Recent Posts

Our Newest Web Project Launches

Aug 21—We are happy to announce the birth of our newest baby - a brand new website for Warkwyn Associates. Who? Warkwyn is an accomplished audio design and engineering firm. We are sharing this news with...Read More

Look Like Who You Really Are

Jul 30— Do you look like who you are? This question is not an “if a tree falls in the woods” Zen kind of question. What we are really asking is: "Do your graphics and other marketing...Read More

Redefining the word Customer

Jul 01—We recently attended the InfoComm trade show in Las Vegas and came away thinking about the meaning of the word “customer” and the way one’s definition influences a brand’s marketing...Read More

Point Of Sale Displays that Sell Product

Jun 17—You are already using the Internet, social networks and traditional media to reach the customer with your brand story. But if you’re not telling your unique brand and product story at bricks and...Read More

What do your customers think of you

Jun 03—A special guest blog by Wendy Price Some of you may say, “I already know what they think.”  Others of you might say, “I’ll just ask my sales people and account managers...Read More

Ten Print Advertising Tips

May 22—In our last blog we made a compelling case that print advertising is relevant and valuable even in this digital age. Now we turn our attention to a handful of basic techniques for making your print advertising...Read More

The Value of Print Advertising

May 07—We almost always include print advertising in our clients’ marketing and media plans. Sometimes we get the reaction “Print? Really? We hear that print is dead.”  There is no...Read More

Making Text More Readable

Apr 15—Words. Every marketer needs them. Sometimes you need a lot of words to get your sales message across. (In our imaginations) our readers hunger to fully understand the marketing techniques we...Read More

Retail Reality-Product Demos-and You

Apr 02—Remember when owning a decent stereo was a major life goal and when shopping in a hi-fi store was fun? We are unapologetically nostalgic for the days when retailers actively sold A/V products; when the...Read More

Ma Mark Marketing or the Importance of Email Subject Lines

Mar 19—Regular readers of the CE Marketing Prose newsletter may have noticed oddities in our last two emails. The February 19 edition went out with the subject line “Mark” in place of “Marketing...Read More

How to Stay out of the Trashcan or the Lessons Learned from a Parking Lot

Mar 04—Marketers of CE products should count themselves lucky. We have it easy; we’re selling fun stuff – toys that help people enjoy great music and entertaining movies and TV programming. But just...Read More

Five Ways to Make Time for Customer Outreach

Feb 19—“Time keeps everything from happening all at once." - Henri Bergson  If you’ve read our website or spoken with us about marketing you know that we’re absolutely rabid...Read More

Brands that Communicate Win

Feb 05—The most successful brands regularly keep in touch and stay top of mind with their customers (end-users and channel partners) via blogs, newsletters and social media. With the advent of new Google search...Read More

Content is Definitely King since Google Changed Search Algorithms

Jan 28—The word “algorithm” is the equivalent of Ambien – it puts most people right to sleep. So it is miraculous that we actually read the news about Google’s newest search engine algorithms...Read More

How Pawn Takes Queen

Jan 20—We would like all of our readers to believe we are the source of all marketing wisdom and insight.  While that is largely true, sometimes we stumble upon someone who has written an article that perfectly...Read More

Should High-End CE Companies Bother with Social Media

Dec 11—On several occasions clients have asked us whether it was worth their time and effort to participate in social media outreach. The tone in which the question was asked told us that the answer they wanted...Read More

Rants from the Frozen Tundra

Nov 25—A friend of ours from the land of baby seals* was inspired by our blog Turning Bad Consumer Reviews into Good  to send us a couple of rants regarding Big Mistakes he sees CE manufacturers consistently...Read More

Flying Without Navigation

Nov 13—Or how we learned to stop worrying and love the research bomb* Imagine you are on a jumbo jet for a 15-1/2 hour flight from LA to Australia. Just after takeoff the pilot announces, “Ladies and...Read More

Coal into Diamonds - Turning Bad Consumer Reviews into Good

Oct 26—We often advise our clients to allow consumers to post reviews on the company website. From the looks of horror on their faces you would think we had proposed offing Granny for the insurance money....Read More

Direct to Consumer Sales and Channel Stress

Oct 14—One of the many services we offer our clients is helping develop direct-to-consumer sales programs for their websites and email communications. When we’ve mentioned that option to some potential...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part Three

Oct 02—In our previous two blog posts we wrote about eight of the top twelve things a brand's website needs to do to be effective. If you didn't read Part One and Part Two you might want to...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part Two

Sep 17—In our last blog post we wrote about four of the top twelve things a brand's website needs to do to be effective. If you didn't read Part One you might want to do that now...................Done? ...Read More

The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part One

Aug 28— It should be unnecessary to say it in this day and age but just for the record – Your website is the single most important weapon in your marketing arsenal. Don't believe it? When you're...Read More

Nov 13

Flying Without Navigation

Or how we learned to stop worrying and love the research bomb*

Imagine you are on a jumbo jet for a 15-1/2 hour flight from LA to Australia. Just after takeoff the pilot announces, “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Budget Airways, the airline that doesn’t let little things like safety get in the way of low, low, low prices. Our navigation systems just went down and the windshield is really dirty but don’t worry I know the way. I’ve been flying for 35 years and I don’t need a GPS to get us to Sydney.” After hyperventilating you’d be saying “Pardon me flight attendant, where do you keep the parachutes?”

The equivalent in the CE business is the industry veteran who says with a Walter Brennan western accent “I don’t need no goll darned research, I’ve been in this business 20 years and I know who my customers are and what they want.” We’re willing to wager that one or two people reading this blog have expressed similar sentiments when the door-to-door Market Research salesperson appeared on the porch. Even we, the CE Marketing Pros, have been known to say stuff like that in less enlightened times. Here is one real life experience that changed our minds:

Instructive Anecdote #1
While in the planning stage of developing a new product there arose a hot debate about the value consumers place on various features that in total added quite a bit of cost. Everybody had an opinion about the sales value of every input, output, feature, button or knob. To settle the indecision a marketing executive decided to commission a simple, inexpensive survey of current product owners to see what features people really used and which ones were left ignored. The results were startling. It turned out that consumers used a small number of the features commonly found on this particular product type. Sacred cows were slaughtered on the altar of research, rationality and truth.

The upshot is that the product development team was able to significantly lower manufacturing cost and hit a more aggressive price point without lowering the sales appeal of the product. The product was wildly successful; that survey literally paid for itself thousands of times over.

Instructive Anecdote #2
Speaking of flying blind, we were asked by a brand executive how much it would cost to do an advertising campaign. Being rational marketers we asked, “What are the goals of the campaign?” His answer was to, “Increase brand awareness and web site traffic.” "Great, so what are those metrics now?” we asked.  “No clue” was the reply. How can you get from Point A to Point B if you don’t know where Point A is on a map?

Measuring brand awareness is a tricky thing and can be expensive if you are concerned about the general population. But if your target audience is a smaller, easily definable segment of the population it may be easier and affordable.  Of course measuring web statistics is easy and virtually free so this guy had no excuses there. When was the last time you took a really detailed look at your web stats beyond unique visitors?

No Panacea
As much as we believe in research and surveys, we are under no illusion as to their limitations and we have great respect for inspiration and instinct. Steve Jobs relied largely on intuition and his genius vision. Of course he had as many total flops as successes. Remember the Newton? [ed. correction - Newton was not a Jobs idea. That said, he had his share of  product duds.] Research is but one very important data point out of many that can help you understand the marketplace, customers and how others perceive your brand.

There are many simple and inexpensive ways of doing market and consumer research, including integrating it into your website, that will help you make better business decisions. You may already have a wealth of data collected by a variety of means that just needs to be mined.

We have conducted hundreds of surveys of varying complexity from simple polls to conjoint analysis. Stop flying only by the seat of your pants and blind intuition. CE Marketing Pros can show you how. Pick up the phone and call Paul DiComo at (410) 458-3176 or drop us an email.

About CE-Marketing Pros
We’re a full service marketing/advertising agency specializing in helping consumer electronics brands and retailers compete more effectively. Former marketing executives with two of the most successful CE brands, Al Ballard and Paul DiComo help brands STAND OUT in a crowded and confusing CE marketplace. 

WE KNOW CE.

* Apologies to Stanley Kubrick

 

 

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