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Archive for October, 2007

Is It A Duck? A Chicken? A Dinosaur?…Or Something Else?

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Over the years the marketing departments of colleges and professional sports teams have been very creative with making the game more enjoyable. Contests, races, dances and on field activities are now an important part of sports and in minor league parks and colleges are very important.

What is your favorite mascot?

Now that I have kids who are old enough to go to sporting events, mascots have become more important to me and I am on the lookout for them at games. They put smiles on kids’ faces, they make people laugh and frankly they add a tremendous amount to the atmosphere of a game.

My favorite is and has always been the San Diego Chicken. The Chicken has been performing since I was a kid in the early 1970’s. I can remember the Chicken having a TV show with Johnny Bench. The Chicken was named one of the 100 most powerful people in sports for the 20th century by The Sporting News.

Are you a fan or foe of mascots?

What’s your favorite mascot?

Hurry Up And Sign Up For Another Book Club!

Friday, October 5th, 2007

A few months ago we started a book club and we weren’t exactly sure if it would work…but it did (yes a little to my surprise). The participants seemed to really enjoy the experience and contributed along the way. For me it made the book a little more enjoyable to read, and hearing different perspectives was fantastic and really made me think. Amazing! Just another way to leverage the Web for personal interaction and collaboration when it probably wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

The time feels right for another book to be read. With the research conference season upon us, I thought people might be looking for a book to read, and why not have us provide that to them?

Last night I actually raced down to Barnes & Noble with a book in mind for the club, but once I reviewed it I wasn’t 100% sure it would work. So after a few more minutes — 15 to be exact — I found one that I am hoping people will enjoy.

Work Like You’re Showing Off: The Joy, Jazz, and Kick of Being Better Tomorrow Than You Were Today. I love the title and more important, the last three speeches I have given at conferences I always say “get better at something every day.” So I thought this might be the perfect book for people who want to improve. Not sure about the first part of the title, “Work Like You Are Showing Off” but that added to the intrigue. I have never read anything by Joe Calloway, so I am really looking forward to this book.

Here is what you are committing to do:

  1. Read the book within 30 days
  2. Post your comments along the way

That’s it — that’s all you need to do.

What we are looking for are fifteen people to be members of a book club. Once we have fifteen volunteers, they will be contacted by email and asked to supply an address (which will NOT be posted on the blog) where we should ship the book. There is NO charge for participating in this book club. We are just asking you to make a commitment and read the book in the next 30 days and comment when asked. If we have more than fifteen participants, we will randomly pick the people. You are not committing to reading any more than just the one book that we will supply to you.

I believe this book should be an easy read and appropriate to everybody

I look forward to hearing from you and having you participate.

A Presidential Point of View (Part One)

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

The market research industry consists of thousands of companies. Within those companies there is always a president–some type of leader at the top. Each of these people is different. They can be different in style, strategy, background and how they approach different situations.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting some very talented people. Some of which I have served on national boards with and have seen first hand how intelligent, creative and how successful these people are.

Today’s blog is the first of a two-part series that will introduce you to seven market research presidents and will explore their habits, practices and leadership style.

I hope you enjoy getting to know seven presidents and finding out a little bit of what they do and how they do it.

As President of your organization what does an average day look like?

Carl Iseman is President of Assistance in Marketing, Inc
(To see all of Carl Iseman’s responses, click here)

An average day: I start every day with 1 hour of exercise since I truly believe that a healthy body generates a healthy mind. Once getting to the office, I first check on all of my projects in the field and then recruiting productivity of each of my facilities. Next review current receivables and payables…the morning is spent with the numbers. Afternoons are spent working on new revenue generating ideas, business improvements, checking on the competition and following up with those I need to respond to…..a lot of this follow up to insure that we met and hopefully exceeded our clients expectations…many calls to moderators and other clients. In the evening I check on projects in the field just to make sure my clients are getting the service they expect, wherever they are.

Ken Roberts is President of Cooper Roberts
(To see all of Ken Roberts’ responses, click here)Morning: checking mail, voice mail, phone calls, study status, sales activity. Mid-day: client calls, proposal writing, project advise, time at the gym, quick lunch at my desk. Afternoon: mostly client contact, proposals/pricing, any company financials/operations issues, prepping for the next day, out the door around 6:30 or 7:00. Evenings: Check calendar/email, light correspondence right before going to bed.

Morning: checking mail, voice mail, phone calls, study status, sales activity. Mid-day: client calls, proposal writing, project advise, time at the gym, quick lunch at my desk. Afternoon: mostly client contact, proposals/pricing, any company financials/operations issues, prepping for the next day, out the door around 6:30 or 7:00. Evenings: Check calendar/email, light correspondence right before going to bed. Michael Halberstam is President of ISA America
(To see all of Michael Halberstam’s responses, click here)

My average day begins by logging on to the office from home at around 6:15 AM. I respond to clients, work on bids, set up meetings for the day and look at reports. I also check on the sports stories and box score for the previous day.

While I have items on my calendar for each day there are issues that are business related, such as financial, strategic, industry and legal issues, to deal with. Typically, I will meet with our COO daily and touch based 2-3 times a week with our HR director. I also get reports from, and communicate regularly with, each of our office locations around the world.

Peggy O’Connor President of On-Line Communication
(To see all of Peggy O’Connor’s responses, click here)

An average day is like lying on a beautiful tropical beach with barb wire and a hand grenade.

John Heakin is President North American Insights
(To see all of John Heakin’s responses, click here)

I wake at 5:30, make some coffee, look at the paper, check some headlines on CNN, CNBC, and The Weather Channel. At 7:00, I log on and look at email that came in overnight. By 7:15, I know where we stand on every job in every city and start sending remarks to my managers. I get to work at 9, reply to customers and vendors, and phone mailers. Depending on the day of the week, week of the month, and our payroll and mall rental payment cycles, I’m checking our cash flow. Everyday, there are adjustments to be made in billing and clients who are late paying. I approve vendor invoices. Throughout the day I sneak a peak at our job log to see who has been added, how many cities, and the size of the project. I have to remind managers to get invoices in. I am constantly on the lookout for new customers, and more and better employees. At times, I am involved in charitable activities, MRA committees, and Southern Illinois University alumni activities. Since I work most Saturdays, and check into our progress online on Sundays, I have no problem doing outside things in the office. When I get home between 6-7 pm, I check my email first thing, and then again at 10 as I get ready to turn in for the night.

Merrill Shugoll is President of Shugoll Research
(To see all of Merrill Shugoll’s responses, click here)

  • Meeting with appropriate staff regarding one or more of the following:
    • Business strategy
    • Quality practices
    • Facility improvements
    • Business development
    • Staff Development
    • Technology
    • Finance
    • Client feedback
    • Employee feedback
  • In person meetings or conference calls with one or more outside advisors, research partners or job candidates – Accountant
    • Corporate or HR attorney
    • Banker
    • Insurance broker
    • Architect/Interior Designer/Real Estate Agent
    • Travel consultant
    • Research partner
    • Job candidate
  • Lunch and/or meeting with a client, a prospect or other colleague
  • Meeting with Senior Vice President of Field Operations
  • Review of or consult on key deliverables for highly valued clients (e.g., proposals, final reports, etc.)
  • Review of or consult on key documents or contracts from clients and research partners
  • Preparation of study materials on projects I’m directing for highly valued clients
  • Conference calls and completion of tasks related to my professional and community involvement activities (e.g., Board of MRA, Committee involvement for QRCA, Board involvement for Signature Theatre, speaking engagements)

Ann Tancredi-Brown is President of Gazelle Global
(To see all of Ann Tancredi-Brown’s responses, click here)

I leave the house at 7:30; return at 7:30PM. In between I take B to school/ and or pick her up 2-3 times a week. I glance at my email on the train. Once in the office, I read my email including RFP’s. I attend scheduling/status meetings at 11:45. I attend job related meetings/conference calls and business planning meetings, work with our bookkeeper on accounting related issues, sign checks, wire transfer documents, review invoices and billing.

Continue reading “A Presidential Point of View (Part One)” »

Is Three Really a Crowd?

Monday, October 1st, 2007

They say that things happen in threes! In the card game "gin" you can have three of a kind. When you think of three of something, what comes to mind?

When I did this, I thought of five things very quickly:

  • The Three Stooges
  • The Three Musketeers
  • Gary, Andrew and myself (two of my best friends growing up)
  • Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish – the big three for the Boston Celtics
  • The band Peter, Paul & Mary

What do you think of?

I look forward to hearing your comments.