By Debbie Frederiksen
Director of Marketing Consulting, ZweigWhite
During my junior year of college I took an elective business course in market research. I don’t recall exactly why I chose this class, but more than likely because it was conveniently scheduled not too early (so I could sleep in) and not too late (so I could make it to track practice). Either that or my best friend asked me to sign up and take it with her. Regardless of the reason I ended up in that classroom, I admit I learned some important lessons about research and statistical analysis that semester. I learned that when Trident says “4 out of 5 dentists recommend Trident for patients who chew gum” it means professional researchers questioned a predetermined sampling of dental surgeons and after carefully analyzing the results they had data to prove that 80% of them would actually recommend the gum!
Ever since that class I respectfully answer almost every written or electronic survey that is sent to me because I understand the value of market research, surveys, and benchmarking data. I also understand how much effort goes into writing those questions. So you can only imagine my excitement when ZweigWhite’s 2011 Marketing Survey arrived on my desk last week! I helped revise this year’s questionnaire and have been anxiously awaiting the results for months. I’ve been completely absorbed in the new data and making note of many interesting comparisons to my tattered 2010 edition. Most notably, marketing salaries have increased by an average of 4.8%. Not surprising however, the intense competitive environment continues to be the greatest challenge for most firms.
To those who responded to our survey questionnaire, thank you! And to those who didn’t or don’t typically respond to such survey requests, please reconsider the next time you’re asked. Market research is an important part of every industry and the information you share can help inform and shape the future. Look at what Trident has done with their product research and development. There are now 35 different flavors and varieties of their gum on the market! But personally I’m in the corner with that fifth dentist…I really prefer Orbit.
About Zweig Group
Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
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