Why You Should Exercise Caution When You Are Reading Research Studies/Reports

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We are always reading articles that quote statistics from various studies conducted by well-known research companies. For those of who have ever taken an introduction to market research course, it’s obvious that you should exercise caution when you are reading research studies and reports.

The gist? Garbage in, garbage out. A lot of the studies either lack a proper set of controls, or just choose research candidates who aren’t representative of the “population” that they are trying to extrapolate to, or worse yet, they simply selectively report statistics that make their article look favourable.

This brings me to the article that inspired this post. A VentureBeat article says that Tumblr’s value to advertisers [is] undervalued by as much as 450%. This is definitely an interesting statistic, since there were a few behaviors I noticed in my own social media engagement (and in the report charts) that made me question that statistic. 

  1. I have made the switch from Tumblr to Pinterest. I strongly believe that Pinterest is an improved version of Tumblr on steroids, allowing a user to consume 8 visually appealing “posts” on one page (not to mention the infinite scrolling which keeps me stuck to my laptop for hours on end).
  2. They say Tumblr is a HUGE influence on eventual purchases. From the chart provided, it seems like the current statistics show otherwise, where Tumblr’s first and last click (meaning the first time a user is aware of the product and the last click is the one that leads to the purchase of the product) trails behind those of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. So is this report merely speculation? 

Do any of you use Tumblr (or have used it)? Do you still use it or have you switched?  Do you think it is being as drastically undervalued as the research claims?

Do they know who you are?

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Have you ever wondered that?

If you are fantastic in the retail industry, do you think people outside of the industry would know?

So what happens when you want to break into the industry?

Case in point. One of my clients is trying to break into a new industry and reach a new demographic they have never done business with. When you look at their brand within their own industry, they are one of the leading brands; however, when you take a skip and a hop outside of their industry, I can confidently say that less than 5% of people in the new target market would know their brand or have any brand recall.

So what needs to be done when you want the attention of this new target market?

My client’s solution. Slap their brand on marketing collateral, post it everywhere.

My (proposed) solution. Have our brand logo and tagline on the marketing collateral in addition to having content that describes concrete achievements in our industry and how it’s relevant to the new target market.

Unfortunately the client proceeded without integrating my suggestions and it comes as no surprise that the initiative has been faced with mediocre results. I am not saying that by integrating my suggestions the initiative would have been stellar, but definitely it would have helped to better define who we are in the eyes of the new target market.

So before you throw yourself (and your brand) into a new market, stop and think, do they already know who you are? If they don’t, make sure to give them a reason to remember you.

Make Your Work Jaw-Dropping Good

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I had to pause my workday when I saw the Valentino SS 2014 collection. It’s jaw-dropping, amazing, risk-taking and ultimately paid off in a big way. 

As I was making my way through each photo, I uttered words of disbelief (euphemism for involuntary profanity) and felt my eyes widen and jaw drop at some fantastic pieces. If you can make your work this good, jaw-dropping good, then rest assured you will succeed, in a big way. So make that your standard – jaw-dropping good.

If You Don’t Love Your Job – Please Quit

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If you don’t love your job, please quit.

For owners/bosses – if you sense that your employees hate working here, please fire them. 

The benefit is that they can move on to find a better job. The bigger benefit is that you can move on to finding an employee who won’t lower your customer service standards. Think about it, if they hate their job, it will reflect on a daily basis when they are interacting with YOUR customers, who ultimately pays the bills (AND their salaries).

  1. Customer service problem? Who cares about you. I hate my job anyway. 
  2. Your food is late for half an hour? Well. I guess you’ll just have to wait.
  3. OH. Where is my 18% tip? (Goes through every server’s head even when they provide bad service.)

Case in point. I was at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art looking for a quick bite so I can continue my tour. We were promptly seated and I signaled for a server to take our order. The waitress, or at least what she appeared to be, according to me, was circling around on her feet in the same area with her head down (she must be enjoying her job don’t you think?)

She catches me out of the corner of her eye. Now, the usual response would be “I’ll get you your server right away”. The actual response was “THAT’S your server. I’M NOT a server.” She then left me to wave down my server as she continued circling in the same spot. Great location. Great art. You know what? The bad experience I had at the restaurant cancelled out the rest of the great experience I had at the museum, because whenever I talk about the museum now, I will unconsciously bring up this poor experience to my friends as well. 

Do you want the above scenarios to be daily occurrences in YOUR business? If not, I would suggest that you send them on their way.