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Help! I have a new pet and I kind of want to get rid of it….

June 10th, 2016

As you read this post you are probably thinking he is referring to a dog or a cat but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Over the past month I have noticed a bunch of holes and what I thought looked almost like hoof prints. Was it a Coyote? Deer? Elephant? Nope, nope, and nope! Well the answer to the question has been answered – it is a somewhat small but prehistoric looking Armadillo that I have named Alfred. No idea why I chose that name or if Alfred is even a male, but it kind of sounded right so we will go with it. My partner in crime (MD) discovered our little Alfred walking around the pool in the middle of the day. He actually came within 5 feet of her….Much to her surprise.

Yes – he is interesting to look at.

Yes – I have done some research and he is pretty much blind.

And Yes – I want him to go away.

I don’t want him to be hurt.

But he needs to go away!

  • So help! How do I get rid of little Alfred?
  • Have you dealt with a similar problem?
  • A friend of mine mentioned pouring mothballs down the hole – has anyone done that?

I look forward to reading your helpful comments.

P.S. Please stop laughing – I need him to go away!

Hello researchers, what do you think of this announcement?

June 8th, 2016

Twitter Turns 12,000 Users Into Quick-Research Panel for Marketers.

Twitter recently announced they have a new initiative aimed at giving advertisers insights from 12,000 users chosen by the social media platform. Dubbed Twitter Insiders, the program’s goal is to create a one-stop shop for advertisers to recruit, design, and collect live research.

The company is offering this service to their advertisers. Twitter will not pay them for their participation, but respondents will get rewards from gift cards to electronics such as iPads or smartphones.

The group can also be asked to take pictures, test video, and analyze facial expressions from images, among other things. The Insiders will have access to a devoted message board and, if they wish, can poll other users in the same fashion as they do on Twitter itself.

Years ago I coined the phrase FATWIN which was a combination of letters from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that I felt would have an impact on our industry and here is an example of just that.

  • What do you think of this announcement?
  • Would you like to be a Twitter Insider?
  • How much success do you think the program will have?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Sorry Menchie’s you are doing this all wrong……

June 6th, 2016

Recently I have been taking the kids to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt more and more. Most of the time we take the yogurt to go but this time we enjoyed our treat inside the restaurant. There was a steady stream of customers and one by one as they were paying they were asked the same question, “can I have your phone number to sign you up for our loyalty program?” With no surprise, one by one the nice employee got a no that’s ok, or I am all set.

I am sure corporate has trained everyone to ask that question but perhaps the benefits of the loyalty program should be mentioned before going right for the money shot of can I have your phone number. Loyalty programs are different and I have a feeling frozen yogurt is something that people do a few times a month and if they knew how this program worked I am sure they will have more success than 0-9 as I watched.

  • I realize the sample is small but what do you think?
  • Would you sign up for a loyalty program if they led with a question about your phone number?
  • What could they say to get you to sign up for their program?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Did you hear the rumor? The next James Bond will be from the research industry!

June 3rd, 2016

Can you imagine if the next James Bond 007 was from the Market Research Industry? Well time to dream and pretend that is exactly what will happen! So someone from this great industry will follow in the footsteps of Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore, Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan and others!

Since Daniel Craig recently turned down $100,000,000 to play James Bond in two more movies saying he was done playing the international spy, they are now in search of a lead man for the role! Even though I am not a casting director I say look no further! As of this year there have been 25+ films in the series and the next one will include one of ours! One of our own from the market research industry!

Here are some of my choices:

  • Jason Miller – crazy, unshaven, piercing eyes and, of course, you NEVER know what he is thinking!
  • Steve Schlesinger – tall, grey hair, worldly, and a pony tail!
  • Vikram Hosur – Young, good looking, mysterious, into martial arts and could do his own stunts!

Okay, your turn.

  • Who would you add to the list?
  • Who would you vote for?
  • Why do you think they are worthy of a $25,000,000 pay day?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention researchers – what happened to all the consistency?

June 1st, 2016

Many of you know that I grew up in the research business. Since the mid 80’s I have called the research industry my home. When I started, the year would start slow, build, and then explode in the second half of the year and especially the fourth quarter. What I was taught (Thanks John Boni, Marianne Schafer and Sanford Schwartz) was that 40% of our revenue would be in the first part of the year – that would leave 60% for Q3 & Q4. Most years we would do 32% of our revenue in Q4 and 28% in Q3. For many years that’s what it was and that’s what we built our business on, prepared and braced ourselves on – now life is different!

In the past 8 years, the fourth quarter has been our best only half the time! One year we came out of the box fast and knock it out of the park in the first quarter, and then things slowed down. Another thing that I was taught is that clients hold some of their budget for the second half of the year – that doesn’t appear to be happening as often.

  • Are you noticing the same thing?
  • What happened to the days of 32% of your revenue coming in the fourth quarter?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Sorry Wade – in my opinion this was in bad taste!

May 27th, 2016

Recently the Boston Red Sox honored the 1986 team. Wade Boggs was one of the players that came back and during the on field festivities he decided to wear his NY Yankee Championship ring! Yes you heard that right! Everyone knows he left Boston and went to the Evil Empire but did he really have to wear the ring. Some of you may think he forgot he had it on? Really, I don’t think so. He clearly knew what he was doing.

  • My question is why?

I take offense to him doing this. If he wants to wear the ring then can’t he wear it the other 364 days? Do you really need to wear it in Boston during a Boston Red Sox team celebration?

I am sorry, I think that is in bad taste.

  • Again, my question is why?

I hope someone out there can tell me why he did this because I can’t think of a good reason!

I look forward to reading your comments.

Looking to save money… I would suggest doing this…..

May 25th, 2016

I am sure every one of us knows who Jake from State farm is and the cute Gecko on the Geico commercials. Both of them, in their own way, say they can save you money. Well last month I got my home insurance bill and I must say I was surprised at the amount. I spoke to a few friends and the next day reached out to a few referrals. All the companies were quick to not only get back to me but also lightening quick to give me a quote on my auto and home insurance together.

At the end of the day I switched from Allstate and went with Farmers Insurance. Yes, cost was an important part of the decision but the deciding factor was really the customer service I got from them over the other companies and saved over $2,410 annually!

Yes that number is correct. Interesting to mention that I have never filed a claim on my home/car insurance the ten years I was with Allstate and I was very surprised at how high they were.

So if you are looking to save a little money, I would suggest making a few phone calls for your auto and home insurance.

  1. Have you done this recently?
  2. How much did you save?
  3. How was the customer service?
  4. Any surprises during the process?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Did you hear about the latest new beverage – Rougie’s Red Punch…… I say no……

May 23rd, 2016

A few weeks ago there was a lot of interest in baseball because of the Jose Bautista bat flip retaliation from last October. To set the stage, the bad blood between the Rangers and Blue Jays goes back to the American League Division Series last season won by Toronto, in part, thanks to Bautista’s three-run home run and subsequent bat flip in the seventh inning of Game 5. Yes the stage was at the highest level but (in my opinion) it was the worst bat flip in the history of baseball and really irritated a lot of players on the Texas Rangers.

Speed up to 7 months later. The Rangers hit Bautista, ground ball to Beltre, a low throw to Odor, a late slide by Bautista, a push, and the now famous punch by Rougned Odor. I love baseball but I am not a fan of brawls. Never have been and never will be. I am a huge fan of teams playing hard not dirty.

I understand there are a lot of creative people out there and I even thought myself that this might be an opportunity for a beverage called the Odor Punch. I was hoping not, but it did happen.

The Texas Rangers’ farm team is selling a drink named after the Rougned Odor’s punch.

The Frisco RoughRiders are selling a new energy drink containing alcohol called Rougie’s Red Punch. It will be available for a limited time at Dr Pepper Ballpark’s Bull Moose Saloon. It costs $5.15, which was the date of the punch and comes in a commemorative cup featuring an image resembling what the RoughRiders called ‘Odor’s iconic punch.

I realize that companies need to find a way to sell product but I really don’t like this one. I believe this promotes something that shouldn’t happen in baseball.

  • What are your thoughts?
  • Do you like the idea?
  • Do you like fighting in baseball?
  • Did you think the bat flip was overboard?
  • Was the retaliation right by the Rangers?

I look forward to reading your comments.

What I now think I know about the NBA playoffs?

May 20th, 2016

A few weeks ago I posted comments about the NBA playoffs and clearly was off base on what I said. Well here is my second chance with only 4 teams remaining in the hunt for the NBA Championship!

  • Toronto has no chance to beat the Cavaliers unless three of the Cavs starters get hurt. The Raptors had a really nice year, time to concentrate on signing their free agents and making the team better for next year!
  • The Cavaliers are really starting to figure things out. LeBron has been amazing, but if Kevin Love continues to make 3’s and Irving plays at a high level, they have the depth to go all the way. The Cavs will be in the NBA Finals for sure!
  • Golden State is a very interesting pick. Yes – they have the two time MVP and a very strong cast around him. If we get a rematch from last year I don’t believe the Warriors will be crowned the champion. I have said it for a long time that they don’t win this year and I am sticking to that prediction.
  • Next up the Thunder! WOW – two superstars and a very talented roster that is getting better. The emergence of Kantor and Steve Adams allows them to play big whenever they want and that will vault them into the NBA Finals.

So what am I really saying?

  • The Thunder beat the Warriors in 6 games.
  • The Cavs sweep Raptors.
  • The Cavs, behind LeBron James’ playoff MVP trophy, win it all in a great 7 game series against the Thunder!

Now your turn.

What do you think will happen?

I look forward to reading your comments.

A thank you is usually only for a person… not today!!!

May 18th, 2016

I am sure during the day all of us say thanks many times. For me, it could be a big thank you for waking up my kids and not having it take a long time or perhaps thanking a stranger for holding the door or thanking a cashier, waiter, or thousands of other examples.

Today’s thank you is very different. Not sure I have ever done this. But here goes.

I want to thank DFW airport! I know you are probably saying to yourself why? What’s wrong with him? If you were saying that I wouldn’t disagree with you but hear me out for a minute.

I want to thank DFW Airport for a number of reasons:

  1. For being smart enough to make it the most efficient airport I have ever traveled thru. Most airports are deep and you need to walk forever. Miami, Las Vegas to name a few. DFW is wide, has a ton of security checkouts, and typically the walk to your gate is less than 30 seconds.
  2. The concourses are huge. Terminal D is so big and has to be 10 times wider than Logan Airport or any of the airports in the Northeast.
  3. They are always looking to add relevant stores and restaurants. In the last six months they have opened a number of decent restaurants and the first ever 7 Eleven opened in an airport location.
  4. And a huge thank you for somehow adding Coke as a beverage choice in vending machines, restaurants, and other stores. For as far back as I can remember the only place you could buy a Coke was at McDonalds and it was a fountain drink. That has all changed and I am really excited about that!
  5. They are always looking for ways to make it an easier and nicer experience for their customers. Over the past few years they have renovated terminals and enhanced the parking experience with red/green lights about parking spots. If you see a green light there is a spot for you which really cuts down the wasted time to look for a spot and keeps the frustration level at a minimum.

So DFW Airport thank you on a job well down! Keep up the great work.

  • Would you like to take a moment and send out a non-traditional thank you?
  • What do you think about my thank you?

I look forward to reading your comments.