Portland Marketing Analytics (PortMA) | Portland, Maine

Jordan Lovell on Experiential

Granularity in Benchmarks for Event Marketing

Benchmarks are a valuable asset for assessing the performance of a program.  At PortMA, we have an internal database which we use when benchmarking data for clients.  It allows us to look at consumer segments, demographic data, and future purchase and recommend intents.  All of this... [Read more...]

Master your Trade and Learn by Teaching

Last summer one of the best possible experiences for improving my attention to detail and understanding of the minutia of my workflow occurred.  I was assigned a summer intern.  For 12 weeks, I was going to have someone shadowing me, learning what I do week to week. This helped to improve... [Read more...]

Tips to Keep You on Schedule While Working From Home

I do not work a regular nine to five schedule.  At all.  Most days, I get up around seven and check my email. This serves as a quick, “is anything burning down that I need to deal with right now” check.  If so, I have at least an hour to get in front of it before most people... [Read more...]

Simple Steps to Formatting Your Next Survey

Making sure you properly program and format a survey is relatively straightforward. You’ll save yourself a ton of trouble if you make sure you approached it in the right manner. The look, feel, and function of your survey are a vital part of data collection. Formatting, or programming, the survey... [Read more...]

Three tips for Project Review and Evaluation

Reviewing a project a few weeks after it ends can offer some great insight into areas of improvement, either as a company or an employee. By taking the time to understand the successes and failures of a project you give yourself the opportunity to improve your work. It also gives an opportunity... [Read more...]

Event Sampling and Purchase Intent Metric Improvement

We have an ongoing research project that includes measuring event sampling and purchase intent. During this time, the process has been refined to better match the needs of the brand, and to enhance the feedback for the brand teams. Initially, we scored the teams on the number of event samples they... [Read more...]

In Marketing Is There Such a Thing as too Much Data?

Is there such a thing as too much data? Generally speaking, no. The more results you have, the better, right? In an ideal world, we would be doing a census instead of a sampling survey. Wouldn’t you love to know what everyone is thinking? If you did, you would never make an incorrect business... [Read more...]

Examining a Smaller Scope: Market Analysis for the Smaller Events

Typically, analysis for experiential marketing programs happens in one of two different ways, by overall date or by individual market. Overall is clearly an evaluation of all available data. Market Analysis looks at data unique to specific locations. The object of Market Analysis is to determine if... [Read more...]

Stuck in a Rut? Additional Analysis Can Possibly Break You Free

One of my major analysis challenges with average day-to-day work is avoiding the rut of routine. Establishing a routine and having a schedule is great for getting things done, but I find that, for someone in my role, it can stifle innovation. How do I break out of that rut? Additional analysis. Foundations We... [Read more...]

Wearing Two Hats: Perspective Matters in Efficiency

At a smaller company like PortMA, situations frequently arise where you are called to do work that falls outside of your typical job description. With a coworker out sick for an entire week, I worked in both the field and client services roles for a set of projects for a whole week. While many would... [Read more...]

Data Cleaning in Event Marketing

Data cleaning is probably the most important part of my job. Clean data ensures the validity of our analysis. Defining what data is considered clean, and what is not, varies from program to program and survey to survey. Determining what you will qualify as clean data, and strictly maintaining those... [Read more...]

Breaking Down Experiential Marketing Field Staff Data

Examining field staff data from a top-line level permits a good understanding of how your experiential marketing program performed. Simple things, like total interactions or samples distributed, do a good job of conveying what you accomplished. You might say that they are an impressive first impression... [Read more...]

Accounting for Shifts in Event Marketing Data

When reviewing data for event marketing, we typically look at it in two different formats: tour-to-date and the most recent biweekly period. Tour-to-date gives a good summary of how a program is performing overall. Biweekly provides a snapshot of what is going on right now in the program.   Typically,... [Read more...]

Treating Likert Scales in Event Marketing Research

Likert scales are a great tool for event marketing research. Giving a range of response options lets you probe into exactly how people feel about your product. That being said, Likert scales do have their troubles and drawbacks to take into account. So long as you remain aware of these and set them up... [Read more...]

Multi-brand Surveys in Event Marketing Data Collection

Surveying just one brand at events is easy, but you’ll frequently want to sample multiple brands, or different versions of the same brand in your event marketing program,  However, multiple brands can complicate things significantly. You’ll want to make sure you are asking people only about a brand... [Read more...]

Assessing On-site Sales from your Event Marketing

I have a love-hate relationship with on-site sales data. On the one hand, it can provide great insight into what and where your event marketing program success is having in the field. On the other hand, the data is not always irrefutable evidence for how the program is performing. The data is only... [Read more...]

Organizing and Sorting Experiential Marketing Data

Organizing your experiential marketing data systematically within your data files can help you find issues quickly, should any problems arise during your analysis. While most issues should be discovered during the data cleaning processes, the ability to retrieve records and quickly identify anything... [Read more...]

Contingency Planning in Experiential Marketing

Contingency planning is important in experiential marketing data collection. Having some insurance in your process to prevent the unforeseen from stopping you from collecting data can make all the difference in your program. I’ve previously discussed how to best equip ethnographers for data collection.... [Read more...]

Finding Work-Life Balance in Experiential Marketing Analytics

I don’t have the best time management skills in the world. This is exacerbated by the fact that I can work from home. While it has done wonders for my productivity in experiential marketing analytics, it does come with some drawbacks. Here are some you should keep in mind should the work-at-home... [Read more...]

Ensuring Data Integrity – Part Two

In my last post on data integrity, I spent some time talking about how to ensure quality when reviewing panel data. In this post, I expand on that and share some tips that are useful for shorter surveys. While straight-lining can help you identify suspect results in long surveys, it doesn’t really... [Read more...]

Equipping Experiential Marketing Event Staff With Measurement Tools

Getting experiential marketing event staff set-up in the field is relatively simple. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that your execution  goes off without a hitch. The easiest way is also the most expensive. However, it helps to create an environment with the least number of obstacles... [Read more...]

experiential marketing data Managing Historical Experiential Marketing Data

Multi-year, experiential marketing programs have an interesting, inherent problem. The benchmark data from previous years can be incredibly useful when scheduling your program for the next year or when predicting the outcome the year to come. By looking at averages year-to-year, you can gain valuable... [Read more...]

event marketing Point A to Point B in Event Marketing Measurement

Tracking users between exit and post-event surveys can serve as a great way to learn more about exactly what impact your event marketing programs are having in the long term. Looking at overall survey results can be helpful for this, but once you start tracking those users that responded to both your... [Read more...]

event marketing Dealing With Survey Length in Event Marketing

Survey length is a constant struggle for event marketing research. If your survey is too long, participants will be reluctant to finish the survey, or even start it in the first place. You may be forced to offer an incentive to get consistent responses. Additionally, consumers may become complacent and... [Read more...]

event marketing How to Follow Up With Consumers in Event Marketing

Event Marketers utilize post-event online surveys for a number of reasons: They can follow-up with event marketing attendees to find out how they feel and have acted about your event months later They can serve as a precursor to future field work, to give you perspective on what you should expect from... [Read more...]

consumer feedback Gathering Consumer Feedback at Events

A lot goes into making sure gathering consumer feedback happens for a project. For field work, getting staff in field with a way to administer the survey quickly and efficiently takes substantial setup. For online research, getting an accurate list to contact is such an important job it’s its own... [Read more...]

event marketing Managing Event Marketing Field Staff Data

Managing event marketing field staff data is one of those tasks where the more you do it, the easier it seems. By that, I don’t mean practice makes managing it easier. The more quickly and frequently you respond to problems, the less likely you are to end up with a mountain of work to finalize at the... [Read more...]

survey participants Survey Participants Playing Hopscotch

As surveys get more complicated, with skip patterns and more questions in general, the risk of survey participants making mistakes increases. Planning ahead can help to mitigate some of that risk, mistakes will always happen. What is most important is that you have a clear understanding of how to deal... [Read more...]

open-ended feedback Incorporating Open-Ended Feedback

Open-ended feedback from survey questions can be important for a number of reasons. The most obvious one being that you don’t know enough about consumers to give them a complete set of response options. This is particularly true of new products. Last year we had a product that was being introduced... [Read more...]

survey design Quick Guidelines for Making Your Survey Design Cleaner

Personally, I find that survey data becomes burdensome somewhere around the 20th question. That applies to both paper and online surveys, though for different reasons. The first steps to making these large data sets manageable start all the way back to programming and setting up the survey. In this... [Read more...]

ethnographer On the Road Again With Survey Ethnographers

There are a number of ways to improve field staff data collection. Weekly training calls are a great start. The calls don’t need to be more than 15 or 20 minutes, but, by covering the basics, you can ensure that common mistakes are avoided. Additionally, by simply having the call, you can increase... [Read more...]

Tips for Managing Paper Surveys Tips for Managing Paper Surveys

Paper surveys end up being a part of many programs. Managing the influx of paper surveys is a key to making sure they do not bog down your ability to do analysis, though. There is nothing worse than entering 500 surveys in two days before a project closes. There are a number of steps that can be taken... [Read more...]

Getting Some Help With Panel Research Getting Some Help with Panel Research

My work is primarily based around measuring event marketing, but every once in awhile, the need for panel research arises. Panel research studies are interesting because they are essentially a three-month-long project condensed into a couple of weeks. This can be fun, but it can also be hectic. It quickly... [Read more...]

Ensuring Data Integrity (Part 1)

Panel research is a wonderful asset to event marketing. It can give you a baseline for your research, or help you to establish what aspects of a project you need to look into in further detail. That being said, panel data is never perfect. There are a number of things to take into account when cleaning... [Read more...]

Open-Ended Responses: Tell Me What You Think

Open-ended responses have a lot of inherent utility in a survey. To start, they can be used when you don’t know enough about consumer tendencies to prepopulate a response with options. We had a survey looking at brand loyalty, but were unclear on what the fundamental reason for brand loyalty was. As... [Read more...]

Marrying Your Survey Data Collection Sources

Receiving information from multiple sources can be both a blessing and curse. Multiple sources lets you get data faster, and be more confident you will hit your desired sample size, something clearly pivotal to research. That being said, it is important to be careful when working with multiple sources,... [Read more...]

Making the Stretch With Survey Data Collection

You can only find out so much about a consumer within a single survey. It is simply a matter of time available. If you are asking someone a 25 question survey in person, not only will you have people dropping out part way through, but you’ll only get to so many people to begin with. In order... [Read more...]

How to Deal With Limited Demographics in Your Sample

Dealing with a limited demographic focus is to be expected when you conduct research. After all, no one is interested in everyone’s opinion on a product. Generally, you have a target consumer, whether that is an age range, gender, or household income. The issue arises when that demographic becomes... [Read more...]

Judging the Relevance of Survey Results

A slightly less-thought-about topic when it comes to survey data is “Whose opinion matters?” Not that it isn’t a focus during analysis, but target consumers are a part of all marketing, and are inevitably a topic of discussion during recaps. I’m talking about who you should be excluding... [Read more...]

How Last Year’s Data Collection Informs Strategy

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. I quickly learned this lesson my second year working on a project. Last year’s data was proving necessary not only to help define how this year would proceed, but also set a precedent for how this year would perform. More importantly, last year’s... [Read more...]

Defining a Market in Experiential Measurement

Defining a market in experiential marketing research is typically a simple task, especially in the United States. Offering insights at the state level is usually the “Goldilocks” of insight. Markets aren’t so small that data collection is too low, and range isn’t so big that you are... [Read more...]

Ways to Streamline Data Collection Training

Training is an interesting challenge. In an ideal world, I would get twenty minutes with each person to explain how our data collection process works and what they should or should not do while collecting data. Occasionally, I even get to do this. When a project has individually hired ethnographers... [Read more...]

The Importance of Post-Event Research

On-site research is great. (Obviously I’m biased.) It lets you learn about customer disposition and how in line your targeting is with your objectives. But this is in the heat of the moment. How does someone feel about the product a week later, or a month later? Is the person who said they would... [Read more...]

Monitoring Data Collection for Accuracy

Arguably, the most important aspect of my job is monitoring data collection. How much data you finally collect can make or break a project. Early on, I made a few mistakes about data collection that I think are worth being shared. For those more experienced, a reminder of the basics never hurts. Know... [Read more...]

A New Look at Customer Retention

Consumer packaged goods are interesting, specifically because they have such low customer retention rates. With virtually no cost or other apparent downside to changing brands, people have little reluctance to switch. Because this is such a difficult consumer response to measure and understand accurately,... [Read more...]

Looking Back

I had the opportunity this week to review data from projects conducted over the past three years. The first thing that I noticed was how familiar it all was. Despite being well over a year divorced from some of the data, the intricacies of the project came rushing back to me (Oh, this program had lower... [Read more...]

Consumer Shifts

It’s all relative.  This is particularly true of program data.  It’s also one of the major reasons we encourage doing research with each program every year.  It’s one thing to say that 30% of people said they would buy a product.  It’s an entirely different, and more valuable thing, to say... [Read more...]

Samples Vs. Sampled

So you distributed over 9,000 samples during the week.  That’s great! Now, more importantly, how many people sampled your product? This important distinction is commonly lost in reporting on data collection.  Double and triple sampling is surprisingly common, particularly because you want to be sampling... [Read more...]

The Importance of Hitting Your Target

When you spend as long as I do immersed in a world of data you learn to accept many things as essentially constant.  You know that they don’t necessarily have to be true, but at the very least generally are. For the most part these are the basic trends: -People who are more familiar with a product... [Read more...]

Survey and Consumer Feedback Innovation

It’s never a good thing to fall behind, in the short term being 15 minutes behind can make you late for meetings or not complete something the day you had hoped to. In the long term if you never change your product eventually your consumers are going to tire of it. As a company, PortMA strives... [Read more...]

Good Karma and a Sale

The easiest way for a company to build a good public image is to support a good cause. The advantage they get out of this is not only does the company look good, but they also get a chance to show off products if the cause they are supporting has public facing events. Two different companies invested... [Read more...]

It’s A First

Working with new products is always a bit more of a thrill in experiential marketing, particularly in the spirits industry. You get to watch as people try something for the first time, and that one taste is all it takes to cement some ones opinion of a drink forever. And this is why I see experiential... [Read more...]