Blog - (Archived)

Teleworking: What’s the hold up?

May 3, 2007

Unfortunately, the federal government has yet to embrace teleworking programs. In its April 30 issue, FCW features a commentary on the fact that teleworking has not taken hold to the level many anticipated three to five years ago. In her article, The Telework Dance, Judy Welles cites the results from two different studies that point to a primary reason,?? lack of support from management. Our 2006 Telework Study, released just about a year ago, revealed similar feelings among federal workers. This resistance still exists despite legislative support for telework presented in a new bill sponsored by Sens. Stevens (R-AK) and ... Read more

Virtualization for Government

April 27, 2007

An important aspect of our work here at Market Connections is to stay abreast of technology initiatives that affect IT decision-makers. One way we do this is to attend industry seminars and workshops that address these initiatives and ways that organizations are tackling them. Recently, I attended InfoWorld’s Virtualization for Government Executive Forum in Washington, DC.  The event centered on technology virtualization, the idea of moving beyond physical resources to address IT needs by pooling and sharing technology. The seminar included speakers from commercial and government spaces who offered their experiences, challenges, and predictions for virtualization within their organizations and beyond. Virtualization ... Read more

Blue for Kids

April 16, 2007

At Market Connections, we feel that it’s important to give back to the community that gives so much to us. Recently, I attended a “Blue Reach” event that connects professional sports officials with pediatric hospital patients managing health-related issues. I joined the Blue Reach team and two Major League Baseball umpires at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. During the event, we pulled red wagons filled to the brim with Build-a-Bear toys and stopped by each room so that the umpires could meet with and lift the spirits of the patients. One child screamed with delight, “A bear, a bear, mom ... Read more

Small Business Recertification Opinion Poll

April 12, 2007

Market Connections, together with CDW-G, posted a link in the February issue of the FCW’s SI E-Newsletter inviting readers to complete an opinion poll. Please click here to download the Executive Summary of the opinion poll results. Read more

Extend the Power of Research with a Robust Customer Database

March 30, 2007

Many organizations utilize customer research to expand and enhance their business intelligence, measuring everything from satisfaction levels to future purchase intent to interest in a new product or service offering. However, many of these companies,?? even some large enterprises,?? don’t capture this and other customer data in a centralized database to further extend this intelligence. Certainly, implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system or centralized database,?? which are available in numerous levels of sophistication,?? is a serious investment in terms of the technology cost, initial data collection and implementation time, as well as ongoing maintenance and management. But the improved decision ... Read more

Survey Instrument Makes or Breaks Market Research

February 16, 2007

Preparing and conducting effective market research programs requires expertise in many different areas. But, without a doubt, the most critical key to research success is the survey instrument. While we can’t even begin to address the complexities of developing survey instruments in one newsletter article, we can offer the following tips for evaluating the questionnaire your research provider develops for your next study. Start out easy: If possible within the context of the research objectives, pose general, easier questions first in order to set the stage and put the respondents at ease with the survey. Then, lead into the more specific ... Read more

Incentives Boost Research Response Rates and Data Quality

February 4, 2007

With the increasing difficulty in generating statistically valid response rates for certain types of market research programs, research experts frequently recommend offering an incentive as a means of boosting the number of survey participants. This incentive decision is based on whether or not the survey subject matter on its own will be enough to motivate the target audience’s participation. Keep in mind that some target audiences may be easier to motivate than others. For example, citizens who are asked to participate in government-sponsored surveys may feel a sense of civic duty to cooperate. Members of trade associations may be motivated by ... Read more

Understanding Qualitative Research Options

January 15, 2007

Gleaning performance-relevant insights from the opinions, motivations, frustrations, and priorities of your target audience requires qualitative research. At Market Connections, clients often ask how we choose between the two most effective qualitative research methods,? focus groups and in-depth interviews. In an in-depth interview, which is scheduled in advance and usually runs 20 minutes to an hour, a research specialist conducts a one-on-one session with the participant via phone or in person. In a focus group, 6 – 12 participants gather at the same time at a research facility or in an online chat room (preferably the former if possible). A professional ... Read more

Designing Research for Actionable Results

January 15, 2007

Business intelligence is only valuable if the organization can put it to use in ways that will benefit performance. In fact, some companies shy away from market research because prior studies failed to deliver data that they could realistically act upon to affect improvements. To avoid such a mishap, Market Connections advocates what is sometimes referred to as a “backwards” approach to the research design phase, wherein the research firm and client collaborate upfront to define how the research results will be used. This process requires not only defining program objectives, but drilling down further to explore data gaps that could ... Read more

Research Drives Segmentation Strategies

January 15, 2007

Segmenting your target markets and audiences opens up opportunities for more focused and effective sales, marketing, and even product development. For example, while overall sales for a product are strong, a segmented view could reveal that only one or two customer types or titles are driving that success. This information can help shape strategic decisions around whether a portion of the marketing or product development dollars should be concentrated on those high-potential customer types, how messaging can be tailored to address their unique needs, how sales or channel partners can more effectively serve them, and more. Many organizations rely on research ... Read more

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