Calgary market research agency

Jun 24 2024


Calgary Consumer Insights - Researcher Imagination in a Sea of Data

This week I have a meeting with a local not-for-profit who would like to better understand their customers and supporters to ensure the NFP’s future services meet the needs of their community. In 1993, the only choice to gain these insights was either though (1) focus groups (2) telephone interviews (3) shopping mall intercepts or (4) mail out surveys. The process would take about 12-20 weeks and, with a sample size of 1000, it would cost about $75,000 or more. I recall doing similar work in 1994 for Black Diamond Cheese. That research was simple, the purpose of the research was to find out which colour of cheddar cheese consumers most preferred. If you are interested in this topic, read more about food colouring agents that are legal to use in Canada.

Today, the research is more likely to be conducted through (1) focus groups and a combination of (2) email surveys (3) social media surveys (4) web form submissions

There are other methods that can get a few thousand responses in a few minutes. Anthropology has a subfield called ethnography and some marketers are trained in a practice called “product usage ethnography.” Ethnography in marketing has developed its own subset of activities which today include digital ethnography and social listening.

non profit marketing Calgary
One challenge I had, while studying not-for-profit marketing at university, was I knew all marketing types were the same, not-for-profit, B2B, B2C etc. It’s only a few variables in each type that change – you don’t need a whole book to learn those differences.  The professors preached and my fellow students drank the kool-aid. I was that odd marketing students, who, by 2008 already had 15 year’s of marketing experience – more than all of my professors.

Imagine you have a Facebook page with hundreds of posts that your customers find interesting and engage in. Most marketing managers have little to no idea (mostly due to time constraints) what is happening on their social media. But imagine if, as a post, the question, “single men, when do you do your grocery shopping?” was asked. This might me a light hearted post designed for fun. But from a digital ethnography perspective, it could create a treasure trove of data.

Imagine you engaged your audience on social media with a question on shopping patterns. Instead of spending thousands of dollars, the following could have been gotten for almost nothing (blank fields are deleted data):

Honestly, I buy a bit at a time as I head to work. Working at night sucks, but then again, not planning on  staying around.😆
Definitely not Saturday or Sunday morning
Go after work
I grocery shop at Panda Express and Salad and Go 🤷🏻‍♂️
After work
We don’t like to go on the weekends we go after work that way our weekends are free
Never on the weekend 😂😂. 7am or 8am
At noom on eeekdays😎
I started getting them delivered 😂
Right after work on the way home
Every other day after work fresh groceries in and out
5-6 pm, after the gym. 15 minutes tops because we have yard work to do before we make dinner.
After work
We used to at 3am and now we just get it delivered
We go at night baby
I go after the gym on weekdays most likely until n Mondays
I am a vampire might see me out Friday after work get in and out back to the cave
If you want to use a store to find single guys go to lowes or homedepot and troll the electrical aisles. 😉
After work and I have already pre-ordered my stuff for pickup, if we’re there on a Saturday or Sunday it’s surgical strike for BBQ supplies and beer. 😉
Middle of the night when know ones around.😎💯
Sunday afternoon.. in and out in 20 minutes.
We are quick at what we get I’ll be honest
lol 15 minutes tops 🤣🤣🤣🤣
We order food
I went on Sunday around 4:00 after leaving the brewery. Because let’s be honest, I got to said brewery at 11 before it got too busy, because I’m 39.
Every Sunday morning between 9 and 10 am
I go when I run out food to eat
Hahaha I was always told this as a kid by an old timer the best place to find women is at the grocery store
Well, now that I work 4-10’s I usually go Sunday evening for 15 minutes max
Not even 15 minutes! Lol Most of us do a shopping drive by & skate. Lol
In and out we know what we want and need
Always after work. Never on the weekend
Saturday morning right before Costco opens or Safeway when I absolutely have nothing left in the refrigerator lol 🤣
After work……or just getting deliveries
Krogers, Fridays, after work.  4X the fuel points for purchases on Kroger card so we can maximize fuel savings for our gas guzzlers.
I eat a lot of vegetables so I go every day or every other day around 5-6 pm Whole Foods
They are there all the time 😂😂😂 they just don’t look like Michael b Jordan or Jason momma
We don’t put off until the weekend what we can do today.
Weekend’s at late… almost when the grocery is closing
Early in morning
Whenever I run out of food?
Monday shawty we dont like to shop in crowds
Friday after work/payday
Lol, maybe 20 min. But for sure weeknights.
Have the groceries delivered to avoid all risk of human contact
During the week after work and the gym, in and out approximately 10-15 minutes
Correct. Every day, fresh groceries
Winco after the gym.

The above data is just a sample of a larger set of about 1000 comments. We deleted irrelevant comments (the blank fields). With this data, you now have the opportunity to code it (put it into categories), follow up with random respondents to be part of a focus group, or use it for a survey design. The days of multi-month high budget research is over – for some. Many companies haven’t realized that the face of market research has changed and are still paying $25,000 or more per study. Don’t be that company. Contact us to help you do better research at a reasonable price.


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