Company History and Significant Achievements
June, 1993. Applied Marketing Research begins operation. The company is co-owned by Don Phipps and Jim Merrill Ph.D. Office is established in Overland Park, Kansas, with a 10-station state-of-the-art Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system. It is profitable in its first year of operation. Key start-up clients include Hill’s Pet Nutrition (a division of Colgate Palmolive), Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson), and Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics.
February, 1994. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first research study for Hallmark. The brand-extension study measures the willingness of consumers to associate the Hallmark brand with products outside of its core greeting card business.
May, 1994. Applied Marketing Research is selected by H&R Block to conduct its first customer satisfaction research. It continues to add to its client roster with significant project work from Sprint and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City.
August, 1994. Applied Marketing Research creates a subsidiary, Applied Research West to capitalize on West Coast, Los Angeles-based opportunities. The company is owned by Don Phipps, Jim Merrill, Ph.D. and Anita Kantak, Ph.D. Clients developed by this office include Honda, Toyota, NBC-Universal, Canon Computer, Toshiba Computers, Isuzu, Yamaha Motorcycles, Hitachi, Pioneer, and Southern California Edison.
October, 1994. Applied Research West conducts a market forecast study for Mitsubishi Escalators and Elevators.
November, 1994. Applied Marketing Research receives press coverage from the Kansas City Star related to its interest in moving forward with global opportunities.
1995 Applied Research West establishes an office in Los Alamitos, CA. The company installs a 10-station state-of-the-art (CATI) system.
August, 1995. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first web-based survey, a survey of Hallmark Gold Crown members. At the time, web-surveys were rare.
November, 1996. Applied Marketing Research conducts a Customer Loyalty Study for Mobilink. The study involves telephone surveys of 1,000 consumers in two countries, the U.S. and Canada. Interviews were conducted in English and French.
1997 Applied Marketing Research establishes field offices in New York City, NY and East Point, GA.
1997 Applied Research West and Applied Marketing Research conduct multi-year focus group and survey research studies of the building and construction markets for James Hardie building products. Hardie products researched include fiber-cement siding, tilebacker, and windows.
January, 1997. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first Geo-demographic Mapping project for K.C. Life Insurance.
January, 1997. Applied Marketing Research conducts is first “customer defection” study for Kansas City amusement park Worlds of Fun.
February, 1997. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first mall intercepts for JC Penny.
March, 1997. Applied Marketing Research is nominated for Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award.
May, 1997. Applied Marketing Research begins conducting focus groups and other types of qualitative research in order to broaden its services. One of Applied’s first focus group studies was a 15-group study of employees of Sprint regarding their reaction to new corporate infrastructure and campus technology.
June, 1997. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first package concept test for Sprint. The concept study is completed in one week.
June, 1997 Applied Marketing Research receives press coverage from the Kansas City Star related to its focus on technology and company growth.
November, 1997. Applied Marketing Research begins conducting in-home usage tests with pet owners for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Respondents are mailed Hill’s and competitor pet food and asked to evaluate their pet’s response to it. Packages are disguised so that persons are unaware which food is being tested.
1998 Applied Research West establishes an office in Livermore, CA, to create San Francisco Bay Area opportunities. Clients that resulted from this office included Adobe, Symantec, Kensington, Financial Engines, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, and Anritsu Test Equipment.
April, 1999. Applied Marketing Research receives award from the United States Information Agency and The International Visitors Council of Greater Kansas City for its participation in the Business for Russia/Community Connections Program.
May, 2000. Applied Research – West is selected by NBC to conduct weekly Family Feud survey for nationally-syndicated television game show.
June, 2000. Applied Marketing Research is selected by Helzberg Diamonds to do its first E-Commerce Study and a large Multi-Market Ad Awareness Survey conducted in ten U.S. metropolitan markets.
March, 2001. Honda nominates Applied Research West for Los Angeles Minority Business of the Year.
February, 2001. Applied Marketing Research is selected to administer Hallmark’s national retail testing program in fourteen U.S. states and Puerto Rico. The program results in the hiring of 40 new employees.
April, 2001. Applied Marketing Research conducts KCI Airport’s first annual intercept study. Some 600 travelers at KCI Airport are asked to respond to questions while visiting the airport.
July, 2001. Applied Marketing Research begins an annual global B2B Customer Satisfaction Study for Sabre. Over the years, Applied interviewers speak with airline management personnel in airports in China, the Netherlands, Brazil, Egypt, Italy, Thailand, Ethiopia, Mexico, Malta, Bangkok, Russia and Jamaica among others.
August, 2001. Applied Marketing Research conducts a secondary research and IDI study for Pfizer on African Americans. The study seeks to understand beliefs and attitudes towards healthcare by this population.
January, 2002. Applied Marketing Research conducts Union Pacific Railroad Brand Ad Concept Testing. Applied conducts multiple in-depth interviews with stakeholders of Union Pacific Railroad, including vendors, employees, and key customers, to gauge reaction to a series of TV ads.
February, 2002. Applied Marketing Research conducts Internet Usage Study for Universal Underwriters Group.
March, 2002. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first aroma test for Hill’s Pet Nutrition to learn how aroma effects pet owners’ purchasing decision towards what they will feed their pets.
May, 2002. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first Mystery Shipper (Domestic Ground/Air) Study for Taylor Nelson Sofres Intersearch. The mystery consumer’s specific identity and purpose is not known by the shipping establishment being evaluated. Mystery shoppers perform specific tasks such as scheduling shipments, asking questions, registering complaints and then provide detailed feedback about their experiences.
June, 2002. Applied Marketing Research conducts a Science City Conjoint Study. This study establishes the relative importance to the consumer of different exhibits and activities available at the children’s science museum.
June, 2002. Applied Marketing Research conducts it first focus groups for Chemtura investigating the openness of consumers to purchasing environmentally friendly cleaners.
August, 2002. Applied Research West receives Honda’s Premier Partner Award, which honors Honda’s top 10 suppliers for their exceptional service.
October, 2002. Applied Marketing Research moves its company headquarters to Kansas City, Missouri. The phone room is expanded to 50 state-of-the-art CATI stations. Applied Marketing Research conducts a focus group for Honda on its proposed new SUV, the Honda Element. Attending the focus group are actors and members of the technical support team for the movie the “Fast and the Furious,” a movie about road racing that is on its sixth sequel.
November, 2002. Applied Marketing Research conducts a business to business (B2B) Customer Satisfaction Study for JRH Biosciences. Telephone interviews are conducted in U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia.
May, 2003. Applied Marketing Research receives the Economic Development Corporation Cornerstone Award for its investments in the local community. Mayor Kay Barnes of Kansas City presents the company with the award.
June, 2003. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first movie screening research for Universal Studios.
August, 2003. Applied Research West receives its second Honda’s Premier Partner Award, which honors Honda’s top 10 suppliers for their exceptional service.
September, 2003. John Deere hires Applied Marketing Research to conduct a major segmentation project to determine the likelihood of future success of commercial mowing operations. Based on Applied’s performance, John Deere places Applied Marketing Research on top five marketing research supplier list.
September, 2003 Applied Marketing Research begins conducting Kansas City Power & Light Annual Ad Effectiveness Tracking Study. The study is designed to understand whether advertising messages related to safety are reaching the public.
February, 2004. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first Central Location Test (CLT) for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Respondents were asked to come into the Applied corporate facility to give their feedback on a variety of dog and cat foods.
May, 2004. After a successful 10-year run, Applied Marketing Research sells Applied Research West to Anita Kantak, Ph.D.
May, 2004. Applied Marketing Research begins doing In-House Usage Tests (IHUTs) and focus group research for Chemtura on items such as “The Works”, Auto Wash, Liquid Toilet Bowl Cleaner, and Pool Sanitizer. It also conducts qualitative research on a proposed environmentally-friendly household cleaner project; to complete this task, Applied employs ethnographic research where video interviews are conducted with participants within their homes.
March, 2005. Applied Marketing Research begins mystery calls on sales reps for Protection One. Mystery calls are performed by undercover “customers” to identify how sales reps are handling various sales tasks. The researcher then provides detailed feedback about the experience.
February, 2005. Applied Marketing Research completes a series of focus groups for Kansas City Power & Light to better understand the drivers of satisfaction with electric utilities. The groups are used to understand and resolve discrepancies between the utility’s internal customer satisfaction benchmarking and survey results.
April, 2005. Applied Marketing Research completes a series of business to business focus groups for Donnelly Information Services on their web-based direct marketing support platform. In attendance in the focus groups are leading direct mail agencies and members of the IT management team of Wells Fargo Bank.
April, 2005 Applied Marketing Research develops a web-based adaptive conjoint model for Sprint to evaluate its Cellphone International Calling Plans. Included in this model is a “what if” simulator that permits Sprint management to model the effects of price and feature modifications on consumer preference and demand.
June, 2005 James R. Merrill and Donald L. Phipps teach marketing research seminars in several cities of the U.S. The seminars are used to train corporate professionals on marketing research methods and techniques.
August, 2005. Applied Marketing Research conducts a series of business to business (B2B) focus groups for RH Donnelly Yellow Pages to evaluate the likeability and preference towards its advertising. Applied uses perception analyzer technology to help in this effort. Consumers are asked to indicate whether they like advertisements by moving a dial. The advertisements are sequenced in a TV show simulate actual home TV viewing.
April, 2006. Applied Marketing Research conducts Online Brand Driver Ratings Study for Design Forum.
May, 2006. Applied Marketing Research creates its Veterinarian and Pet Owner Panel. The panel is used by Hill’s Pet Nutrition research and development from 2006 to the present. A panel is a group of qualified and diverse persons who offer a responsive means for collecting research. In this case, panel members consist of pet owners and veterinarians who agree to participate in numerous pet related research studies for our client’s pet nutrition research.
June, 2006. Applied Marketing Research conducts Sprint MediaFLO Product Trial. Applied places Sprint telephones with new media-viewing features with consumers and instructs them on how to use the phones.
August, 2006 Applied Marketing Research conducts a series of on-line web product research surveys for Hallmark.
August, 2006. Hill’s Pet Nutrition selects Applied Marketing Research to do the analysis of Vet Driver Data collected by Interbrand in U.S., Japan and France via the web. The research identifies the “drivers” or attributes that have the strongest relationship toward satisfaction. In this case, the client was interested in what drove a veterinarian’s propensity to recommend a product.
October, 2006. In conjunction with Bernstein Rein, Applied Marketing Research conducts a series of Brand Humanity Studies for Applebee’s; Suncom; Alltel; T-Mobile; PetSmart/Petco; and Front line/Advantage. These studies seek to associate human characteristics with the brand to help the firm’s marketing develop better advertising.
January, 2007. Applied Marketing Research receives a multi-year, multi-study research project from Florida Power and Light (FPL). It provides web-driven data access for FPL’s research staff, which permits FPL staff to see results real time and develop their own custom reports.
May, 2007. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first e-Community survey on Communispace for NASCAR race fans. This is an internet social network of NASCAR race fans across the country that come together online to communicate about issues of interest to the client.
June, 2007. Continuing with its global outlook, Applied Marketing Research conducts a series of annual telephone interviews in Puerto Rico, San Salvador, Jamaica for Amadeus Global Travel Distribution.
July, 2007 Applied Marketing Research begins conducting annual Community America Credit Union Brand Awareness studies.
October, 2007. Applied Marketing Research conducts BART (San Francisco Bay Area Transit) Trial Study for Sprint. The study tests the willingness of riders to use Sprint smartphones to conduct transactions with BART.
June, 2008. Applied Marketing Research begins monthly Consumer Intent to Recommend studies for CenturyLink, a telecommunications company that provides telephone, Internet, and cable TV services.
June, 2008. Applied Marketing Research begins doing annual AAU Tracking Study for UMB Financial Corp. Interviews are conducted with large, medium and small business owners as well as households defined by net worth. Surveys were conducted in eight major metro markets in the mid-west and western parts of the U.S.
September, 2008. Applied Marketing Research conducts Gift Wrap Shop-Alongs for Hallmark. These one-on-one in-depth interviews conducted while the respondent is in shopping in the retail store generate true insight into the shopper’s psyche by exploring their perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes toward gift wrap in the real-world retail environment.
January, 2009. Applied Marketing Research begins a series of product research studies (both qualitative and quantitative) with Hopkins Manufacturing Corp, which involves research on their automotive products such as battery jumper cables, braking systems, snow and ice scrapers, and air fresheners.
May, 2009. Applied Marketing Research conducts its first CLT consumer taste test. Consumers are recruited and asked to rate breakfast waffles by taste.
November, 2010. Applied Marketing Research conducts a series of focus groups and in-depth interviews for Hill’s Pet Nutrition to evaluate their website. The groups and interviews are held with veterinarians, veterinarian technicians, veterinarian office managers, and veterinarian students, as well as academics and specialists in the field. The research is designed to uncover ways to elevate the Hill’s website from a product detail website to a source of information related to best practices and research.
February, 2011. Applied Marketing Research conducts a series of focus groups for Kansas City Power & Light to understand reactions to new technologies like smart-metering.
March, 2011. Applied Marketing Research conducts a series of focus groups for USA Funds with college students receiving financial aid. The groups evaluate the firm’s e-training platform, which seeks to help students understand personal finance through web-based training.
May, 2011. Applied Marketing Research is selected by German-based Bosch to conduct a large qualitative project with lawn and garden enthusiasts to assess U.S. consumer reaction to current European products. Of specific interest was any modifications needed to encourage adoption in the U.S.
August 2011. Applied Marketing Research conducts a series of focus groups with consumers for Phocus Wright to discuss the growing use of smartphone applications and Ipads in the business and leisure travel industry.
February, 2012. Applied Marketing Research is selected by Rivet Communications to complete a 3-country research project for Microsoft to examine the terminology on the Microsoft website related to its education services. Web surveys are conducted in Singapore, the U.K., and the U.S.
March, 2012. Applied Marketing Research is selected by the State of Oklahoma to conduct nursing home patient satisfaction research throughout the state.
November, 2014. Applied Marketing Research conducts 106 in-person on-site interviews with an extremely low incidence population: millennials who drink decaf coffee in third wave coffee shops (these shops that do pour overs and have baristas – real upscale). The interviews were conducted over the course of 3 weeks in 8 cities. Applied went to the coffee shops and screened consumers for decaf use and age. Once qualified, participants were asked to do a 20-30 minute on-camera interview.
August, 2015. Applied Marketing Research conducts 44 in-depth Web-Ex interviews in the USA, Canada, and Europe for ARMA International as part of their rebranding/repositioning research
November, 2015. Applied Marketing Research conducts a web survey for ARMA International to determine how ARMA International compared to other non-profit organizations that service the same professional industry.
January, 2016. Applied Marketing Research conducts 20 in-depth agricultural industry interviews with participants representing the wine orchard and other nuts and vegetables about their interest in drone monitoring technology for Aerovironment.
October, 2016. Applied Marketing Research conducts their first mobile platform web survey for Community America Credit Union.
2017 – Applied Marketing Research establishes field office in Portland.