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Archive for May, 2012

Attention Baseball Fans! It’s Time To Take A Quick Quiz…. True or false…..

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

It’s amazing that the baseball season is 25% over. Yes, time flies and in the blink of an eye it will be October and the baseball playoffs will be on TV. It’s time to take a fun and quick 6 question quiz.

Click here to take our quiz!

Isn’t It Time For Airports To Take A Page Out Of Walt Disney’s Book?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

A few months ago I had the opportunity to take the kids to Walt Disney World. A few things are for sure when you go to Walt Disney World:

    • It’s very expensive.
    • You will have an amazing time.
    • The lines are very, very long!

Later today I will be going to the airport and after I get my boarding pass I will stand in line. DFW Airport is awesome and unlike most airports has short lines, but imagine if I were in New York and had to go through the lines at LaGuardia or in Las Vegas and had to deal with the brutal unending lines at McCarran International  Airport. Not only would that be irritating, but also a waste of time, and by my standards it isn’t FUN!

Ok let me take this journey back to my last point regarding Walt Disney World – the lines are very long! 99% of the time they are but no one cares! Why you ask? It’s because you are in a magical place, you are on vacation, but probably more important to that is Walt Disney was smart enough to know that the lines would be long and if the lines weren’t interesting it could/would affect the revenue of the park and company. So what does Walt do? He makes sure you are watching a video, looking at the history of his company, viewing a promo of a future movie, as well as 10 other things. I say that strategy is brilliant and I don’t understand why the airports don’t borrow this strategy. If I am in a 45 minute line, why aren’t they showing ads, or having the line snake around the history of the airport, or showcasing new destinations?

I believe this is a huge and missed opportunity for airports!

There has to be a smarter, better way to do it than the way it is currently working.

  • What do you think?

I look forward to reading your comments.

You Have How Many Connections? Sounds Like An Online Community…

Monday, May 21st, 2012

A few weeks ago I was on LinkedIn and I accepted a new connection. I glanced to my contacts and noticed that he was my 3,173rd connection. For some reason my mind wandered and I thought it sounds like I have created (perhaps by accident) my own online community and who knows maybe my own online proprietary panel.

I truly believe that LinkedIn is one of the most valuable resources a business person can have. I have made a conscience effort to understand the value of the tool and connect to people that make sense to me. They range from industry contacts, clients, prospects, boards that I sit on, friends, and colleagues. Here are a few statistics about my online community:

  • 1,475 industry contacts
  • 1,342 people who are in market research
  • 691 people who are in marketing or advertising
  • 627 people who are in the NY area
  • 570 people who work for Omnicom
  • 451 end users
  • 217 people who are connected to the A.C. Nielsen Board
  • 156 people who reside outside the USA
  • 121 people who are in the sports industry, including some pro athletes
  • 18 people with the last name Smith (most common name)

I will reach out to my community for a number of things that include:

  • Bounce a strategy off of them that we are thinking about doing at M/A/R/C
  • Are they attending an upcoming conference?
  • Can they give me a referral on someone we are interviewing?
  • Can they provide some insight about a prospect who we are trying to turn into a client?
  • Great source for product development
  • Sounding board for a direction I believe the industry might be headed toward
  • Pulse check to see what is going on in the industry
  • Once I know my travel schedule I will reach out to contacts that are in that city, which is a very easy way to stay connected with people

That is what I use MY online community for.

Now your turn:

  • How big is your online community?
  • What do you use it for?
  • What do you think of my list?
  • What else would you recommend using it for?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Research Industry… Thanks!

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Every time the month of May comes around I get a little more excited than normal, I have a little bit more bounce in my step, and frankly for me it is a time of remembering. Even though May is the month I was born it has little to do with that, and more to do with the fact that I graduated college in May (many, many, many years ago) which means I started in the market research industry many, many years ago.

Like most of you I got into the research industry by accident. During the last (let’s just say) 25+ years I have been involved with some amazing companies, met some very talented people, learned a lot and have been very fortunate to work for a number of great bosses like Jim Fredrickson & the late John Boni to mention a few. In addition I have been very lucky to have a few mentors, including Sandy Schwartz, who in my opinion is brilliant and is always dead on with his comments.

When I look back on my career I have met so many people who mean so much to me. Many of them are my closest friends in the world.

I still recommend this industry to many people and feel so lucky to have been in the research community for 25+ years!

A big thank you to the research industry and all the wonderful companies and people who are in it!

I hope each of you feel as fortunate as I do!

Attention Researchers – I Need Your Opinion…

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

With all the changes that have been taking place in the research industry I have been giving a lot of thought to changing our tagline. Currently our tagline is:

Strong brands start with smart research

    • What do you think about our current tagline?
    • What do you like about it?
    • What words do you think we should change?

Should we include words like ‘global’, ‘insight’, or ‘information’?

I really appreciate your thoughts and look forward to reading your comments.

What Do You Do When You Are Overmatched?

Monday, May 14th, 2012

A few weeks ago I was watching my son play in a lacrosse tournament. I quickly noticed that the team he was playing against was much bigger, faster, older, and clearly more skilled. As the game started that became much more evident as his opponent was scoring on every possession and stopping them quickly. The interesting thing wasn’t that they were down 7-0 in a matter of minutes; or that they were without question overmatched. The interesting thing was how they handled the situation.

  • Sometimes it is easy to give up.
  • Sometimes it is easy for the players to get down.
  • Sometimes it is easy for the coaches to just yell at everyone.
  • Sometimes players yell at each other.

None of that happened on this sunny day. The players played their game and didn’t give up at all! They left everything on the field. They played very hard the entire game and even though they lost probably 15-1 it didn’t matter.

They were overmatched and they never showed it!

As an adult there are probably times when we are overmatched.

  • Perhaps a presentation that you aren’t prepared for?
  • Maybe it is a proposal that the client didn’t give you the time needed?
  • Maybe you got a promotion and you are dazed and confused about some of the responsibilities?

At some point in our life we have been overmatched.

  • The question is how do you handle it when it happens to you?
  • What do you say to your kids when it happens to them?

I look forward to reading your comments.

6 Things My Mom Taught Me… Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday, May 11th, 2012

My Mom is still one of the funniest people I have ever met. She doesn’t try to be funny all the time but what she says and how she says it always cracks me up!

This Mother’s Day will be even more special than normal since I will be spending it in Florida with my mom. Over the years (since I am old so there a lot of years) she has taught me, or at least tried, to teach me a number of things – here are 6 of my favorites:

    1. As an athlete, be competitive. Well into her 70’s she still moves around the tennis court very well, tries her hardest, and gets to a lot of shots that she shouldn’t be able to.

    2. Always use coupons and buy everything on sale. My mom had a modest upbringing and still remembers where she came from. I must say she is even a little frugal.

    3. Have a big appetite and eat a ton. The secret is out of the bag – now you know where I got my eating habits from.

    4. Ask your boss for a raise every time you are with them. She cracks me up – she really does. She always asks me how I am doing and what my boss thinks of me and always ends the conversation with, “Well, they should give you a raise.”

    5. Have a great laugh. Her laugh is loud and amazing.

    6. Love animals. Ever since I was a young boy we have always had a dog. Over the years she has taught me the joy and responsibility of having one.

Thanks Mom, for being you!

  • What are some of the favorite things your mom has taught you?

I look forward to reading your comments

The Time To Refinance Is… Now!

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

A few years ago I think I refinanced my home loan 3 times in 14 months. My rate went lower and lower, there was never any cost to do it, the closing was always in my office, and frankly it couldn’t have been any easier.

I have been reading that 15/30 year mortgage rates are at the lowest rates since 1950! Yes, you read that right, since 1950! My current rate is about a half a point higher and I am thinking about refinancing again…

Isn’t the time to refinance (perhaps again) right now?

  • Have you refinanced recently?
  • What is your new rate?
  • How much money did you save?
  • How easy was the process?
  • What advice would you give someone who is hesitating about refinancing?

I look forward to reading your comments.

I Just Started Watching Storage Wars (Please Stop Laughing) And I Love It!

Monday, May 7th, 2012

It’s amazing how many shows there are on TV these days. It seems like there is a different show that starts almost every day. A few weeks ago I was in control of the clicker and after flipping around for several minutes I ended up watching Storage Wars – and now I watch it all the time.

I find it fascinating that people can make something from nothing. They can see value in an item that an average person thinks is worthless and the cast is (in my opinion) a collection of misfits, but is absolutely hysterical and works well together. The cast includes: Barry Weiss, Darrell Sheets and his son, Dave Hester, and Brandi and Jarrod, who are married.

My favorite by far is Barry Weiss. He is so funny and knowledgeable and very eccentric!

  • Have you started to watch a new show in the past few months?
  • What is it?
  • Have you referred any of your friends to watch it?
  • What shows would you recommend that I watch?

I look forward to reading your comments.

What A Pain. I Got Overcharged Again…

Friday, May 4th, 2012

How often does this happen? You are at the checkout counter in a grocery or retail store and you notice the price that the clerk rang up isn’t correct. Either the promotion price in the flyer hasn’t been updated in the computer system, or the price that was displayed is incorrect, or the price on the package is wrong. Whatever the scenario, the bottom line is it isn’t right.

The line behind you isn’t getting any shorter and now what do you do?

Before you answer that question, let me mention the article I recently read regarding a women in San Diego who paid $167.00 for a jar of peanut butter. I will admit, I love peanut butter, especially extra crunchy, but not for $167.00 The most interesting thing that the article mentioned was that analysts in the grocery store industry say that overcharging happens as much as 20% of the time! I knew it was lot, but 20%! 1 in 5 customers is being overcharged!

OK, so let’s assume it happens to you, and you notice it. What do you do?

  • Do you say something to the cashier and ask for a price check?
  • Do you do nothing because you are in a hurry?
  • Do you see that the line is huge and don’t want to inconvenience the rest of the people in line?

For me – it depends on the situation and how much it is. If I notice it, I will mention it to the cashier even if I don’t get the lower price. My hope is the store looks into it and fixes the issue. If the price is less than a dollar I probably won’t wait, but in some situations the difference was over $15.00 and I have waited as long as 10 minutes.

  • What do you do?

I look forward to reading your comments.