Dealing With Market Research Problems

For those out there who run their own business, especially a service based business, or do a lot of the sales and proposal work, I am sure that you have been involved with a potential client or tried to work up a proposal that you just cannot seem to get quite right.

I am currently in that predicament.  As I write this blog, I am working on a proposal that I feel like is one of the toughest I have ever written.  The potential client is a great opportunity and the conversations I have had so far, make me want to really work on the project.  However, the situation I find myself in is trying to figure out how to deliver the best market research project with a difficult set of criteria.  A lot of it has to do with problems that we try to work around, and sometimes, not so successfully. Read more of this post

Planning Your Market Research For The New Year

For the regular readers of this blog that reside in the United States, last week we enjoyed the official beginning of the holiday season with Thanksgiving.  It was hopefully a time for you to enjoy family and friends and were thankful for what you have.  Also, many of you also likely did some shopping to prepare for the upcoming season.

Well, while you are making personal plans for the next five or six weeks, you should also be planning for your next business year.  This includes your market research needs.

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Is Big Data The End Of Market Research?

A few weeks back, I read a great blog from Edward Appleton, a European Consumer Insights Manager at a major Multinational company based in Munich, Germany.  In the article, he lays out the case that Researchers should not worry about losing out to those doing big data and analytics.

Before we get into my thoughts of this, lets get some definitions.  According to Wikipedia, “big data is is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools.”  It usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly-used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time.  Right now, the amount of actual data can range from few dozen terabytes (1000 gigabytes) to many petabytes (1,000 terabytes) of data in a single data set.

Now back to my thoughts…
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Using Market Research In Start-ups

start upLater this week, I will be teaching a class at Wake Tech Community College about finding job opportunities with start-ups and early stage companies. It is a class I have taught before with a lot of success and positive feedback. We discuss a variety of topics related to working with and understanding the general culture of start-ups, learning how to find them (as they are not necessarily well known) and profile ones that are hiring in the Triangle area.

We also look at the fact that, although any company could go out of business any day, start-ups tend to do it more frequently because of the market, newness of the companies, and just the general failure rates of newer companies. We specifically look at EvoApp. Now EvoApp, based on everything, should have been a company that was to be a survivor. It had a great idea when the company had started. It also had investment from solid individual and group inventors. It also had high profile customers and solid mentor-ship.

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Using Research In Everyday Life

Market ResearchLast week, I had a conversation with one of my children about math. Yes…math. In the discussion, I was discussing how it is used throughout daily life and how it is used in what I did, market research, as an example. Researchers use math every day.

This got me thinking about how research could be used throughout daily life. In my mind, that is easily done. This is evidenced by the opportunity I have at the end of this week to teach about 20 people how to use market research in their job search.

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Do I Really Need Market Research If I Know My Target Market?

Exact Target MarketI was recently approached with this exact question recently by someone I really just met moment before. I was almost at a loss for words when it was presented because I was not sure if the person was joking with me or if they were serious.

Now not knowing that individual well, I said back in a joking manner “Of course or I would be out of a job!”

Although I was lighthearted in my response, I am serious about the answer I provided.

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Are You Aware Of Biases In Your Market Research?

survey exampleDo It Yourself is a big topic with a number of small business owners I speak with. Many of these are doing a number of things on their own to save money as their business continues to survive during today’s economic conditions. Many of the things they have been doing on their own includes marketing, printing, and, especially, market research.

However, since business owners are likely not market researchers by trade, they may not be aware of biases they may have when they develop the surveys. Biases are reproducible inaccuracies that produce a consistently false pattern of differences between observed and true values.

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Teaching What You Know


Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on

Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk about what I do on a daily basis…market research. It was with a group of social entrepreneurs who are getting read to pitch their health based startup as finalist in the BCBS NC Health Innovation Challenge.

I was able to get the opportunity to give this talk because of my networking and my connections with one of the sponsors. Also, when I started to work on my own, I started to put myself out there to my network about opportunities I would be willing to talk (and teach) about market research and industries I am involved in.

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Social Media Research…Love It Or Hate It?

Annie Pettit, PhD

Social media has grown to beyond my expectations. I have gotten to virtually meet and learn from a number of highly influential people that without Twitter and LinkedIn, I believe I may have never heard of. One of these is Annie Pettit and her The LoveStats Blog is a regular read for me.

Back in July, she wrote two blogs The Top 10 Things We Love About Social Media Research and The Top 10 Things We Hate About Social Media Research. Here they are listed next to each other. Read more of this post

Targeting For Business (And Personal) Success

Targeting For SuccessRecently, I have had several discussions with people about how to make their business (or themselves) successful in today’s market and economy. It seems like people have forgotten a basic concept that we were all taught back in school about business…know your target market.

The concept of a target market is not a new concept at all. In fact, I feel like it is one of the oldest business concepts out there. The American Market Association defines target market as “the particular segment of a total population on which the retailer focuses its merchandising expertise to satisfy that submarket in order to accomplish its profit objectives.” However, the target market is beyond the retail industry. It is for ALL businesses. By being able to specifically understand who your target market is, you can focus your promotional marketing efforts more effectively and efficiently. Read more of this post

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