Great Lakes Marketing was founded in 1964 as a full-service marketing research firm. Lori M. Dixon, PhD became a co-owner in 1985 and sole owner in 2010. Located in Toledo, Ohio, Great Lakes Marketing occupies the Great Lakes Building and has a state-of-the art focus group suite and fully monitored telephone interviewing operations.

As a full-service marketing research firm, Great Lakes Marketing offers a complete range of marketing research data collection methodologies, including online studies, mail studies, intercept interviews, ethnographic research, focus group studies and telephone interviews. Our expertise is in creating the best data collection program to optimize participation rates and maximize the quality of the data collected. Most large studies include a mix of data collection methodologies to allow each audience to be interviewed using the process that matches how they can best provide information.

The client list of Great Lakes Marketing includes a broad mix of organizations and corporations including some of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical, manufacturing and health care companies, as well as regional financial institutions, public agencies and health care providers. We often partner with advertising and marketing consulting firms to provide marketing research data to help design and measure strategic marketing initiatives. Great Lakes Marketing has clients in over 25 different states and 8 countries.

The expertise of Great Lakes Marketing is working with our clients to learn their research objectives so that the data we collect can be used to make informed business decisions. Since we have expertise with such a broad range of research methodologies and do not subcontract for professional research services, we are flexible and can handle unique project requirements.

Great Lakes Marketing is known for designing creative and customized data collection methodologies to maximize the amount of both qualitative and quantitative information that can be obtained with each study. For example, we often create self-administered questionnaires to augment the focus group qualitative responses. If it adds to the quality of the discussion, we ask respondents to do homework or specifically experience a product or service before the focus group session or take home a product to use and evaluate after the focus group.

Great Lakes Marketing is pioneering several new research methodologies in the field of ethnographic research. For example, one study was designed and conducted to learn how senior adults use and store medications in their home. Interviews were conducted in the home, videotaped and analyzed to help a manufacturer learn how to aid compliance with medication therapies. Another example was conducting shop-alongs and making observational notes as shoppers used retail establishments. The primary goal of these types of studies is to learn how customers interact with products in a realistic setting.

Great Lakes Marketing has a full-service focus group facility on the first floor of the Great Lakes Building. Not only does this provide our clients who want to conduct research in the Toledo market an excellent qualitative research experience, it also serves as a great pre-test market for large-scale focus group studies that will be conducted in multiple markets. All focus group studies are digitally recorded (audio and video). Clients can also view the groups using our proprietary webcams at (a password protected site that allows viewing, recording and taking still pictures). Hosting focus groups also helps us arrange focus groups throughout the United States because we know first-hand how to coordinate focus group studies.

Since many clients of Great Lakes Marketing use the data we collect in legal claims or for Certificates of Conformity, we have a highly structured data collection quality control program. Our processes are guided by our book of Standard Operating Procedures which covers all aspects of data collection, office procedures and personnel matters.

Great Lakes Marketing has an in-house dedicated server for online data collection with a backup server available during emergencies. All data are backed up throughout the day using a mirrored drive with nightly backup to an external device and data are stored offsite twice daily.

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Research Process

We start with your objectives and create a research plan that collects data so you can make informed decisions.
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