Independent Marketing Researchers

Highlights of other recent market research projects

Primary research

A manufacturer of policy administration and claims handling software needed information on which to base plans for a major overhaul of their capabilities. In addition, they wanted to understand whether their customers and prospects preferred an end-to-end system or modules from which they could pick and choose specific applications. Our research served to prioritize product development activities and support the sales process.

An insurance industry organization
providing training for members' employees was not sure its historic model continued to meet members' needs. Interviews with Benefits Managers and Trainers showed that the industry had experienced an influx of new workers and the mix of courses no longer met key needs. Respondents also preferred that sessions, both basic and advanced, be offered locally or by webinars that could be accessed at employees' convenience.

A global insurance company designing an Enterprise Data Management system  wanted to avoid pitfalls by other companies that were further down the development path. Our client scheduled 2 hour telephone interviews with their own customers during which we discussed experiences with customer data, metadata analysis, governance processes and structure, metrics and standards.  A preliminary set of best practices emerged that informed the clients' own development efforts.

A Property Casualty insurance company had been receiving inconsistent feedback from the sales force on agents' and brokers' needs in a risk management system. Interviews with a broad cross-section of employees at intermediaries' offices found that overall, needs were actually fairly consistent, agency to agency, but differed significantly by job function within the agencies.

A Property Casualty insurance carrier wanted to better understand business challenges and unmet insurance needs of independent and small to medium trucking firms. In-depth interviews were conducted with owner-operators during which several potential value-added services were identified.

A national bank wanted opinions about their implementation of RESPA (Real Estate
Settlement Procedures Act) that took full effect on January 1, 2010. In-depth interviews were conducted with internal mortgage processors as well as Realtors. As a result of the research, paperwork was simplified and the application process streamlined.

A financial services firm wanted to know how secure customers felt with their online account access. Our client had improved security around its electronic banking and brokerage activities and wanted feedback from its customers. Findings from the telephone IDIs confirmed that the security steps that were implemented contributed to customers' perceptions that the institution remained among the best in class for security measures and that the extra log-in steps were viewed positively.

An economic development organization needed opinions from key industry leaders in a target industry group about a metropolitan area's pluses and minuses. We identified and contacted key executives in the target industry and conducted in-depth telephone and in-person interviews with them about advantages and disadvantages of locating in a particular metropolitan area. This study will be followed by a large-scale quantitative study to obtain measurements on key criteria.

A provider of information and communications products was disappointed by a high rate of canceled contracts as it introduced wireless mobile broadband service in two test markets. Our research revealed that sales people did not truly understand the products and had there been a better match between customer needs and product, the rate of disconnect would have been at or lower than industry averages. The company modified its sales training and compensation program in an effort to minimize returns.

A local non-profit arboretum with a limited budget needed assistance in assessing visitor satisfaction. We consulted with our client to identify information needs and developed a questionnaire for distribution to visitors and to place on their website. Findings helped the client revamp some of their programs and improve their marketing and awareness campaigns.

An urban theater developed programming to enrich the lives of local youth by providing opportunities to engage more deeply with productions. We helped them develop a questionnaire that was completed by students after post-show discussions to determine which aspects of the outreach program were of greatest interest. The results were used to request additional funding through grants.

Secondary research

A company wanted to size the privately-held business market and to obtain information about the specialized financial needs of business owners and privately-held businesses. We conducted extensive literature searches using online library bibliographic databases and found published market research studies that provided useful information on this market and several sub-segments.

A corporate training supplier needed to profile a target segment before bringing a new product to market. By conducting a thorough search of published literature, we wrote a profile of a segment of the U. S. corporate training market to meet our client’s information needs. Findings from secondary research answered our client’s questions about market size, revenues of leading vendors, market trends, buyer criteria and preferences, user preferences, and other market and competitor information. Our client used the findings to decide next steps – to conduct further research or to test a product in the market.

A communications consultant needed a study on employee satisfaction with corporate communications as a benchmark for primary research. Through secondary research, we identified a national study that measured employee satisfaction with employers’ communications. The search also uncovered more published research studies identifying other key employee communications metrics.

Asia-Pacific consumer trend data was needed for client’s international conference. Several key published research studies were identified covering attitudes, behaviors, changing demographics, lifestyles, communications, and purchasing trends of Asian consumers across multiple countries. Our client used these studies to prepare materials for a major international conference.