Ascend Customer and
Market Research Insights
Know What Your Customers are Thinking
How We Approach Customer Research – Capturing the Voice of the Customer
There are only two ways to understand your marketplace:
- Strategic guesses, based on your hunches, observations, and available information
- Asking your client how they view their situation and available choices, and then preparing a plan of action based on these insights
We prefer business strategies that are an outcome of both. This famous quote from business professor Oren Harari is very apt:
Want a recent story of how we put this into practice? Read this: It’s Incredible What Your Customers Won’t Tell You … but if you could listen to their hidden conversations, you might be amazed at what you discover. (new window)
How We Start a Primary Customer Research Project
The number one problem we see …
The number one problem we see in our consulting practice is the failure of companies to integrate the voice of the customer into their products and services. Conducting primary customer research is the quickest, least expensive, and most valuable method to gain these insights. Here’s how we start a project.
Step 1) We will begin with an in-depth interview with you and your team to gain insights into your company, its products and services, your competitors, and your customers. We will also determine what your key desired outcomes from the project are, and then craft a questionnaire that will form the basis of our customer interviews.
Step 2) You will provide us with a list of customers to interview. These names should be a range of relationships, including:
- Customers who absolutely love you
- Customers who are indifferent
- Customers that have recently left the relationship
Step 3) We will reach out to these selected people in a two-stage research process. In stage 1, We will provide you with an email letter that you will send out to the customer to inform them of the purpose of the survey, inviting them to participate. Here’s an example of a suggested script:
We have recently engaged a consultant to assist us in strategic planning for our company. As part of the process, he would like to conduct a short interview (no more than 30 minutes, either in person or over the phone) with our best clients to help us improve our products, services, systems, and processes.
Would you consider giving him a little time in the next couple of weeks to do this?
Please call or email me if there are any questions.
In stage 2, we will contact each of the participants and conduct the customer interview.
Our answer is yes and no.
One of the questions that we get asked is whether 30 minutes is enough to carry out an interview like this. Our answer is yes and no. One of the things we are looking for is a hyper-responsive interview subject. When these people start talking, they are an absolute fountain of information and will often ask us to extend the interview time, which we gladly do.
Step 4) After conducting the interviews, we will compile the information into a summary report which will highlight common response themes and trends. We will then perform a review of the findings with you to brainstorm on these insights and what this can mean for your future strategy.
Did you read this story yet? It’s Incredible What Your Customers Won’t Tell You … but if you could listen to their hidden conversations, you might be amazed at what you discover. (new window)
What Will this Cost?
Our fees are based on the number of interviews conducted. Here’s a sample chart to help you gauge the cost.
|Depth Interview 5||Depth Interview 10||Depth Interview 15|
|Price: $3,750 + GST||Price: $6,250 + GST||Price: $8,750+ GST|
Want to find out more?
Let’s find out more about each other in a 30-minute discovery call. We will answer your questions, and give you a clear idea of the roadmap to start.
With over 27 years of sales and marketing experience, there isn’t much that we haven’t seen!
Kurian has provided constructive solutions for our retail business. He is keenly insightful and perceptive; has a superb capacity to listen and then think of a solution with blazing swiftness. What I value most, is that he is a consultant that sees the big picture, the entire scope of our business.
Allison MacLean, Founder, Carbon Environmental Boutique
I recently attended a business conference where Kurian hosted an expert round table on sales and marketing. He was able to give me a better marketing pitch for my company in 2 minutes than I’ve been able to come up with in 2 years!
Char Smith, President, Smith Research Inc.
With time being a precious commodity, I’m thankful I recently committed 60 mins to Kurian’s recent marketing webinar as I walked away with new, thought provoking ideas for our organization. I would certainly recommend spending the time listening to Kurian as he really has his finger on the pulse of current & topical, innovative marketing tactics that will force you to assess whether your current strategies are working or require refinement.
Curtis Serna, President, Storm Telematics, Inc.
We recently engaged Kurian to complete a Go-To-Market strategy for our Centre of Excellence’s water re-use certification program. The recommendations we received provided us with strong market research, market participant interviews, and a clearer understanding of the market landscape we are entering. Most importantly, it provided us with a documented strategy that we could share with our stakeholders that defined our value propositions, key messaging, and a framework for a sales and marketing program we could deploy. I would encourage anyone launching a new product or service to take advantage of these Go-To-Market services.
Janice Isberg, MEd, Director of Operations, Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence
Kurian gave a keynote speech ‘Understanding our Brand’ to the Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta (ACPA) members at our AGM. Seldom does a group of chemists get excited about marketing or branding, but Kurian energized this crowd with his knowledgeable and very entertaining presentation. His experience and deep understanding of the topic was immediately obvious. I can hardly wait to see what branding insight emerges from the brain storming exercises he led at the end of our session. I would not hesitate to recommend Kurian to other Associations struggling with marketing and public image.
Kathy Janzen, Executive Director, Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta
I wish I could have picked more than three attributes of Great Results, Expert, and Creative! I worked with Kurian on taking my invention, the Juice Box, to market through a technology commercialization program we did in a one day boot camp. Kurian was very knowledgeable about the process and by the end of day I felt confident about the direction we were going to take my product in. Kurian is very direct and makes you think in depth about each step of the strategy. He made sure we stayed on task and focused and I feel I got very good value out of the program. I would recommend Kurian to anyone needing a new venture sales and marketing consultant.
Nancy Wilde, Founder, Juice Box Toolbox
I engaged Kurian to develop a market assessment and Go-To-Market strategy for the launch of our new recruiting website. The resulting strategy provided an industry landscape, specific recommendations on which markets to initially enter, and what product messages would achieve the best sales results. The project was a great experience, and my key learnings were the importance of core messaging, and the process for identifying what product attributes would compel a customer purchase (… which can be vastly different than what the entrepreneur thinks they are!). There is only one thing I would do different. For my next product launch, I will be conducting a market assessment and Go-To-Market strategy at the beginning of the venture so that I can implement the recommendations into the actual creation of the product from the start!
Mark Meier, President Cazeen Resource Management
The Edmonton CFA Society hired Kurian during a recent marketing and re-branding project. Kurian’s approach helped us to look beyond the appearances of our current situation to create a marketing toolset based on what we really needed, … and not just what we asked for. The result is that we have a new set of core messages to build our market with. Kurian is fantastic to work with and we would definitely use him again.
Aaron Brown, President, Edmonton CFA Society
Kurian has broad experience and knowledge in creating and implementing marketing strategies. Even though we were the first HVAC/Mechanical company he has dealt with, he was up to speed very quickly on the industry and our company. Kurian is enjoyable to work with, has integrity and is very energetic. He helps keep us on track, and surrounds himself with like-minded people on his team.
Kurian has proven himself to be the right choice for building a sound strategy for our firm.
Gary Edwards, IMG Services
I have worked with Kurian on the development of marketing plans, sales growth strategies, lead generation, email campaigns and SEO optimization. He has an excellent knowledge of sales and marketing strategies and I would highly recommend the use of his services to any company wanting to grow its sales funnel in a focused and methodical manner and achieve successful results.
Chris Sellathamby, Vice President – Sales and Marketing at Scanimetrics Inc.
I have known Kurian for a number of years and have spoken to him on many occasions regarding marketing strategy, social media strategy and tools and business development models. I have found Kurian to be very knowledgeable in these areas and has significant experience increasing business through marketing, social media and business development. He walks the talk.
Kurian excels at advising organizations on strategies to grow their business. He is an excellent instructor and provides an engaging learning environment where participants walk away with tools and strategies to use immediately. I would recommend Kurian for both consulting and teaching engagements.
Heather Christensen, Associate Dean, Executive Education, Alberta School of Business
see all 60+ testimonials… (new window)
Want to contact us first?
Kurian M. Tharakan
Managing Director, Strategic Marketing Services
StrategyPeak Sales & Marketing Advisors
Ste. 503, 10108 – 125 Street
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada