in an unprecedented suspended state. With businesses shuttered and people sequestered, little remains of normal day-to-day life. One of the most drastic and noticeable changes in the social order of things is how and when we now procure the most basic of necessities:..
Business research is not unlike other types of research: it seeks to answer a question. This question (also called an objective) serves as the backbone of any research project, guiding researchers toward meaningful answers that offer opportunity for actionable results. As the foundation of the research endeavor, then, the research objective..
Theory and evidence are the cornerstones of good research technique. The theory, or “concept,” drives the collection of data, or “evidence;” indeed, without a concept, there can be no meaningful research results, only a collection of abstract facts and numbers. In this way, all scientific research involves both conceptual and empirical research..
We have recently partnered with Petfood Industry magazine to create an anonymous online questionnaire, which Petfood Industry readers will be asked to complete. The questions are designed to gain insights into what’s going on within..
Managing a successful company depends on good planning, as well as some luck. To increase the likelihood of both, smart businesses conduct research so that they can better understand their place in a market and gain insight into their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. With good data, they can make informed decisions about how to..
You know what they say about assuming: don’t do it! While some assumptions benefit us in the short term — like when we see a large animal barreling down on us with bared teeth and we take off in the other direction or when we grab our raincoat upon seeing darkening skies — most of the time, they only pander to fears that have nothing to do with..
There are two types of research: fundamental and applied. The first is essentially the exploration of natural phenomena so that scientists can better understand and accurately anticipate them. The practical application of any information learned during fundamental research is considered neither a motivator nor a consequence of the process, and,..
Observation is one of the original guiding principles for scientific inquiry. It is essential for collecting data, forming hypotheses and testing theories. But how do you know when to observe and when to actually start asking questions? For market researchers, it can be a difficult choice. Here’s what you need to know:
In general terms, “logistics” refers to the careful management of all the processes involved in a business operation or project. A company with good logistics has a firm hand on the organization, as well as the execution, of its activities so that everyone in the firm is informed, engaged and motivated to perform proficiently at all times.
The term “research ops” is a relatively new one. Mentioned offhandedly in a tweet in March 2018, it has quickly blossomed into its own discipline, maintaining a prominent place in the world of design and user research. But design and/or user research aren’t really new concepts; user experience (UX) design has existed for nearly as long as humans..
This year at the Insights Association's Corporate Researchers Conference, our co-CEO Colson Steber had the opportunity to speak with Jamin Brazil on the Happy Market Research Podcast. In this episode, Colson & Jamin chat about the conference, Communications for Research as a company, ResearchOps and more!
Most people believe that a good product is the cornerstone of a great business. And while a good product does, indeed, have the potential to provide some functional stability for a company, the true foundation of any enterprise rests on the market around it. A great product just isn’t useful (i.e., “profitable”) unless a lot of people are willing..
When it comes to business, there’s really nothing more important than customers. Without them, a business won’t — read: can’t! — succeed. Not only do customers buy a company’s products (a necessity if it wants to be profitable), in today’s hyper-connected society, they also serve as powerful (even if unofficial) market influencers. Knowing who..
Evaluation is part of any growth process. We keep tabs on our health as we physically mature, take tests to assess our knowledge as we progress through school and seek ways to understand our feelings as we deal with our problems (at least theoretically!). Taking a step back and examining where we are, where we want to be and the steps we are..
Measuring the return on an investment (ROI) is part of good business practice. Both large and small companies must calculate the value of the items they buy, as well as the processes they create, in order to determine whether the time, effort and money they are spending to obtain and/or facilitate each of them is actually reaping any benefits. But..
Professional market researchers rarely perform the same way twice. That’s because they understand that the complexities of individual companies’ business objectives render a “one size fits all” data collection approach sloppy at best and completely inappropriate at worst. Indeed, the pros that really “get” market research are the ones that resist..
Picking a research partner is an important decision that shouldn’t be made simply for convenience. It’s easy to go with a local firm. Or a cheaper one. Or the one where your best friend’s brother works. But as with most things in life, performance depends on effort, with “easy” not always equaling “right.” Thus, when you’re contemplating a..
Spend any time in the working world, and you realize that the more you know, the better you perform. Indeed, you’ve probably learned this lesson via other areas of your life, whether it was during your 9th grade history class or your baby’s first year; Knowledge yields, and certainly wields, power. For companies, this often means figuring out to..
If you ask most people to think about survey research, the majority will probably conjure up a vision of the multiple choice assessments typically used to summarize and/or rank responses according to predetermined and generalized themes. However, a lot of good research, especially good market research, relies on researchers figuring out what they..
Good research depends on good questions. And if you’re contemplating a market research project — a frequent necessity for businesses wanting to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing and increasingly global markets — you’ve probably thought about some of the questions you might want consumers to answer for you. But have you considered the..
Businesses conduct market research in order to learn more about customer preferences and market behavior. The validity of any conclusions drawn necessarily depends on how well these businesses (and/or the firms they hire) recognize their own assumptions, preferences and prejudices and how hard they work to mitigate them as they select samples,..
There are many ways to “do” market research, with nearly as many methods and tools to choose from as there are businesses to use them. It’s one of the reasons why we here at Communications for Research (CFR) truly love our profession. With each research project we undertake, we not only get to use our research skills, we get to be creative,..
Having a great product or idea is only part of a successful business model. In today’s world of mass consumerism, companies have to also stand out from competitors who offer similar goods and aggressive pricing. To do this, companies are focusing on making every interaction they have with customers a positive one. In this way, customer experience ..
Quantitative research is the investigation of an issue using numbers to establish meaning for behavior. In the market research world, numbers give insight into consumer behavior, but quantitative research can and is used to explain other kinds of performance, as well. Scientists and analysts in both the social sciences and the natural ones use..
New products come on the market all the time. Some are completely new concepts, but most are additions to or modifications of concepts and product lines that already exist. And while it’s true that extending or revamping old products is usually easier and cheaper than conceiving and developing entirely new ideas, all three types of product..
Customers are at the heart of all business operations. At least, they should be. Research shows that it’s five times more expensive for companies to attract a new customer than it is for them to retain an old one, making it paramount that companies maintain good relationships with the people they already serve if they want to really maximize their..
Surveys can be great tools for companies to use when they need to gather data about a large group of people. They are often quick to administer with results that can be generalized in a meaningful way. And with today’s technological advances facilitating a universal connectedness, the online survey, especially, can be a great way for companies to..
Having a good product isn’t as much a consequence of reality as it is of perception. Much like magicians rely on illusion to create intrigue, companies build brand awareness to encourage sales, each manipulating “what is” in an effort to promote “what could be” for the people around them. For businesses, in particular, this means that how people..
Having a good product or service is only part of a company’s success. A quality offering is important, no doubt, but being able to critically evaluate consumer need and overall market conditions is essential to a company’s ability to survive and thrive in today’s fast-paced, competitive (and often global) arena. To this end, most companies hire..
One of the biggest concerns businesses have when they start thinking about market research is “How much does it cost?” Unfortunately, there is no one standard answer, as the price of market research is as variable as the price of a vacation, a home or a college education. Indeed, just as there are travel and housing and educational options..
Spontaneity is a great catalyst for excitement and can spur creativity in unlikely ways, but it’s not exactly the preferred course of action for businesses wanting to bank on their future success. To quote Yogi Berra, “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” Indeed, relying on calculated plans instead of impulse..
Market research, while often sophisticated in its design, is actually quite simple in its objective: to foster insight into market conditions so that companies can hopefully make better business decisions. Fundamentally, all companies want to reduce their risks and maximize their opportunities, either turning a profit or improving lives, depending..
According to research compiled by Deloitte, global healthcare spending is projected to reach $10.059 trillion by 2022. An aging population that is larger than previous cohorts means more people will need chronic disease treatment for longer periods of time and more people will ultimately need dementia care each year. It’s a scenario that is..
Market research is the calculated and often complicated process of identifying the most pertinent aspects of a marketplace so that a company can glean and then use insight to effectuate better (i.e., more profitable) business decisions. While sometimes confused with marketing research, which is a more narrow type of research focused primarily on..
Getting good data: it’s the key to making good decisions. Accurate information enables businesses to anticipate and respond to market demand and, hopefully, turn a profit at the end of the day.
The restaurant industry is a competitive one. There are more dining establishments and more diners now than during any other time in history; the National Restaurant Association reports over 1 million restaurant locations in the U.S. alone, a particular boon considering more than half the American population visits at least one of them each week...
It’s fairly hard to run a company these days without an online presence. Over four billion people — over half of the world’s population — use the Internet, with most of them expecting the ability to check their computer or phone for additional information about the businesses they encounter. It seems, first and foremost, a good internet presence..
The inherent nature of human psychology makes it hard for the average person to accurately describe an event. Physiological and cognitive processes occurring in our brains as we experience and think about our lives serve to retain, categorize and recall only the pieces of information we deem most valuable, thus creating memories for us that..
Data-driven decision making is the key to success for all businesses. The more facts and figures a company has, the better able it is to assess its policies, procedures, products and services, maintaining or altering them as needed to meet public demand.
But good data doesn’t just benefit for-profit organizations; we all use information to inform..
Companies introduce new products all the time. Whether those products succeed or fail often depends on the processes that went into their development rather than the usefulness of the products themselves. A profitable (i.e., successful) product is one that reaches consumers in the right place and the right time, as well as satisfies a specific..
In the first quarter of 2018, the manufacturing industry “contributed $2.33 trillion to the U.S. economy.” It’s an interesting fact, especially if you know that the majority (approximately 98%) of U.S. manufacturers employ less than 500 employees. While automotive and aerospace giants like General Motors, Ford and Boeing might immediately spring..
In today’s business world, getting data isn’t hard. The ubiquity of the Internet, and especially mobile phones, has made it easier than ever for companies of all sizes and across all industries to monitor consumer engagement and collect transactional data for their customers.
Markets change. And to stay relevant and profitable in them, businesses must keep abreast of those changes. Too often companies overlook their potential, trading future growth for present security as they strive to simply stay afloat.
Information is power, and in the business world, it also frequently equals money. The more facts and figures a company can gather about how and when and why people use its products or services, the better it’s able to meet and exceed their demands, hopefully generating profits along the way. Harnessing effective information is made easier and..
At Communications for Research, we love interacting with the market research community and one of the best ways we do that is through attending conferences and doing speaking engagements. We have three very exciting appearances coming up where you can catch our co-CEO Colson Steber.
In the business world, questions of “who” and “what” and “why” and “how” help shape decisions that hopefully satisfy consumers, secure new customers and improve bottom lines. But obtaining the right information to facilitate those decisions depends on whether or not you’re asking the right questions to the right people in the right ways.
There’s wide speculation regarding what will happen to the real estate market in 2019. Some experts predict a declining house inventory and stagnating home value appreciation that will leave many questioning how best to spend their money, while others (such as Redfin) forecast an increasing home ownership rate “as speculators and investors exit..
Ask most laypeople to talk about market research and they are likely to skip over discussions about weighting, response fatigue, feasibility and conjoint analysis techniques and instead turn immediately to surveys and focus groups. Both are so ingrained in the public’s notion of what it means to study a market that exploration of additional..
The convergence of a variety of factors in today’s market has made conducting business on a global scale a much more feasible option for all types of businesses, whether big or small. Cross cultural exposure due to changing political systems; a variety of cheaper, easier ways to travel; near universal telecommunication options; and good..
Market research companies are in the business of uncovering insights. They expose facts and then use those facts to provide context for meaningful action. But even if they have excellent methodologies that garner stellar data, it’s pointless unless they can deliver an end product that is easily understood. Think about your time in school: didn’t..
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 need..
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.
“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 want..
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..
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..
“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 this..
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 overall..
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 and..
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 rational...
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 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..
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 problem..
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 accessibility..
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..
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 past...
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..
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. Primary..
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.
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 a..
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 personalized..
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 subtle..
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..
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,..
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..
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..
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..
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 by..
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..
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 design
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..
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..
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.
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 and
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 easy..
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 right..
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..
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..
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..
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..
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..
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 it,..
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, stakeholders..
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 can..
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..
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..
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 has..
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..
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..
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 other..
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 young..
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 year..
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 rise..
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..
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 on..
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..
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..
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..
“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. In..
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) model..
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..
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 population..
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..
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..
Demographics are the statistical data that reflects the socioeconomic characteristics of a given population. Demographics include factors 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..
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 universe..
“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, consideration,..
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 and..
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.
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 ..
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..
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..
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 in..
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..
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.
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. The
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 toward..
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) has..
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 the..
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 refine..
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, like..
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..
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..
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..
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 to..
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..
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..
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..
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!
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..
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..
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 these..
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 trends...
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..
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..
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 the..
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 make..
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..
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 you..
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..
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 be..
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.
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 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..
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. For..
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..
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..
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:
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?
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..
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:
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.
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..
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 to..