By Anne Golden, Director
It never fails – whenever I meet a new group of people and we go through the who/what/where bio — once people discover I work in consumer insights, someone invariably asks, “Do my opinions really count?” And I always answer “Yes! Most definitely!

This is especially true with healthcare. Healthcare research impacts each and every one of us. But it makes sense to me that people wonder if their input and opinions really matter, especially when they read the headlines of the day.

In the March 2017 issue of Medical Marketing and Media, Rosemary Sundin, President of Orman Guidance, put another challenge to Pharma to pay attention to the importance of consumer engagement in research and clinical studies. Consumer engagement is job 1 if Pharma desires consistent dialogue to grow the body of knowledge that co-creates life-saving opportunities through research.

Back to your opinions. They really do count! Over my years at Orman Guidance (25 to be exact!), our teams have led research efforts for the Healthcare Industry, including:

Products & Services: Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare Facilities and Services — the list goes on and on…

Methodologies: Product testing, Communication Checks, Ethnographies, In-Home Use Tests, Taste Tests – this list goes on and on, too!

Geographies: Local. National. International.

Audiences: Clinicians, Researchers, Patients, Caregivers

Every time you complete an online survey, or offer opinions in a focus group, test a new website, or provide your input on a new product, the results of your participation provide actionable insights for companies who rely on your opinions, experiences, attitudes, and behaviors to make decisions.

It ain’t always pretty – sometimes Orman Guidance uncovers insights and emotions that convey consumers’ frustration and dissatisfaction. And that’s okay! Our research participants trust us, and share deeply with us, because of our highly engaged, transparent approach, and our respect for their privacy. This relationship provides the best path to outcomes that make a difference.

Marketers and Stakeholdersclick here to learn more about how Orman Guidance achieves answers to business problems through consumer insights.

Consumers: want Your Opinion to Count in 2017? Click here and let’s get started!

Dr. Rico Mace, CEO of Orman Guidance, discusses employee engagement and benefits with Kevyn Burger, freelance broadcaster and writer in Star Tribune article.

The non-profit struggle is real! Low-cost, or even free, employee benefit plans are on the minds of non-profit decision-makers. Unlike most of their corporate counterparts, these social service organizations unlikely have the ability to keep people more than a few years on the basis of compensation. Some nonprofits are implementing creative perks such as bring your dog to work EVERY DAY. Surprisingly, you will read in the comment section following the story, that workers are emotionally divided on the topic. Dog lovers beware.

Dr. Mace mentioned that the decision-makers at Orman Guidance try to help non-profits alleviate total costs of operations. Each year, Orman Guidance partners with non-profits. Adjusting project costs ensures that non-profits can have access to our sophisticated research tools – just like their corporate counterparts. In reality, it comes at a cost in the ROI, but the Orman Guidance team is convinced that it is the right way to run a for-profit business in a world where not everybody has the same advantages.

2016 CEO Open Letter

Rico’s first day as the Director of Strategic Planning at Orman Guidance Research was November 1, 2014, now rebranded and renamed Orman Guidance. In less than two years with the company, he’s learned more about management and leadership than in over a decade of business school. Every experience, every team-building event, every meeting, helps transform us into beings of a greater order – and makes us realize that the path is just as important, sometimes even more important than the result.

Journeys more than Destinations.

Believe it or not, we spend 100% of our physical lives in the present. Many small businesses, like us, devote hours or days predicting the future of markets, consumers, clients, and employees. While we wholeheartedly believe that businesses should allocate time for planning and organizing, it is vital to put the here-and-now at the front of the line. Before we know it, people and things are gone, so we must preserve the moments in the journey to protect the true state of reality.

Small to Big.

Rosemary Sundin, President of Orman Guidance, and Rico started working together to move the company from small to big. He learned about the dream for the company to go from a small business to a major market research firm capable of conducting any type of research for any industry. Now almost two years later, we’ve enhanced every process and department to reposition as the premiere market research company in the world. Are we there yet? – no. Is it going to happen soon? – still no. But, we are going in the right direction, keeping pace with personal journeys and the Orman journey, and more than quadrupled our highest tier of full-service market research business, and we’re only half-way through 2016!

Multi-generational Harmony.

Who’s going to listen to the new guy? He’s a fast-mover, seat-of-your-pants, liberal-minded millennial who’s focused on innovating and strategizing. While this sounds fun and great, he just mentioned how important it is for us to put effort on the present. At Orman Guidance, we’re teaching ourselves to pause and recalibrate through bi-monthly meetings called Roundtables. These meetings put objectives and goals into perspective, such as informing us of the real timelines needed to change. Having Boomers and Millennials at the Roundtable provides us with a multi-generational harmony, which gives us a high-quality mindset to bring products to the market.

Stress is Good.

When prudently directed, stress supplies greatness from mediocrity. We’ve heard small business owners and executives say how running their business requires constant awareness and attention to the company. They leave their 50 hour/week jobs to run a 24/7, 365 days/year company. Without the stress to become better, serve better, and do better, these leaders might not be living their dreams. When prudently directed, stress supplies greatness from mediocrity.

Continuous Restructuring of Self and Company.

There’s a new lesson every day we come to work – sometimes it’s about focusing on the present, how to grow a company, collaborating with different types of people, or how to reorient stress. We constantly restructure ourselves to restructure the company, even if it means making difficult changes. We can’t explain enough how much of a privilege it is to learn these things alongside the people at Orman Guidance.

Refer a Vendor

Refer a Vendor

Orman Guidance has been a vendor, aka subcontractor, aka seller, aka supplier…of market research services for a looong time. We grasp the value of professional vendor services and express gratitude to our vendors supporting us over the years – since 1975! So – thank you.

Gaining new leads and sales is not an easy task. When it comes up in conversations, we strive to recommend the services and products of Our Vendors – that’s you. We ask that you help us too! Please let your colleagues know about Orman Guidance for our Refer a Vendor initiative. We’re damn good at what we do.

So, how do you explain “market research?”

Market research consists of the steps that companies take before they execute a marketing strategy. Essentially, they research the “marketing stuff” to improve the “marketing stuff.” Without validation of the marketing materials, businesses might go into a marketing campaign with content that doesn’t speak to their consumers. So, we help businesses connect with audiences. Makes sense now, right?!

There’s a lot that goes into our processes and procedures, such as research design and methodology, qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods, research data analytics software, data aggregation and triangulation, international vendor management, standardization of the protection of human subjects, data privacy standards…are you still there? 😉 We’re rigorous scientists and academics as much as we are approachable, authentically engaged citizens!

The Orman Guidance SuperSquad.

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GenZ

Everyone from data scientists to market researchers, politicians to pop musicians, has been racking their brains trying to decipher and unravel the Millennials. Now that researchers have uncovered the unique traits of Millennials and their impact on the economic, social, and political landscape, it can only mean one thing…
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It’s Monday. And just like the start to every other workweek since email became the preferred method of sales correspondence, I wish I had a nickel for every “cold” email I receive in an average week.

You know the drill — the email solicitation pops in — and when you don’t answer it, sender of said email takes that as a signal to actually badger you — as if the sheer act of sending you the email somehow obligates you to respond. Not to be cranky…

I realize we’re all in “bidnez” to expand our network, make connections, and be of authentic service to one another.
Maybe, though, just maybe…we should narrow our marketing focus to prospects with whom we’ve made a connection that goes beyond the “cold” email.
I’d love your perspective about emails solicitations. Please help me understand how you answer all these unsolicited, email-sales-pitches.

Anyone?

[DISCLAIMER: the author of this post promises not to badger you into offering your opinions, experiences, and perspectives. She’s genuinely looking for ways to make “this” part of the week run more efficiently.]