Blog - (Archived)

Lessons from the World’s Most Northerly Focus Group (…or, the Downside of Breaking the Ice)

July 8, 2008

Embarking on one of our more adventurous vacations, in June my wife and I decided (that is, I decided and then begged relentlessly until she agreed) to fly to the Canadian Arctic and camp on an ice floe. My reason for going was simple: alarmed by all the news about global warming, I wanted to experience the land, culture and wildlife before it all melts away. It was a five night trip, although 24 hours of sunshine rendered “night” a meaningless term. There were nine of us in total, a small but very lively group from England, Scotland, Japan, Germany, ... Read more

Going Green

July 2, 2008

“Going green“, or becoming a more environmentally conscious company, is a growing trend that cannot be ignored in today’s society. Many companies are already taking steps to be more environmentally friendly, including Bank of America, Starbucks, Hewlett-Packard, and Wal-Mart. And going green isn’t just good for the environmentââ?¬â?even taking small steps to cut back energy consumption can save companies a substantial amount of money each year. The federal government is leading the charge, by offering telework options to employees, encouraging the purchase of green products, and enhancing buildings, by adding a “green roof“. (A “green roof” is a roof that has ... Read more

Evaluations: The Insiders Guide

June 17, 2008

While most of us commonly use the word “evaluation” in our day-to-day business vocabulary, in the world of research it’s used more precisely to categorize different means of assessing both proposed and existing programs, policies, personnel, products, and so forth.  (In fact, believe it or not, there is even an American Association of Evaluation.)  Of course, these assessments then drive more intelligent decision-making and performance improvements.  Generally speaking, evaluations fall into two main categories:  formative and summative. Formative evaluations facilitate exploration Formative evaluations are a type of exploratory research designed to better define a problem or help strengthen a particular program.  Many associations ... Read more

Protecting your Advertising ROI

June 16, 2008

Most B2G and B2B marketers concur that advertising is an investment and often plays an important if not leading role in many campaigns.  Yet, with print ads, knowing which creative approach will resonate most effectively can be a challenge for even the most experienced marketers. Pre-testing creative options prior to the start of the campaign can reveal important insights, thereby removing much of the guesswork from the creative development process.  Based on the results, you can make informed decisions on how to best evolve or enhance the most promising creative option. You (or your ad agency) might wish to conduct ad pre-testing research at ... Read more

Market Connections Attending MRA’s Annual Conference

June 2, 2008

This week Market Connections will be attending MRA’s Annual Conference and Research Industry Forum in New York City. We’re looking forward to meeting other industry leaders, learning about new marketing research methods and techniques, and checking out the hottest news and insights in the industry. Be sure to check back next week for our post about the event! Read more

5 Tips for Focus Group Success

May 29, 2008

1. Focus groups are all about understanding your customers, really digging deep into their needs, wants, and emotional reactions. This information can be very useful to business planning; however, it should always be remembered that focus groups are qualitative research there is no statistical significance associated with it, and it cannot be applied to the general population. 2. Recruiting is a key aspect of focus group success. It isn’t a numbers game – rather, more importance should be placed on finding the right people for your groups. A conversation with six very qualified ... Read more

Complex Research Requires Expert Management

May 21, 2008

Often times, organizations that have conducted fairly straightforward research projects, such as a stand-alone focus group or a market awareness survey of a single target audience, are caught off guard by the many intricacies and potential pitfalls of larger, more complex studies.   Unquestionably, research projects of a larger scope require more people, more time, and more funding.  And, above all, they require skilled and dedicated project managers on both the client side and at the research firm. You’ll know you’re embarking on a more complex research program if it entails one or more of these characteristics: – Multiple market segments, such as ... Read more

Highly Significant Findings Can Still Be Unimportant

May 15, 2008

You’ve likely heard researchers use the term “statistical significance” when talking about market study findings.  Unfortunately, the term is not always clearly defined, and some clients are inadvertently mislead.  While “significant” in normal conversation means “important”, in the world of statistics it means “probably true” rather than due to chance.  It conveys how likely it is that a relationship between two data points under study really exists.  Additionally, the higher the level of significance, the more likely it is that the statistic is reliable.  Equally notable, when researching a large sample size, very small differences will surface as significant.  However, just because ... Read more

Research Drives Effective Contract Sales and Marketing

May 9, 2008

A multi-award contract comes with no specific promise of business. So winners have to continually refine their strategies in order to maximize their wins and income from the contract.  As such, marketing within a contract becomes just as important as the original sales pitch. Building the specific sales and marketing savvy needed to maximize contract income requires an explicit understanding of the perceptions and needs of those who have the ability to purchase off the contract.  To that end, many government contractors turn to market research to help answer questions critical to contract success, including: How aware are potential buyers of both ... Read more

Thank you to GMF Attendees

May 1, 2008

Thank you to everyone who attended the April 8th Government Marketing Forum event; and a special thanks to all of you who offered feedback through our post-event online evaluation.  I am sure you will agree that our distinguished panelists offered great insight into Successful Marketing: Resonating with the Government Buyer. It was an engaging discussion filled with humorous anecdotes about what works and what doesn’t when marketing to the government.  The room was packed before and after the program, with a great buzz of networking, which I know I found quite beneficial. This is not the end,?? only a start to ... Read more


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