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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

The Tribe Discovers the Usefulness of Survey Research

Last week, the FEI tribe reconvened to learn why market research is crucial to marketing success. This week, Marka and the tribe discuss how intelligent survey research can help companies answer important marketing questions. Remember, fire = print.

It was a hot afternoon and the FEI tribe was trying to beat the heat by holing up in the conference room to discuss survey research.

“Answering certain key questions about the fire marketplace will help us discover business opportunities,” Marka began. “Market research and data collection are crucial to answering these questions. Usually, our marketing research will involve collecting both secondary and primary data. Secondary data are data already collected for another purpose, while primary data are gathered specifically for our research initiative.”

“Ideally, all of our research will rely on secondary data,” Numo said. “It’s much less expensive to cull from existing studies or research initiatives than to create our own.”

“Of course,” Marka agreed. “We’ll start our investigation by gathering as much secondary data as possible. If the data we require doesn’t exist or is outdated, however, we’ll have to collect new data ourselves. At this point, we may consider a survey research approach.”

Marka began scribbling on the whiteboard:

• Survey Research

“Survey research can paint a picture of the knowledge, beliefs, preferences and overall consumer satisfaction of current and potential fire buyers,” she explained. “The knowledge we gain from survey research will allow us to plan more successful marketing initiatives.”

“What form should this survey take?” Org asked.

“One common and effective type of survey research is the questionnaire, which is a set of questions presented to respondents,” Marka replied. “Using questionnaires, we can ask respondents both closed- and open-ended questions. Closed-ended questions, which specify all possible answers, lead to answers that are easy to interpret and quantify. Open-ended questions—which allow respondents to use their own words—offer a better gauge of precisely what customers think, but are usually more difficult to quantify. Including both types of questions is often necessary in order to ensure our survey is effective as possible.”

“Once our survey is created, how do we effectively distribute it?” Zoot asked. “Do we go door-to-door? Do we call people? Do we create an online survey?”

“Possibly all three,” Marka said, “but we’ll talk more about that next week.”

Today’s FIRE! Point
Market research and data collection are crucial to answering important marketing questions. Start your investigation by gathering as much secondary data as possible. If the data you require doesn’t exist or is outdated, consider survey research, which will allow you to discover the knowledge, beliefs, preferences and satisfaction of potential print buyers. A questionnaire, in which a set of questions is presented to respondents, is a common and effective form of survey research.

FIRE! in Action
Strategic Market Research Helps Grow Indian Biscuit Brand

After ITC’s research revealed significant opportunities in the urban biscuit market, the company entered new products into several biscuit categories. Several years later, ITC’s biscuit brand was worth $5B Rupees and was growing at about 15 percent a year.

Next week: Marka discusses different the advantages and disadvantages of various survey contact methods.

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