Merging Website Design and Market Research

Website DesignSo you have a business or, maybe, you are working for a new company or start-up.  What’s the first thing you know you need to promote the new organization?  A website!  True, every company really needs a website.

But, before it gets designed and developed, how should you go about making sure it is as good as it can be?  Research!

It is estimated that right now there are 644 million active websites on the Internet according to Netcraft.  So how do you make sure that your website will be appealing to readers and search engines?  Research!

Search engine optimization (SEO) is such a critical component in website development.  How do you make sure the keywords are the right ones?  (I think you know where I am going with this.)  Research!

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Don’t Forget To Evaluate Marketing

MarketingMost of the business I talk to, they each worry, consciously or unconsciously, about two things, sales and marketing.  Now, they may worry about other things within their business, as well.  However, they all seem to worry about these two.  Nearly a year ago, I wrote two blogs about using market research to improve marketing (you can check them out here and here).

In these two blogs, I wrote about about using market research to evaluate your marketing program.  However, in those discussions, there was an assumption that companies are actually evaluating their marketing.  It is said that companies know that 50% of their marketing budget is ineffective, however, they do not know which 50%.

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The Differences Between Data, Information, and Insight

Data-Information-Insight Tweet

January 23, 2013 started like every other ordinary Wednesday. I was doing a quick scan of my Twitter feed and I saw this gem. You can get the full article here.

Then the skies opened up and a choir of angels began to sing. OK, not really. But you get the idea.

The comment was so insightful that I ended up sharing it during a lunch-and-learn I had last week The event was talking about market research basics with a group of entrepreneurs and people who worked with or for start-ups. One of the comments I had in the presentation is “what is NOT market research”. My comment was just doing a survey or have millions of lines of data is not market research in of itself. However, it is a means of getting market research completed.

So what is the difference between data, information, and insights. Well, here is my perspective:

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What Will The 2013 Economy Be?

Note: This is part 2 of a 2 part series looking back at the economics of 2012 and projecting the economics of 2013. Part 1 can be found here.  Also, look forward to the Triangle predictions coming up on Thursday.

With the year ending and all the talk about the “fiscal cliff”, there has been a lot of talk of what will happen during the next 12 months.  I feel like everyone can agree that the economy has seen better days and there seems to be indications that things are getting better.  Here is what I think the economy will be doing over the next 12 months.  Now as I stated last year, I am not by any mean the Oracle at Delphi, but this is my opinion based on a lot of reading and research by experts in their areas of expertise. Here are some areas of interest, including some not specifically discussed in Part 1 of this blog.

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What Was The 2012 Economy?

Happy New Year 2012

Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part series looking back at the economics of 2012 and looking projecting the economics of 2013. Part 2 will be released on Monday.

Last year I wrote two blogs about what happened in 2011 and provided some projections for 2012.  I got a fair amount of feedback from those post so I figured I do it again this year.  I started last year’s blog with Sir Winston Churchill’s quoted of  “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  I continue to believe that this is true in every facet of life, including business.  This information is based on factual information.  There are no politics, no opinions.  It is what it is.  The purpose is to understand what happen in 2012 to set the stage for 2013. Read more of this post

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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How Social Media is Effectively Changing Our Lives

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Its The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

I hope you had a great Halloween yesterday and you did not fill up on too much of the kids’ candy.  As I sit here watching a Halloween classic, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (made in 1966), and reading through tweets and online news articles, articles about Hurricane Sandy (#Frankenstorm) and the latest political discussions, I am realizing how divergent the two really are.

Also, I am in realization that there are literally, millions of people without electricity right now.  However, even with this inconvenience, they are completely up to date on their weather, electricity status, and all that is important to them because of their smart phones and social media.

AMA Research & Strategy Summit In Review (And From Afar)

American Marketing AssociationRemember the conference that you went to that was horrible just because you were forced to go to.  Now, remember the conference that you wished you could have gone to but could not because of whatever reason.  I am sure you were disappointed and still tried to find out what happened.  Well, that happened to me last week.  Generally, I am a fan of attending a good conference just as much as the next person, especially if the conference is in Las Vegas.

Last week the AMA (American Marketing Association) had their Research & Strategy Summit in Las Vegas.  Although I was not able to attend, I know several people that did attend and closely followed their tweets, LinkedIn status updates, and blog postings.  After reading them all, I was inspired with some take-away thoughts that I know will impact how and why I do research.  Since I read many of these together, my takeaways are an amalgamation of multiple sessions and perspectives.  Therefore, they may not be all attributable to just one source or session.

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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

Do You Know About ProductCamp RTP 2012?

ProductCamp RTPI always want to let people know about some great events that are happening in the Triangle area. One of those events is ProductCamp RTP.

The 2012 ProductCamp RTP is a half-day “unconference” is being designed with activities designed to improve ProductCamp RTP as a product. “ProductCamp RTP is a wonderful way for product developers and designers to come together and sharpen existing skills while learning new ones,” says Montie Roland, president of Montie Design and a ProductCamp RTP organizer. “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, it is free for attendees.” Read more of this post

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