M/A/R/C Research
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They say happy employees equal happy customers…

May 22nd, 2015

Do you believe happy employees equal happy customers! I do! I truly believe that work environment and company atmosphere can really make a difference. Company culture is so important and without question can translate to better service and ultimately happy customers!

Here are three things we do to create a great company atmosphere.

  1. We give out employee of the month/year awards!
  2. We have select awards where anyone can recognize anyone on the staff for going above and beyond!
  3. We have summer hours which means we work a little extra Monday – Thursday and get out at 1:00 on Friday from Memorial day to Labor day!

Now your turn.

  • What do you do at your company to enhance the company atmosphere?
  • What is the best thing you do that you truly believe your staff loves?

    I look forward to reading your comments!

Word of the Day…EIHO!

May 20th, 2015

For those of you who know me well, you are aware I have Merrillisms, little sayings, statements, or beliefs I tend to mention. Well today is a Merrillism that I would like to share with each of you. It is EIHO. The I and the H are silent so it is pronounced E O. Sounds easy and certainly different but what does it stand for?

For me EIHO stands for:

Easy

In

Hard

Out

What it means is we all have things in our personal or professional life that are hard. Whether those things are a bad relationship, a difficult friendship, a challenging vendor, or many many other things – I say EIHO. Easy In Hard Out!

I truly believe if you think about this and be true to it you will make progress in some areas that perhaps you have struggled with and ultimately be much happier!

So today I say EIHO!

  • Does this make sense?
  • Do you think you can apply this to some aspect of your life?
  • Do you have any little sayings that could be of help to us?I look forward to reading your comments!

Time to take a fun quiz on stadiums!

May 18th, 2015

As most of you know I love to attend sporting events and over my life I have been to a lot of stadiums. That got me thinking about my favorite stadiums and I created a fun and quick quiz that I hope you enjoy.

I’m looking forwarding to reading your comments!

Click Here to Take The Quiz.

There is always a better way to do things…even if you don’t think there is…Just ask Marianne

May 15th, 2015

Decades ago when I started in the market research industry I was working for Marianne Schafer and I remember preparing to send out questionnaires, supervisor instructions, and materials for a 20 city project I was handling. Marianne came over to me and asked me what I was doing and I proceeded to say that I was getting all the materials ready, printed out the labels, and was getting everything ready to box up.

She watched me for a minute while I was counting 100 questionnaires to put in the box and proceeded to stop me and say there is a better way to do that. As she was saying that she grabbed the scale, one of the stacks of 100 questionnaires, and said instead of counting and boxing up 100 questionnaires each box will get 9 ½ pounds of questionnaires.

A different way of thinking about things led to a simple and easy solution and a time savings of over an hour!

So I say to you be like Marianne Schafer and find a better way to do the easiest things and enjoy some time savings!

Quick Question…how many hours a week do you work?

May 13th, 2015

I was recently reading an article that said 58% of managers in the U.S. work more than 40 hours a week. It gave me a little time to pause and think about how many hours a week I work and how many hours a week that I think the average manager works.

So please take a quick quiz and answer these 4 questions!

Click Here to Take The Quiz.

A lollipop for the kids and a treat for the dog!

May 11th, 2015

A few weeks ago I was getting my car washed and I noticed (see the picture) two different canisters. The first one I knew had lollipops (yes my kids were excited) in it but the second one I couldn’t tell what it was. As I got closer I noticed it was dog treats – GREAT IDEA!

The extra bonus isn’t that expensive, probably separates them from the competition a little bit and I am sure pays huge dividends.

  • Do you like when stores have little treats for dogs?
  • In terms of going back to the store does this strategy drive your behavior?
  • What is the most dog friendly town/city you have ever been too?

    I look forward to reading your comments!

Referrals are great but make sure you do this…

May 8th, 2015

Like most of you I am involved in a lot of referrals both on the giving and the receiving end. Everyone is usually very good about saying thank you in advance of doing anything or using the referral but sometimes follow-up afterwards is limited and probably should be viewed differently.

From time to time I am guilty of this as well. Someone may give me a referral for an open position or a restaurant and I need to do a better job saying what happened afterwards. Recently I gave a referral to a contact of mine W.D. who is a realtor and he sent me a really nice and heartfelt text after he met with my friends saying how much he appreciated the referral and how much he enjoyed meeting my friends. He even went to the next level and said here is the game plan moving forward. I thought that was really nice, smart, and thoughtful. It made me feel good that he took the time to do that and in fact I will start to do much more of that moving forward as well?

  • When someone gives you a referral other than saying thank you what else do you do?
  • Now that you have read this post do you think you may approach referrals any differently?

    I look forward to reading your comments!

My Dad Isn’t Doing Well But I Think My Real Concern Is My Mom

May 6th, 2015

In August 2006 I wrote my first blog post and since then close to 1300 have followed. They have been about various topics – some serious and some not serious. Today’s post will be one of the more difficult and challenging to write and focus on. As many of you know my dad is my hero. Someone who has taught me so much and who has, without question, my total respect. In a lot of ways he lived his life the right way! He has been an amazing father, husband, grandfather, and friend to many.

Unfortunately, my dad’s health has been declining over the past few years. His short term memory is pretty much gone and his walking is not just slow – but hard to watch sometimes. In essence he isn’t doing very well. My mom, his loving wife, has a great approach to life and has been a champ. Rarely does she have anything but a positive attitude and believes it is her responsibility to take care of my dad. No one else’s but hers. She resists getting any type of help in the house. Recently she has agreed to take my dad to a sort of adult day care so he can chat (we hope) we some people who have similar challenges.

I call my parents every day. For years I have been concerned about my dad. Recently my thoughts have changed. My dad is healthy other than his memory and walking. My mom on the other hand sounds tired, doesn’t complain at all but I believe it is getting to her. Thankfully I have a GREAT relationship with my sisters and brothers-in-law. We are all on the same page and have a rotation so one of us is with them every month.

I am sure many of you have gone thru this or are right now.

  • Any ideas that may have worked with your parents that I can learn from?
  • Are there any magic words I can use to convince my mom that she needs help?

    From the bottom of my heart thank you in advance for any thoughts or comments you may have!

You went swimming with WHAT?

May 4th, 2015

In the past few years I have done a lot of swimming. Most of the times with lots of people but, from time to time it has included lots of different mammals and some pretty interesting other things.

A few years ago my kids and I had the privilege of swimming with dolphins, last year it was a beautiful 155 pound sea lion, and a few months ago it was sting rays! Each experience was unique in itself and truly amazing. Being in the water with each of them and learning about their habitat is a dream come true.

  • Have you had any interesting swimming experiences?
  • What mammals have you swam with?
  • What is the coolest encounter you have ever had in the water?

    I look forward to reading your comments!

How well do you know Ben Affleck?

May 1st, 2015

I must admit I am a fan of Ben Affleck. Perhaps it is his acting or directing ability or because he is from Boston. Regardless, I hope you will enjoy taking a quick and fun quiz about Ben.

As usual, the quiz will be timed so no need to use the web or call any friends for help!

Click Here to Take The Quiz.