Research

Focus. Clarity. Insights.

Magnifying glass

Understanding your community and customers is key to effective communication. FrahmComm’s services include focus groups, surveys, interviews, web research and other research methods that won’t break the bank.

Annette Frahm is a perceptive, experienced researcher who can help you find the insights you need to develop stories and strategies that work.

SELECTED PROJECTS

Gaining insights into shoreline landowners

The Snohomish-Camano ECO Net wanted to gain insights into Camano Island shoreline property owners and their perceptions and awareness about Puget Sound and the importance of healthy shorelines. They wanted to identify values, behaviors and beliefs that could be addressed in their outreach.

Annette Frahm worked with a team to develop goals and objectives for two focus groups. She developed a moderator guide, moderated the groups and wrote a follow-up report. Among the insights: People placed a high value on the natural beauty, water, beach, birds and wildlife of Camano Island. Many thought Puget Sound was clean and healthy. Neighborhood meetings featuring an expert who could answer questions could be a good outreach strategy. Client: Snohomish-Camano ECO Net (Education, Communication and Outreach Network).

“Really excellent report. I love how you have made it simple and to the point (and with all of the quotes as examples). Very easy to read!”
–Heather Trim, FutureWise
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Providing advice on marketing energy efficiency

Energy saving light bulb with recycling symbol over blackThe Energy Trust of Oregon and other NW energy agencies wanted to assess if and how they should couple energy efficiency with global warming in a regional social marketing campaign. Annette Frahm worked on a team to do secondary research on the pros and cons, including a review of relevant social marketing efforts around the country and interviews with over 25 key informants.

Interactive workshops with research sponsors discussed findings and proposed strategies. The report included a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), a social marketing primer and an analysis of exemplary social marketing efforts that could serve as models. Client: Energy Trust of Oregon, Bonneville Power Administration and other Northwest energy agencies, with Dethman & Associates
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Analyzing effectiveness of web communications

Annette Frahm and a small team used Google Analytics to assess the effectiveness of KCTS 9’s website, Facebook page and social engagement strategy. They compared business goals and KPIs with marketing metrics. Among the findings: The Facebook page wasn’t driving visitors to the KCTS website, the website didn’t easily lead visitors to KCTS programming and branding wasn’t consistent across platforms. The team presented recommendations to address these and other issues. Research done as part of the Master of Communication in Digital Media Program, University of Washington.
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Defining key market segments for use of smartphones in retail stores

Segmentation study bar chartNearly half (46%) of American adults now own smartphones. More than half of smartphone users use their mobile devices in retail stores.

Annette Frahm’s team did a pilot study to find out who is using smartphones while in retail and how they are using them. The team used an online survey to determine values and behaviors related to smartphone use and used results to divide smartphone users into five clusters. This “psychographic segmentation” enables marketers to understand “why” a customer would want to purchase a product and can provide powerful insights.

The pilot study found that younger, more social users were more likely to use their smartphones in retail stores, using them to check product reviews and research information about products online. Research done as part of the Master of Communication in Digital Media Program, University of Washington.
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Assessing barriers to sales of less-hazardous garden products

Retail hardware and home improvement stores sell a variety of hazardous garden products, such as pesticides. Annette Frahm conducted a series of informal interviews with staff at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Fred Meyer, Ace Hardware, manufacturers and others to assess barriers to selling less-hazardous gardening products and opportunities to make changes.

Her analysis found a complex retail market in garden chemicals. She assessed decision-making, product placement, product choices, vendor support, supply chain dynamics and customer barriers. She provided recommendations for possible actions to increase sales of environmentally friendly products. Client: Thurston County.
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Researching scientifically sound statements for educational campaign

The King County ECO-Net wanted a list of vetted statements related to King County and Puget Sound. These are concise statements about pollution, resources and impacts that are used to support the “Puget Sound Starts Here” campaign.

The FrahmComm team researched sources of facts using telephone calls, email and web research, analyzed the scientific data obtained and wrote concise statements that captured the findings in several categories:

  • Pollution quantity, including yard chemicals, pet waste, toxic pollution, motor oil, household hazardous products, untreated sewage
  • Impacts on rivers and streams, effects of climate change and ocean acidification
  • Values, such as desired outcomes, impact of trees on stormwater runoff, cost-benefit of low-impact development and value of ecosystem services

All of the statements include sources for scientific data that supports them. They were used by ECO-Net partners, which include local governments and community organizations. Client: King County ECO-Net (Education, Communication and Outreach Network).
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