Thoughts On Dan Cobley’s Ted Talk: Why Market Researchers Are Like Physicists

Cathy Whitehead McIntyre

The contradictions are what make human behavior so maddening and yet so fascinating, all at the same time. (Joan D. Vinge, American Science fiction writer and Hugo-award winning author)

Many of us are sometimes unpredictable, inconsistent and, at times, act contrary to others’ expectations of us.  For market researchers, analyzing the reasons underlying consumers’ sometimes puzzling behavior presents complex challenges – and opportunities.

Using Market Research To Boost Employee Engagement

Cathy Whitehead McIntyre

Keeping employees engaged is critical to the success of any business. Employees who enjoy their jobs and understand how their roles contribute to organizational success are more likely to be engaged – creative, involved and high-performing. Engagement impacts employee retention, productivity and loyalty. Engaged employees have more positive interactions with customers that lead to stronger customer relationships, higher levels of customer satisfaction and, ultimately, greater customer loyalty which, in turn, leads to higher revenues. But how can research help boost employee engagement?

Satisfied Employees Lead To Satisfied Customers

Cathy Whitehead McIntyre

It’s not a new insight that satisfied employees can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction. Satisfied, motivated and engaged employees understand the role they need to play in consistently delivering good customer interactions. They create and nurture good relationships with their customers that build customer satisfaction, increase customer retention and enhance customer loyalty. The companies that lead their industries in employee satisfaction are generally the ones that have the highest levels of customer satisfaction, too. They understand that keeping customers happy starts with ensuring employees are satisfied, motivated, empowered and engaged, and they know that measuring employee satisfaction is actually one more way to monitor service quality.

Staying On Top OF Market Trends: An Imperative for Market Researchers

Cathy Whitehead McIntyre

Market research, at least in my opinion, is a critical input into the development .  And, for me, market research is all about understanding the consumer – their – so this can be incorporated into marketing strategy and marketing decision-making.  That’s why I spend a lot of time studying and staying up to date .  I believe that unless market researchers understand what’s trending, we can’t claim to truly understand consumers’ thought processes and the reasons behind what they do.

Old Technologies vs. New: How to Choose?

Cathy Whitehead McIntyre

New technologies, in particular mobile technologies, have vastly increased the options market researchers have at their disposal for data collection, and also for engaging respondents.  When it comes to old vs. new there is no right or wrong approach, but matching the technology (or technologies) to the study’s research objectives and the habits and preferences of target respondents is critical to achieving the best results and optimizing respondents’ participation in the research process.

The Value of Homework in Focus Group Research

Cathy Whitehead McIntyre

Have you ever answered a question and then, on reflection, realized you’d like a do-over?  Did you wish you’d had more time to think things through before you had to respond?  Sometimes we want respondents to give us their top-of-mind reactions without a lot of mental “editing.”  Other times, there’s just nothing better than getting thoughtful, considered answers to our questions.  These are the times when it may take a little advance preparation and to think things through and give us the level of detail we require.  When this is the case, assigning homework (or pre-work) can be an excellent addition to the discussion guide.

Getting Below The Surface – Identifying Respondents’ Real Motivations

Cathy Whitehead McIntyre

One of the most critical aspects of effective market research is identifying the real reasons why consumers behave the way they do.  We know how they behave – what they buy, when they buy and how frequently they buy.  But without , we often do not really know why.

Maybe not surprisingly, true motivations may not be transparent to us – or even to themselves!  Consumers’ motivations are based on deeply held perceptions, attitudes and beliefs, and while these certainly drive behaviour, they may often contrast with what consumers will say about why they do what they do, or think what they think.  So how do we get below the surface to identify consumers’ real motivations?