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H ave you ever downloaded a “free” report from a website? Attended an online webinar? Registered a product? Requested a rebate? When it comes to our clients, employees, and brand, are we competing like AEC professionals or acting like Family Feud contestants, simply guessing at answers?
Have you ever researched something online and then had that same element or a related product show up in your Instagram feed? I think it is safe to assume that most people are answering yes to that question. In Erik Larson’s book, Naked Consumer – How Our Private Lives Become Public Commodities , his research reveals “the technologies and techniques of mass surveillance allow companies to learn details we never would have told them if asked directly.” This may not come as a shock to you, but would you be surprised to learn that he wrote this in 1994? The United States conducts a census every 10 years. The American Community Survey happens every year. Google Analytics allows you to track activity on demand. Today, the technologies and techniques of public and private data collection are legion. The business world is full of people with refined systems who want to know everything about you and all the
other perfect strangers – aka potential consumers – just like you. Using this kind of secondary survey data can be helpful, depending on your goals. If you are looking to identify trends or tendencies among a large pool of people, secondary data is often a fast and efficient approach. However, if you have a predetermined group you are interested in or a smaller area of focus, primary survey data may be worth the extra effort. Should primary data collection play a part in our role as AEC marketers? Generally, our jobs are concerned with things like proposals, advertising, and our brand. So, I was very interested to attend Zweig Group’s Branding Session as part of the ElevateAEC Virtual Conference. I thought this would be a session on,
Jane Lawler Smith
See JANE LAWLER SMITH , page 4
THE ZWEIG LETTER JANUARY 17, 2022, ISSUE 1424
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