Recent figures released by the British Retail Consortium show the worst falls in sales since records began, with clear signs that shoppers in the UK are tightening their belts and keeping a close eye on what they spend on the High Street.
Recent research carried out by Enventure on behalf of Bradford & District’s Markets aimed to understand how the markets can thrive in such challenging times. As well as looking at the need to promote the breadth and value of the goods sold in the markets in the heart of the city to a broader and bigger audience, we also gave various practical suggestions to encourage shoppers to visit the markets such as offering free parking.
So we were very pleased (and a little bit excited!) to see that yes, from the 1st of April to the 30th of June, market shoppers can take advantage of 2 hours of free parking after 2pm Monday to Saturday at the Oastler Shopping Centre. For more details, click here.
If you are in the area, why not go and see what the markets have to offer?
Being a researcher you can sometimes be accused of talking rubbish… At this point I usually take a deep breath and translate the marketing speak I’ve been coming out with into something that sounds a bit more like plain and simple English.
However, for the past couple of months the Enventure team has indeed been talking rubbish with over 3,000 Merseyside inhabitants…but purely for the greater research good of course, as part of our extensive public consultation on the future of household waste disposal on behalf of the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority.
Our case study shows how we successfully integrated various methodologies and communication channels including Facebook and Twitter to inform the development of the Partnership’s revised Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy for managing and dealing with household rubbish over the coming 30 years.
And now we are planning the next phase of research for the Partnership. Consultation on the revised future Strategy will take place over the summer and Enventure is tasked with gathering and analysing feedback on the key aspects of the Strategy from residents and key stakeholders using a variety of communication channels. Keep an eye out on the Don’t Waste Your Say website for more details.
Enventure have been enjoying a few days by the seaside recently as part our work with NHS North Yorkshire and York and Physis Research & Consulting evaluating the impact of a social marketing campaign designed to encourage middle aged men in Scarborough to talk to their friendly local Pharmacist about any health niggles they may have. Our brief was to provide useful feedback on a tight budget, so we took to the streets for some flexible and fast fieldwork.
Matthew spent a Saturday afternoon talking to shoppers out and about in the Town Centre to gather feedback on the ‘No More Niggles’ campaign materials as well as gauge the attitudes of the target audience, middle aged men and their partners, to looking after their health. As previous research suggested, the men Matthew spoke to were a little reluctant to visit their GP for what they felt were minor health niggles and relied on their partners to look after their health for them. In fact, talking to Matthew appeared to re-ignite a few ongoing discussions amongst the couples about various health concerns (and some other matters on the couple’s domestic to do list!)
Caroline was tasked with conducting a mini tour of the local Pharmacies taking part in the campaign to undertake some observational work as well as some on the spot interviews with Pharmacy staff and customers. By visiting the pharmacies, we were able to see how the campaign looked in the pharmacies, observe how people interacted with the various campaign elements and gather valuable feedback on the campaign from both customer and staff perspectives. She discovered that the free ear plugs for the long suffering wives and partners of the target audience had been a hit in all pharmacies with some reporting running out of the freebies. Yet it was apparent that customers were not readily making the link between the freebies on offer with the ‘No More Niggles’ campaign and Enventure were able to provide the clients with tactical guidance on how best to practically/visually reinforce the links between the two to encourage more customers interested in the ear plugs to pick up a leaflet or talk to Pharmacy staff. To sum up, we think it is a good idea to stick the ear plugs onto the leaflet so customers have to pick up both and offers the staff a great opportunity to start a conversation about health niggles!
Evaluating the success and impact of the campaign will continue but Enventure’s contribution proves the importance and benefit of conducting flexible, quick and cost effective research at the start of any social marketing campaign to iron out any tactical teething problems to ensure the right message is reaching the right people in the most effective way possible.
Hopefully on their next trip to the seaside, Caroline and Matthew will remember to bring some Rock or Candy Floss back with them to Enventure HQ…