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Archive for February, 2010

Three Questions That Are Interesting And You Should Be Able To Answer Very Quickly!

Friday, February 26th, 2010

I always liked the number three. Not 100% sure why. I do like to bat third in a baseball or softball game, I have three kids and I am one of three kids in my family. I also have the number three in my birthday. Not sure any of those reasons alone are reason enough to like the number three but collectively I guess it makes sense.

I was thinking about the number three with three different categories:

  • What three websites do I visit every business day? Market Research Global Alliance Social Network, Google I am still amazed at how many times I am using their search and of course The Merrill Dubrow Blog (please stop laughing).
  • What three things do I read every business day? I read the same three e-newsletters every single day. Daily Research News from MrWeb, eMarketer Daily, The WOMMA Word
  • Who are the three people I speak to every business day? R.H., S.A. and S.S. Two of the three people are industry contacts. I think it is critical with the economy being the way it is to really have your pulse on what is going on and speaking to these people helps me accomplish that. The third is one of my best friends whom I speak to early in the morning (6am) about what is happening in the sports world.

Now your turn:

  • What three websites do you visit every business day?
  • What three things do you read every business day?
  • Who are the three people that you speak to every business day?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Congrads. You Just Won The Lottery . . . Now What??

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Well it has happened – you are holding the only winning lottery ticket for fifty million dollars. What I am asking you to do is pretend a little bit. I would need to, since I do not buy lottery tickets and frankly wouldn’t even know how.

  • What would you do if it happened?
  • Do you buy a big boat?
  • How about a fast car?
  • Do you take a trip around the world?
  • Do you donate some money to charity?
  • Who do you help out?
  • Do you quit your job?

Well before you answer those questions here is what I think I would do. First I wouldn’t quit my job. I love what I do and actually would make a commitment to Omnicom and M/A/R/C Research to work for at least one more year. Right away I would help out some friends and family members who have gone on hard times. I don’t believe I would buy anything fancy except I would buy a minority share in a minor league baseball team.

I think long term I would write a book or two, be a guest lecturer at colleges and continue to present at conferences in the market research industry.

Now your turn:

What would you do short and long term?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Sorry, BMW. I Really Don’t Get It.

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Last week I was going through the mail and got a fairly big flat envelope in the mail. After opening up the envelope I noticed it was from BMW and had a note that read Happy Anniversary from BMW. Here’s what it said:

We congratulate you on your first anniversary of your ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE. Enclosed you will find our special gift to you: a designer’s sketch of your BMW vehicle. An attractive addition to any BMW’s home or office, it also provides insight into our passion for automobile design – by starting with a great idea. Compliments of Moritz BMW.

A few things jumped out at me:

  • I have actually had the car for 14 months
  • I have owned a few other BMW’s and never got an anniversary gift before so this must be a new program
  • The sketch doesn’t have a BMW logo on it
  • I would NEVER frame this sketch and put it in my home or office

I really applaud BMW for coming up with an anniversary program for my car. Although it would have been nice if I received the gift closer to my anniversary date, it was still really nice. I think they really swung and missed on this one. I could think of a bunch of other things they could have sent that I would have used. Here are a few thoughts:

  • BMW key chain
  • BMW shirt
  • Tickets to a sporting event with my salesman
  • A coupon for a friend to test drive a BMW for an entire weekend

All of those ideas could help with BMW’s branding and potential future sales. I really don’t see the value in a sketch.

Am I wrong?

  • What do you think?
  • What could have BMW sent their customers that would have made a difference?
  • Do you get an anniversary gift from your dealership?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

PS – that is a picture of me holding up the sketch.

Who Will Win An Oscar This Year? Time To Take A Quick Quiz! (** Contest Closed **)

Friday, February 19th, 2010

This contest is now closed. Click here to see the winners.
Most of the readers love a quick quiz on a Friday.  The Oscars will take place this year on Sunday March 7. As a way to enjoy it a little more, I thought we would have a competition to see who gets the most winners correct. I have all the usual categories and added a few more difficult ones to make it a little more interesting.

Thanks for playing.

P.S. The contest will close Friday, March 5 at 5:00 PM CST.

Attention Airlines: I Think This Is What You Should Do . . .

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Last month I had eight scheduled flights on American Airlines. Unfortunately four or exactly half of those flights were cancelled. As you are reading this you might be thinking:

  • He is very unlucky
  • He flies too much
  • The same thing happened to me
  • What’s your point?

After my last flight was cancelled and I was on my next flight, I started to think about how funny and ridiculous this was at the same time. More important what could the airlines do to help out the customers and soften the blow of another cancelled flight. I must admit I found comedy in my last cancelled flight (which was because of a mechanical problem) because the flight attendants made numerous announcements and basically were pleading with customers to take a later flight for a $500 travel voucher. Yes I think it is really funny that customers got $500 to take another flight from a flight that never left! Sorry I just wanted to share that with you.

Here is my idea – I think airlines should give out cards or something that they can keep track of how many cancelled flights a person has. After a certain number–maybe five–the traveler gets a free flight?

I realize that some of the cancellations are because of weather (only one out of my four) but lots of them are because of mechanical troubles.

What do you think of my idea?

  • Do you think the airlines would go for it?
  • As a frequent traveler do you like it?
  • Should it be a free flight after five cancellations or another number?
  • Do you not take a certain airline because of too many cancellations?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Time To Work Together And See How Creative We Can Be

Friday, February 12th, 2010












Five Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me . . .

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Merrill Dubrow
Man of Mystery

Yes you know I am a passionate baseball fan and love the Boston Redsox. Yes you know I have worked in marketing research for over twenty-five years. Yes you know I live in Texas and am very competitive. But five things you probably didn’t know:

  1. That I broke my collar bone not once but twice as a kid? The first time was playing street hockey and the second time was at the beach when I was buried in the sand standing up – yes standing up and when I tried to get out – well let’s just say that didn’t work out too well.
  2. I have two sisters–one who has been in the healthcare field and has the biggest heart in the world and the other one is in new business development and is better at sales than I ever have been!
  3. I lived in Deerfield, IL when I was 11 years old and still can remember going to the tennis courts and actually putting my hand under the fence and stealing tennis balls (certainly NOT proud of this) WHILE there was a game going on.
  4. I rarely drink and sometimes can actually feel the effects of liquor after 5 sips of a beer.
  5. The most famous person I ever had dinner with (by far) was Reverend Jessie Jackson. This was a few years ago in LA at Dantana’s and was an amazing experience. There were only six people at the table and he was very charismatic and charming.

Ok now you know a little more about me.

What about you sharing a few things about you that I don’t know or would be surprised to know?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Parents: Children And Mobile Phones – When Does That Combination Work?

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Recently I read a very interesting article about children and mobile phone usage. As my kids get older I have been thinking about when they should have a cell phone and for what purpose. Meaning to stay in contact with their parents, their friends, play games, listen to music or 20 other things?

Americans are beginning their "always-on" habits at a younger and younger age, according to the "American Kids Study" from Mediamark Research & Intelligence’s (MRI’s) as reported by eMarketer.

I was shocked to read that more than one-third of 10-to-11-year-olds in the US owned a mobile phone in 2009, compared with 20% in 2005. That is a huge increase over a 4 year period. Ownership among kids ages 6 to 11 rose from 11.9% to 20% over the same time period.

It was also interesting to read that in 2007, ownership among boys was 12.4%, while 18.6% of girls had a mobile phone. I assume this has more to do with security than maturity?
Penetration increased for both groups, but ownership among males increased faster, helping them catch up and narrow the gender gap to 18.3% versus 21.8%.

"Preliminary data suggests that boys and girls may use their phones differently," noted Anne Marie Kelly, SVP, marketing and strategic planning at MRI, in a statement. "Girls are more apt to make calls and send text messages while boys are more likely to instant message, access the Internet and download games, music and video."

  • What do you think is the perfect age for your child to have a cell phone?
  • Does it differ by gender?
  • Do you restrict their usage to certain times of the day?
  • What applications like texting, music, and games do you allow them to have?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Quick Friday Humor: The Economy Is So Bad That . . .

Friday, February 5th, 2010
  • If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them.
  • Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM and Chrysler.
  • Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.
  • The Mafia is laying off judges.
  • Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.
  • Congress says they are looking into the Bernard Madoff scandal. So that means the guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!
  • Do you have a funny ending to this sentence: "The Economy Is So Bad That . . ."

Please let me know if you chuckled at least for a few seconds?

Also what was your favorite?

I look forward to reading your comments.

What Is Your Favorite Building You Have Ever Been In?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Last month the Burj Dubai opened its doors for the first time as the tallest building in the world. This structure stands at 2,684 feet – yes you heard that number correctly. I was totally amazed at how big it is certainly, but was really amazed and impressed that it is 955 feet taller than the world’s second tallest building–which is the Willis Tower in Chicago.

I started to think about buildings and structures and think about what are some of the coolest/nicest/most beautiful that I have ever been in.

Here are a few that I have on my list:

  • The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco is not only a beautiful structure but the view from the top floors is amazing.
  • The John Hancock Building. I truly love the structure and the fact that it towers above Lake Michigan. The views from the observatory are very special.
  • A few buildings that really aren’t that tall but I enjoy going to are The Wrigley Building in Chicago and St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. I love the architecture and attention to detail that both buildings pose.

Now your turn:

  • What is the tallest building you have ever been in?
  • What building has the nicest view from the top floor?
  • What are some of your favorite buildings for architecture?

I look forward to reading your comments.