Tweets of Pain

December 22, 2009

“… I am sooooo busy and soooooo far behind. I do NOT like that feeling!” @LoveStats (Annie Pettit – prominent blogger/tweeter on MR methods/issues)

Commencing what feels like first real vacation in 2 years. Excited to do tremendous amounts of nothing…”  @steveaugust  (Steve August, Founder of  online Quali  software platform)

“think you ever get used to heading for the airport on a sunday night? hate it!!!!” @ericsalama (Eric Salama – CEO Kantar)

An increasing number of MR professionals Twitter. And a surprising number of them share tweets like the above, which have landed in my Tweet Deck in recent times.  (I  picked these to illlustrate the range – there are plenty others!).  Many of us share their frustration.

(c) Randy Glasbergen, 2006

I had a personal epiphany a few years back when, after my third trip to Beijing in a year, I realised I still hadn’t seen the Great Wall, and indeed had not seen much beyond the usual airport, taxi, meeting room and restaurant for dinner. I had a vision of my grandchildren gathered around me in my retirement, asking me about my travels and all I’d be able to say was that “it’s hard to get a taxi in New York when you need it”.

Read On… >


Reward ‘Persistent Bloody-Mindedness’, Not Luck – Part 2.

December 15, 2009

In my last post I argued that reward systems in market research need to focus less on broad generic financial targets (whose achievement at local level may be more luck than judgement), and find more subtle means of assessing local performance.  One big reason for this is the fact that the success of an established market research business is much more about protecting existing contracts and driving incremental business from current clients than it is about gaining new clients. I’m not saying getting new clients is easy (or unimportant!), but over most of the past 30 years the market research industry has been in expansion mode (especially in developing markets).  Most years (possibly excepting our last one!), most half decent companies will get at least a few new clients wanting to try them. (See David’s blog on how this impacts your sales planning). When we analyse why a local company is under-achieving in any given year, it’s more often about losing a key client or failure to generate extra revenues from clients they’re already working  with than about failure to win new clients. Read On… >

Sales ≠ Revenue – Tactics versus Strategy (Part II)

December 7, 2009

In the first part of this blog, I outlined the 5 basic rules to set up your sales plan in order to meet or better beat your revenue target. They were

1.      Secure the Base

2.      Cycle Time Adjust

3.      Prepare for ‘Shrinkage’

4.      Refine your Focus

5.      Plan the Unexpected

But it not just about hitting the top-line number, it’s about making the bottom-line simultaneously. In the short-term, anyone can ‘buy’ revenue, especially with large projects over-sold, over-promised, and then over-delivered, but that won’t generate the cash to keep the business healthy, pay the bonuses, and satisfy the owners and shareholders. As well as ‘quantity’, you need ‘quality’ sales not just for the profit but to safeguard against sudden changes in the environment. So, here are rules 6-10 for quality:-

  1. Maximise Profitability by Minimising Opportunity Cost – Big spenders might go a long way to helping hit that new higher revenue target but they can also soak up time and money better spent elsewhere. Before deciding who to grow, check your client-by-client profitability. The rules will vary depending on your size and set up but if, for a given client, out-of-pockets are regularly over 50% or time costs on the survey-based work are topping 35%, you’re either undercharging or over-servicing. Either way, if you can’t change the cost model, you may need to look elsewhere for longer term profitable growth. (Of course, you’ll need the right financial systems in place to do this analysis in the first place.)
  2. Read On..>