What Makes a Specialist Special?

September 19th, 2017

specialistMost research firms are ‘generalists’… offering a variety of research methodologies to all kinds of firms in all kinds of industries. If it’s a profitable opportunity and if it fits their team’s skill set – they’ll take it.

And that’s fine. But with that broad approach to business comes a muddled and murky approach to marketing… decisions are difficult to make. Trying to serve so many kinds of companies in so many industries means far too many marketing options. So, how do you choose?

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How Sharp are Your Marketing and Sales Skills?

September 12th, 2017

study1Over the next couple of months, I have the privilege of speaking about marketing and sales at several Market Research industry events:

These events got me to thinking… every year, most MR professionals and principals attend a few conferences, workshops or webinars as a means of improving their research skills and staying on top of new trends in our industry.

But what about staying on top of business development for your firm? What can you do – in addition to attending the events above – to improve your marketing and sales skills? To help, here are few other resources to investigate if your marketing and sales skills need brushing up…

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Are you ready for ‘conference season?’

August 22nd, 2017

conferenceFor as long as I have been in the market research industry, Fall has been ‘conference season.’ And while organizations like Quirk’s have established solid events in the first part of the calendar year, September-October-November continue to host most of the industry’s top events:

Insights Leadership Conference

TMRE – The Market Research Event

The ESOMAR Congress

The Corporate Researchers Conference (CRC)

The AMA Annual Conference

If you’ve got conference plans on your calendar this Fall, there are three areas that – if you’re properly prepared – can have a dramatic impact on your success at these events.

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Content Marketing Has No Value, If No One Sees It!

August 15th, 2017

content marketingIt’s very interesting… almost all ‘content marketing’ planning sessions focus solely on the first word: content – what topics are to be covered, who you’re writing for, which keywords should be focused on, which format you will use (blog, case study, eBook, infographic, etc.) and who’s going to create it.

But that’s only half the equation. Many people (most, in fact) assume because their content is “good” (at least they think it is), that it will be found by their target market. Not necessarily!

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Differentiation: Just Being Different Isn’t Enough

July 31st, 2017

goldfishOver the past five years, without a doubt, the most popular topic in my conversations with clients and prospective clients has been around ‘differentiation’… what they can do to stand out from their competitors. Everyone agrees there is far too much “sameness” in our industry – too many firms that look alike and sound alike all offering a range of services that are essentially the same. If you’re a prospective buyer, how do you choose?

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Why Are You Afraid of Marketing & Sales?

July 25th, 2017

marketing & salesTwelve years ago, this month, I started my career in the Market Research industry. And it didn’t take very long for me to come to the conclusion that “This is an industry that does not embrace marketing & sales.”

Over the years, I have repeated that statement to scores of people – in all kinds of companies covering all kinds of roles – and guess what? Not a single person has ever disagreed with me. It’s amazing to see in 2017 just how many firms…

  • Have a website that hasn’t been updated in years
  • Have virtually no social media presence
  • Have not published any thought leadership
  • Have no proactive sales effort

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The #1 Sales Activity You’re NOT Doing… or Doing Badly!

July 18th, 2017

network67 Ideas for Improving Your Follow-up Process

See if this sounds familiar… you attend a conference where you, once again, prove your ability as a networker. You meet a number of potential clients (a.k.a. “sales prospects”), have several solid conversations and collect a pocketful of business cards. All-in-all, not bad!

Then you return to the office and are diligent about sending out the “nice to meet you” emails as soon as you can. And then… crickets! No one responds or says they’re looking for a new vendor. At best, you get a few “nice to meet you, too” responses – but nothing more.

When that happens – and it always happens – what do you do?

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My son quit his job last week to pursue his dream!

July 11th, 2017

dreamFor the last two years – since graduating from college – my son has been working as a financial analyst for a healthcare consulting firm in Dallas. And it’s a great firm… fast-growing, profitable, a leader in its niche, beautiful offices, takes great care of its employees, and so on.

But he hasn’t been happy… he wants to be in New York and he wants to change industries (from healthcare to music/entertainment). So, he’s saved his money, quit the firm and is moving north! Next week!

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