Sometimes while pursuing research on one topic, a separate insight is uncovered creating its own marketing opportunity. That’s what happened when Avant Marketing was asked by a leading meat protein commodity group to delve into changing consumer perceptions regarding meat consumption. Avant Marketing conducted Focus Groups throughout the United States that revealed consumers perceived pork as being a limited meal choice based on flavor, texture and safety. Though pork is one of the safest meat proteins today, many consumers believed that it needed to be overcooked to be safe (either their mother or grandmother had warned about trichinosis in pork though the disease has nearly been eliminated in commercial pork production since the 1950s). Overcooking leads to a less flavorful and dryer meat that loses its appeal. In addition, the client’s well-known brand positioning associated pork with chicken which has its own food safety issues. End result: The research prompted the client to replace its current brand positioning and promote the new lower USDA cooking temperature requirements and the versatility of the meat protein.

An investment in quality research may save an organization money elsewhere.  A leading Mid-Atlantic research hospital was considering expanding its geographical markets by building new facilities in distant cities.  St. Louis was a possible location.  Avant Marketing was asked to explore the potential and through our research program with consumers who had direct contact with major hospital facilities we learned there was high satisfaction in the choice of current hospitals in the market. There was also a much higher perception of local institution national rankings and limited understanding of research hospital options outside the immediate region.  This led our client to dismiss making a costly “bricks and mortar” investment in St. Louis, and instead pursue a marketing initiative among area residents to raise awareness of its areas of specialization.

Knowing what your customers feel about you and what you offer can lead not only to service improvements, but often to new product opportunities. A major east coast retailer asked Avant Marketing to measure its satisfaction among current customers. Utilizing an updated customer database, we reached out by email to 90,000 individuals providing a link to the customized online survey we devised. The study responses provided our client with Key Performance Indicators including Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSS), Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and Customer Effort Scores (CES). In addition, local retail stores were evaluated with a battery of attributes and services, key competitors were identified, and our analysis provided the client with suggestions for future products and services.