M/A/R/C Research
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Archive for January, 2010

Would Love To Get To Know You A Little Bit Better – Take A 30 Second Fun Quiz

Friday, January 29th, 2010

This blog was started August 2006. During the last 3 1/2 years there have been over 7500 comments from 1100 different people. I am still amazed at how much I have learned over that period of time and how much I have enjoyed sharing information, thought and ideas.

I would love to get to know you a little better and have a quick 12 question quiz that asks you to pick between two different choices and will take you less than a minute to complete.

I think everyone will enjoy reading everyone’s answers.

Click here to take the quiz.

I look forward to reading your answers.

I Have Over 800 Connections In LinkedIn – I Must Admit I Am Excited About That

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Like most of you I am on the social networking bandwagon. Yes I post on a blog, tweet, use Facebook and LinkedIn. Last week I noticed I got my 800th connection. First of all I am really excited about that! Here are a few reasons that I am excited:

  • Industry contacts are changing/losing jobs at a record pace and with LinkedIn I find out about it really fast
     
  • I can see what conferences people are attending in the future
     
  • I find that contacts in social networking communities respond faster than regular email. I actually tested this last month and sent out the same email to 20 people in LinkedIn and 20 regular emails. I was amazed that everyone responded on LinkedIn while only 55% responded through regular email.
     
  • In a fast and changing economy I find speed really important right now and I use LinkedIn to contact people about what is going on in the industry and the economy.
     
  • It’s a great prospecting tool for new business
     
  • It’s a great resource to find contacts you have lost touch with

Now your turn:

  • Do you use LinkedIn?
     
  • Do you like the community?
     
  • What changes or enhancements would you like to see them make?
     
  • How many connections do you have?

I look forward to reading your comments.

P.S. In case you were wondering, LinkedIn is not a CLIENT OF OURS AND DIDN’T PAY ME TO WRITE THIS BLOG.

Attention Research Community: Would You Go Or Send Someone To This Conference?

Monday, January 25th, 2010

A few years ago when I was on the MRA National Board, we were discussing conferences and I tossed out an idea that I thought had some legs. The idea was a niche conference that focused on developing talent with people who have worked in the research industry for 5-10 years. Almost a superstar in training conference for people between the ages of 25-40. People who have tremendous potential and could benefit by going to a three day conference and be part of a small group of 40 people or so. The conference is similar to the CEO conference–just for a different group of people. The presenters would all be successful business executives from the industry and the topics could range from:

  • Being a GREAT leader
     
  • Presentation skills development
     
  • Understanding financials
     
  • Basic knowledge of running a company or division

That’s the concept. I really like it and really want to know what you think.

  • What do you think of the concept?
     
  • Would you attend or send someone on your staff?
     
  • Do you think the industry could support a conference like this?
     
  • Is the timing right for this conference?

I look forward to hearing your comments.

I Love Where I Live Because . . .

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Life sometimes takes so many twist and turns! Sometimes you think something is going to happen and it doesn’t. Sometimes you think you will live in a city forever and then something changes and you end up somewhere else. That is exactly what happened to me. I was living in Boston, happy and then all of sudden I move to Dallas, Texas.  I promise you I never ever thought I would live in Texas. I never had a desire to live in Texas but can honestly say I love it!

Here are a few reasons I love Texas:

  1. The weather is great – can play golf/tennis 11  1/2 months of the year
     
  2. Little to NO traffic
     
  3. People are VERY friendly
     
  4. Great restaurants
     
  5. Four major sports teams
     
  6. The airport is the best in the country
     
  7. No state income tax

Now your turn:

  • Do you love where you live?
     
  • What do you really love about it?
     
  • Did you end up moving there by accident?

I look forward to hearing from you.

I Am Very Proud Of . . .

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

As 2009 comes to a close and 2010 starts I took a few minutes to reflect back and think about the year that passed. During that process I started to think about what I was really proud of in 2009 and here are a few of those things:

I am very proud:

  • Of the M/A/R/C Research team and that we were able to make more money in 2009 than 2008 during a difficult economic time
     
  • That I continued to grow as a person and improve areas that needed some attention
     
  • That I continue to have meaningful friendships
     
  • That I was able to be a resource to industry contacts and help them during this difficult time
     
  • That I continued to work out consistently

That is a few things that made my list.

As 2010 starts what are you most proud of from 2009?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Isn’t This What We Want From Every Person All The Time?

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I find some of the best people watching at the airport and actually the earlier the better. I have seen some very amazing things, met some very interesting people and even heard some very meaningful things as well.

Well last month was no different. I was at LaGuardia at about 5:30am and sitting about 5 feet away from where people check in at the gate. I was close enough to hear what the customer service rep was saying and how they were responding to the traveler.

The first person came up and wanted to know if they were going to make it on the flight since they were number four on the stand-by list. The American Airlines Customer Service Rep not only answered them in a very, very comforting manner, but also smiled as she said something very interesting. She said, "This is what is happening and I will try my best to make sure you get on the flight." The next person in line asked a question about the boarding process. Again as part of her answer she said, "I will try my best to make the process very easy for you."

I listened to a few more conversations and everyone included that phrase "I will try my best." I thought it was GREAT! Meaningful! Appropriate! Comforting! And frankly I was amazed that she did that with every passenger. As most of the readers know, I fly a lot and frankly have NEVER heard one person say that to a customer.

  • Have you ever heard someone say this to you?
     
  • Don’t we want our staff to say that to our clients?
     
  • Don’t we want our staff to say that to our team members?
     
  • What other phrases or comments do you like to hear from customer service reps?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Question Of The Day: Are You Following Celebrities On Twitter And Having Them Impact What You Buy?

Friday, January 15th, 2010

I was reading the paper the other day and came across an interesting article about Kim Kardashian that I thought I would share. First of all I actually know who she is even though I don’t watch her show "Keeping Up with The Kardashians". The article mentioned that Kim has 2.7 million followers on Twitter. In terms of ranking that puts her 10th according to twitterholic.com — just ahead of Shaquille O’Neil. The article talks about how much Kim is paid for her tweets. Take a few seconds to think about it and then read on. Kim is paid $10,000 every time she mentions a product in one of her tweets. Imagine if she said, "Hey I just stopped at a 7-11, bought a Coke and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup." I wonder if she gets $30,000?

Ok $10,000 seems like a lot of money to me but the real question is — is it worth it?

  • Do consumers who are following Kim run out and buy products she buys?
     
  • Since followers are getting Kim’s "Tweets" real time is there a bump in revenue after she tweets?
     
  • What famous people do you follow?
     
  • Have you personally bought any products based on people you are following on Twitter?
     
  • Do you think this trend will be successful?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Sports Fans: I Am Really Growing Fond Of Quiet Superstars

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
Curtis Martin
Quiet Superstar?

Here I am at LaGuardia Airport on a very cold morning in December. It’s around 5:30am and I am reading the NY Daily News prior to boarding my flight. The article I was reading mentioned Curtis Martin who I believe was a superstar. The only thing is, I am not sure how many people would agree with me because he did things very quietly. Even though he played his NFL career in New England and New York – clearly two of the biggest sports markets, he went quietly about his business. He rarely made the headlines. I don’t recall if he was ever in trouble with the law. I was curious on where he ranks with the all time greats. Did you know that Curtis Martin . . .

  • Only missed 8 games in his 11 year NFL career
     
  • Retired at 32 years old
     
  • Ranks 3 all time in career rushing attempts
     
  • Ranks 3 all time in touches
     
  • Ranks 4 all time in rushing yards
     
  • Ranks 7 all time in yards from scrimmage
     
  • Ranks 10 all time in rushing yards per game
     
  • Ranks 10 all time in all-purpose yards

I must admit I didn’t know most of those stats. After thinking about Curtis, I then started to think about quiet superstars–athletes that go about their business and have amazing stats but either play in a small market or are so quiet they are often overshadowed by other athletes.

Another one came to mind very quickly. Dirk Nowitzki is an amazing talent. He reminds me a lot of Larry Bird. Yes Dirk is taller but both athletes were very smart on the court, played well above their athletism, made teammates so much better and had unbelievable stats.

Did you know that Dirk Nowitzki . . .

  • Ranks 15 all time in career free throw percentage
     
  • Ranks 23 all time in points per game
     
  • Ranks 25 all time in defensive rebounds per game
     
  • Ranks 30 all time in career free throws
     
  • Ranks 34 all time in points

The list goes on and on with Dirk. The interesting thing for me is he is ONLY 30 years old.

In an era where superstars are usually very vocal . . .

  • What do you think of my choices for quiet superstars?
     
  • Who makes your list?

I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments.

Ok Creative Sports Fans. Time To Put Your Thinking Caps On And Give These Stadiums A New Name!

Monday, January 11th, 2010

In the past I have been to Lincoln Financial Field, Qwest Field, Gillette Stadium, Qualcomm Stadium, Great American Ball Park, U.S. Cellular Field, Progressive Field when it was called something else, CITI Field, Miller Park for the All Star game, Citizens Bank Park and Petco Park for a private tour, and many, many other stadiums. I actually love going to any professional stadium for the first time. I really enjoy looking around and seeing the different aspects of a stadium.

All of those stadiums have one thing in common. They all have naming rights to the stadium. Most stadiums do. There are two of the more prominent stadiums that don’t have names. These two stadiums might be the biggest and best known franchise in their sport and also may not need the money.

The two stadiums I am talking about are Cowboys Stadium and Yankee Stadium. Both stadiums are brand new and both are nameless until today.

Let’s get creative and give them some new names!

I will start. Here are a few of my choices:

Cowboys Stadium

  1. Monster.com Park
     
  2. The Frito Bowl (After Frito-Lay)
     
  3. Comerica Park (since Comerica bank recently moved to town)
     
  4. Shack Attack Place (after RadioSHACK)
     
  5. Penney Place (After JC Penney)
     
  6. Jerry’s Playground

Yankee Stadium

  1. The House That Money Built
     
  2. Jet Blue Field
     
  3. Gotham Park
     
  4. Continental Stadium
     
  5. The Big Apple Circus Field
     
  6. AIG Park

Okay, your turn.

  • What do you think of my names?
     
  • Any of them a winner?
     
  • Do you have any creative names?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Who Are Some Of Your Favorite TV Characters?

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Fun question for a Friday. Since most of us watch TV I thought today’s topic could be a fun and enjoyed posting. Simply who are some of your favorite TV Characters?

  • Are you a fan of Barney Fife?
     
  • What about George Costanza?
     
  • Or tough guys like Jim Rockford, Jack Bauer, Tony Soprano, or Dan Tanna?
     
  • And who can forget loveable Coach from Cheers?
     
  • Or funny and goofy characters like Chandler Bing, John Cage and Earl Hickey
     
  • And of course there are all characters with super powers like Bionic Woman, Steve Austin and Wonder Woman
     
  • And no one can leave out sweet Pam Beesly

For me I tend to gravitate towards two types of characters: funny and detectives. So for me I always loved characters like Robert Urich in Vega$, and Ally McBeal and John Cage were so funny. I also still laugh a ton when I think about Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes and liked the cleverness of Colonel Hogan from the same show.

So I ask you on who are some of your favorite TV characters?

I look forward to reading your comments.