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The Competitive Advantage

tag: research

March 30, 2021

Why don’t research firms conduct research on themselves?

We’ve all heard the saying that “The cobbler’s children have no shoes”… which means, in business terms, that some companies are really good at doing things for their clients, but not so good at doing those same things for themselves.

And there’s no escaping that predicament in the Market Research industry.

For the nine years we’ve been in business, we’ve worked with scores of market research firms across the U.S. and around the world… and with relatively few exceptions, none of these firms conduct any research on themselves. Specifically, they’re not doing any post-project customer satisfaction surveys.

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May 22, 2019

What YOU think doesn’t really matter…

… it only matters what your clients & prospects think.

I recently stumbled across an online article from the Harvard Business Review, and though it’s several years old, its message is as true today as it ever was… maybe more so:

“Most companies are the centers of their own universes. It’s a natural enough impression; after all, the products and services they offer are on their minds 24/7. The trap is in those companies deluding themselves into thinking that they are as important to their customers as they are to themselves. This is almost never the case. This delusion interferes with understanding customers and their needs, and frequently leads companies to talk to customers in ways that seem foreign or confusing.”

The author sure hit the nail on the head with that one… that myopic perspective – that so many business leaders have – has been the cause of more business failures than virtually any other issue.

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February 6, 2019

Self-Funded Research… an Amazing Marketing Tool!

The following post is from an interview with Anne Beall, PhD, Founder of Beall Research in Chicago.

Henke: Anne, let me get this straight… you designed, implemented, managed, measured, reported on and paid for a full-blown research study as a marketing strategy?

Beall: Not quite. It was actually two studies! Seriously… yes, we did create and execute a full study for our own purposes – partially to support our marketing efforts and also to help us study and bring to market a new model around brands and emotions.

Henke: Where does an idea like this come from? Many firms that I’m familiar with would wait to find a paying client to help underwrite something like that.

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May 16, 2017

Content marketing stalled by writer’s block? Here’s what I did.

writers-blockFor the past five years, I have posted a blog once a week, virtually without fail. As a provider of content marketing services, we not only have to talk the talk… we also have to walk the walk. But after nearly 250 posts… I hit a wall. For the first time since we started Harpeth Marketing, I had writers’ block.

It’s not that I couldn’t come up with any good ideas for posts, I couldn’t come up with any ideas… period! It was truly frustrating.

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July 29, 2015

Need Fresh Content for Content Marketing? Do Survey Research!

A Guest post by Debra Semans. Based in Atlanta, Debra, is the lead writer for Harpeth Marketing, as well as an independent researcher and focus group moderator. She can be reached at Debra@HarpethMarketing.com.

frustrated at workWhile the debate rages about whether “Content is King”, many marketing researchers feel like Content is some maniacal despot, or at least a weighty albatross hung around your neck. You already have a 70-hour (or more) a week job! How are you supposed to make time to produce fresh content? And how do you make it fresh when everyone else is publishing content on the same topics? How many blogs on customer satisfaction measurement can the world endure?

Ironically, marketing researchers have the best source for fresh content right at their fingertips. I’m talking about marketing research! The results of a quick survey can fuel your blog posts for weeks.

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April 15, 2015

Do you really know what clients want?

skilletI was flipping through a magazine this morning and came across a small article announcing a new product available to consumers.

It’s a Bluetooth-enabled frying pan that helps you find the right temp so you know when to flip your pancakes (or whatever you’re cooking). Are you serious?!

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September 17, 2014

Churn baby churn! The loss of clients.

I was talking with a long-time industry friend of mine this week and he made a really interesting comment. He said, “For every new client we pick up, we’re losing one or two.” He called it their ‘churn rate.’

Yikes! With those kinds of odds, it won’t take long before they’re in really serious trouble.

It’s a good lesson for all of us… What’s your churn rate?

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July 23, 2014

Is the customer always right? Uhhh… pretty much!

customer-feedback.133103555As I write this, I’m in the midst of a project with a client… helping them to develop their “go to market” messaging for a new service line. We’ve been talking about features and benefits, what “pain points” we think it addresses, what those that have tried it think about it and so on.

But we can only do so much. If you believe that “the buyer’s perception is the seller’s reality” (and I do!), then before my client makes any final decisions on messaging, he needs to get some input from those for whom the messaging is intended… his clients and prospects.

The fact is, getting feedback from clients could be the answer to most of your business questions and problems. Think about all the issues you deal with and where client input could be helpful…

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