The Competitive Advantage

August 22, 2012

Don’t Kid Yourself… Social Media is NOT Free

Almost all businesses have embraced social media – at least at some level. Blogging, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the others all represent potential weapons in your marketing arsenal.  And we love them for two primary reasons:

  • Reach!  900,000,000 FaceBook users, 550,000,000 Twitter users and so on… the numbers are staggering!
  • Cost!  It’s $0.  That’s right… you can jump into social media in a pretty big way and not have to pay anything.

Well… that’s not entirely true.  While there may not be any out-of-pocket expenses, they do require and can take up a lot of your time.  And for very busy or smaller market research firms, time may be even more precious than money.

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August 14, 2012

A Checklist for Conducting your own Sales Audit

Last week, we discussed ways to step back and take a look at your marketing with a fresh set of eyes.  This week, let’s apply that same philosophy to your sales effort…

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August 8, 2012

A Checklist for Conducting your own Marketing Audit

Sometimes, we get so busy working IN our business that we forget to work ON our business.  When that happens, it helps to step back and take an objective look at what’s going on around you. And one of those areas of your business that most often needs a fresh set of eyes is marketing.  If that describes you, here are some ideas for conducting your own marketing audit and getting back on track.

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July 31, 2012

Want to get better at marketing? Become a student of it!

Marketing has evolved and changed as much as any discipline in business.  We used to think about marketing as print ads and direct mail.  Then along came the internet and our choices expanded to include email and banner ads.  And in the last few years, thanks to advances in technology, our choices have expanded further to include social media marketing, search engine optimization and mobile marketing.  And now to tie it all together, there’s Marketing Automation Software (MAS).

With the proliferation of options – where do you turn for answers?  Ironically, to the same technologies that are the cause of this anxiety in the first place… the internet and social media.  There’s enough information available – most of it for free – to make almost anyone a marketing expert!

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July 29, 2012

No rookies, no gum and no Frisbees: 10 don’ts for exhibiting at MR trade shows

The fall conference season will be here before you know it – ESOMAR, QRCA, AMA, CASRO, etc. – and many of you have committed to exhibiting at one or more of these shows. Done right, exhibiting can be an outstanding marketing vehicle and help you to generate highly-qualified sales leads, launch a new product or service, generate market awareness and support your association.

Now think about this: With the cost of the exhibit space; travel and lodging; building or updating your booth; shipping; event marketing; etc., your firm’s presence there could very well be the single largest marketing expense you have all year. Exhibiting is one of those things you must do really well to see a solid return on your investment.

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July 25, 2012

Does YOUR Business Need a Focus Group?

As researchers, you help your clients get feedback and insight on a variety of things – concept development, advertising, product usage and so forth.

But do you do that for yourself, too?  Do you get unbiased feedback on new services you’re thinking about launching, marketing ideas or tough business decisions?

If not, here’s an idea… consider establishing an ‘Advisory Board,’ an outside third-party group that can provide input on a variety of critical decisions.

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July 21, 2012

Watch the webinar – Creating a Winning Marketing & Sales Plan: 40 Tips in 40 Minutes

If you didn’t have the chance to join us on July 18th for the Quirk’s-sponsored webinar, you can access a recording of it by when you Click Here.

In addition, if you’d like a copy of the PowerPoint presentation we used, you can request one via email at

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July 18, 2012

Exhibiting at a conference this fall? Get your event marketing plan in place!

You’ve committed thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of dollars and several days of several people’s time to exhibit at a conference this fall.  The worst thing you can do is just show up and hope it goes well.  As the popular business book is titled, “Hope is not a strategy!”

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