How Market Research Is Like Coffee

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Cup Of Coffee by Petr Kratochvil

A few months ago I had this brilliant idea of comparing market research to different ways to get coffee. Although I would not consider myself a connoisseur a coffee snob, I do drink a lot of coffee (Just ask anyone that knows me). And although I had the title picked out, I never got any further on it. But as I am sitting here reflecting over the past week, I decided to revisit the topic and blog about it. Read more of this post

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Why Restaurants Need A Mobile Site

Smartphone Restaurant MenuI read a great article from techcrunch.com that talked about the number of independent restaurants that do not have a mobile website.  Nor do they have menus on their sites.

The market research behind the article shows that only about 12.5% of full service restaurant chains and 95% of independent restaurants have a mobile website.  Also is the consideration that 50% of all restaurant website hits come from mobile devices like Android phones or the iPhone. Read more of this post

How To Write A Good Survey

I recently had the opportunity to look over the results of a participant survey for a organization that put on a week long conference.  While I did not write the survey, I was analyzing the data to help them out for next years conference.  While I was looking at the results, I remembered that there were some good rules of thumb to remember when writing a survey to get better responses and response rates.

survey example

Here are some easy one to think about when developing your survey.
  • Purpose of survey: Before you start, you need to identify the purpose and what are the “key learnings” you want to know. List them out. The questions you will ask for a market depth survey is very different than a customer satisfaction survey. Be sure to include demographics to make sure you get your buyer profile.
  • Execution of survey: How the survey is going to be executed is just as important as the survey itself. Included in this is the list you are sending the survey. Mail surveys versus email surveys have different Expected response rates. A cold list versus an online panel versus a customer list will get varying responses.
  • Length & Complexity: This needs to be considered in conjunction with who you are sending the survey to. Customers are more likely to answer longer and more complex surveys. Those with no connection to your company, are not as likely to answer that same survey. Also, you need to consider any type of incentive to promote your response rate. The longer and more complex, the better the incentive.
  • Question bias: This is something even seasoned survey writers fall in to. I remember a marketing class I had that had a handout showing questions from statistically accurate surveys. On the surveys, there were essentially the same question, but with dramatically different results because of the wording of the questions.
  • Ratings vs Rankings: Ask five different market researchers the scale system they like, and you will likely get six different answers. Odd scale versus even scale. Five-point versus seven-point. Six-point versus ten-point. These are all things to consider. The more points the more finite between the values. Odd scales have a mid-point, when even scales force someone to be either positive or negative. Asking rankings are generally not a good idea. This is because of two main reasons. You cannot synthesize these answers across respondents. My difference between #1 and #2 is likely different than your difference between #1 and #2. Also, my difference between #1 and #2 could be different between #11 and #12.
  • Open-Ended Questions: When filled out on surveys, these are great. However, it is only when they are filled out. A lot of people tend to skip these questions. Be sure to limit them and use them as only as needed. Also, be sure to use some form of text analytics if you have a larger group of respondents.

Surveys can help shape strategy and answer pressing operational and product questions. However, be sure to make sure that the survey serves your needs based on posing good questions.

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

Why Keywords Are Important

A few weeks ago, a collegue of mine in the marketing arena was telling me about some research he did in regards to key words.  I was shocked to hear the number of times “What is marketing” came up in the Google Analytics tool.

In marketing and business, especially in website development and SEO realms, we hear a lot about making sure you have a lot of key words.  But why?  Well, mainly keywords are the most important SEO element for every search engine, especially Google.  Choosing the right keywords to optimize for is the most crucial step to a successful SEO campaign. If you fail on this very first step, the road ahead is very bumpy and most likely you will only waste your time and money. There are many ways to determine which keywords to optimize for and usually.  The keywords you use are based on a number of things, such as what is important in your company or campaign, an analysis of what the people are is searching for, or which keywords have your competitors chosen.

One way to look at what keywords are important on sites is to use a word cloud program.  Wordle and Tagxedo are great examples of word cloud programs.  Here is one I did for my website.

What keywords are important for you?

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

What I Learned At AnalyticsCamp NC 2012

AnalyticsCampI had the fortunate experience last weekend to attend AnalyticsCamp 2012.  Now I can hear you saying, “What the heck is that and why should I care?”

[If you are starting to wonder what analytics is, here is something I pulled from Wikipedia.  It is described there as it is the application of computer technology, operational research, and statistics to solve problems in business and industry. Analytics has evolved with the application of computers to the analysis of data and this takes place within an information system or software environment.]

Here is what their website states it is:

AnalyticsCamp is the unconference for analytics. Whatever flavor of analytics you work with—web, email, social media, marketing, big enterprise BI, you name it—this is the place to meet and learn from interesting people in the field.

It’s a Barcamp-style unconference, and anyone can pitch a session. Sessions include technical, business and career topics, from beginner to advanced levels, so everyone is sure to learn something.

Now the why you should care is even better.  Because I learned some cool new stuff and I get to share it with you.

analyticsIn the first session I went to, I saw Martin Smith, Director of Marketing at Atlantic BT, discussing branding keywords into your online presence.  The discussion involved a number of topics including taking a logical approach to developing your website in relation to data analytics.  You just cannot look at the data.  Also don’t just market to only demographic and psychographics. You need to understand the pains & personas of your audience.  Lastly, Google Analytics likes “more & more, better & better, faster & faster”.

For the second session, Dean Peters of McClatchy Interactive discussed “Google Analytics API to create a Most Popular Pages Widget”.  There were a number of takeaways, especially if you are into code writing.  My biggest takeaway, is that the “Most Popular Stories” that many like on news oriented websites can be easily done on WordPress sites, which is the basis of about 15% of all the world’s websites.

In Ask a “Social Media Analyst”, Vimal Patel, of Argyle Social, and Ryan Sweeney, of Ignite Social Media, had a great discussion of analytics with Facebook business pages and the Argyle Social Platform.

The last session I went to was an excellent open group discussion on “Comparing Web Analytics Tools”.  There was a lot of discussion between paper.li versus scoop.it for curation sites.  Another topic was the use of HootSuite, TweetDeck and Argyle for managing and analyzing multiple social platforms.

In conclusion, it was a Saturday full of coffee, networking, and analytics.  There was a lot of information that I absorbed.  There was a lot more that I know I missed because of the sessions I missed.  I would highly recommend the event next year and I am excited about how I can use analytics on a regular basis.

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

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