Who watches what ? – Late night show poll results

A poll conducted by market research firm Penn Schoen Berland, asked regular viewers of late-night TV about themselves and their habits. I consolidated the results into a table to see what interesting traits you can see among audiences. I don’t watch late night shows and wanted to know where I would fit in, in the event that I wanted to be a late night show watcher.

Since I watch the cartoon network and drink red wine, I see me fitting into the Conan-Jay camp:). What about you folks ??

The poll also found that if all late-night shows aired at the same time, 23 percent of respondents would watch Leno, 15 percent Letterman, 11 percent O’Brien, 10 percent Stewart, 10 percent George Lopez and 8 percent Craig Ferguson. Only 3 percent said they would watch Jimmy Kimmel. Look’s like Jummy needs to get his act together, literally !.

Clinical Trials and Research : Corengi

Clinical trial costs are skyrocketing amidst patient shortages, fewer drug approvals and limited growth in the number of available clinical investigators. At the same time, companies face stringent demands for more safety data — and patient recruitment stands as a pivotal roadblock. As pressure mounts and competition for patients intensifies, superior trial teams build resilient strategies for attracting and retaining patients, and their efforts are backed by sufficient resources.

Integrating recruitment into formal trial structure and process is always the challenge. Usually this requires the expertise of a full time patient recruitment specialist or a group of them.

We overheard an interesting initiative from ResearchAccess  about how online research is helping with clinical trials.

Corengi (short for “clinical options research engine”) is a website that allows patients to find out which clinical trials are clinically appropriate for them.  It turns out that for type 2 diabetes, there are almost 400 clinical trials ongoing in the United States.  Any one patient, however, will be qualified for less than 10% of them.  Corengi has a simple medical questionnaire that allows them to eliminate some of the trials and focus on those that might be appropriate.  (For example, if, for a specific trial, it’s required that a patient is on insulin – and the patient isn’t – it hides this trial from the match results.)   Corengi includes a comprehensive set of trial data updated on a daily basis from federal sources such as clinicaltrials.gov.

Go check them out!

Taking care of your business through Market Research

Marketing research fulfills three main purposes which any successful campaign must be targeted towards.

It identifies the potential customer; it then attracts him/  her to the company through the product or service on offer and thereafter keeps him loyal to the company by ensuring consistent customer satisfaction. Clearly therefore marketing research is a crucial component in any business setting.

Marketing takes care of all the major considerations customers take into account when making a purchase.

It informs customers of the price of the products; which may include any incentives on offer and available packages for different income groups.

It details the benefits of the product. Sometimes customers are not looking for cost cutting incentives, in fact more often than not; consumers are looking for a product that will meet their particular purpose.

Accessibility is also a big deal. Sometimes customers have been waiting for exactly what you are offering but have no idea it is on offer, and importantly also, where to get it from. Marketing research gives you an opportunity to know exactly where to position your product in order to improve your sales.

The final point is a most basic rule of sales; value for money. If you can convince the public through your marketing that your product gives good value for their dollar you are likely to sway them over.

How else will you get the details of what they seek for their money without market research?

Polling: the raw political truth

Most Politicians will tell you they do not take notice of polls that go on at all times of the year. But the truth of the matter is that polls are so integrated into the public sphere that to ignore them totally would be almost politically fatal, and to pretend to is to insult the public intelligence.

Polling goes back as far as 1824 when two newspapers conducted a poll to determine the preferred US presidential candidate, they have been a part of the fabric of life since then. And not only for US citizens but across the whole world, when Barak Obama was running for office, polls were conducted from Japan to Kenya, China to Australia; we were all exposed to it.

But just how significant and truthful for that matter, are these polls?

More often than not, you will not be told how these polls were conducted unless they were carried out by professional organizations such as Gallup. And we all know the temptation to be biased when conducting your own little mini election. Add to this the fact that most polls hardly cover a decent percentage or the right representation of members of the public. Polls turns out to be  one of the ways the media tries to add some legitimacy to their news.

We all know the signs; ask yourself how many times your opinion has been sought before you saw the results on the news.

Polls for Bottom up research for startups

For most  startups, market research only goes as far as finding a really big revenue number to put on their addressable market size slide of their investment pitch

It’s a big deal when a well known industry analyst provides some credibility to the startup’s hockey-stick revenue projections. This is what’s known as the “top-down” method of estimating one’s market. The founders think that putting an industry analyst’s name on one of the slides will prevent VCs or Angel investors asking the basic questions on product viability, market reach and customer acquisition.

The other way is the “bottom-up” approach, which requires more hard work .  Using this method, you usually come up with “estimates”.  You come up with  the estimates of number of customers you will acquire, how much product they buy and for what price.  The tricky thing here is the estimation part. One of the best ways to do that is to ask customers specific questions. Ask specific questions like – “Would you buy a gadget for $20 to synchronize your mp3 files?” 

Put up a poll on a website where you think your future customers browse frequently.  Pay the website money for the space or for hosting the poll.  Get answers quickly and then change the poll and ask the next question till you can confidently come up with a decent estimate. Show this as proof to the investors when they invest in your company!.

Unanswerable Questions

Ingrid Bengis pioneered essays on love, hate and sexuality. She was only twenty eight when the book “Combat in the Erogenous Zone” got published in 1972.  One of the best definitions of unanswerable questions I have seen has been described by her.

The real questions are the ones that obtrude upon your consciousness whether you like it or not, the ones that make your mind start vibrating like a jackhammer, the ones that you "come to terms with" only to discover that they are still there. The real questions refuse to be placated. They barge into your life at the times when it seems most important for them to stay away. They are the questions asked most frequently and answered most inadequately, the ones that reveal their true natures slowly, reluctantly, most often against your will.

Ingrid Bengis, Combat in the Erogenous Zone, "Man-Hating" (1973).

When questioning yourself gets hard, you usually turn to others. It is very easy when questioning to let your own values, preferences and biases to leak into what you are asking. Other’s perception of your values might not be the same and they usually don’t put deep thought into answering them. Be very aware of this.

The other side of the spectrum is to come to a conclusion – that if there are no answers from others,  then you don’t have to ask them yourself.

There is no shortcut to answer these questions. Continue your search for the answers to the point that it motivates you toward something beneficial . You have to practice momentarily letting go, once a question has outlived its immediate utility.