Market Reports Deliver Industry Intelligence to Association Management and Member Companies

Problem Professional associations often compile or conduct market research to benefit their members or to help promote the association. Many times, these industry reports are conducted annually to provide the association with up-to-date information and also provide a basis of comparison from year to year. While there are many methods and formats for conducting and […]

Does Print Advertising Work in a Digital Age?

Problem What happens when you never advertised, a pandemic hits the country, and you’re looking to grow your business? If you are like one of the major OEM suppliers of door components, you consider advertising of course! At the beginning of 2021, the client contacted AIM’s sister company, Interline Creative Group, Inc. with an RFP. […]

Finding the Needle in the Haystack: Process to Maximize Sales Leads

Problem Many manufacturers are looking for ways to get their foot in the door with new projects that are in the planning stages and have a potential need for their product. In a two-step distribution sales situation, it is often the responsibility of the manufacturer’s rep to find and connect with the architect, designer, contractor […]

Virtual Interviews Uncover Design Opportunities for a New Product Technology

Problem A major U.S. manufacturer had developed a new coatings technology that would provide commercial and residential properties with a unique fabricated metal product that could create exciting design possibilities for both the exterior and interior of a building.  This manufacturer wanted to conduct exploratory research with designers and architects to find out if there […]

Understanding the Impact of a Global Pandemic on Buying Behavior

Problem When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a major manufacturer of a consumer hygiene product noticed their sales were shifting. With the onset of the pandemic the entire way consumers look for and purchased products was turned upside down. Without the ability to go to shops and see or touch products, consumers were forced to find […]

Customer Website Feedback Improves Users’ Satisfaction

Problem While a national consumer products company was in the process of “updating” their website, they wanted to find out what customers liked about their website and what they needed to change to make it more user friendly. Since a company’s website is almost always the first place existing customers or potential customers go for […]

Uncover New Opportunities By Exploring Market Preference and Product Usage

Problem With the possibility of a new US federal infrastructure package in 2021, a national building material association wanted to learn more about what type of products and materials were being used in existing infrastructure projects and what materials were preferred. By becoming more familiar with the market’s product use and preference, the association would […]

Customized Product Design Research Reduces Guess Work

Problem A national plumbing manufacturer was looking for a third-party research company to assist them with getting feedback from the market on various products designs that would not only meet the market’s needs, but would provide the company with the most business opportunity. The client requested the research include a balance of response from architects, […]

Third-Party Research Provides Association With Objective Results

Problem A major association conducted interviews with 35 of their members. Afterward, they asked: Were they too close to the situation to render objective conclusions? Did their involvement with members shape their conclusions? The association decided they wanted a third-party, trusted advisor’s opinion, and turned to Accountability Information Management, Inc. (AIM). The association provided AIM […]

New Type of Safari Involves Appointment Setting

Our sister company, Interline Creative Group, Inc., worked on a new type of program that got great coverage last week as a case history on their website. Even before the recession reduced the number of new project bids at the client, executives at the worldwide fire protection and security consulting firm client wondered how to […]

How to Keep Association Members Up to Speed with Confidential Information

Problem The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) is a non-profit organization that represent companies who manufacture kitchen, bath, or other residential cabinets, establishes and promotes standards for the kitchen cabinet industry; defends and advocates in support of the industry; and arms members with valuable tools necessary to promote and grow  their businesses. As part of […]

Entering a New Market? Let Research Be Your “Compass”

Breaking into a new market with different rules and competitors can be extremely profitable, or a complete disaster, if the company entering the market is not informed and prepared.  Chris Myers of Forbes sums it up well: “When teams try to apply their existing model to a new market, more often than not it ends […]

How to Identify Exactly What Customers Want

“How can a business survive if it doesn’t fully understand its customers and their preferences?” The answer is that a business can survive without a thorough understanding of what its customers want – but usually not for very long, and not without missing valuable opportunities. One of AIM’s previous clients, a commercial catalog distribution company, […]

How AIM Helped Its Client Discover Critical Pricing Data

Price often has a significant impact on the decision to purchase a product, but it is not the only factor that is important. Complex products and markets require a thorough analysis of available data before making snap decisions to raise or lower prices. One of AIM’s clients wanted to discover the price sensitivity of one […]

How AIM Helped Put a Client’s Negative Publicity Into Perspective

There are many things that can go wrong for a business when marketing and selling its products, and negative publicity is near the top of the list. Criticism tends to be more memorable than praise. When factoring in the ability to receive nearly unlimited information from the internet and improved capability to share information through […]

Taking the Guesswork Out of Product Development

One of AIM’s clients was interested in new product ideas to help protect commercial hospitality property owners and operators from the problems of food-borne illnesses. AIM was asked to explore the various product and service options that might limit the liability and operations issues associated with food contamination. AIM’s client wanted to better understand the […]

What AIM Did When Communications Broke Down

Many organizations publish press releases to announce noteworthy events surrounding the company, its events, and its products. When information from a press release is featured in a print or online article, the company knows that its communications have reached someone, and that its public relations strategy is on the right track. However, depending on the […]

How AIM Helped Measure Employee Satisfaction

It’s hard to argue that employee satisfaction is the cornerstone of any successful business. No business wants its employees to become disengaged. Businesses should take steps to ensure that they are providing employees with the opportunities they need to reach their goals and contribute their best work. However, measuring employee satisfaction accurately is often easier […]

Direct Mail as a Tactic

Direct mail is the soul of AIM. We subscribe to the Bob Stone principle of Response, “People won’t switch brands, try a new product or service, unless they have a reason. And there are only two reasons why people buy anything: to gain something, or protect what they already have. Keep that in mind, and […]

Publicity as a Tactic

A product or company message is leveraged through media outlets, which have a vested interest in publicizing newsworthy items to the trade. AIM practices a public relations technique called “marketing public relations.” Unlike traditional PR, marketing PR has only one goal: response. One of our clients had a recall to a series of products. AIM […]

Internet as a Tactic

Quite simply, nothing should be done without an Internet component. The Internet, like the invention of the printing press, is revolutionizing our information sharing behaviors. Regardless of the tactic, a company should always figure an Internet component to supplement the marketing tactic. For example, a loyalty program run by AIM involved 2,000 distributors. In addition […]

Advertising as a Tactic

He who has a thing to sell and goes and whispers in a well is not so apt to get the dollars as he who climbs a tree and hollers. Sage advice, found on a sugar packet! Advertising is the “big gun” in the marketing arsenal. Even in this age of ignoring advertising, what is […]

Positioning as a Tactic

As the Internet becomes the preferred venue for many marketers, a dilemma arises: Do you push your message to customers and businesses using traditional tactics like advertising and direct mail, or do you follow the “new” mantra – create inbound marketing strategies and methods that will pull in customers searching for what they want? Customers […]

Media Planning as a Tactic

Many agencies that do media planning utilize complex equations using costs per inquiry, costs per exposure, and so on to develop projections. For example, most agencies deal strictly with the “price” of the media, which is the last factor that AIM considers. In fact, price is the least important factor in the equation. In one […]

A tactic has little value if you don’t know how to USE it.

AIM’s objectivity is a huge advantage when it comes to evaluating and recommending proper tactics. A company marketing a flexible piping system in fire protection called us in for consultation. His competitor was running full-page ads in major trade publications. After product evaluation and competitive study, AIM recommended direct mail. Initially skeptical, we assured the […]

Tracking with Data Management

One of our clients turns over their file for a customer mailing that they pull from their million-dollar Enterprise system. After each mailing we sent all undeliverable returns to the client, pleading with them to delete them from these records. But, their Enterprise system couldn’t delete the records! Eventually, AIM’s maintenance of the database became […]

Tracking with Readership Analysis

In 1990, AIM published its evolutionary “Behind the Numbers” in Market Research Magazine. The article recognized the relationship between seers and readers of advertising as determined from the raw research studies available and included the “AIM Ratio.” While a simple ratio, the AIM Ratio revealed the relationship of readers to inquiries. That is, unlike seeing […]

Tracking with Profiling

Profiling is gathering characteristics and then using those characteristics to find others of the same ilk, whether people or products. A profile of the perfect customer leads to the perfect offer. While running a loyalty program, AIM was able to track purchases of a specific product for a client. The profile that emerged was that […]

TRACKING is an important – sometimes CRITICAL skill.

Tracking has implications throughout the marketing process, from monitoring movement of customers to the dissemination of literature. One client called on AIM to evaluate their fulfillment system. The client had everything in place: collecting leads, sending out the literature, sending the leads to the rep sales force. Only one thing was missing: collecting them in […]

Retention

As your current markets experience the economy’s effects, your competitors are looking for fresh hunting grounds. Holding onto customers has never been tougher or more critical to success. The problem of retention, however, begins with understanding your own customer base. Recency, Frequency and Monetary (RFM) analysis can give you important insights into what keeps your […]

Measuring Message Appeal

One client asked us to hone their message to a target audience of engineers; specifically, how manufacturers relate to engineers. AIM market research produced four concepts that their targets were interested in: A company that will be there for them for the long term, a company that would be responsive to problems when they arose, […]

Measuring Customer Response

Response contains another principle often overlooked in the marketing mix: conversion to response. In many cases, marketers drive for response and neglect the conversion-to-response ratios. One client wanted to create a package for recruiting students to its technology school. It had a control package that while it did well, needed refreshing. AIM studied the problem […]

Measuring Market Share

AIM conducted one study on a client’s distributor customer base. Knowing this client, we also surveyed the distributor’s customers, the contractors. We painted a more accurate picture of the true size of the market. We presented privately to the National Sales Manager. “Where did you get these numbers?” he asked. “From your customers,” we told […]

If you can MEASURE it, you can control it.

Whether you are talking about readership of advertisements, response to direct mail, or response to a promotional program, to measure your ROI you will need to control WHAT you do, and HOW you do it. For example, we once placed 26 different 800- phone numbers (pre-Internet days) to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign […]

Identifying Frequency

Frequency is the preferred strategy, but sometimes, you can use frequency AND size in innovative ways. For example, one client had a very small budget compared to two major competitors who were running spreads in every issue of the two major architectural publications. The innovative AIM media strategy was to select just one of the […]

Identifying Reach

Reach can be defined in many ways. One of those ways is making sure you cover the “entire” marketplace. In examining one of our client’s customer files – a major distributor of products in one state – we asked ourselves: how is the coverage by magazines in that state compared to this customer’s file? We […]

IDENTIFYING the problem is the key to real understanding.

Identifying the target is often the most important part of the marketing process. Many times, a company overlooks obvious information within their own database. For example, a software client marketing software to architects hired AIM to purchase media. In reviewing his records (by size of company in terms of employees and annual sales), we were […]