Quirk's Blog

Sapient CMO on the multi-screen success of March Madness

MadnessMarch Madness is upon us. Tomorrow is the first full day of games for the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament and the deadline to submit the perfect bracket to get your hands on Warren Buffett’s $1 billion is fast approaching. (Note: That’s Warren Buffett, not Jimmy Buffett, as a friend first relayed to me.) But you know what else is valued at over a billion dollars? The marketing surrounding March Madness.

Whether it’s launching a new app or ad campaign, giving away free food or getting The Boss to headline a three-day concert, marketers are getting creative and going cross-media to make their marketing dollars count.

In a short segment (5:35) on Bloomberg Surveillance, marketing and consulting company Sapient’s CMO Bill Kanarick discusses why March Madness is “a case study in marketing”:

  • Storyscaping = storyline (the narrative of a brand) + story system (how that story is delivered)
  • Multi-screen experiences increase – not cannibalize – viewership
  • March Madness 2013 achieved over $1 billion in advertising revenue and a 63 percent increase in viewership online
  • Converting like –> want –> need
  • The words the NCAA now owns (see: “March” and “bracketology”)
  • Why college football bowl games don’t have the same effect
  • The No. 1 key to March Madness marketing success

 

Watch the video here!

Posted in Advertising Research, Brand and Image Research, Media Research, Social Media and Marketing Research, Television Research | Comment

Sorry students, spring break means quality family time!

I think this might be the worst time of year to be a Minnesotan on Facebook. It’s March, which sounds like warm weather should be on its way . . . but it’s not. So instead, I hunker down at home with the fireplace going and avoid looking at Facebook, where my News Feed is overrun with photos of friends, colleagues and family on their respective spring break trips. I, myself, am in spring break purgatory – long out of school but with a child too young to have a spring break of his own.Family beach

But I know that those days are just a few short years away and I look forward to planning warm-weather getaways to beat the March monotony. Thankfully for me, recent research from Orbitz suggests that spring break truly is turning into a family-focused and -friendly affair.

Orbitz surveyed spring travelers to learn what attractions were the biggest draw when on a family vacation if budget was not a factor. The No. 1 choice was an aquatic activity (i.e., swimming with dolphins) at 36 percent, followed by a cultural activity to learn about an area’s history at 30 percent, an education activity (i.e., tour of NASA) at 22 percent and learning a new sport at 8 percent.

Still, families are looking to get this quality time away from the cold weather. Orbitz compiled a list of the top-10 destinations jet-setting families are traveling to and an overwhelming 90 percent of top destinations are in warm climates, including Las Vegas; Cancun, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Orlando, Fla.; Riviera Maya, Mexico; Playa del Carmen, Mexico; Honolulu; New York; New Orleans; and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

I know that a few Quirk’s employees will be vacationing with their families to some of the places on this list and are hoping to return to spring in Minnesota! Are you doing anything for spring break? Do your plans include your family? Have you noticed this spring break shift toward family?

Posted in Consumer Research | Comment

Everyone’s Irish today: A St. Patty’s infographic

It’s St. Patrick’s Day once again and while many Irish and Irish-for-a-day consumers did the bulk of their celebrating over the weekend, we’re still feeling pretty festive here at Quirk’s! (Did you know that Quirk is an Irish surname, adapted from O’Quirk?!)

To acknowledge this lucky day, check out this infographic from the folks over at Survey Analytics (http://blog.surveyanalytics.com), who conducted a study among 1,337 Americans, asking about their plans to celebrate and what they like to drink on the holiday.

St. Patricks Day 2014 Survey

How will you celebrate this year? Or have you already?

Posted in Consumer Research | Comment

Among a lackluster lot, WeatherTech and American classics took top honors for Super Bowl 2014 ads

It’s been over a month since Super Bowl XLVIII, and Quirk’s has yet to provide its usual post-game follow-up! If our own water-cooler conversation is any indication of general public sentiment, the action on the field and the advertising left quite a bit to be desired. When the game itself isn’t a nail-biter, you hope that the commercials will provide the entertainment (no offense, Bruno Mars, you were great).Super Bowl stock image

But according to San Francisco research company Socratic Technologies, overall, the 2014 Super Bowl commercials performed somewhat below the levels of past years. Subjects’ engagement levels, in particular, seem to have been lower than hoped and most ads performed with moderate success, with only a few surprise breakouts.

Socratic Technologies’ two-phase Super Bowl ad testing analyzed the performance of 53 individual commercials, first measuring the immediate impact of the commercials’ engagement, appeal and persuasiveness and then tracking the residual effects of advertisements approximately 10 days later to gauge subjects’ brand recognition and changes in perception and buying interest.

In the following sections, excerpted from a Socratic Technologies press release, the firm shares the findings of its research and provides some insight into what worked well, what didn’t and why.

How do the 2014 Super Bowl commercials, in general, stack up against previous Super Bowl ads?
Budweiser, once again, ran two commercials that landed in the top 10, with “Puppy Love” in the No. 2 place and “Hero’s Welcome” in No. 4. These ads pulled at our heart strings, entertained us and created a strong feeling for the brand; but what kept them from the No. 1 position was their failure to increase buying interest.
WeatherTech’s “Made in America,” one of the ads that surprised, performed exceptionally well in all testing aspects and brought home the results for purchase intent. It captured the No. 1 position this year.
What are the biggest surprises? What did we learn this year?
The biggest surprise was the top-ranking commercial for WeatherTech, the Illinois-based automobile accessories company. The “You can’t do that” challenge resonated with subjects who recognized the commercial itself and interest in the brand amplified as the commercial progressed. WeatherTech’s “Made in America” spot scored some of the highest points Socratic has seen from a Super Bowl commercial. It seems America does aspire to a can-do attitude. This commercial performed well on all metrics and scored significantly above average in major indices.
Timing was favorable for WeatherTech: The coincidence of the polar vortex over much of the country may have led many subjects to be more open to messages about winter car-care products.
Over the past 20 years, Socratic has learned that to make a successful commercial, you must do more than just entertain. You must have a clear message that resonates in a positive manner with the brand and people need to feel a positive connection to the product being advertised. Ads also must positively affect purchase intent. The most successful commercials this year did all of that and more.
Which were the five best commercials? Why?
1. WeatherTech – Made in America
All three proprietary Socratic tools used to test the 53 Super Bowl commercials measured high scores for WeatherTech in the crucial areas of engagement, persuasion, positive messaging, brand recognition and increased purchase intent.
2. Budweiser – Puppy Love
People liked it; you might even say that with over-the-top scores for empathy and relevance, they loved it. Respondents made a real connection to the brand.
3. Microsoft – Technology
This spot achieved the highest score for relevance of all the commercials tested. Respondents found this commercial to be especially believable. Its visual richness resonated with respondents and this commercial had one of the highest scores for appeal.
4. Budweiser – Hero’s Welcome
People responded with compassion to this commercial.
5. Cheerios – Gracie
“Gracie” won the third-highest score for empathy of all the commercials tested. Adding a puppy to the new baby equation was a zinger that had respondents feeling really good about the product and brand. Respondents paid attention to this commercial during the entirety of the 30-second spot.
Which were the five worst-performing commercials? Why?
49. GoDaddy.com – BodyBuilder
Although entertainment value was average for this commercial (featuring Danica Patrick), it could not make up for the low scores in virtually all the other Socratic measures, leaving it with an overall impact ranking of 49 out of 53.
50. Bud Light – Epic Night, Continued
Although this commercial had an above-average score for entertainment value, it was found to be confusing, pointless and irritating to a great number of respondents. There was below-average interest in the message and low scores for attitude toward the ad and product.
51. Audi – Doberhuahua
Entertainment value in this commercial was above average. That’s good. But a commercial needs to do more than entertain. The message must be clear and relevant to the brand. The message got lost in the shock value of the crossbred Doberhuahua. Respondents just could not make the connection to the brand.
52. Maserati – Strike
This commercial was recognizable to very few subjects. Those who did recognize it could not identify the advertiser’s brand and the ad scored below average for attitude toward the ad and product. There was no connection made with the little girl’s story and the Maserati brand.
53. SquareSpace – A Better Web Awaits
This is another example of high entertainment value but low scores in almost all other measures. Respondents found very little appeal in this commercial. They found it confusing and uninformative. There was a small spike of interest initially but it never found a footing and lost respondents’ interest as it progressed.
Is emotion the new standard in ads in this venue?
Emotional response is important in the overall success of the highly-visible commercials that air during the Super Bowl but eliciting these reactions is not necessarily the new standard for commercials in this ad venue. In fact, the more rational, message-oriented nature of the top commercials played just as important a part in the success of the commercials, as did their ability to generate emotional reactions.
Is brand getting lost in the clutter of clever?
In many cases, brand is getting lost in the attempt to be clever. For example, the Toyota Muppets commercial: This was a humorous, fast-moving, energetic commercial that respondents liked. However, only a below-average number of respondents could identify the advertiser as Toyota and the ad did not help increase awareness of the brand.
The Doberhuahua spot, mentioned earlier, is another example. Many respondents were entertained by this commercial but almost all of the scores for other criteria were below average. There was so much going on in this commercial and, with such a strange creature featured throughout, respondents, in the end, could not name Audi as the advertiser and perceived the brand and product negatively.
Why do movie trailers generally perform better on Socratic’s rating scale?
Movie trailers come much closer to giving the viewer a free sample of the actual product than any other type of advertising. As a result, movie trailers as a category perform better than other commercial categories and are best at increasing buying interest better than almost all other genres of Super Bowl commercials.

Detailed information about Socratic’s advertising test results, including the diagnostics and ranking of all 53 Super Bowl ads, is online at www.sotech.com/news.

Posted in Advertising Research, Brand and Image Research, Television Research | Comment

Advice to Facebook – and marketers – for winning back teens

teen social mediaI have a friend who teaches high school Spanish here in the Twin Cities. She’s my lifeline to what the cool kids are up to these days. Earlier this year, she told me Facebook is so over – it’s all Twitter and Snapchat. When I asked her why, she said it’s because “old people are on Facebook.” Of course this made me laugh because even as someone who got in on the ground floor of Facebook over 10 years ago when I was young, I – with my many posts of dog, cat and baby – surely qualify as one of these “old people.”

Although Facebook has yet to acknowledge that there’s been a mass exodus of teens to other, trendier social media sites, Ryan Tate’s February 13 article for Wired, titled “4 Things Facebook Should Do to Win Back Teens,” offers some suggestions for how Facebook can keep its offerings fresh for a young audience. As I was reading, I thought to myself that what teens might want out of Facebook perhaps isn’t so different from what teens want out of companies and brands they engage with. After all, what isn’t social these days?

Build new brands

To re-capture younger users, Facebook needs to create all sorts of new apps under new brand names. The company will have to walk a fine line in how it integrates these networks with Facebook proper — should same credentials work on both services? will universal logins scare off teens? — but the benefits of building independent environments outweigh the headaches. By better engaging with teen users, Facebook can offer younger eyeballs to Madison Avenue in the short term and nudge teens toward its flagship product as they get older.

Keep parents away

Whether online or in the real world, teens don’t want to hang out near their parents. Indeed, what makes teenagers act like teenagers is that they’re trying to create an independent identity distinct from those who raised them. Facebook must find a way of giving teens their own space without appearing to exploit them, while minimizing bullying and dangerous behavior. That’s not easy. But Facebook’s roots lie in private social networks — not completely public ones — and over the years, it has developed a talent for handling this sort of delicate situation. It just needs a little more finesse.

Keep it off the permanent record

When trying to explain the success of ephemeral messaging apps like Snapchat, the press tends to focus on the lurid, pointing to naked pictures and sexts. But the bigger reason teens like these apps is that they need to keep their Facebook profiles pristine, lest they scare off college admissions officers, summer job hiring managers or future romantic interests, all of whom have learned to vet people via Facebook. The need to escape this “permanent record” is why Facebook’s Poke embraced disappearing media, and it’s why Facebook should continue down this road.

The prospect of teens sending each other often-racy ephemeral messages makes advertisers very nervous. But whatever Facebook loses in short-term ad revenue should be more than made up for by the long-term benefits of roping in loyal new users when they’re teens.

Keep changing

As anyone in the music or fashion business can tell you, teen tastes are finicky. Even if Facebook launches a Snapchat-scale hit tomorrow, there’s a good chance it will need something fresher in a year or two. The ultimate challenge for Facebook is to keep evolving with changing tastes.

I am not a marketer but I can imagine that some creative-types out there could find some very clever ways to incorporate these tips into their own marketing to teens. Have you seen these trends in marketing and advertising? Can you think of any current examples? Or examples of how it can work?

Posted in Advertising Research, Kids/Youth Research, Social Media and Marketing Research | Comment

Despite disappointment, Sochi owned social

200366970-001Since childhood, I’ve been someone who went radio silent and became one with my couch cushions during the Olympics. This year? Not so much.

Personally, I’m not sure if it was the U.S.’s lackluster performance (see: second in overall medals; most bronze medals awarded; figure skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White the only U.S. Olympians to win multiple medals); the incessant whining about the conditions (see: the bumpy half-pipe, the slushy and slow women’s alpine course, the unfinished and unsafe hotels, etc.); losing Bob Costas for a few days to a nasty eye infection; or the time-delayed coverage, but some of the fun was sucked out of it for me.

NBC reported that average prime-time viewership for Sochi was 21.4 million, compared to 24.4 million for the mostly-live 2010 Vancouver Games and 31.1 million for London 2012 – the most-watched event in TV history. (Though the Summer and Winter Olympics are apples and oranges, IMHO!)

The silver lining here is that the 2014 Sochi Games reached more Americans through more platforms than any previous Winter Olympics. Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, noted that prime-time viewership is only one piece of the puzzle, as technology continues to change how we consume content.

So we have to give it to Sochi, it did social well. Providing a social media look-back at the Games, HipLogiq published a press release, “2014 Winter Olympics Roundup: How to Do Social like Sochi.”

Lesson 1: Trending topics and reputation management
Before the games even began, the parody account @SochiProblems was created to document the many difficulties journalists and athletes were having with accommodations in the Russian city and became an instant success. @SochiProblems even has nearly 70,000 more followers than the 2014 Winter Olympics official, verified Twitter account, @Sochi2014.

The #SochiProblems topic gained wide exposure and showed just how quickly consumer complaints can be communicated via social media. While most businesses wouldn’t see this kind of volume, it emphasizes how important it is to quickly and efficiently participate in online reputation management.

One brand that smartly took advantage of #SochiProblems was Clorox, who responded to a tweet about double toilets in a single bathroom with appropriate humor about a double headed toilet wand.

Clorox’s tweet is a prime example of a brand leveraging a trending topic, making them a part of the social conversation and gaining exposure.

Lesson 2: Real-time results and twitter
NBC received a lot of negative attention because of their delayed broadcasting of Olympic events. Through Twitter, viewers were able to find out event results and important details in real time. This example of sharing time-sensitive information triggers the need for a discussion about how traditional news outlets will be able to compete with social media.

One way businesses can take advantage of Twitter is to use real-time communication opportunities with potential customers. Just like Olympic results were tweeted instantly, potential customers also express their needs relating to a certain industry or even mentioning a business directly. A gold-medal social media strategy is for businesses to listen for tweets relevant to their product or service and engage immediately to participate in online conversations as they are happening.

Lesson 3: Olympians going viral
There’s no exact formula for creating content that is guaranteed to go viral. It’s difficult for most businesses to publish something that is going to be seen by millions of people across the nation but there is a way to create “clickable” content. What’s important is recognizing opportunities to provide content people will find entertaining and be compelled to share across social media.

When bobsledder Johnny Quinn tweeted about busting out of his Sochi hotel bathroom, the hashtag #quinning quickly spread across the Internet.

One of the main reasons this hashtag became so popular was people were able to easily participate in this trend by posting their own examples of #quinning.

Another example of an Olympian going viral was when U.S. figure skater Ashley Wagner expressed disappointment with her scores and her “losing face” was instantly dubbed the 2014 Olympics’ first meme. Wagner’s meme-worthy expression spread across the Internet, inspiring a variety of humorous content. Brands can learn a lesson from the rate at which the meme went viral by incorporating entertainment and humor into their own content and inspiring customers to interact.

Were there any other social media wins that you recall from the Games? I’d have to say that my favorite social media element of Sochi was Canada’s #wearewinter calling card, simply because it reminds me of my beloved Starks in Game of Thrones. Still, it’s nice that even if the Games didn’t draw me in as I’d hoped, there’s something to be learned.

And hey, there’s always Rio.

Posted in Social Media and Marketing Research, Television Research | Comment

Overworked working moms: Let go and let Dad?

Feeling spread thin is a lament heard often from working parents, though perhaps more often from working moms than working dads, and new research from The Ohio State University (OSU) sheds some light on why that is. A study conducted among middle-class, dual-income households found that mothers take on the majority of child care-related tasks and still spend more of their free time on child care than men.

86499247“Both parents may think they should divide child care responsibilities equally but mothers still feel a special pressure to show they are being the best parent they can be,” said Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, study co-author and associate professor of human sciences at OSU.

The study involved 182 couples living in double-income households from the third trimester of pregnancy through the first nine months of parenthood. The couples kept diaries of both a workday and a non-workday, recording everything they did in each 24-hour period. The participants filled out the diary when their child was three and nine months old.

The researchers divided parenting duties into four categories:

  • Positive engagement: parents played with, talked to or read to their child
  • Responsibility: providing indirect care, such as scheduling check-ups
  • Accessibility: supervising the child but no other parenting activities
  • Routine care: bathing, feeding and diapering

 

The study found that both mothers and fathers are highly involved with their children. On non-workdays, parents spent more than 2.75 hours of positive engagement with their nine-month-old babies. Mothers, however, spent more than twice as much of their parenting time on routine care than fathers. This was true even after taking into account time spent breastfeeding and pumping breast milk. By nine months, women spent almost 70 percent of their time on an average weekday, when they were not working or sleeping, on some type of child care, compared to 50 percent of fathers’ free time.

“We have always talked about fathers doing more but it may be that mothers should do less. They need to relinquish some control,” said Schoppe-Sullivan.

In our home, parenting is very much a team effort and I’m thankful every day to have an enthusiastic and hands-on partner. But for whatever reason, the lion’s share of the basic-care duties still falls to me. I’m the nail-trimmer and the cradle-cap-scraper and the eye-crusty-getter.

If I had to venture a guess as to why this is, I’d say it’s a blend of my being a bit of a control freak; working-mom guilt; and the dynamic of our marriage where I naturally assume a care-giving role for our dependents (pets included!). Maybe it’s time I back off and let my husband take the reins, though that’s easier said than done when my urge to be with my son 100 percent of the time is perhaps stronger than my desire to sit uninterrupted with a book for 15 minutes. It’ll be interesting to see how, if at all, the responsibilities shift as time goes on.

What does this study tell us about a woman’s psyche and modern family dynamics? For all we hear about dads feeling neglected in marketing targeted to parents, does the shift need to happen at home before advertising catches up? What will it take for more fathers to be the CEO of the household?

Posted in Kids/Youth Research, Lifecycle/Lifestyle Research, Mothers | Comment

Percent planning to save their tax refund hits new high

176957850Having a plethora of options for how to use their tax refunds, more Americans this year are opting to stash their cash away for a rainy day. According to a press release on the National Retail Federation’s Tax Returns Survey (conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics), 46 percent of those expecting a refund this year will put their money into savings, up from 44 percent last year and the highest percent in the survey’s history. Two-thirds (66.6 percent) of those surveyed are expecting a refund this year.

“Financial security is top-of-mind for all Americans, and refunds can play a huge role in helping achieve that,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, in the press release. “Whether consumers use a refund to pay down debt, bulk up their savings or buy that big-ticket item they’ve been saving for, a check from Uncle Sam, large or small, goes a long way these days.”

As for other ways consumers will use their refunds, 37.7 percent will pay down debt, and one-quarter (25.3 percent) will use it towards everyday expenses. One in 10 (10.7 percent) will treat themselves and invest in a major purchase, and 12.8 percent will spend their refunds on a vacation.

Young adults between 18 and 24 will make the most of what Uncle Sam gives back this year, with nearly six in 10 (57.7 percent) planning to contribute to their savings accounts, higher than any other age group. They are also the most likely to use their refunds for everyday expenses (34 percent) and to purchase a big ticket item such as a new television or piece of furniture (18.3 percent). Three in 10 (30.2 percent) will use their checks to pay down debt, second to last behind those 65 and older (27 percent).

“Young adults today are extremely smart about their money, and will look for ways to reap the benefits of their hard work that comes from their refunds,” says Prosper’s Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “It’s also likely that 18-to-24-year-olds have learned from their parents the valuable lesson of saving for a rainy day, thanks in large part to the Great Recession and current economic conditions.”

According to the survey, nearly two-thirds (64.9 percent) of consumers who plan to file taxes will do so online, up from 62.5 percent last year and the highest percent in the survey’s history. Additionally, 38.4 percent will prepare their taxes on their own using computer software, up from 37.3 percent last year. Others will manually prepare their taxes (11.9 percent), use a tax preparation service (17.4 percent), use an accountant (22.6%) or look to a spouse, friend or other relative for help in doing their taxes (9.7 percent).

While many had already filed their taxes (22.7 percent) when the survey was conducted in early February, more than one-third (36.7 percent) planned to file yet in February. Another quarter (25.9 percent) will file in March and 14.7 percent will wait until the last minute and file in April.

The NRF 2014 Tax Returns survey was conducted from February 4-10, 2014. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Posted in Consumer Psychology, Consumer Research, Financial Services Research, Shopper Insights | Comment

Will networked lighting systems help marketing research?

468076497Just a short post to direct your attention to a Feb. 18 New York Times story (registration and/or subscription may be required) “At Newark Airport, the Lights Are On, and They’re Watching You,” which outlines how networked arrays of LED light fixtures, sensors and video cameras are being used by airports, municipalities and shopping centers to monitor crowd levels, automobile and pedestrian traffic and, eventually, whether garbage cans are getting too full.

Of particular interest was this passage:

“The system could, once software is developed, also make shopping more convenient — a potential boon for malls losing business to the Internet. Sensing a shopper pulling into a parking lot, the system could send an alert to a smartphone, showing empty spaces, or a coupon.”

That same approach could also be used to recruit shoppers to participate in marketing research studies, though, as the article touches on, there would understandably be privacy and Big Brother-type questions to be sorted out. But as long as the potential respondents have opted in to the research process and thus are not caught by surprise when a survey invite pops up on their phone, this kind of location-specific technology may add another worthwhile wrinkle to mobile and other types of in-the-moment research.

Posted in Big Data, Innovation in Market Research, Mobile Interviewing, Shopper Insights | Comment

Research-y solutions for the super-small budget

86796521The majority of Quirk’s subscribers are client-side researchers, many of whom lead research departments in large, siloed organizations. It’s a common theme among our authors – and among presenters at trade shows we attend – to share tips on “how to gain buy-in,” “how to earn research a seat at the table,” “how to do a lot with a little” and “how to win the MR budget battle” (just published this one yesterday!).

And there’s a lot of great advice out there! But one niche that’s rarely addressed is the no-budget situation that many small businesses face. There’s a big difference between vying for a bigger piece of General Mills’ or Microsoft’s ample financial pie and trying to scrape together enough shekels to conduct even a few focus groups.

Emma Sledge’s January 12 article for CBS San Francisco, titled “Tips For Conducting Market Research (Without Spending A Fortune),” addresses this conundrum. Sledge’s advice is as follows:

Put your tax dollars to work. The Department of Small Business Administration (SBA) was established with the small business owner in mind. It makes it easy to conduct your initial market research by providing free and current information about consumer statistics, demographics, economic indicators and much more. You can find this and other information for free at SBA.gov.

When in doubt, ask. The cheapest, easiest and most direct way to conduct market research is to ask your customers or clients the questions that matter to the health of your business. Survey platforms like Google Drive and Survey Monkey are available at a relatively low cost. But even without one of these platforms, you should consider asking for feedback yourself. Turn to social media as a platform to post polls, questionnaires and to monitor feedback. Asking the questions yourself minimizes cost and allows you total control over what information you gather.

Become an analyst. With the meteoric rise of analytic tools, it is now easier than ever for a business owner to collect data about the market. Using free, easy-to-use tools like Google Analytics, it is possible to measure Web traffic, including demographic information, on a daily basis. If you are not already using Google Analytics in your market research plan, give it a try. You may find that it quickly becomes indispensable.

Know that there is not one solution to conducting effective market research. Chances are good that no matter what your industry or client base, you will have to use a combination of marketing tools, such as the ones listed above, to get a truly holistic picture of your market. To be successful, you should continuously utilize multiple tools to collect market data, taking care to focus in on the information that most directly affects your bottom line.

Researchers, what do you think of Sledge’s tips? They seem like sound, common-sense advice to me and surely, doing something is better than doing nothing. But how far will an approach like this take you? Can research exist without a budget? Can research exist without researchers being involved? Would you consider these endeavors to be true research? Research-adjacent? What other research methods can be carried out without much money? Are any tried-and-true research solutions accessible for very small businesses?

Posted in Consumer Research, Demographics, Market Research in the News, The Business of Research | Comment