Please click on the link to go to that FAQ.
How do I get started?
Jeff prefers that prospective clients be referred by a current
client or colleague who already knows his work well. The
initial phone conversation with JTWack & Company typically
focuses on what you’re trying to accomplish, and whether
your objectives are a good match for the firm’s strengths
and interests. Jeff encourages prospective clients to contact
his current clients. If there’s a mutual interest
in proceeding, Jeff usually recommends a situation analysis.
This is a brief period of consulting that focuses on your
external market, as well as your internal reports, trends
and organization. This diagnostic phase yields the necessary
information for Jeff to advise on the marketing issues at
hand, to prescribe appropriate research and its design,
and/or to propose the program of work to be addressed in
respond to RFPs?
No. This topic is a common pet peeve among many consultants.
RFPs were designed to get the best buy on standardized,
look-alike commodities, not unique consulting services.
RFPs do not offer sufficient information on which to base
responsible engagement design recommendations, and preparing
an RFP response consumes vast amounts of time. JTWack &
Company prefers to invest that time on behalf of current
clients instead of on RFPs. Jeff’s 20-year track record,
lengthy client list, multi-sector experience, and strong
curriculum vita guarantee a successful engagement far more
than a response to an RFP will.
do you charge?
JTWack & Company bases its consulting fees on a per
diem basis for short-term projects and charges a monthly
retainer for long-term engagements. Fees are consistent
with those of similarly trained and experienced consultants.
Focus groups, surveys, and other market research are usually
priced on a project basis after the design decisions have
been agreed to with the client.
How do retainers
The firm charges retainers for engagements that require
dedicated involvement several days per month over the long
term. These engagements typically involve augmenting and
enhancing the client’s marketing capabilities, or
redesigning their marketing organization and strategic plans.
Clients may think of this long-term arrangement as time-sharing
a vice president of marketing. This is a popular solution
for organizations that want high-end direction but can’t
justify the salary of another senior officer, or that want
to extend the capabilities of their current leadership team.
the cost of a survey?
Five factors drive most of the cost of a survey:
- Method of data collection: The choices are web, mail,
or phone, in escalating order of expense.
- Questionnaire length
- Sample size: In occasional cases, a sample size less
than 100 is appropriate. Rarely is a sample of more than
800 cost-justifiable. Several choices — e.g., degree
of precision desired, sub-groups’ answers to be
compared, and the budget — guide the appropriate
- Complexity of analysis: A simple tabulation of each
question is easiest. Costs increase with the number of
sub-groups, statistical tests, and volume of questions.
- Final report: Cost-conscious clients opt for annotated
results and a bullet-point summary. Corporate clients
often prefer a more expensive formal report that includes
charts and a long narrative. The best way to conserve
on costs? Keep the questionnaire as short as possible,
and choose a simple report format. Never try to cut costs
on design and analysis.
Does Jeff Wack do all the work?
No, but it will look that way. Jeff personally answers the
phone, replies to email, and responds to voice mail. He
also reviews all information, and writes all questionnaires
and reports. Staff handle data collection, programming,
analysis, interviews, focus groups, and assist in preparing
have your own phone bank for telephone surveys?
No. JTWack & Company has strategic alliances with a
couple of firms that offer phone banks. This means that
Jeff doesn’t carry the overhead of a phone bank, and
he gets competitive bids from each firm, both of which save
the right sample size?
It depends. The larger the sample size, the greater the
precision of the results, so more is always preferred. However,
costs escalate as the sample size grows, especially when
using the phone for data collection. There is a point where
the additional precision gained is not worth the additional
cost. Finding this point requires a dialog with the client
as to their purposes, risks of inaccuracy, budget, and other
factors that determine the optimal trade-off.
you work with advertising and communications agencies?
Communications is just one piece of the marketing puzzle.
In addition to communications, market demand is a function
of the qualities of the product/service, price, and accessibility.
From a marketing perspective, brochures, ads, websites,
PR, and events are tactics, a set of tools for carrying
out the communications strategies of the marketing mix.
Therefore, the market research and strategy recommendations
that JTWack & Company engage in typically precede and
give direction to the production and execution of communications.
Some kinds of marketing engagements, such as branding or
positioning projects, require research to define current
image and communications strategies in order to advance
or to shape that image. In these cases, we partner with
a communications agency at the outset.
Jeff Wack do for fun?
Jeff enjoys golf in his spare time. He shot his first sub-par
round in competition at age 16, captained his high school
golf team with a scratch handicap, and competed in national
junior tournaments. By his first year of college, he’d
been soundly beaten by Jay Haas, Fuzzy Zoeller, Craig Stadler,
and others who made it to the PGA tour. Jeff eventually
faced a difficult choice: the golf course or work. On sunny
days, he still sometimes struggles with that choice.
the relationship between branding and marketing?
This question defies a short answer because I find that
people, both clients and practitioners, have different meanings
for the terms. Most would agree on the following:
- 1) The comprehensive marketing taught at business schools
pre-dates and is the origin of most of the fundamental
- 2) marketing is about managing demand using a variety
of tools of which branding is one, and
- 3) branding concepts blossomed in the context of consumer
products and large advertising budgets.