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Procurement and Marketing Research: Strange Bedfellows?


Many years ago, I worked for the Federal Trade Commission, managing marketing research projects for the Impact Evaluation Department of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.  Being part of the federal government, of course, we had to abide by all of the standards and requirements for procuring goods and services for the government. Every time we wanted to purchase marketing research services, we would work with our Office of Procurement to solicit and evaluate proposals and choose the winning bid.  

That Took Marketing Research?

marketing research how to

As a marketing research professional, I’m always on the lookout for new, stimulating research.  I’m also always on the lookout for studies that may confirm what we already suspected, but sometimes produce surprising underlying findings.  Two cases in point:

Paying for free stuff: Brand Research

Water Brand

Nutritionists, medical professionals, and anyone living will agree that you need water to live and at least 8 glasses of water to maintain a healthy system. What if I told you that you could have 8 glasses of water or more a day, every day for the rest of your life for free?! Well, you might think "duh" of course I can. But then why is the bottle water industry one of the largest multi-billion industry in the world?

Survey Research Helps Choose New Cigarette Warnings

cigarette warning

Big news this week as the FDA unveiled the new cigarette warning labels. According to the Wall Street Journal, "The warnings represent the most significant changes to U.S. cigarette labels in more than 25 years and are required to be placed on all cigarette packs, cartons and ads no later than September 2012."


I  Users John Hubspot angry kitty resized 600

In the feline world, there is a phenomena in cats called “Fight or Flight” behavior.  The short explanation is that if a cat is dead asleep – as they do 18 hours a day – if you suddenly wake him up, the cat’s instincts kick-in and in moments the cat has to decide to fight or run to avoid injury.

Marketing Research: Just Adding Words Doesn’t Make It Research

marketing research

Recently I saw an advertisement for a major car company who proclaimed that their cars had been ‘genetically engineered’ for comfort.  I may not be a scientist, but how can a car have genes to be engineered?  We have genetically engineered food, animals, salmon and even other living organisms, but cars?  Most consumers will hear this and not question it, but I’ll believe it when someone can get me a Chevrolet genome!

Brand Research: Schick Xtreme3 Refresh "Sensory Branding"

shaving baby

Schick has introduced their new razor, Xtreme3 Refresh, that is the first scented razor for men. Don't worry guys, it's not a fruity scent that will have your friends questioning whether or not you used your girlfriend’s shaving cream on your face. In fact, Schick's marketing research showed that the men who noticed the scent tended to favor the razor more (70% said that they would definitely choose to buy it). 

Customer Satisfaction, Company Policy and Common Sense

call center mistake

This morning the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Delta Airlines had charged servicemen returning from deployment in Afghanistan $2,800 to check their bags between Baltimore and Atlanta.  Of course, Delta apologized, but also noted that the agent involved was "following company policy."

What The Rolling Stones Can Teach Us About Marketing Research

I  Users John Hubspot RollingStonesTongueLogo resized 600

No – it’s not the cry of some end users claiming “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”! It comes back to a topic I’ve touched on before – practical research. 

Marketing Research - A Tool For the AIDS Epidemic

aids map resized 600

It's been 30 years since the first cases of AIDS were identified in California. Although there are many advances in treatment to prolong life with HIV, AIDS remains an epidemic in many parts of the country. 

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