The process of finding the spark! that will move your business forward is not complicated, but it can take time, and it definitely takes effort.  This is not the glamorous part of marketing, but it is frequently the most important and often the most overlooked.  To help you find that spark!, we are willing to look everywhere and not limit ourselves to one methodology or supplier.  We employ a mix of quantitative and qualitative research, as well as old fashioned sleuthing and hard work.  We then help you analyze the findings in order to develop and write the strategies that drive your tactical decisions.  At Spark! we can help you with any or all of these parts.

Discovering the Insight

Frequently, the insights may already exist in the data you have in-hand.  That is why we typically start by speaking with key team members, picking their brains, and then poring over what you already have done.  While this may include professionally conducted marketing research, often it may only consist of syndicated data (like Nielsen or IRI), 3rd party industry reports, online feedback through website and social media, consumer letters or call center transcripts.  Regardless of what you have on hand that is where we will start – because the answer may already be there.  Many times, we have found key insights by digging in and reexamining existing data and research with a fresh pair of eyes and perspective.

However, when we need to go beyond what you have, we know how to do that too.  We are experienced in most types of research and can help you from soup to nuts: define the objectives for the research, draft screeners to ensure the proper individuals are recruited, draft questionnaires and moderator guides, and even help write and create concepts and other stimulus.  With experience creating, running, and analyzing dozens of research projects, we know how it is done.  Having worked with start-ups, privately-held and family-owned companies, we also know the value of a dollar and how to watch it carefully.  As we don’t mark up our research, we don’t care whether the chosen methodology is a series of 1-on-1 interviews with target customers or a major multi-cell quantitative concept test or claims sort – we just want to help you find that compelling insight that will drive your business forward.

Our research experience runs the gamut.  We have personally been involved in virtually all aspects of quantitative and qualitative research.  Methods used include: Syndicated data (Nielsen, IRI, Home Scan, Household Panel), Focus Groups, Ethnographic (observational), Secret Shopper, 1-on-1 Interviews (Customers, Professionals, Consumers), Customer Feedback Mechanisms (800 Lines, Internet, Consumer Letters), A&U, Concept Tests, Industry Studies, Dissatisfaction/Satisfaction Monitors, and MORE.

Developing the Strategy

After the research is done, we won’t leave you hanging either.  This is when the fun begins.  We roll up our sleeves and begin to mine the data, searching for the spark! that will drive your business forward.  We don’t farm out the analysis to others (although we do listen to the opinions of our research suppliers); we look at the data sets and create our own cross-tabs, filtering out the noise that can get in the way of finding the nuggets buried within.  Armed with these uncovered insights, we help you develop and write the strategies that will drive your business making decisions.  As a result, you end up with strategies that are built upon sound insights that spark! with your target. 

Translating into Tactics

Having run businesses at companies from Fortune 50 firms to start-ups, we are very accomplished at translating strategies into tactics.  While we are not an ad, digital or promotional agency, we know many good ones and can help you execute your strategically sound ideas.  And if you are just looking for roughly executed ideas, we can help you with those too (we have often been accused of being a frustrated copy writer and art director).  As indicated on the Services page, our tactical experience runs the gamut from advertising and brochures to sampling, offer driven promotions, packaging, sales training and execution and more.  We are ready to bring this varied experience to bear on your insight driven strategies.