Measuring brand awareness

How aware are people of your brand or business? 

80% of marketers in the U.S. agree that brand awareness is “extremely” or “very” important,

About 70% of those surveyed also admitted that they did not know how much of their target market was aware of their brand, or even how to measure that value in the first place.


Businesses big and small tend to look at quantifiable traits that impact the bottom line. Traditional metrics are measured and companies will look at ways to improve on things like acquiring more customers, or enticing current customers to buy more. A powerful metric that is often overlooked is public perception. For most companies it has been tough to measure and even harder to quantify, therefore it’s grossly overlooked.

If they know your company, what are their perceptions?

Maybe your company thinks of itself as a business that stands for certain values, or has a name that means a certain thing to the public. It most likely does stand for those values and means that thing to the people that work inside the walls of the company, but what about the public? What if they think of your company as something totally different? What if it’s negative?

What does the public think of your competitors?

It’s safe to assume that you know who you’re competing with, isn’t it safe to assume everyone else does too? Most business owners we talk to have perceptions about the competition, thoughts about how they’re different, and what makes them better. What comes to mind when people think of your competitors? How are they thought of differently?

Ok, so you know what they think of you and the competition…Now what?

Understanding how your company is perceived and what people think of your competitors is vital. Just having that information can be very useful, but when you measure it and manage it over time it becomes powerful. Working with Big Buck Research & Analytics our clients are routinely able to not only understand perceptions, but manage them as well. Understanding where the competitive advantages lie and with our recommendations our clients able to exploit their own strengths while improving weak areas.

For Big Buck Research & Analytics we feel you must look at the whole picture of a business to get results that affect step-change improvements. It’s nice to know how people perceive your company, but it’s even better to know what to do with that information to enhance the bottom line.


Read more about how to increase brand resonance & grow brand awareness here:


Using Data Analytics to enhance your bottom line

“By now, most companies recognize that they have opportunities to use data and analytics to raise productivity, improve decision making, and gain competitive advantage. Analytics will define the difference between the losers and winners going forward,” says Tim McGuire, a McKinsey director.

Obviously we all want to be on the winning side in business. The question is and always has been, “how do we get there?” If you’ve heard terms like analytics, data, and big data you’re not alone. These days these words are seen and heard on commercials during primetime television, radio ads, and they’re even being discussed on shows like SportsCenter.

If you could harness a tool to increase profitability and sharpen the focus of your business, you would surely do it right? Unfortunately hearing the words more and more in our daily lives doesn’t translate to understanding them and surely doesn’t correlate to knowing how to implement them in business.

If you have any information on your customers or employees, that means you have data. When used correctly this data can be leveraged to make significant strides in improving the bottom line of your business. A small sampling of the ways we’ve used data to help our clients reveals the diverse ways this information can be used:

  1. Increase customer profitability
  2. Increase employee efficiency and profitability
  3. Locate prospects that are like your best customers
  4. Identify the best path for acquiring new customers
  5. Pinpoint top products and how to sell more of them
  6. Define optimal price points of products
  7. Enhance customer loyalty
  8. Define the exact return on investment (ROI) of your marketing efforts
  9. Spot which customers will stop using your business and when
  10. Identify traits of your best employees so you can hire more like them

We are committed to making complex ideas accessible and actionable to our clients. The companies that Big Buck Research & Analytics works with aren’t given just results from the data, but are given strategies to leverage that information in order to make their business more efficient and profitable.

Maybe you have data just waiting to be analyzed and put to use, or maybe you don’t know if you have any information of value. Either way we’d love to talk to you, pick up the phone or shoot us an email. We love finding ways to help!



What the heck is Gap Mapping Analysis?

Consumer expectations have jumped nearly 23 percent over 2014 but brands have only managed to improve their ability to satisfy those expectations by 5 percent. – The 2015 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index


Most organizations understand that their customers desire more from them every year. With new technologies that streamline processes and make interactions with their customers easier, many businesses assume that they are meeting expectations, but without truly knowing are they just shooting in the dark?

For some reason firms in our industry love to use big words and technical jargon. These words make no sense to anyone outside of the market research and database analytics industry, but they’re still used with clients. We strive to limit our use of jargon such as asynchronous research, bivariate regression analysis, unidimensional scaling or regression coefficients. These words  generally have no meaning to our clients and only serve to muddy the waters.

We occasionally use some terms that take the place of a lengthy explanation. One of these terms is, Gap Mapping Analysis. We’re sure you’re wondering, what the heck is it?

We define it as “a way to identify the gaps between what is important to serviceable prospects and how well you and each of your competitors are performing on each attribute.”

While this isn’t a particularly complex idea, our clients like to know “how does it apply to me?”

Let’s look at a quick case:

We approached a client with simple questions, “What do your customers and prospects care about? What do they expect from you? How are you and your competitors delivering on those expectations?”

The client assumed that her consumers cared about price and she figured that as long as she kept prices low she would have a steady stream of customers. She said that her customers expected a cheap product and weren’t necessarily concerned with consistent delivery and quality of the product. Her customers most likely didn’t care about the interactions they had with the employees of the company. Our client boasted that although she had entered in to a price war with some of her competitors she came out on top and was sure that she was able to steal some customers away from the other guys.

Big Buck Research & Analytics knew that the best way to help this client was through a Gap Map Analysis. We took a large diverse sample size of the population and designed a survey to find out what was important to them and how our client’s company, as well as the competitors, were delivering on what mattered.

What our client assumed customers cared about and what they actually cared about were quite different in a lot of areas. We found that customers would pay more for her product if they could depend on a consistent high quality product, and that if they were treated as valuable patrons they were not only more likely to be repeat customers, but that that the amount spent per order would increase. What was also interesting is

Finding out exactly what customers expect from you and how you and your competitors are meeting those expectations provides valuable insights and allows organizations to focus

This is just one brief example of the work that we do at Big Buck Research & Analytics. We use very complex methods that are scientifically sound, and make them accessible and actionable to businesses of all sizes. When we conclude a project, our clients don’t care about the name of the method we used, they want to know that our results are accurate and our recommendations are impactful. If you talk to another market research firm and they throw big jargon terms around that mean nothing to you, ask yourself, who are they trying to impress?




The free survey you just put out? It’s costing you customers

With the increased popularity and availability of free to use survey programs, we have witnessed an exponential increase in poorly designed surveys and flawed logic.


“If you want to use surveys for your business, be careful the surveys do not fool you instead. They can easily deceive you in follow a path that is totally wrong for you, by disguising facts and hiding truth behind seemingly plain statements while hiding the real answer behind a wrong audience, or badly posed questions.” Susanna Gebauer

Every business we talk to knows that they have to survey their customers in one form or another and the enticement to use a free survey program is huge. First of all, it’s free! Anyone that can click and drag can use stock questions and a few minutes later, you’re sending it to your customers. Who cares if it’s designed poorly, if the questions don’t make sense, or the numbers you get back are slanted or flawed? You’ve got a survey!

A few pitfalls:

These are just a few of the most common faults we’ve seen from companies using free survey tools. Think about how each of these could affect your business:

  • You don’t know how to get people to respond.

You have no results to work from and you wasted your time.

  • You ask non-relevant questions.

Your results are worthless and you just wasted your customers time.

  • Your questions are leading.

The answers you receive are biased and inaccurate.

  • You ask the wrong people.

Your sample size is biased and the answers do not represent your entire customer base.

  • You didn’t ask enough people.

You now don’t have enough responses to cover possible exceptions.

  • Your survey is sent out from you.

Your customers do not feel comfortable giving honest answers.

The real danger

It lies in more than not receiving enough responses or annoying a few customers. Whether it’s problems with the questions, or issues with who is responding the results of a flawed survey will not accurately reflect the true feelings and desires of an entire customer base. Basing any strategic decisions off of these results will not only fail to meet customer demands, but run the risk of alienating consumers. This sends the business in to a tailspin with organization leaders left scratching their heads thinking that they’ve made changes to meet customer demands.

The answer

Of course you have to survey your customers and even your non-customers, but before you put out another free survey consider hiring an outside firm. Market research firms have experts in survey methodology knowing not only who to ask, but how to ask questions in order to find true opinions and desires. The market research firms that set themselves apart are those that not only design powerful surveys, but are able to go beyond the results and recommend strategies to capitalize on what consumers are saying.

Big Buck Research & Analytics has designed surveys for companies from the Fortune 500 all the way to local non-profits. Knowing there are free options out there we tailor our solutions to fit within the tight budgets that many organizations have and understand that every dollar spent must have a significant impact. We know what questions to ask, how to ask them, and who to ask in order to get definitive answers to the questions your business may have. Working with Big Buck Research, you don’t just get survey results, you get a strategic partner that will recommend targeted strategies based off of scientifically sound data that you can trust.

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Read about why surveys suck from Susanna Gebauer :


Customer Churn

It is 6 to 7 times more costly to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.

It’s universal and one of the hard and fast facts of being in business, your company will lose customers. What’s not universal is the reasons behind losing those customers. Finding out what causes your customer “churn” and what to do about it can be one of the most perplexing issues facing businesses today.

What is interesting is what businesses assume causes churn and what actually causes it can be miles apart. Big Buck Research & Analytics recently conducted a survey of former customers for a large subscription based client and uncovered some interesting results.

  • The leadership of the company assumed that customers who had a technical support issue that was not resolved over the phone and then canceled service shortly after, did so out of frustration.

We found that in some cases this was true. What surprised our client is that this was not always the case. Big Buck Research & Analytics found that in a lot of instances the customer could have been saved had the company made some other efforts which we identified and the company is now using to mitigate this issue.

  • The same company operated under the assumption that when their subscribers’ contracts were expiring there was not much they could do to prevent their customers signing with the competition at lower introductory rates.

Again, Big Buck Research surveyed former customers of our client and uncovered several hidden causes for churn. The client was surprised to hear that some customers didn’t like how the product functioned, a lot of customers complained they were never properly taught how to use the product, some customers had a poor interaction with an employee, while there were some that did indeed leave for a lower price. We were able to identify and recommend strategies that could improve trouble areas and head off cancelations in a lot of instances.

For years the client assumed why they were losing customers and decided the best strategy was to acquire new customers to offset the losses. After that strategy didn’t work, they tried to ask former customers themselves, that didn’t work either. They finally decided to hire an outside firm and were staggered by the results. Not only did Big Buck Research find out the real reason customers were leaving, but we identified which customers were likely to leave and developed targeted strategies to save them. Instead of wasting money and time guessing, this allowed our client to focus on what mattered to customers, and how best to keep the customers that could be saved.

There are a lot of reasons for customer churn, don’t assume you know them and never expect to get candid answers from former customers without using an outside 3rd party firm.

Data engineer Lesley Park looks at 5 Surprisingly Common Reasons for Customer Churn .

Market Research — Are You Doing it Wrong?

Market research has the power to take a business from good to great, from failing to a success. The key is that it has to be done right, if your market research is flawed the costs can be catastrophic. Some companies think that making decisions off of bad research will just result in a neutral effect on sales or perceptions. Unfortunately the truth is much worse. In an article from Deborah Maue from mStoner she looks at 6 of the most common errors institutions make while conduct market research. The article is slanted towards educational institutions, but we think these errors are prevalent no matter the industry. Let’s look at 2 of the most common errors that we see.

Talking to the wrong people”

  • While it’s important to talk to key stakeholders at your company, the people who matter are those outside of your company walls. Too often we see companies that are solving problems they think they have or developing service offerings they think they need. These ideas are born in internal meetings, and while the intentions are good, the results hardly ever are. Businesses have to interview current customers; those that are happy and those that aren’t, talk to former customers, prospects, the general public, and even their own employees.

“Doing quantitative research when you should be doing qualitative research. Or vice versa”

  • Qualitative is the “why” with answers being found from focus groups, interviews with open ended questions and conversational analysis. Quantitative is the “what” with data gathered from sources like surveys with rating scales and close ended questions. In order to find the most valuable information and get to underlying reasons, you need both the why and the what, in other words: the feelings AND the numbers.

There’s 4 other mistakes that are looked at in the article, but we feel that perhaps the most important mistake made time and time again is not listed: Not having an independent 3rd party conduct your market research. Hiring an outside firm like Big Buck Research & Analytics to conduct your market research yields substantial benefits: Respondents are most likely to give candid answers if they know they are speaking to an impartial 3rd party and that their answers will be confidential. There is a specific science to conducting market research and most businesses don’t have the time or money to pay full time market researchers, and lastly our outside objectivity will provide valuable un-biased recommendations based on our findings.

To read more from Deborah Maue:

The Hidden Benefits Of Market Research For Small Businesses

Often small business owners think that market research is not realistic or affordable for a small company. Unfortunately what the small, local business owner doesn’t know about their customers, prospects, and the competition can cost them big time.

Small Biz Counsel Daily was recently discussing the benefits of Market Research specifically for those smaller businesses.

“The chief purpose of a good research team is to produce useful data on competing companies, the overall state of the sales region, product or service saturation and the most important feature, the cost of goods and services sold.”

  • It’s vital to know your competition, have a big picture view of the local marketplace, understand how people feel about your products/services vs. competitive offerings, and to know how the cost of your products/services relate to the public’s expectations as well as how they compare to the competition’s.

“Without consistent, pro-active research for marketing in place, related business functions often are less than accurate and can’t produce the kind of success needed for stable profit.”

  • These days if you’re taking a reactive approach, it’s often too late. Without having a consistent pro-active market research strategy companies will never truly understand what drives profits and continue to ride the wave of unpredictability.

As competition increases, and businesses are more and more budget sensitive it’s important they leverage every advantage they can to make sure each move has a significant positive impact. Finding the hidden gems through market research is what we pride ourselves on. Whether it’s understanding how you’re meeting customer expectations, finding hidden attributes that your top customers possess so you can market to prospects like them, or identifying which employees are likely to quit and when, Big Buck Research & Analytics brings robust market research solutions to clients regardless of their size and budget. Our clients benefit from our objective approach and our years of experience dealing with companies in all industries. Most businesses are trying to dodge the falling trees, we’ll help you see the whole forest and know which trees will fall before they do.

To read more about the hidden benefits of market research for small businesses