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Syndicated-service research firms -These firms gather consumer and trade informa-lion, which they sell for a fee. Examples; Nielsen Media Researth, SAM l/Burkc. Custom marketing research firms -These firms are hired to carry oul specific projects, Tltey design the study and report the findings.

$petlail)'-!ine marketing retearch firms -"Otese lirnis provide specialized research serrices. j hebest example is the Held'Service firm, Which sells 11 tilt I interviewing services to other linns.

Small companies can hire the services of a marketing research firm or conduct research in creative and affordable ways, such as:

I. Engaging students or professors to design and carry out projects - One Boston University MIÍA project helped American Express develop a successful advertising campaign geared toward young professionals, The cost: Slli.tHlO. '¿, Using the Internet - A company can collect Considerable information at very little cost by examining competitors' Web sites, monitoring chat roanas, and accessing published data.

3, Checking out ¡ train - Many small companies routinely visit their Competitors. Tom Coo hill, a chef win owns two Atlanta restaurants, gives managers a food allowance to dine out and bring hack ideas. Atlanta jeweler Frank Mai er fr., who often visits out-of-tcrwn rivals, spotted and copied a dramatic way of lighting displays.'1

Most companies, such as Fuji Photo PJltrt, use a combination of marketing research resources in si udy their in tins tri es, competitors* audiences, and channel strategies;

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