OK, so what do we do here at Forward 100? Let's think about it in 2 groups:
(1) The "Usual Stuff" and (2) "The Not So Usual But Really Interesting and Helpful Stuff".

Under the "Usual Stuff", we have a demonstrated track record of success in:

Quantitative areas
- Consumer and Product Segmentation
- Regression and Factor Analysis
- Price Elasticity Studies
- Survey Creation and Analysis
- Brand Equity Assessment
- Secondary Data Analysis

Qualitative areas
- Ethnographies
- Focus Group Moderation
- One-on-One Interviews
- Semiotic Research
- Consumer Shop-Alongs

Trends and Foresights area
- Scenario Planning, War Gaming and "What-If" Scenerios
- Ideation Facilitation (Synectics certified)
- Roper Starch, Yankelovich and other secondary source expertise
- Trend validation

Hybrids of Quantitative and Qualitative like
- Portfolio Strategy
- Product Innovation and White Space Opportunity Mapping
- Program Efficacy Measurement and Diagnostics

OK, those are some of the classics… many others to pick from… let me know if you don't see what you are looking for… or perhaps it is down here under the "Not So Usual But Really Interesting and Helpful Stuff" section…. also known as "Progressive Marketing Paradigms™".

My vision involves supplementing (or displacing) traditional MBA marketing approaches with an understanding and application of what I like to call "Progressive Marketing Paradigms™". This means evolving our thinking to include awareness of the opportunities presented by newer, cross-discipline opportunities, including:

Social Cause Marketing Linkages: Developing social cause marketing linkages to enable companies and brands to more effectively identify and pursue win/win opportunities to support specific causes and messaging that will help the world and support key consumer targets in an authentic and empathetic manner. Such brand linkages will then translate into stronger brand equity, preference, and positive differentiation among consumers.

Life Stage Insights: Helping the traditional 25-45 year old brand manager and product developer to truly understand and empathize with the concerns, frustrations, hopes and challenges of younger and older consumers who have wishes and needs that brands typically fail to recognize or address. One favorite story in this area is when I had students in my college class trying to perform simple tasks like tying their shoes, buttoning a shirt button, opening a bottle of Sprite, or typing on their keyboard while wearing oven mitts (to replicate arthritic conditions that many elderly and nowhere near elderly consumers face every day). They finally "got it" in terms of the need to increase awareness and empathy regarding product design and ergonomics.

Health and Wellness: I spent years at The Coca-Cola Company and The Minute Maid Company investigating Health and Wellness (H&W) issues, dietary confusion, changes in social and cultural context that have influenced food and beverage access, consideration, choice, amount and timing, changes in caloric exertion factors, and many other parts of the H&W puzzle. This "real world" experience was deepened by the health focus of my doctorate, a focus that merges health considerations with important social, personal and economic context that often gets overlooked by the marketing community.

Social Network Insights: My favorite book section of the last ten years is the piece from Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point" that discusses the importance of "Connectors" in our lives. This discussion is heavily based on the work of a social scientist named Mark Granovetter (a little nerd love shout out) who identified the critical importance of "the great strength of weak ties". In an age of increased social media proliferation (email, facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc), the importance of social networks and the influencers, connectors and other considerations has never been greater. Add to this the opportunity for efficient marketing, communication and advocacy, and you have a really interesting area for consideration.

Personas, Archetypes and Segmentation: When it comes to segmentations, many of us know about the usual suspects… segmenting people by gender, income, age, race, region, etc. Then it evolved some with segmentation based on purchasing habits. Now it has really gotten interesting because of the opportunities to bring segmentations to life through the use of Personas and Archetypes.

The ability to successfully combine quantitative data with deep, qualitative insights allows us to richly dimensionalize different types of consumer targets… to learn of their daily lives, challenges, hopes, wishes, habits, attitudes and practices. This improved consumer understanding can then be leveraged to develop richer strategic insights and relationship building. Highly suggest you check out Mark & Pearson's The Hero and the Outlaw, Mathews & Wacker's What's Your Story and Doug Holt's How Brands Become Icon for some GREAT examples of this type of work.

The "Mission: Impossible" Ad Hoc: OK, this is my personal favorite. I love when a client tells me what they are hoping for, and fesses up that they have no idea if such a project is even possible… they have no idea where to even begin other than the end goal. Love This! There is nothing cooler or more challenging than bringing the different tools, lenses, experiences and perspectives to bear on such a challenge. This includes frameworks and tools from academia, secondary research, primary research (quant and/or qual… love 'em both), trends and foresights, and many different disciplines (e.g., marketing, sociology, economics). The fact that each ad hoc is so different only adds to my interest and passion for these types of challenges. I also love that our successful outcomes tend to help raise the clients' halo perception (in terms of creativity and impact) within their organizations.

The "Building Your Brain" Project: You and your team need to learn something that is complex, and you need to learn it quickly and effectively. This is also where my hybrid background of wide and deep academic research investigation merges with my real world practitioner's lens. Unlike 99.9% of all academics, I have experience in the literature, ideas and theories of many different disciplines (e.g., marketing, economics, sociology, etc) as well as 15+ years of real world marketing experience to filter such thinking through. Also, a dirty little secret in the academic consulting space is that many highly pedigreed, "hired gun" academic consultants seem compelled to force fit their prior publications and viewpoints into the solution rather than being open (in terms of an intellectual perspective AND from a sense of humility) to the ideas of others… instead of seeing ideas as collaborative, they often see others' ideas as competing with their own.

I bypass this nonsense by being a "hub" for reviewing and considering the best thinking from across the board… in other words (and using a baseball analogy), I can offer the best thinking from an entire all-star team rather than just one self-promoting MVP (whose thinking will likely be included in my all-star team anyway). This "best of the best" thinking is then merged with a real world, experience-based pragmatic perspective to deliver actionable learnings, considerations and recommendations.

The "Inspector Columbo" Project: Gotta love Peter Falk's "Columbo". Cool guy… wheels turning fast inside his head, but he never lets on… lets the bad guy keep on keeping on until he unravels. This analogy is really great when it comes to vetting smiling consultants, academics, and agency business development people. Before spending a LOT of money on a project or investing with a supplier that could result in a potential loss of your budget and credibility or entail high switching costs later on, it makes sense to spend a LITTLE to bring in someone who can ask the right questions, kick the tires and check under the hood of proposed methodologies, and help determine what is missing or non-essential. I love being the "Columbo" in these situations…all while being professional, friendly, and respect-based. It tends to shave some padding off the supplier / agency's invoice while raising the effectiveness of their deliverable. Plus, it's fun.

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