M/A/R/C Research
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Archive for December, 2009

Time For A Quick And Fun Little Exercise – What Are The Top Three Most Recognizable Symbols And Trademarks?

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

A few weeks ago I was thinking about the most recognizable business symbols and trademarks.

I closed my eyes and quickly jotted down a list of companies that I could recognize based on their symbols and trademarks. My list included:

  • Frito Lay
  • Ford
  • IBM
  • Dell
  • Pepsi
  • Google
  • Apple
  • Wal-Mart
  • Home Depot

With my top three being:

  1. Nike
  2. McDonalds
  3. Coca Cola
  • What do you think of my choices?
     
  • Close your eyes and tell me your top three most recognizable symbols and trademarks

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Researchers: Do You Like When Companies Use Marketing Research In Their Advertising?

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Last month I was reading USA Today and noticed a really cool ad. It was a full two page ad with a headline of "You Asked For More Here Goes". A few weeks earlier Target had published an invitation to tell them what more they could do for their customers. They received over 600 responses and followed up with this two page ad highlighting what people said and what Target is doing about it.

Here are a few examples of the five they listed:

Customer said:

You could do a much better job of replenishing your stock, especially in the food.

Target’s response:

To better meet our guests’ wants and needs, we’re making improvements to our replenishment methods. Specifically, in the refrigerator/freezer case, product is being filled every hour – directly from the truck whenever possible.

Customer said:

Can you offer more Plus Size women’s clothing:

Target’s response:

Launched last month, our new Pure Energy brand delivers fashion-forward looks for Plus Size women to complete their wardrobe at affordable prices, with new styles arriving in stores each month. And for other brands you can always find a broader selection of Plus Size options at Target.com.

For me I really liked the fact that the ads included marketing research. It made me feel a little bit better towards their company, what they were selling and it would make a difference to me for shopping at the store and buying products.

What about you?

  • Do you like when companies include market research in their ads?
     
  • Can you think of any others that are currently doing that?
     
  • As a researcher, how does it make you feel when a company does this?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Researchers: What Do You Really Want In A Conference Presentation?

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

The fall brings a lot of different things besides colder weather; it also brings a heavy research conference calendar. AMA, IIR, CASRO, MRA, WOMMA, ESOMAR, QRCA and many others all had research-focused conferences.

Recently when I was at a conference, one of the new contacts I made mentioned which of the concurrent sessions he was going to and then added something odd. He said, "I’m a mover." When I asked for clarification, he replied that most concurrent presentation sessions aren’t good and when he starts feeling one is a total waste of time, he MOVES to another session. 

This conversation gave me a chance to think about what makes a presentation good, and made me wonder what people really want out of a conference presentation.

Here are a few things that I really want:

  • I really want to hear results. Not pie in the sky but results on how a system or procedure saved them money, increased revenue, led to a successful new product or something like that.
     
  • I also would like one takeaway — one thing that I can implement or at least evaluate at our company
     
  • I want the presenter to have me think about something differently. I really want to be able to say, "Hey that’s interesting, I never thought of it that way."
     
  • Clean slides. I don’t want to have slides that are very text-heavy and hard to follow.

What about you?

What do you really want in a conference presentation?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Jerry Jones And Dallas Cowboys Fans: We Need A New Coach!

Monday, December 21st, 2009
Wade Phillips

I hate to see someone lose their job, I hate to see someone’s contract not get renewed and I really, really hate to see someone get fired. With all of that said, no matter what happens moving forward, Wade Phillips CAN’T be the coach of the Dallas Cowboys for the 2010 season. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. He is too nice of a guy
     
  2. He is Jerry Jones’ puppet
     
  3. He can’t win the big games
     
  4. He can’t win in December
     
  5. I don’t think he is great with the media

All of that is JUST MY OPINION. I have never met the man and I am not in the inner circle of the Dallas Cowboys. But here is what I do know. The Dallas Cowboys deserve a great coach! The Dallas Cowboys deserve someone that every year will give them a chance to win the Super Bowl. The Dallas Cowboys need a coach who can make a positive difference in every football game. The Dallas Cowboys need a coach that can argue and win some arguments with Jerry Jones. The Cowboys are one of, if not the biggest sports franchise in the world, and the fans, Dallas community, NFL and past players all deserve the best.

Sorry, Wade. You need to go.

Jerry Jones is a great marketer and businessman. Extremely successful. More successful than I will ever be or ever dream of but I think he should look himself in the mirror and relinquish some of his football duties and decision making.

I believe they should hand the keys to Cowboys Stadium, the team and the entire football operation to Bill Cowher. He is a great coach and will allow Jerry to hoist the Super Bowl trophy very, very quickly!

And by the way. How cool would it be if he was able to do that his first year with the Cowboys with the Super Bowl being played in Dallas.

Your turn.

  • Do you agree with my assessment?
     
  • What do you think of my choice?
     
  • Who do you think should coach the Cowboys in 2010?

I look forward to reading your comments.

I Played Tennis With My Mother And Golf With My Dad In The Same Day–Guess What? Had A GREAT Time!

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Unfortunately I don’t get to see my parents as often as I would like–only a few times a year. I was fortunate to be on the East Coast and actually was going to a wedding a few towns over from my parents and took the opportunity to spend an extra day and half with them. The day started with a doubles tennis match. My mom and I were paired together against two men who she plays with often at her club. The sky was filled with sun–not a cloud to be seen for miles and it was absolutely beautiful out. I always loved to play tennis with my mom because she was the one who taught me to play almost 40 year ago!

Anyway we had a great time. I was high fiving and fist pumping my mom after a good shot. I frequently tossed out a "Nice shot" and "Wow I didn’t think you were going to reach that one." It was an amazing two hours of tennis – truly amazing. The match went three sets or actually almost three sets. Everyone was starting to get tired and we played to four games in the last set.

Then it was a little lunch and a golf game with my dad. Well not 100% a golf game; it was only nine holes. Considering I shoot around 105, I was not sure my dad (who is a good golfer) could stomach playing with me.  Actually he is always a good sport and would play anytime. The day was great, yes I put a number of balls in the water, and yes I hit not one, not two, but three different houses on the course. Too bad you don’t get a bonus for that. I would have done well. We laughed, talked business and had a ball. The only bad thing was I didn’t see any alligators which I usually do on their course.

Mom/Dad thanks for a great day!

  • Have you had any terrific experiences with your parents lately?
     
  • How often do you see your parents and what do you usually do?
     
  • Please describe some of your favorite experiences with your parents

I look forward to reading your comments.

P.S. As a bonus, I convinced my dad to play gin with me and finally he said yes. It was neck and neck for the first 12 hands and then all of a sudden he destroyed me – I didn’t care . . . that much . . . . Way to go DAD!

Would You Sign Up For This New Channel On TV?

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Like most of you I travel a fair amount. Like most of you I have kids that are getting older and their schedules are challenging to keep up with. In essence, life is more complicated than ever with trying to juggle everything and ensure that everyone is where they need to be at the exact time.

Can’t the TV help with this? I think so, and this is what I am proposing.

A new TV channel that customizes your schedule on TV so everyone in the house can see what is going on and when. Almost Microsoft Outlook on TV. Think about it as an easy way to input all of the kids’ activities, travel schedule and many other things. How cool would it be if your eight-year-old got up and turned on the TV to see not only his schedule for the day but everyone else’s in the house?

I think pretty cool.

  • Am I crazy?
     
  • Do you think this is a good idea?
     
  • Would you pay $10.00 month for this service?
     
  • If not what would you pay?
     
  • What other features would this new service have?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Twilight, New Moon I Don’t Get It?

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Every week I get asked to write about different topics. Today’s post is no different. Well maybe a little. As I was getting my haircut, we (thanks S.Y.) were discussing the new movie that was coming out, New Moon. Much to everyone’s surprise I had NO idea what they were talking about! Quickly they asked me what I thought of the movie Twilight, and besides having a puzzled look on my face I had little to no response. I may have heard of that movie but I don’t remember and I know for a fact I never saw it.

When I don’t know something about a particular blog topic I will do some research. For this one I decided not to do that and have the readers inform me on what I am missing. I have NO idea who stars in the movie, what the movies are really about other than it involves vampires. I have no idea who the director or producer is–in fact I couldn’t even tell you the city in which the story takes place. I didn’t even know until they screamed at me, about the books that were written. Clearly I have been living under a rock and missed all the hoopla. I have noticed people wearing New Moon shirts but that was after getting laughed at while I was getting my haircut.

So please fill me in.

  • What are the movies about?
     
  • Have you read the book?
     
  • Was the sequel any better than Twilight?
     
  • Is there another movie planned?
     
  • Were you one of the first to see the movie?

I look forward to your comments and seeing what I am missing.

Isn’t The Real Question Not How To Lose The Weight But How To Keep It Off?

Friday, December 11th, 2009

As this year comes to a close lots of people including myself will make New Year’s resolutions. A number of people will probably have their resolutions around getting in better shape and losing weight. That’s probably the main reason the workout facilities are all jammed for the first six weeks of the new year.

The question for me isn’t about getting in shape or losing the weight. Isn’t the real question being able to stay in shape and keep the weight off? I am sure that most people who are reading this blog have wanted to or have lost weight in their lives. If you are like me, you have put it back on a number of times.

I have tried hard to keep exercise as a routine in my life and try (very hard) not too eat late at night. I know I should take vitamins but I don’t and probably should change this very soon.

Any ideas on:

  • How to we keep the weight off?
     
  • How we all can stay in better shape?
     
  • How to keep the workout facilities busy every month of the year?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Dear Alex Rodriguez (AROD) I Am Sorry

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Many of us love sports. Many of us have opinions about sports and athletes and frankly some of those opinions can be very strong and in many cases wrong. Well I am no different. Please read on and you will see what I mean.

Dear AROD,

First of all before I congratulate you on being part of the NY Yankees 27th championship I need to apologize. I have said for many years that you would NEVER win a World Series ring. I had truly believed that you were a special player in April thru September but on the highest stage against the best teams your performance was less than stellar. I had also believed you were a selfish ballplayer and a person that didn’t make teammates better. Well I couldn’t have been any more wrong. Yes you had an amazing regular season and performed at the highest level, but that continued in the playoffs and frankly without YOUR performance, the NY Yankees probably wouldn’t have won the World Series.

I must also say that I grew up in Boston, love the Red Sox and dislike the NY Yankees. So for me to write this was very difficult.

I wish you only the best in the off season and a speedy recovery if you have surgery.

Merrill

Well I did it. For years I have been bashing AROD and now feel a little better apologizing to him. I realize that he will never read this blog but I still wanted to apologize.

  • Is there someone that you have bashed that you would like to apologize to?
     
  • What would you say to that person?
     
  • Have you shared your new opinion on that person with your friends?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Ok. It Was Black Friday–The Biggest Shopping Day Of The Year. What Did You Buy?

Monday, December 7th, 2009

They say that the biggest shopping day of the year is always the day after Thanksgiving. I guess it is the official first day of the holiday season. Everything appears to be on sale and customers line up for hours for the big sales. Sometimes people are so emotional it can even get foolish and have a fight break out over an item on sale.

Retail stores are very creative these days and serving coffee while people are in line and opening at some really, really early times. I have gone out in the past, but this year I was at my sister’s and didn’t have a chance to go out.

I have so many questions:

  • Do you look forward to Black Friday?
     
  • Did you go out this year?
     
  • Were the sales better than in the years past?
     
  • What did you buy?
     
  • Who had the best sales?
     
  • What store had the best promotions?

I look forward to reading your comments.