Sponsor Spotlight: Maritz Research Inc.

Today, we’ll continue looking at the companies who are participating in The Market Research Event. Maritz Research Inc. is today’s featured sponsor.

Maritz Research Inc. provides actionable intelligence to achieve business success by identifying and understanding gaps between brand promise and brand performance. As today’s customers compare value propositions at lightning speed, companies must live up to their brand promises again and again. Maritz Research helps you understand and explain customer behavior in this supercharged environment by examining three critical, integrated dynamics: Choice: Why customers select your products or services, Experience: What happens at key “moments of truth” with your customers, & Loyalty: Why customers return, defect, or buy more. The company specializes in the automotive, financial services, hospitality, telecommunications, retail and technology sectors and also offers a custom research group. Maritz is a world leader in customer satisfaction research, helping businesses define, measure, and track satisfaction for more than 30 years. Utilizing research, customer focused training, reward systems, and communications programs, Maritz supports and drives actionable improvement strategies.

Hear more from Maritz Research, Inc and other leaders in market research at The Market Research Event this October 18-21 in Las Vegas!

Google vs. Bing: What’s Your Choice?

Jennifer Van Grove recently posted on Mashable 5 reasons why one should switch over from Google to Bing. Bing is the fastest growing search engine which currently holds 10.7% of the search market compared to Google’s 65% dominance. Here’s a recap of 5 Bing features that separate it from the rest of search engines.

1. Travel Insight – Bing’s farecast technology shows you when you search if airfare prices are expected to stay the same, get cheaper, or rise in price depending on market trends,
2. Cashback – The benefit here for consumers is that if they start their product search on Bing, they are able to save and cash in on rewards when they buy.
3. Visual Search – This alternative user interface allows you to search when you can’t recall the name of something and it’s a more powerful way to uncover valuable information.
4. BingTweets – Trending topics on twitter are shown side-by-side with Bing search results.
5. Enhanced Search – The enhanced view is a simple addition that gives more information on your result ensuring that the URL isn’t relevant your search result.

T-Mobile Reigns Supreme Again in Customer Service

This post on techGEER.com highlights how even though T-Mobile’s indoor reception and network might not be 100%, its customer service is something to brag about. According to J.D. Power and Associates 2nd volume of 2009 Wireless Sales Satisfaction Study, T-Mobile USA has ranked on top of the list as the nations most satisfying wireless carrier.

The survey was conducted from January 2009 to June 2009 and it involved more than 8,000 wireless subscribers. It will be interesting to see how the other big companies like Verizon and AT&T will respond and react to these survey results.

Post-purchase customer service impacts customer loyalty

In a great article at Industry Week, they look at why it is so important to have great customer service throughout a product’s lifecycle for the customers. They found out that so typically the better customers service a customer receives after purchasing a product, the more likely they are to stay loyal to that company. Read the full article here.

Columbus synagogue serves the world

On the verge of the high Jewish holidays, The Columbus Dispatch looks at how one synagogue began to build and online Jewish community to serve the younger generation of online Jews, but soon found that they were serving many new commmunities they hadn’t intended on: those who never felt comfortable in a synagogue, the elderly, shut-ins and those who grew up with synagogue. The rabbis also communicate with these online community members through Facebook and Twitter.

When you begin your online community, you typically have a target and focus of customers you’d like to find. As with this synagogue, they found that they could serve more than they’d originally planned. Have you found a new target you hadn’t originally planned on by starting your online community? Have you found an effective way to communicate with this audience, whether it’s through Twitter or another medium?

Southwest Stabilizes Leadership in Air Carriers by Implementing New Customer Services

The Chicago Tribune reports that Southwest Airlines, the leading legacy American air carrier has recently EarlyBird Check-In service. For $10, a customer can be among the first boarding group with Rapid Rewards and Business Select members.

On the first day, 20,000 customers bought the service, providing $200,000 to the company’s bottom line,” Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly said.

“While [Southwest] has made it clear that they don’t want to ‘nickel and dime’ their customers, they are beginning to tiptoe into ancillary revenue waters that other airlines have jumped into headfirst,” wrote Michael Derchin, a research analyst at FTN Equity Capital Markets Corp.

Analysts expect Southwest to begin offering in-flight Wi-Fi service for a fee next year and possibly add a fee for a second checked bag. Some analysts anticipate that Southwest also will look at selling food on its flights, as most domestic carriers do.

What other customer-centric policies can Southwest Airlines implement to keep their bottom line holding strong?

Southwest Airlines weathers downturn with focus on customer service, spirited attitude

Study Says Stay-at-Home Moms Dominate Social Media

The Denver Business Journal reports today that The Retail Advertising and Marketing Association study released Wednesday showed that more than 60 percent of stay-at-home moms are more likely to use Facebook, more than 42 percent are more likely to use MySpace and nearly 17 percent are more likely to use Twitter. That’s compared to average adults ‘ 50 percent of which use Facebook, 34 percent that use MySpace and 15 percent that use Twitter. The article says that, the findings show retailers what advertising and marketing opportunities can be found on the Internet and within social media sites.

We’ve seen the introduction of “Mommy Blogs” and frugal homemaking blogs, but do stay-at-home moms really dominate the social media sphere? We’d like to hear your thoughts.

Study: Stay-at-home moms dominate social media

Speakers of TMRE 2009: Tony Cardinale, NBC Universal

In the weeks leading up to The Market Research Event 2009, we’re going to be hearing from the speakers of The Market Research Event. This week we have Tony Cardinale, Bravo, Oxygen, & Women at NBCU, NBC Universal, who will be presenting “Segmentation reveals new ways to Connect Optimally with Consumers in an Economic Downturn,” in the Segmentation Track on Monday, October 19, 2009. To learn more about The Market Research Event, download the brochure here!

1. Tell us about a project you are working on or recently completed that you are proud of?
Cardinale: Very proud of the New Economics Planning Tool that we created in partnership with Simmons. The tool is a customized version of the syndicated Simmons National Consumer Study which is used at many media companies and media agencies. It allows a user to create segments of consumers based on their reaction to the economic downturn of the past year-plus. Some consumers are more resilient brand spenders and big-ticket spenders, either because their personal financial outlook remains positive or because they just highly value brands, or prioritize their plans to buy a home or take a vacation. Other consumers are looking to spend less overall, or spend less in specific categories. The tool is designed to isolate the consumers who are in each of these groups, category by category, allowing a marketer to add that layer of intel to their targeting process. It’s the only tool of its kind that we know of.

2. Think ahead 5 years, what major changes for MR/Consumer Insights do you see?
Cardinale: I’d love to see traditional age/sex targeting replaced or augmented by a real marketing industry focus on behavioral and/or attitudinal targets.

3. What inspired you to get in the field? What keeps you motivated?
Cardinale: I love tooling around with numbers to see what stories pop out of them. It’s my hobby. Knowing that there’s always something new and innovative to try just around the corner keeps me motivated.

Good Riddance to Twitter Spammers, Impersonators, and Serial Abusers!

Jennifer Van Grove from Mashable recently posted a great article on a list of 10 people that we will no longer see on Twitter anymore. This comes after Twitter recently announced changes to its terms of service, in an effort to crackdown on bad behavior on the site. Here’s a list of the 10 people we will no longer see, as detailed by Jennifer on Mashable.

1. The Impersonator
2. The Bot
3. The Naked Chick
4. The Serial Abuser
5. The Squatter
6. The Slimy Salesman
7. The Hashtag Spammer
8. The Plagiarizer
9. The Uber Oversharer or Bully
10. The Faker

Which are you most excited about never seeing again?

Customers 1st Speaker Profile: Emily Yellin, Author, Your Call Is(Not That) Important To Us

Emily Yellin
Your Call Is(Not That) Important To Us

Emily Yellin is the author of Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us (Free Press 2009) and Our Mothers’ War (Free Press 2004), and was a longtime contributor to The New York Times. She has also written for Time, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Smithsonian Magazine, and other publications.

Born in White Plains, New York, Emily grew up in Memphis. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin ‘ Madison with a degree in English literature, and received a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She has lived in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London, but currently lives in Memphis.

Emily decided to write Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us while waiting on hold one day in her freezing cold house, only to argue on the phone for hours with customer service at a home warranty company before convincing someone to come fix her broken furnace.

Bio courtesy of Red Room.