Aug 28

August 28, 2014

Rewards Program Blog Thumb

Setting Realistic Goals for a Successful Rewards Program

There are many ways to run an effective mystery shop rewards program. Providing a reward-based on successful completion of the mystery shop is a great way to motivate team members and bring excitement to the program. But while some programs may be more cost-effective or more involved than others, at their core they all boil down to the same concept: to highlight operational standards, introduce new standards, or simply encourage excitement about an upcoming promotion. In our eyes (and in the…

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Aug 28

August 28, 2014

Back to School Blog Image_Thumb

The Report Card on Back-to-School Shoppers

“I keep getting older…They stay the same age.” – Matthew McConaughey, “David Wooderson” Dazed and Confused We can only hope that this year’s back-to-schoolers cultivate a better academic career than that had by Matthew McConaughey’s character in Dazed and Confused.  But, you have to have the right tools to build it.  It all starts with school supplies.  That’s right!  And, 91% of survey respondents stated they intended to buy them for their students heading back to school this fall.  Budgets…

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Aug 25

August 25, 2014

New product launch

Avoid Product Launch Fails with a Market Research Program

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” ~ Arthur Conan Doyle (Author, Sherlock Holmes) So many things can go wrong during a new product launch. One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is neglecting to gather as much consumer and competitive intelligence as possible prior to a launch; or worse, not using the data they do collect to form a comprehensive business and marketing strategy. Hey, it happens — Top 25 Biggest Product Flops Of All…

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Jul 30

July 30, 2014

Customer Experience Unplugged

Customer Experience Unplugged – A Customer Service Oasis

The Company The rate of growth and power of online retail sales is astounding!  Online retail sales climbed to $263 billion in 2013 and is forecasted to be $414 billion by 2018.  Wow!  Imagine the revenue that a top online retailer generates per year.  It would be easy to fall into the trap of “we neither care about your loyalty nor need your repeat business” customer service mentality.  Well, it’s “nay to that malarkey” according to one of the planet’s…

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Jul 10

July 10, 2014

Millennials with Phones

Dear Retailers…. One Millennial’s Plea for Customization

Ah the dreaded “m” word. It seems like every day there’s a new article (or 20) about how to market to millennials and everything you should be doing to hit this demographic sweet spot. In case you’ve been living under a rock, “millennials”—born 1980-2000 and also known as Gen-Y—are the biggest generation in history. By 2020, millennials will comprise nearly half of the entire U.S. workforce. That’s a lot of dollars! The rise of this powerful consumer base isn’t slowing…

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Jul 1

July 1, 2014


Preparing for Your CMS Secret Shop Marketing Surveillance Program – A Checklist

It’s officially summer, and we all know what that means! No, not sunshine, 4th of July BBQs …those in the Medicare world know that summer means the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is fast approaching. Some of you may already have your secret shop marketing compliance plans in place for the upcoming selling season, and others may just be dipping the proverbial toe in the water of secret shopping. In order to give you a head start as you begin…

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Jun 26

June 26, 2014

Retailization of Healthcare

Retailization of Healthcare: What You Need to Know

The changes throughout healthcare the past year have been unprecedented.  Such changes are key drivers in the “retailization of healthcare”, a new phrase coined to explain the paradigm shift currently occurring in this industry. This was the main topic at the recent AHIP Conference in Seattle.  Never before has each of us had the amount of flexibility and choice regarding our healthcare provider.  Which one will ensure us the best insurance plan for our needs, offer the largest pool of…

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Jun 18

June 18, 2014


Like Hansel and Gretel…on the QUEST to a Coherent Market Research Strategy

“Once upon a time there was a poor woodcutter who lived with his wife and two children near a deep dark forest….” So begins a familiar story written by the Brothers Grimm, in which Hansel and Gretel find their way back home by following pebbles they scattered along the way.  At the MRA Insights and Strategies Conference this month, we realized that researchers have surprising similarities to the title characters in this fairy tale. The Market Research Journey Defining a…

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Jun 11

June 11, 2014

Male Sales Assistant At Checkout Of Clothing Store With Customers

Want Satisfied Customers? Start with Satisfied Employees.

Customer satisfaction. It’s top of mind, all the time; and it should be. However, great customer satisfaction doesn’t start with your customers – it begins and ends with your employees. Let’s consider the success and continuous growth of Five Guys Burgers and Fries. While there are many ingenuities behind their success, one key differentiator that helps them stand out from the competition is the treatment of their employees. Jerry Murrell, co-founder of Five Guys Burgers and Fries says, “It’s important…

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Jun 5

June 5, 2014

Top 5 Considerations for Choosing a CMS Marketing Surveillance Company

Top 5 Considerations for Choosing a CMS Marketing Surveillance Company

For the past eight years, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has conducted secret shops to ensure that marketing representatives, agents, and brokers comply with CMS marketing requirements and guidelines. Although CMS develops their own undercover secret shop programs, they strongly recommend and encourage Plan Sponsors to execute their own marketing surveillance secret shops in order to: Ensure agents, brokers, and plan sponsors adhere to CMS marketing requirements and market their health plan products appropriately; Identify areas of…

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