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Archive for the 'Research' Category

Oops – this information was Bogus! What do you think of these statistics?

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Please note that although we verify our facts before these posts go up, this one got past us and the statistics are bogus. Please accept our apologies.

Last week one of my colleagues (thanks S.B.) sent me a very interesting chart that I thought I would share.

Even though I knew, felt, and experienced some of this first hand I must admit I was a little surprised to read some of these numbers. Only 10% of sales are made within the first 3 calls – that seems right, but link that to the fact that 85% of sale people either never follow up or give up after three calls. To me that reinforces my belief that if you have tenacity, focus, and have solid time management/follow up skills, you will be successful.

  • What do you think of these numbers?
  • Do they feel right to you?
  • Can you share a story that can support these statistics?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Researchers: I Have a New Show for Everyone!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

A few weeks ago, while I was in Greensboro, I was flipping through TV channels and ended up on ESPN Classic, watching “Battle of the Network Stars”. The show brought back some great memories as I remembered watching it with my sisters when I was a kid. For those of you who don’t remember: The show consisted of stars from ABC, NBC and CBS competing in different sports & activities. The show was hosted by THE Howard Cosell (I always loved his voice).

The show aired from 1976-1988 and some of the stars who participated included: Gabe Kaplan, Telly Savalas, Jimmy Walker, Loretta Swift, Ed Asner, Lynda Carter, Farah Fawcett, Scott Baio, Ron Howard & Billy Crystal. Activities included: swimming, tug of war, football and an obstacle course.

As I reminisced about the show, I came up with my own show… “Battle of the Research Stars”! After I came up with this idea, I started to think about who I would recruit for my 6 member team. Age and geographic location doesn’t matter, BUT: the team must be evenly split; 3 males and 3 females

Here is my team:

  1. Merrill Dubrow (If it’s my team, I have to be on it)
  2. Janet Savoie: Great swimmer in fantastic shape, she hates to lose and she’s a lot of fun
  3. Steve Schlesinger: Every team needs someone with a ponytail
  4. Amy Shields: Very athletic, can toss a ball with the best of ’em!
  5. Jason Miller: Looks crazy and intimidating at times…also would give great interviews
  6. Merrill Shugoll: You can never have enough Merrill’s on a team!

Okay, that’s my team!

  • What do you think about my lineup?
  • Who would you draft for your team?
  • Would you be interested in competing in this if we hosted the games at a research conference?

I look forward to reading your comments.

What Do You Say To An Industry You Love? For Starters…THANK YOU!

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Last week, I received the Meritorious Service to Marketing Research Award from the Marketing Research Association at their annual conference in Chicago. The purpose of the Meritorious Service to Marketing Research is to recognize an individual who has, over the span of their career, demonstrated tremendous leadership, dedication, and whose commitment has led to remarkable contributions the marketing research industry.

I must say, I was surprised when I found out and now, a week later, I am still on cloud nine. This has been a fantastic journey that has spanned over 30 years. I started in the Market Research industry as an interviewer and actually did door-to-door interviewing…that’s how old I am!!

Although I stood on the stage alone to receive the award, my presence also represented the many people who have helped me along the way. Marianne Schafer, John Boni, Sandy Schwartz & Jim Fredrickson were all great teachers. Each of them offered a different contribution to my success, each provided tools that they knew I would need, they brought the best out of me and pushed me when I needed it the most! My respect for each of them is second to none!

My parents are huge supporters of mine; they taught my two sisters and me an amazing amount and they allowed us to make mistakes (plenty in my case) along the way and learn from each and every one of them.

For over 3 decades, I have had the privilege of associating with and learning from some of the smartest, most talented, creative, passionate researchers and business leaders that this industry has to offer. That list includes (but, of course, is not limited to)

  • Amy Shields
  • Colleen Moore Mezler
  • Craig Stevens
  • Debbie Schlesinger
  • Ed Sugar
  • Elisa Galloway
  • Jane Cook
  • Janet Savoie
  • Ken Roberts
  • Larry Gulledge
  • Lori Young
  • Merrill Shugoll
  • Michael Halberstam
  • Michael Mermelstein
  • Mimi Nichols
  • Steve Schlesinger


Some of the words that Jill Donahue used to describe me (thank you for all the very kind words) were that I am “always there to help, being a mentor to many and always giving back”. To me, it is always very easy to give back to an industry that has given me so much! I love the Market Research industry and I want to thank each of you for making it my home for the past 30+ years and please know there is no other industry or place I would rather be!

Attention, Researchers: How Did We Get Here? And What Do We Do About It?

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Without question, I love the Market Research industry. I arrived in this great industry by accident and I couldn’t be happier to spend my entire career in research. Having said that, there are several things about the industry that I don’t understand, such as:

  • Why does this great industry take so long to make changes?
  • Why does it take so long for many researchers to adapt to new technology?

      Lots of people feel like the Market Research industry is outdated, or often doesn’t react as quickly as corporations need them too. Many topics of discussion groups online are questioning what we do and how we do it.

      So, I ask you:

      • Why?
      • How did we get to this point?
      • More importantly, what do we do about this?

10 Signs You Are A Market Researcher…

Monday, December 30th, 2013

A few weeks ago S.S. sent me a funny email that I thought I would share with you…
10 Signs You Are A Market Researcher

      1. You know that an IHUT is not a dwelling for Apple employees.
      2. You’ve introduced your friends as respondents.
      3. You can spell Honomichl. (Wouldn’t Jack’s Top 50 have been easier?)
      4. You’ve had to convince new acquaintances that you are not personally responsible for calling them at home during dinner.
      5. You know that a Monadic design is not a type of wallpaper.
      6. When people ask about Big Data you tell them you know everything but unfortunately you have to keep it a Big Secret.
      7. You are excited to find out what made the cover of Quirk’s this month.
      8. You’ve thought about the horrific possibility of a research civil war between the Quants and the Qualies.
      9. You can get lost in a good data book.
      10. You know that an industry as powerful and complicated as ours cannot be governed by any less than 10 associations.

    • Which one is your favorite?
    • Which one made you chuckle the hardest?
    • Do you happen to have one to add to the list?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Why Does Research Not Get The Respect It Deserves?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Last month Ron Johnson was fired as the CEO of JC Penney after only 18 months on the job. Ron was a genius at Apple running their retail business and was brought in to turn around this struggling retailer. The interesting thing is Ron made a bunch of changes. He really tried a number of different strategies.

For that he does need to be complemented, BUT everything he did was based on his gut and had nothing to do with research and what his customers wanted. He did what he thought was right for the struggling business. I don’t want to focus on what he did or didn’t do. I would rather focus on why he has such little respect for research. Ron Johnson isn’t the only executive to not put faith in research to move the business forward.

The question for me is:


I really look forward to reading your comments and hearing your opinion.

PS – I am moderating a panel in a few weeks and this is a question I will be asking for sure!

PSS – This is a VERY important subject. Please don’t be shy. We need your response and thoughts.

Attention Researchers: Who Is In Your Research Hall Of Fame?

Friday, April 19th, 2013

A few weeks ago I was  listening to sports radio and the topic was the Hall of Fame. Mike Greenberg was discussing the differences for the hall of fame in a number of  sports and the criteria for having a team retire a player’s number.

Of course this got me thinking a little bit about this great industry I work in and think about the criteria and candidates for our research hall of fame. I am sure there are a number of research hall of fames but I thought it would be fun to start our own.

Click here to add your comments to the ballot.

I look forward to reading your comments.

I Was Surprised To See This Finding In The Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

A few weeks ago I was reading the Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report and came across a finding that I thought was not only interesting but surprising.

Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence: New Research

The report that came out March 6 stated that “consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase.” In fact, blogs rank favorably with consumers for trust, popularity and even influence.

The report found that blogs are now the third most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%).

I must admit I thought Facebook & Pinterest would certainly be higher than a blog. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

  • What do you think?
  • Were you surprised by this finding?
  • I have been writing a blog for 6 ½ years. What purchases has the blog influenced for you?
  • Why are blogs so influential?
  • What influences you the most when you make a purchase?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Researchers: Google Surveys, FRIEND OR FOE?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Attention Researchers: Google Surveys, FRIEND OR FOE?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Let the debate begin!

Attention Researchers… The Young Is Now The Old…

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

A few weeks ago I attended the Marketing Research Association Annual Conference.  The conference had an amazing amount of networking opportunities as well as a solid speaker lineup. I went to my first research conference way back in the late 80’s. I remember it like it was yesterday. The conference was in September in Palm Springs, CA at the Desert Springs Marriott. I remember landing in LA and sprinting to board my very small connecting flight to get to Palm Springs.  When I got to the hotel I had a hard time sleeping, not because I had a ton of meetings set-up, not because I was wired, not because I was still on East coast time, not because I couldn’t remember how to put the booth together, but because I didn’t know anyone and was nervous. Correct that statement, I was very nervous! Yours truly, as outgoing as I am, couldn’t eat or sleep because I didn’t know what to expect at all. The only thing that saved me was a few people, like Bill Neal and Mike O’Neil, showed me the way. They explained what was going to happen, the agenda, the industry, and many other things.

Well, almost 30 years later this young nervous guy has become a research veteran (definition for old-timer) and now it is my turn to do the same in return. When I was at the conference there was a session that was titled, ‘Speed Learning.’ During the session presenters had 5 minutes, and only 5 minutes, to make their point and get off the stage. During Jacki Spear’s presentation she mentioned my name as someone who believed in her and helped her a lot in her career. She said, “He showed interest in my career, showed me the way, and promised to make me better if I paid attention.” I can’t describe how proud I was to hear those words. Yes, Jacki has a lot of talent and probably gave me a little too much credit but to know that I helped her, showed her the way, and somehow someway helped shape her future, meant a great deal to me.

If you are like myself and have gone to a lot of conferences you are a research veteran!

As such, I believe all of us can give something back to the industry and now that the young is the old we can help the new in their careers.

  • So when the MRA is looking to hook you up with a buddy at the conference please say ‘Yes!’
  • If you see someone wearing a ‘1st time attendee’ badge come up to them and show them the ropes!
  • If you see someone standing by themselves (like I was almost 30 years ago) introduce yourself and make them feel comfortable and like they belong.

Are you up for the challenge?

Any other tips or best practices you would like to share as a research veteran?

I look forward to reading your comments.