CLIENTS AND PROJECTS
The following examples show some of the problems we have worked on - just to illustrate the range of what we could do to help you.
A major fmcg company in a multi-brand market grew dissatisfied with its continuous brand image tracking research and seriously considered dropping all such research. We recommended a solution, developed by a leading statistician, which uses a unique free-format questioning method that enables survey respondents to associate brands with a much wider range of "images" than traditional methods can achieve. After extensive testing, the client was convinced that the results did indeed provide far more sensitive brand discrimination and were valuable for market modelling. The survey ran successfully for eight years.
Sampling and statistics
We have designed and carried out sampling for the Advertising Standards Authority, which carries out periodic surveys of advertising material to check the extent to which it complies with the ASA good practice code (decent, legal, honest and truthful). Sampling such material is tricky, and must be seen to be free of bias because it must stand up to public scrutiny.
Buyer behaviour research - see under Credentials.
Experience in media research includes print media (newspapers and magazines, both consumer and business), radio, television and posters. We have worked on audience research projects, including industry media surveys (the UK National Readership Survey and the Target Group Index) and some specific radio projects. We have also conducted qualitative and quantified studies of responses to advertising in various media; these include two studies of how a combination of print and television advertising in a campaign can enhance response (the so-called "Multimedia Effect" studies ) and studies of programming and break environment effects on recall of television commercials (a very difficult area to research, because commercial recall is so fleeting in nature). Clients have included media owners, media independents and advertising agencies.
We have substantial experience in advertising effectiveness research, including ad development, pre-testing and tracking. We are consultants to Hall & Partners, a leading advertising research agency with substantial clientele in Europe and the United States. We offer adstock modelling, as described in Broadbent, Accountable Advertising (1997). Click here
In 1969 and 1970 we published the analysis of the first ever single source panel (run by J Walter Thompson in London ) which combined purchase and advertising exposures ("opportunities to see") for a range of product categories. This analysis provided the first evidence that one could observe short - term effects on purchasing following advertising OTS. The study gained currency in the USA through the Marketing Science Institute and played a part in the development of effective frequency theory. It has been re published and written about several times since, for example in
• Broadbent, S. (ed.) (1980).Market Researchers look at Advertising: a collection of ESOMAR papers 1949-1979. Sigmatext.
• Naples, M.J. (1979). Effective Frequency: the relationship between frequency and advertising effectiveness. Association of National Advertisers Inc, New York.
• McDonald, C. (1995) Advertising Reach and Frequency: maximizing advertising results through effective frequency, Association of National Advertisers Inc, New York (NTC Business Books)
• Jones, J.P. (1995) When Ads Work. Lexington Books.
• Jones, J.P.(ed)(2000) International Advertising: realities and myths. Sage Publications, Inc.
• Broadbent, S. (1999) When to Advertise. Admap Publications. Click here.
Since 2005, Colin has been part of a team of experts commissioned to carry out analyses of the Apollo Project pilot data in the US. The Apollo Project was a joint venture between Nielsen and Arbitron, sponsored by Procter & Gamble and other leading advertisers, to provide single-source panel data on a large scale. The project has been sadly discontinued after running for over 2 years, but the analysis has yielded substantial learnings which can be applied to other databases. The team, now incorporated as Media Trust LLP, are well placed to exploit these as well as further investigation of the Apollo pilot data, the most extensive single-source database yet available.
Social/ Government/ Health
We also have experience in public sector work. For example, in one recent study we gained an improved understanding of the factors which influence or delay development plans, including the attitudes of the local communities, local authority planning officials and the developers themselves, and the interactions between these and other interested parties. The study shed considerable light on the problems inherent in current planning application procedures.
In 2007, Colin was commissioned by the UK Electoral Commission to provide an independent evaluation of the publicity campaign preceding the Scottish parliamentary and local government elections in May of that year. The gist of his report was incorporated into the Gould Report which reviewed the election as a whole.
We acted as coordinator for an international research project incorporated in a major epidemiological study, supported by a European Community grant, to investigate the relationships between cold weather and excess winter mortality. In the first study, winter surveys were done in eight temperature zones across Europe ranging from Northern Finland to Sicily. These surveys provided unique evidence, of how increases in deaths with greater cold can be affected by the actions people take to protect themselves, both in the home and in the open air. This study was later followed by similar studies in Ekaterinburg in the Urals and Yakutsk, North-eastern Siberia (where winter temperatures can go down to -50 degrees C). The project has been fully reported in the medical journals and aroused considerable interest; the survey work has been described at the ESOMAR Congress, Berlin, 1998 and in the Journal of the Market Research Society, July 1999.
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Enquiries To; Colin McDonald (+44) 01276 691659