You are the delighted owner and inventor of an amazing new technology that will turn the market research industry around. Now all you have to do is simply show it to research buyers and reap the rewards. But with hundreds of new vendors popping up every year, it’s not that easy.
Here a few pieces of advice that might help.
- Your tool and your service is not new nor better. Every new vendor is positive that their tool is a brand new, amazing innovation that solves a problem no other vendor can. It’s not. There are at least five other technology companies out there doing pretty much the same thing albeit with a slightly different yet similarly hip name that verbifies some word. You just haven’t heard of each other yet. But some of your research buyers have. Along with many research suppliers who have been in the market research industry for ten or twenty years. They know better than you and whether they confess it, selling yourself as unique is not reality.
- You’re a research company. If you sell products and services that help researchers and marketers understand companies, consumers, customers, and markets, you’re not a technology company. You’re a market research company. That’s not an insult. That’s knowing what your business is and who your clients are. Saying you’re a technology company sure sounds cool though, doesn’t it.
- Speak the language. You are part of the market research industry. Be proud of that fact. Learn the language. Learn what box scores, test groups, control groups, confounds, sampling, targeting, order effects, experimenter effects, validity, reliability, and other basic research terms mean. These are your terms too. When you can use these words properly, you’ll be able to talk to your potential clients quickly and clearly. And get to the sales discussion more quickly.
- Complements over criticisms. One common technique for promoting a new tool is to outline the flaws of existing tools and show how using your tool instead eliminates those problems, thereby rendering the old and tired tools irrelevant. But chances are those old, traditional tools still exist because for decades they have served a genuine, much needed purpose that cannot be met by other tools. Including your tool. Focus on how your tool can complement existing tools rather than criticizing those tools. Collaboration, not cut-throat. Friends, not enemies. We’re still going to use those ‘out-dated’ tools so don’t make us feel stupid for doing so.
- Make it easy to switch. So if you’re no better and no different than a bunch of other vendors, why would anyone bother with your tool over anyone else’s? Because you’ve made it EASY to add it to their toolbox. You’ve incorporated language into the tool that makes sense to researchers – test and control, randomization, box scores. The tool creates familiar charts that mirror charts from other projects they’ve done – bar charts, line charts. It easily imports and exports into other tools they are already comfortable with – Excel, SPSS, PPT, R, SQL. You’ve prepared case studies and white papers showing reliability and validity by categories they understand – consumer packaged goods, finance, pharma, food, beverage. And best of all, when a client puts their traditional output next to your output, their CEO would be able to transition between the two reports with complete ease and comfort.
Ready to make a deal?
Live note-taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. ANy error or bad jokes are my own.
Inspiring vendors to go the distance for exceptional insights by Debbie Balch and Rairo Davila
- Act as partners not vendors
- Asked vendors for examples of their work to judge the quality of it, asked for references
- Clear on setting up objectives and expectations of the research
- Client showed the vendor examples of reports that worked well in his company
- You might need to kiss a hundred frogs before you find your prince, trust is necessary but not easy
- You need to guide the supplier, touch base regularly maybe once a week, not just to track status of project but also to express questions or explain something that has changed in the company
- Both parties need to be willing to try new and innovative techniques to seek the truth
- Be flexible and willing to shift
- [moral of the story – be a nice person]
The brain science of buying by Susan Weinschenk
- People buy when they feel confident of thir decision [well sometimes]
- They may not ACTUALLY be confident but they feel they are ready to make the decision
- It is an unconscious process that can result in a single neuron firing, you cannot be aware of a single neuron firing
- You just need to make people confident enough to make that one neuron Fire
- Sometimes you just need one person to say “good decision” to make that neuron fire
- Dopamine is released when people anticipate, not when they get the reward, the feel good chemical
- Dopamine makes you seek information, more dopamine is released when the reward is less predictable, we react a lot to unpredictability
- Remember when the process to buy an iPhone was unpredictable and you had to get on a list that allowed you fill out a form which allowed you to get a phone which allowed you to get a phone, and you didn’t know when any of these things would happen or allow you to get a phone
- Don’t be afraid to make people wait
- Most decisions ar Meade unconsciously, 95% of thinking and decisions are unconscious
- Researchers could predict what choice people would make 10 seconds before the person was award of having made a decisions – using an fMRI
- People can make up an give you reasons but it probably isn’t the real reason
- Don’t really on what people say
- Most buying decisions involve emotions and feelings, not just logic and reasoning
- If you can’t feel emotions then you can’t make decisions, when people feel loyal to a brand they have a feeling to the brand, feeling is a precursor to making a decision [I like Ray’s definitions of loyalty – when logic says to do anything else but you do that]
- People make either a goal directed value based buying decision or they buy from habit, not both
- Don’t give people all the value information if they are asking a habit decision because people can’t do both at the same time
- We need to reach consumers emotionally
- The rise of “sadvertising” – brands want to are us cry
- “A snack for anyone who is seeking experiences” great empty tag line 🙂
- We are not thinking machines, we are feeling machines that think
- Emotions guide us unconsciously
- Why do you buy tide, mom uses it, friend uses it, like the colour, you’re guided to a habit forming purchase
- Showing people pictures of something will make them more likely to choose something later on related to those pictures, even when it’s stages away in terms of something like Puma to cats to dogs
- Go beyond words when you position a brand, embrace the messiness of abstract feelings and emotions, music, characters, images can be a brand statement or strategy document
- How you say it may matter more than what you say – the lighting, the colours, language used, tonality – meta communication
- Feeling of an ad lasts longer than a rational message
- Can build these feelings into the features of the packaging
- Emotions guide us unconsciously, brands are vast messy networks in the mind, meta communication is more important than you think
Live blogging from the #MRIA national conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.
Panel discussion with client-side researchers – “What clients want”
Moderator: David Ian Gray, President & Founder, DIG360 Consulting Ltd.
Panelists: Greg Ambrose, Senior Manager, Consumer Research & Insights, Tim Hortons; Bonnie Baird, Manager of Planning & Research, Tourism Saskatchewan; Susan Williams, Senior Director, Strategic Insights at Cadillac Fairview, Cadillac Fairview Corporation; John Tabone, Principal, Member Value & Research Services Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada
- other than better, cheaper, faster…
- clients shine when they partner with good people
- find a way to get to the executive table, a way to position themselves
- need strong relationships between clients and suppliers, iterative, trusting, collaborative
- suppliers are suppliers within their own organization
- need to learn from suppliers on how to be the consultant within their organization
- don’t need to change suppliers when the same old project is going just fine the same old way; but i want to see new things and if you aren’t showing me, i’ll go find them elsewhere. they’d like to work with the same suppliers but you aren’t offering what the technology companies are offering
- they want to put good research in front of key decisions makers, needs to be timely and a good story, need it to sing a little bit, needs to make them think further and more in depth
- [Pause – time to consider the three Mounties who were killed in Moncton as this is headquarters for the Mounties]
- suppliers want to meet the executive team on day one but that’s not realistic
- every company doesn’t need to know all the new technologies but you need to understand them and know where you fit within them
- need to make sure they’re working with the right people on the right projects, work across projects the supplier gets to understand the business better and the relationship is better, you need months and years to develop relationships
- best suppliers know how to listen, know where you want to go, it’s overwhelming when suppliers list out 20 tools and options but I need something to solve my specific problem
- it’s okay for vendors to say i don’t know if we have that or can offer that
- how can you get the key message across in five minutes
- you may not have to go through the key client contact every time when you have a good relationship
- use the words that your team wants to hear if it will make the technique sound more cool and it actually what they want/need
- probably won’t take a chance on a new vendor for a large job, six figures
- please get the company name right, please know what their products are. it is a job interview so prepare for it.
- RFP process is your first stab at the relationship – on time, typos, answer all the questions, don’t assume we know what you’re talking about, name dropping is not impressive but it helps for context, foot in the door is telling about related projects not the company secrets
- when a client recommends a new supplier to their team, they need examples of relevant work, evidence that you are good at it helps sell you as a vendor
- don’t dangle a wonderful person and then have them work only two hours on a project, it’s misleading, unfair and leaves a bad taste in the mouth, deliver the people you say you are going to deliver
- be familiar with the buzz words needed to sell the job internally, your trademarked words, proprietary tools don’t fool them [Heck yeah! it’s all just regression not the Annie Pettit Regression Tool]
- need to know how involved the senior person is, do include the junior people as that pipeline needs to be filled but don’t let me find out they wrote the whole report and i’ve never met them
- overused buzzwords – Insights – do you have a ‘drawer you can open and pull out an insight’, We Can Do It All, Big Data
- challenge me a little bit even when I think i’m right
- why use a supplier when there are so many DIY tools? because they provide the so what, useful decision advice that you don’t get from DIY tools – but they DO use DIY tools for clear simply projects
- when are DIY tools not appropriate? sometimes after the DIY tool to get the aha
- want a few options of good better best with sample sizes, Q lengths, phases. open to a certain amount of grey even at the pricing stage
- ask good questions at the RFP stage, not stupid questions [i would love to hear some of the stupid questions 🙂 ]
- budgets are available if you can demonstrate impactful decisions
- help them find low risk ways to innovate
- can’t always be as open as they want to be due to legal reasons