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September 2008
ADM logoThe Summer Is Nearly Over
It's hard to believe, but we're in the back-to-school, back-to-organizational-life mode. But there's still time for a last blast of summer.
Fortunately, the summer here at ADM Marketing has been productive--and profitable. With writing assignments, a couple of surveys, and proposals to write, we've been busy. But there's still been time to have fun.
If you are in New York City anytime soon, I recommend two things: "Cirque Dreams" at the Broadway Theater, and Ellen's Stardust Diner, just two blocks away. "Cirque Dreams" is a scaled-down Cirque de Soleil, but it is impressive, beautiful, and completely engaging, even for a young child. Ellen's is a 1950's-style diner (with a cuisine to match) with a singing wait staff--all Broadway hopefuls. These two things are a lot of fun, and if you have a day to spend in New York, I recommend either or both highly.
 It's Not All About Online
Man & woman handshakeIntercepts With A Techno-Twist
Mall intercepts were a staple of market research data collection until online surveys became more popular. However, there are still some very good reasons to conduct face-to-face interviews in central locations, such as malls.
The primary motivation is the ability to show exhibits to respondents and probe for reactions. There are some online survey systems that can show advertising concepts or other visual stimuli, but since all online surveys are self-administered, and you want to probe for reactions to a concept, there's nothing like a face-to-face interview.
This is the situation we were faced with recently, and decided on conducting the study in ten malls spread around the country. The agency who produced the advertising concepts to be tested was providing the exhibits, as well. When we began to consider the effort and the expense of producing enough materials for the ten locations, plus the shipping costs, we realized we were looking at a substantial bill. Instead, we took a new, more technological approach.
The agency created a series of pdf files of the ad concepts to be tested. Altogether, there were 12 concepts in various rotations. There were other questions that required the respondents to look at lists of possible answers and choose one. We made pdf files of those lists, as well. We then posted the files on a web site from which the mall managers could download them--some of these files were as large as 26 megs. They will show the exhibits to respondents on laptops.
The advantages of using this approach to showing the exhibits were time--it took a lot less time to transmit the files electronically--and money--the cost of shipping and production versus the cost of laptops. Moreover, respondents will get the impression that the product is up-to-date and even "cutting edge," not a bad image for this product.
We also used PDAs for administration and data entry of the questionnaires. This will allow us to get topline data in just a few days. All in all, a very nice updating of a tried-and-true data collection method.
A New Season for Professional Associations
Man & woman handshakeI've Got To Stop Saying Yes! 
I guess I've always been a joiner. It's in my DNA. My mother was involved with the PTA and the local synagogue; and in her younger days, she was involved with other social, religious, and political organizations.
As a businessperson, I find that organizations with which there seems to be a good fit are a great way to meet other businesspeople--either direct or indirect referral sources and suppliers--and to integrate into the local business community. As a bonus, I've made some pretty good friends.
As this new season gears up, I am serving on the Boards of Directors of two excellent organizations (of which I've written before): International Association of Business Communicators and Society of Marketing Professional Services. Each one offers entree to different industries, but both have something to do with marketing. Through my board participation I get to see different styles of management--sometimes highly structured and sometimes less so. It's a great lesson which can be transposed to a number of other situations.
This month there are two excellent programs being offered--ironically, both are on September 17th, but at different times (lucky for me!).
  • "Online Onslaught: Social Media and Blogging for the A/E/C Industry" at SMPS, featuring a panel of experts, at Milleridge Inn, Jericho, 8am
  • "Talk Your Way To The Top--Communications Strategies For Career Advancement," featuring Tory Johnson of "Good Morning America" fame; IABC meeting at Blackstone's Restaurant, Melville, at 11:30.
  • For more information, please visit and .
Research In Europe
Operating In The Global VillageAbstract man & data 
Just as many companies have been operating in many countries all over the world, so research will inevitably follow. This is not brand new. We have been involved in multi-country studies before. In fact, several years ago, we conducted a "best practices" study on how various multi-nationals manage the research process: across regional lines, or company divisional lines, or product lines. 
ADM has recently become affiliated with KBridge, short for "Knowledge Bridge," based in Italy and the UK. This company, headed by Marcello Sasso, a young, enthusiastic entrepreneur, specializes in Qualitative Research and Desk Research (a combination of secondary research and in-depth interviews). They are working on a new technology for conducting Quantitative telephone research across various countries (and languages). ADM will be working with KBridge on multi-country studies for branding, product launches, and strategic research. Call us if you want more information on this new service.
This practice is dedicated to helping companies become knowledge-driven, rather than assumption driven about strategic and tactical decisions concerning lines of business, branding, communications, and various marketing activities. For more information about how we do this, case studies, frequently asked questions about marketing research, and testimonials, please visit our web site:

Ann Middleman