Category Archives: Industry trends

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.

This summer, Orman published its second annual “Open Letter” on our Glassdoor page. If you’re familiar with it, you know that the Open Letter essentially serves as a public “State of the Company” address: a review of past successes and failures in addition to unavailing plans for the future.

Our President, Rosemary Sundin, wrote and published our first Open Letter on October 1st, 2014.

More than a year later, it’s not just Orman that’s utilizing the Open Letter as a tool to effectively communicate to clients, team members, and prospective employees. After learning its benefits, other companies in a variety of industries are writing their own Open Letters. This is a direct result of Glassdoor account managers who, impressed by the valuable transparency an Open Letter provides, began recommending the initiative to other clients.

Suffice to say, the Open Letter is catching on.
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Needless to say, I was terrified the first time I encountered her back in 1988. I thought of her as the First Lady of Orman Guidance. She could pierce a sizable pile of research methodology and pull out every misplaced comma. She was a highly skilled moderator and researcher. And when it came to her employees, she was not short on, a-hem, constructive criticism.

M. Jane Burns was Al Orman’s 2nd business partner and eventually Al Orman’s 2nd wife. Last Friday evening at her home, with her hand in Al’s, Jane passed away. She was 95 years, 7 months, and 31 days old.
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Over my many years at Orman Guidance I’ve tried (with varying degrees of success and learning) to bolster the principle of teamwork. Now, with over a quarter century of my life’s work in the rearview mirror, here’s my take on what it takes to make Teamwork, well, work.
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Rico Mace officially began his tenure as CEO of Orman Guidance in August 2015. He started as an interim director and advisor and then became a permanent fixture as Director of Strategic Planning. Within 9 months, Rosemary invited him to a business partnership and the CEO seat.
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As market researchers, our first duty is to protect and promote the interests of consumers. Whether it’s promoting consumer preferences in the marketplace or defending the right to be left alone from telemarketers, Orman Guidance greatly values its role as a consumer advocate.

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The year was 1975. All across corporate America, a thin haze of cigarette smoke wafted lazily above the brisk clatter of typewriters. Correspondence was delivered by courier or snail mail. In many executive offices, a well-stocked bar was part of the furniture in case you ever needed a drink to work alongside your pen.
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Orman Guidance covered the topic of Millennials and co-creation in the context of marketing earlier in 2015. The key takeaway from our findings is that Millennials don’t just want to buy a brand, they want to be a part of it.

We continue to recommend that our clients utilize co-creation in their brand, but we’re not letting them have all the fun. Orman is implementing co-creation in our own best practices. We’ve begun integrating it into our internal consumer engagement process. We aren’t stopping there. We’re using co-creation to attract and retain our employees with uniquely tailored careers.
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Brand Matters

Last week, Orman Guidance had the privilege of attending Brand Matters, a fantastic speakers’ series focusing on how companies can build a recognizable and worthy brand. The series is offered by our good friends at Yamamoto, as well as the Carlson School of Management and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Orman’s interest in the topic is key due to our ongoing study of consumer engagement preferences and the role that brand plays.
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