Sep
0

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Your Chance to Win a Year of Free Market Research Training: Deadline for Entry 9/29/14

Ever wish you had a bigger market research training budget? Then enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win a year of free training.Giveaway200x250

Numerous studies show that training helps professionals to improve job satisfaction and career mobility. In some cases, it also increases earning potential. And besides, investing in new skills or a knowledge refresh is a great way to help boost your confidence.

Clearly, here at Research Rockstar we are biased. We think market research training is a great investment. But we know that some organizations are tight with training budget. So here’s your chance for free training:

Click here to enter: SWEEPSTAKES

All classes are taught by a live instructor in a multimedia, online classroom—so there is no travel involved. Have any doubt that our classes are great? Click here to see what our clients say.

Enter by September 29th 2014! No purchase necessary. Click here for entry rules.

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Sep
0

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Getting Your Training Requests Approved: All in the Timing

New Year's Market Research Training BudgetIn the training business, I often hear from professionals who want to expand their skills but have little or no access to training budget. They submit requests and hear there is no budget, or they get pushed off to some unspecified time in the future.

So how can you maximize the chance of getting training budget?

I often find that timing is key. Ad hoc training requests may be met with resistance because they can’t be squeezed into a current budget. If your organization runs on a calendar year fiscal year (starting in January), now is the time to get your budget request in.

Here are three tips to keep in mind when submitting your training budget request:

  1. Add context. When submitting your training request, put it in context. Rather than simply say, “I want to take a class on writing qualitative research reports,” show why. For example, “I want to learn new ways to analyze qualitative research so that I can really get the most value from our research investments.”
  2. Show your manager what’s in it for them. If your direct manager is over-worked, let them know how your training will help them. Try something like, “I am confident that if I take this SPSS class, you will be able to delegate more work to me.”
  3. Tie it to your annual performance review. If you organization has a formal performance review process, this is an excellent opportunity to make your case for training budget. Do you have an end-of-year review coming up? If so, tie a specific goal to training. For example, if your goal is to help your team develop new, innovative methods for discovering customer needs, tie it to a relevant class.

When I talk to Research Rockstar students who have had training budget challenges, I often find that timing is an important factor. After all, most managers know that training reduces employee turnover and boosts performance. Need a proof point? Research from The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) shows that companies investing in training actually have higher revenue per employee than those that do not. So it isn’t that your manager is necessarily opposed to training; they just may need your help to get it into the budget at the right time and with the right context.

 

[Still not convinced your company will pay for market research training? Then enter Research Rockstar’s Training Giveaway, open now for entries until September 29th, 2014.]

 

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Aug
7

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5 Ways You Know You Are an Awesome Market Researcher

  1. You use multiple research methodologies. You are familiar with multiple research methods, and can match a project’s goals to the best available method. You don’t assume every project is either a survey or a focus group.
  2. You think carefully about sample source. You know when to use panels, communities, social media, and fresh recruiting. You know that all sample sources have limitations, and you don’t just default to the easiest option.
  3. You have an uncanny ability to challenge your own assumptions. Even when your research points you to what seems like an obvious story, you have the discipline to test other ideas before reaching your conclusion.
  4. You can write and speak concisely. You know how to make a point with few words. You know bigger words and longer paragraphs don’t impress your audience, they put it to sleep.
  5. You help people understand how to apply the research. Rather than just delivering research findings and moving on, the awesome researcher gives the client specific examples of how to apply the data. Better still, the awesome researcher checks in with the client after the research is delivered to remind them how the data can be used, because sometimes clients need an extra nudge.

Are there other attributes of an awesome researcher? Of course. But these five are the core. Make sure you have these nailed, and your clients will quickly begin to appreciate your awesomeness.

[Interested in more great Market Research Project Management tips? You’re in luck! We’ve got another session of this live, online Power Program starting soon! Click here to learn more.]

 

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Aug
0

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Article Synopsis: Listening In on Social Media: A Joint Model of Sentiment and Venue Format Choice

By David A. Schweidel and Wendy W. Moe

Journal of Marketing Research

Published online June 19, 2014

Does brand sentiment vary by social media platform? According to research by David Scweidel and Wendy Moe, the answer appears to be yes. The authors discuss the results of their 2014 study, in which they modeled previous data collected from different social media venues (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), in an effort to determine if consumer brand sentiment varies by venue type.

In this article, Scwheidel and Moe uncover the risks of using social media metrics without accounting for differences across venues. Previous studies had already suggested that what people say in a post is related to where they post. In this study, the authors set out to examine this further and to find out why blogs have the most positive posts, forums the second most positive posts, and microblogs the least. The result? The article points to two factors: 1) Consumers often choose to participate in online communities whose member share their interests and opinions; and 2) The limitation on numbers of characters allowed has impact on the opinion expressed. Forums and blogs, (Facebook) because they are lengthier, allow for more expression. Additionally these sites actually expose posters to more varying amounts of social dynamics, including peer pressure, etc. On micro blogs, (Twitter) where text is limited, consumers tend to post more extreme opinions so that they can convey their perspective succinctly.

The results from the authors’ modeling shows that the inferences marketing researchers obtain from monitoring social media are dependent on where they “listen.” For example, Facebook tends to be more positive, and Twitter more negative in the opinions expressed, based on the dynamics stated in the above paragraph. Common approaches that either focus on a single social media venue or ignore differences across venues in aggregated data, can lead to misleading brand sentiment metrics. The authors conclude “… the current research demonstrates the potential for social media monitoring to supplement “market” research programs, but further investigation using both social media and survey data from a range of categories is essential before market researchers can rely exclusively on social media for customer insights.”

1Muniz, Albert M., Jr., and Thomas C. O’Guinn (2001), “Brand Community,” Journal of Consumer Research, 27 (4), 412–32.

 

This synopsis was written by Lynn Croft, independent marketing and market research consultant. With 15 years of experience at companies such as Genzyme, Bayer Corporation, Shire, and Eli Lilly, Lynn has expertise in market research, market analysis regarding product launches, pricing and lifecycle management. 

 

[Want to learn more about social media monitoring, social sample sources, and more? Get a practical perspective on how you can use social media in your market research projects in our 90-minute, live, online Social Media Meets Market Research class. MRA approved for 1.5 hours of PRC credit.]

 

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Jul
0

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Article Synopsis: The High Price of Customer Satisfaction

MIT Sloan Management Review

March 18, 2014   Magazine: Spring 2014

Timothy Keiningham, Sunil Gupta, Lerzan Aksoy and Alexander Buoye

Highly satisfied customers = revenue dollars. Or do they?  Some data has shown that the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer spending behavior is surprisingly weak. 1 In this article, the authors share their analysis of the relationship between satisfaction and business outcomes, gathering data from more than 100,000 consumers covering more than 300 brands.   This data came from two sources, the American Satisfaction Index data (2000-2009) which are measures of stock returns, appended with market shares of these companies, and consumer satisfaction ratings and customer spending levels across 315 brands.2

This analysis revealed three critical issues that have an impact on correlating customer satisfaction to positive business outcomes.  1) There is a downside to continually devoting resources to raise customer satisfaction levels; 2) High satisfaction is a strong negative predictor of future market share; 3) Knowing a customer’s satisfaction level tells you almost nothing about how customer spending will be divided among the different brands used.

The authors share strategies to align customer satisfaction and profitability that companies should understand and implement as follows:

“Value to the Company vs. Value to the Customer—research and analyze your customers’ satisfaction levels with your product to the product’s profitability.”

“Market Share vs. Customer Satisfaction—begin with an analysis of customers’ satisfaction levels with not only your company but also with your competitors, as well as your and your competitors’ market shares.”

“Satisfaction and Customer Advantage—what really matters is whether or not your customer satisfaction rating is higher for your brand than for competing brands that a customer also uses.”

The authors conclude that increasing satisfaction levels can be a component of a company’s strategy, but perspective is needed.  In fact, a company may need to accept lower satisfaction scores from a smaller group of customers, in order to increase market share within a larger less homogenous group.  For researchers conducting customer satisfaction research, this context provides some fresh inspiration about how to weave conventional satisfaction research with additional data sources.

References

1 J. Hofmeyr, V. Goodall, M. Bongers and P. Holtzman, “A New Measure of Brand Attitudinal Equity Based on the Zipf Distribution,” International Journal of Market Research 50, no. 2 (2008): 181-202; and A.W. Mägi, “Share of Wallet in Retailing: The Effects of Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty Cards and Shopper Characteristics,” Journal of Retailing 79, no. 2 (2003): 97-106.

2 Some examples cited include: L. Aksoy, A. Buoye, P. Aksoy, B. Larivière and T. L. Keiningham, “A Cross-National Investigation of the Satisfaction and Loyalty Linkage for Mobile Telecommunications Services Across Eight Countries,” Journal of Interactive Marketing 27, no. 1 (February 2013): 74-82; Aksoy et al., “Long-Term Stock Market Valuation”; and others.

 

This synopsis was written by Lynn Croft, independent marketing and market research consultant. With 15 years of experience at companies such as Genzyme, Bayer Corporation, Shire, and Eli Lilly, Lynn has expertise in market research, market analysis regarding product launches, pricing and lifecycle management. 

 

[Are you planning your organization’s first customer satisfaction research? Or looking to refresh an existing program? Learn about goal setting, monitoring strategies, and common challenges in our 90-minute, live online Improving Customer Satisfaction class. MRA approved for 1.5 hours of PRC credit.]

 

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