I’m a thirty (30) year veteran researcher and gatherer of information on customers, dealers distributors, and employees…..stakeholders. I consider myself a “Behaviorist”…one who studies why people do what they do….that’s my Elevator Speech.
I am one of a group of rare individuals who actually has an advanced degree specifically in the subject of Market Research from a major University—with a Minor in Sociology.
I had the good luck to study under a pioneer who developed the first model to empirically measure customer behavior (Franco Nicosia) as well as work with two true geniuses in the field of brand marketing (David Aaker and Alex Biel).
I’ve also had the remarkable experience of working with Neil Rackham’s Company ( Author of “Getting Partnering Right” and a host of other great business books), who developed the most effective research based, statistically proven approach to B2B sales account management the world has ever seen.
In the “Market Research” field, I’ve worked with just about every major research supplier….Opinion Research Corporation (ORC), Walker Research, (now Walker Information) Maritz Market Research, Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), Harris Research (aka Nielson Research), Elrick and Lavidge (aka Equifax), CustomerSat (now Marketfacts) and Satmetrix (co-creator of Net Promoter).
I’ve managed several Market Research Departments on the client side….with significant staffs and budgets.
I’ve sold, supplied and managed various “Professional Services” for Hewlett Packard, Chevron, Disney, GE, Sony, Wells Fargo, HCS, MasterCard, Visa, Apple, Compaq, Autodesk, Optum Healthcare, Blue Cross, Pacificare, ATT, Verizon, Microsoft, Viacom, Hitachi Data Systems, Masonite, Enron, PG&E, Sempra, and a slew of others, even including Racetracks, Casinos, and Rodeos.
I managed a 13 state sales region of distributors generating about $100 million in sales and later, a team of brilliant Functional and Technical IT Consultants. I was a sales VP for the best sales training company in the universe.
My first IPO experience was in 1986, before the term was popular.
After all this, here’s what I know about B2B Market Research, or “Customer Insight” as it is now called:
1. Much of it is not very good:
2. Way too much money is being spent at a time when costs are coming way down in data development and analysis services.
3. Even the best designed B2B research usually has a lousy ROI…..if it is measured at all.
4. Too many “research” departments and their people are at risk of being eliminated, and in some cases, should be.
5. There is a very large opportunity:
Business to Business research (B2B) offers huge potential for enterprises to make significant gains in sales, revenue, share and profits….when properly designed and applied…which it seldom is.
I always enjoy sharing and trading notes with fellow practitioners in the B2B field. I can be reached at (925) 984-8109 Pacific Coast Time.