Posts filed under ‘marketing research’

Customer input from the social web.

Several months ago, I looked at some corporate initiatives to use social networking tools to interact with customers and learn what they have to say about a company’s products and services. I thought they were a bit pricy for midsize companies and predicted we would see lower cost options in the near future. The future is here. is currently in beta. It offers a simple, easy to use, online tool that makes it easy for customers to communicate their opinions, wants and needs and empowers companies to take action.

The pricing is right for midsize companies at $50/month or $495/year with a 30 day free trial and money back guarantee. The feature set is pretty basic on the “suggester” side. Anyone can make a suggestion or rate suggestions made by others. The company can respond to suggesters with a thank you or request for clarification. And each suggestion can be marked as implemented, coming soon, under review or filed away.

in a comment to my earlier post, an IdeaStorm manager suggested the power of their solution was on the back end. This may be so, but at $5 per user, this power requires a significantly larger investment.

Vivek Bhaskaran, CEO of Survey Analytics, developers of QuestionPro and IdeaScale commented on one of my earlier posts. He said, “I think the model of charging per user (or per idea) is NOT how we plan on marching down. We’ll have flat fee of anywhere between Free (yes), $15/Month and $199/Month.”

Here are some examples of who/how IdeaScale is being used: (Politics) (Large Biz) (Small Biz)

August 18, 2008 at 7:56 am 2 comments

What does this brand mean to you?

Since the name was trademarked in 1903, cubic dollars have been spent to build, support, expand, refine, and engrain the Pepsi-Cola brand in the mind of “cola” drinkers everywhere. It is reasonable to assume that near cubic dollars have been invested in marketing research to learn how effective the efforts to build, support, expand, refine, and engrain the brand have been. The results of this research have been, of course, proprietary. That was then, this is now….

Continue Reading May 29, 2008 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

Analyzing the blogosphere.

OK, so maybe you have a budget for marketing research. Most of my small to midsize clients don’t, but larger companies do. Fine. Check out Umbria, recently acquired by the customer opinion folks at J.D. Power & Assoc.

Umbria focuses its marketing intelligence technology on social media—blogs, message boards, Usenet, and product review sites. They deliver data plus analysis of the potential effect of online conversations on brands, markets, consumers and trends.

May 12, 2008 at 4:08 pm Leave a comment

Wisdom of customers… revisited.

In my recent post on Tapping the wisdom of customers. I talked about Dell’s IdeaStorm as powered by It seemed like a valuable if pricey way to gather ideas and test them out before putting them in the development cue.

At $5/user, I thought the SalesForce solution might be too rich for most midsize companies. But if the idea farming process works, I expected to see competitive options in the near future. Here’s one, currently in beta…

Continue Reading April 25, 2008 at 7:52 am 5 comments

Sorry, this is a trick question.

When was the last time you had an impartial, dispassionate assessment of your marketing program? You get a dispassionate assessment every time a potential customer takes a look at one of your ads or visits one of your websites. Every time an editor scans a press release or one of your own sales reps decides to use (or toss) another piece of collateral.

Unfortunately, none of these people is likely to volunteer an honest appraisal of your work—yet their honest appraisal is (should be) monumentally important to you.

As a coach and consultant (ad agency creative director in a past life), I have used a four-step process for extracting useful opinions about marketing programs and materials. Try them, they work…

Continue Reading April 23, 2008 at 6:05 am Leave a comment

Tapping the wisdom of customers.

In The Wisdom of Crowds, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki argues that “under the right circumstances, groups of ordinary people are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them.” So, I was excited to read about Dell’s Idea Storm in Laurie Clemans’ blog.

Apparently, Dell has been inviting customers to share ideas for new/improved products and services for over a year. Anyone can register, post an idea and rate (promote or demote) ideas posted by others. and see what Dell is planing to develop. According to Clemans, “the Dell Community has contributed: 8,949 ideas, promoted 615,131 times, and posted 69,456 comments.”

Continue Reading March 29, 2008 at 10:13 am 1 comment

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