The basics of market research

The Baltimore Examiner recently took a look back at the basics of market research. For best business practices, market research should be done at the beginning of the business, and a method to continue to grow the business. It should be done to look at three primary things: your customers, your competition, and your business environment. For more, read this article at the Examiner.

What does an online community manager do?

Dawn Foster, a Community 2.0 guest blogger, has a great presentation on what community managers are and what they do. Take a second to look at the presentation. There’s also a great analysis of it at the Web Worker Daily blog.

In N Out — Fast Food Service Champions

Recently at the Wall Street Journal, they looked at the recent survey released by Sandelman and Associates which polled 94,000 as to their preferences in fast food. The survey looked at things including quality of food and service, cleanliness and value for the money. The winner of the 2008 Quick-Track Awards of Excellence was burger chain In N Out.

Do you see any chains that weren’t recognized for their great customer service?

Here’s the complete list of fast food that made the survey for quality experiences:

1. In-N-Out Burger, Irvine, Calif., 60%
2. Raising Cane’s, Baton Rouge, La., 59%
3. Giordano’s Pizza, Chicago, 56%
4. Chick-fil-A, Atlanta, 55%
5. Panera Bread, St. Louis, 54%
6. Chipotle, Denver, 52%
7. Pei Wei, Scottsdale, Ariz., 51%
8. Firehouse Subs, Jacksonville, Fla., 51%
9. Taco Tote, El Paso, Texas, 50%
10. Qdoba, Wheat Ridge, Colo., 49%

(Photo: Seattle Weekly)

Do customers really want to engage with the brands?

The year began on a not so high note for the economy. But the digital media folks are bullish-as-usual.

I had a brainstorm featured on ChasingTheStorm. We were discussing Digital Media trends in 2009- specifically for Asia-Pacific. What came up were some really cool observations, some strong views and some star gazing.
Though the entire brainstorm could be viewed here – here is the sneak preview:

  • We need to recognise that commerce in APAC is conservative, and that in the words of Deng Xiaoping we’re ‘crossing the river by feeling the stones’
  • We could see a doubling of digital’s share of the marketing spend to 4% in APAC
  • Rise in spending on ‘Social media’ marketing
  • Figures say that in China alone, the share of marketing spending on Social Media is about 20% of all digital marketing spending.

And some comments that the community here in particular could respond to-

  • Other than SMEs running PPC campaigns on Facebook, social networking sites seem to be normally no more than bit players on display advertising schedules
  • I haven’t seen evidence that corporate profiles receive much traffic, and I’m not sure that modern media-savvy audiences really want to engage in conversations with their brands, they have better things to do
  • The landscape is unnecessarily blurred by social concepts such as twitter
  • Twitter’s like a social event where everyone’s talking and no-one’s listening. I simply don’t think that sufficient numbers will read it. Since this is a marketing cornerstone, it’s a non starter.

What are your thoughts on the above? Let us contribute to the discussion.

Facebook set to become a bona fide market research service?

According to, Facebook is going to try its hand at market research. According to The Telegraph, Facebook executives at the World Economic Forum in Davos have been demonstrating a market research product that “will soon allow multinational companies to selectively target its members in order to research the appeal of new products.” Talk about bang for their buck, every company would salivate at the opportunity to target specific individuals based on age, sex, etc. But will Facebook lose members with their devotion to marketers?

Singapore launches S$100m plan to improve customer service

According to, Singapore is one of the top ten customer-oriented countries in the world. It successfully climbed up the World Economic Forum’s service ranking from 26th in 2006 to 10th place last year. But with the current economic downturn, there is a worry that service standards will suffer as companies may cut down service capabilities, thereby worsening the overall economy.

Lim Swee Say, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Secretary-General, NTUC, said: “It is very important that we step up our efforts rather than scale back the effort because if you look at the service sector on the whole, customers will be more careful with every dollar that they spend. They will be more selective in terms of where they spend the money and what they spend it on.

Subway Launches Text Message Ordering In NYC

Now you can “Text Fresh” thanks to the Subway’s unveiling of text message ordering in NYC. Hungry cube dwellers need not waste precious time away from the office waiting in line–they need to simply text and enjoy. According to The Consumerist, it sounds convenient once you’ve jumped through the registration hoops, although the clear downside is you’re storing credit card info on a third-party site, which is the sort of thing that always seems to come back up as a bad idea when a company’s database is breached. If you’re comfortable with that risk, however, have at it.

Do you see more companies doing this in the future? What about using social media networks to order food? Let us know your thoughts here or on Twitter.