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Archive for February, 2007

Attention Researchers: What Questions Are We Missing?

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

When you have someone on the team that gives notice, a few things probably go through your mind very quickly:

  • Why are they leaving?
  • How quickly can we replace them?
  • Do we need to replace them, or can we incorporate their responsibilities into others?
  • In terms of morale how much does it hurt the company?

All important thoughts for sure. But to me there is also one more important thing to do: the exit survey. We try and complete an exit survey with everyone who leaves the company.

Here are some of the questions we ask:

  • Why have you decided to leave the company?
  • What could we do to improve the atmosphere of the company?
  • Did you receive enough training and support to do your job effectively?
  • Do you think management adequately recognizes employees’ contributions?
  • What do you think you will miss the most about the company?
  • Under what circumstances, if any, would you consider returning to the company?

Our goal is too keep exit surveys short. I have heard too many stories of long exit surveys which I believe are counterproductive.

What are we missing?

What questions do you ask?

How important is the process to you?

Tagline or No Tagline–That is the Question

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Ok close your eyes and think of some of your favorite taglines. Did you come up with anything? Is there a jingle that you have remembered for 10 or 20 years? Is there some phrase that you instantly associate with a product or service?

I listed 10 of the more popular ones in alphabetical order by company:

The funny thing about this list is “Leave the driving to us” still reminds me of all of my bus trips when I was a kid going to Saratoga Springs, NY.

I still think about the slogan M’m! M’m! Good when I am ordering soup – to me that is a classic as is “Tastes Great. Less Filling.” I can still close my eyes and picture the very funny Miller Lite commercials staring Ben Davidson, John Madden, Billy Martin, Rodney Dangerfield, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Dick Butkus, Bubba Smith and Bob Uecker, just to name a few of the Lite regulars. I will admit it – those commercials were really, really funny!

What is your all-time favorite and why?

M/A/R/C’s tagline is “We make research powerful”.

A few other research taglines are:

Do they work? Do you like them? If you don’t have one…why not? If you are a client, do you like them?

We look forward to hearing your comments.

I Buy a Lot of Things on the Web…but not this!

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

I was reading an article the other day which I thought was very interesting. The article stated that it was a day to remember at Ebby Halliday Realtors. For the first time, a prospective buyer—a Chicago woman being transferred to Dallas—bought a home in North Texas having only seen the listing on the Internet. She never saw the house!

Let me let you in on a little secret: I don’t own a yacht or a plane so buying a house is a very important purchase to me and frankly the most expensive purchase of the year for sure! Since I have kids, the neighborhood and schools are very important. Not sure you really can get a feel for that on the Web. Let me say this, I can see how people would consider buying a summer home, rental property or investment on the Web—but a primary residence?

Like most, I buy a lot of things on the Web…but a house? I don’t think so! Over the past six years I have bought 4 homes, each one I visited at least three times. I understand that about 80% of people check the Web before searching for a house and Ebby Halliday gets abut 15,000 hits a day. Their all time high was 24,000. But to me that is just narrowing the search down.

Since most people use the Web as a tool to buy a house, doesn’t that make it easier on the realtor? Don’t they spend less time with the buyer?

I would think so. And if that’s the case, shouldn’t the commission that you pay a realtor drop in the future?

I look forward to hearing stories and comments!

Who Am I and How Do You Feel about Me?

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
  • I am 61 years old
  • I am a native of NY City
  • I am half German and half Scottish
  • I graduated from The Wharton School of Finance.
  • I am a member of the Board of Directors for the Police Athletic League and United Cerebral Palsy.
  • 98% of Americans know who I am
  • I am currently selling a $125 million home in Palm Beach County
  • In 1995, I served as the Grand Marshal of the largest parade ever held in New York, The Nation’s Parade, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.
  • My first wife was a model, and my daughter is also a model.
  • I don’t drink alcohol.
  • I have two board games named after me
  • I am involved in beauty pageants
  • I own a bottled water company
  • I own a yacht that is 282-feet long
  • I have a line of ties that bear my name
  • I have a line of fragrance
  • I own a number of golf courses in the United States one of which has a $7,000,000 waterfall
  • I’m currently in a feud with Rosie O’Donnell

Yes you know who I am. Of course I am Donald Trump

Donald is in the news often. At times—maybe even most times—he is controversial. Some say he has a huge ego. Maybe the biggest!

Everyone knows who he is and my sense is everyone has an opinion. Chances are they really like him or they don’t.

I haven’t met many people who aren’t at one end of the spectrum.

What is your opinion?

Are you a fan?

Or does your skin curl up when you hear his name?

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Got Name?

Monday, February 19th, 2007

I had lunch with a colleague last week who is expecting his second child. We had a conversation that included baby names. Did they decide what the name of the child will be? Since they didn’t know the sex of the baby, they had narrowed it down to a few choices. It got me to think about this topic and I thought it would be a fun blog. So I did a little research and found a site on the web that had a lot of information on names and their trends.

Yes I was curious what names were on there!

Yes I was curious if my name would make a comeback!

(Which is sort of comical because I am sure it never made any of the top lists in any decade. )

Here are the top names according to babycenter.com for 2006:

Perhaps this will help you if you are expecting this year. In addition, here are a few trends you might want to be aware of:

What names do you like?

Do you agree with the list?

I look forward to your comments.

Happiness Is…

Friday, February 16th, 2007

What is Happiness? This probably means something different to everyone.

Here are some of the things it means to me:

  • Happiness is helping someone accomplish something they couldn’t a year ago.
  • Happiness is seeing your kids smile and laughing while they are eating a hot fudge sundae that is literally all over them
  • Happiness is setting goals and exceeding them 3 weeks earlier than expected
  • Happiness is spending time with your family and friends reminiscing about the past and getting excited about the future
  • Happiness is watching the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees for a trip to the World Series
  • Happiness is walking on the beach at Cape Cod, wearing sunglasses with the water covering your toes while you are deciding about having a 3 or 4 pound lobster for dinner
  • Happiness is coming from behind in a touch football game and scoring with a minute to go and winning the game

I look forward to reading what it means to you!

Four of My Favorite Words in the English Language

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

As of December 30, 2006, there were estimated to be almost one million words in the English language. Actually the number is 991,833 according to The Global Language Monitor.

I gave this some thought and came up with 4 of my favorites:

  1. Accountability – I love this word and strive each and every day to be accountable to myself, my family, M/A/R/C Research, Omnicom and of course our clients.
  2. Passionate – I love people who are passionate about something. It could be work, family, a goal, sports or some type of combination. Maybe it’s just me but most successful people have tremendous passion in their life.
  3. Teamwork – This word is probably tossed around more times than any other word.
    Companies are built on teamwork
    Championship teams are built on teamwork.
    The number on the front of the jersey is more important than the one on the back
    To me the feeling of teamwork—the building of the team, accomplishing and exceeding goals—is like nothing else.
  4. Friendship – I put a tremendous amount of value into friendship. I believe your friends are part of you and clearly help you become who you are. You can mature so much through different friendships. By really listening you can learn so much about life and yourself.

Do you agree or disagree with my choices?

More importantly, what are you favorite words?

Maybe We Chose the Right Profession After All!

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Did you ever stop and ask yourself, “Am I in the right profession? Did I choose the right industry?” Well according to a recent survey by Money Magazine and salary.com, maybe we did. Market Research Analyst is the 6th best job! Yes I said the 6th best job! Wow.

How did they pick the best jobs? According to the article on CNNMoney.com:

“To find the best jobs in America, MONEY Magazine and Salary.com, a leading provider of employee compensation data and software, began by assembling a list of positions that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects will grow at an above-average rate over 10 years and that require at least a bachelor’s degree.Using Salary.com compensation data, we eliminated jobs with average pay below $50,000; total employment of less than 15,000; dangerous work environments; or fewer than 800 annual job openings, including both new and replacement positions.

Next we rated positions by stress levels, flexibility in hours and working environment, creativity, and how easy it is to enter and advance in the field.

We then ranked the jobs, giving double weight to compensation and percentage growth. Data for the top 50 appear here. Any job that fell in the bottom third of two job-satisfaction categories, or in the pay or growth category, was removed from consideration for the top 10.”

Top 10 best jobs

MONEY Magazine and Salary.com researched hundreds of jobs, considering their growth, pay, stress-levels and other factors. These careers ranked highest:
1. Software Engineer 6. Market Research Analyst
2. College Professor 7. Computer IT Analyst
3. Financial Advisor 8. Real Estate Appraiser
4. Human Resources Manager 9. Pharmacist
5. Physician Assistant 10. Psychologist

Here is what the survey said about the Market Research Analyst position:

Why it’s great. If you want to know what the next big thing is, this is your field. Before launching a product or service, companies turn to market research analysts who collect and evaluate data about consumer wants, needs and buying habits. You get to work on a huge variety of projects: In a single day you might run a taste test on a new vodka flavor, evaluate a re-branding campaign for a hot dog and analyze political polling data.

What’s cool. Testing products before they hit the market. You talk to lots of people and get to ask them personal questions you wouldn’t dare pose at a party.

What’s not. Being mistaken for a telemarketer, deadlines, number crunching.

Top-paying job. A senior exec or partner in a consulting firm can earn more than $200,000.

Education. B.A.; M.A. in statistics helps.

I am sure I speak for everyone when I say I not only hope we stay on the list – but why aren’t we number one?

Do you agree?

Attention Sports Fans! Which Milestone Will Never Be Reached?

Friday, February 9th, 2007

Growing up in Boston was filled with many things: New England clam chowder, lobster, traffic, funny accents and heated sports discussions. In fact many, many, many heated sports discussions.

Yes if you haven’t noticed, Boston sports fans are very opinionated, passionate and in my opinion knowledgeable.

Over time, I have been involved with many discussions about records that will never be reached—that will never be broken. Here is a list of 6 that I believe will never be broken.

  1. 511 wins by Cy Young
  2. 88 consecutive wins by UCLA Bruins
  3. 2,857 career points for Wayne Gretzky
  4. 8 Consecutive NBA Championships by the Boston Celtics
  5. 11 Consecutive victories on the PGA Tour by Byron Nelson in 1945. No disrespect to Tiger Woods.
  6. 22,895 career receiving yards by Jerry Rice

Please vote for one of these or add in a different one that may have been left off the list.

  • Which one makes the top of your list?
  • Is there another one you would choose over these?
  • What are your comments?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Attention Researchers, Time is Running Out!

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

February is a very important month. Yes it is the shortest month of the year! Yes it is the month when the Super Bowl is played! But that isn’t what I am referring to.

February is a very important month to the research industry. Especially this February.

We are 21 days away from the first deadline for Professional Researcher Certification—or as it is referred to— PRC.

The Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) program, established by the Marketing Research Association (MRA), will be staggering the closing of the grandfathering period, originally set to end on February 28, 2007. The move came as a result of the large number of PRC applications in the last quarter of 2006.

Grandfathering will now close in five phases in order to allow for processing, extending selected segments as listed below:

Phase I: Closing February 28, 2007

Data Collection: Ethnography, Mall
Research Company: Marketing/Products, Sales

Phase II: Closing March 31, 2007

Data Collection: Focus Facility, Telephone
Research Company: Field

Phase III: Closing April 30, 2007

Data Collection: Qualitative
Research Company: Operations, Projects

Phase IV: Closing May 31, 2007

Data Collection: Owner/CEO
Research Company: Owner/CEO
End User: All Job Categories

Phase V: Closing July 31, 2007

Related Services: All Groups
Research Adjunct

MRII, IMRO, CMOR, AMA, RIVA and the Burke Institute have all endorsed the program. Hundreds of researchers have filled out the paperwork and have been approved as PRC.

Have you? If not, you might want to consider filling out the application prior to the first deadline—especially if you are in the first segment.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.