Phil Hearn: Blogger, Writer & Founder of MRDC Software Ltd.
Market research software – what do you get from a licence or subscription?
What you get when you buy a software licence in the market research industry will vary from supplier to supplier. Some online subscription services give you nothing more than the right to use the software, others will include support, which may or may not be good. Some will include free upgrades, others might want to charge for an upgrade fee. Some may charge excessive fees if you go beyond the ceiling for your price point.
Thinking about what MRDC offers free
I attended a marketing conference recently at which one of the speakers stated the blindingly obvious. I love hearing things that are blindingly obvious yet seldom, if ever, considered. The speaker encouraged everyone to state clearly on their website just what the price of their product or service includes. And, the reason? Because most of us just assume our prospective clients will know.
What does MRDC Software offer MRDCL users?
This simple realisation made me think. What do we offer customers who use our leading tabulation software product, MRDCL? I realised it was not obvious. So, here’s a list of things that are included free of charge.
1. Free access to videos
Our video library has now expanded to over 50 videos which cover everything from basic ‘Getting Started’ videos through to videos that explains complex concepts like rim weighting, hierarchical data and other techniques. With these videos, the files used in the video are freely downloadable for inspection or re-use.
2. Free support
Depending on the number of licences you have, users are entitled to a maximum number of free support calls. However, this is a very generous limit, which is only a legality to protect us from someone unsuitable using the software. I am delighted to say that no one has yet exceeded or abused this free service. We even produce short one-off videos for clients to explain how to solve problems from time to time. These work well when there is something complex to explain. We also use online sessions to explain solutions to support queries.
3. Free webinars
We ran our first webinar at the end of August 2018 demonstrating five ways to make more productive use of MDCRL. You can click here to view the recording of this webinar. The feedback was amazing. We have, therefore, decided to run at least two more free webinars per year covering a range of topics that are focused on improving everyone’s productivity. Again, the files used in the webinar were free to use.
4. Free utilities
Over the years, MRDC has developed several utilities that we freely share with customers. These include (but are not limited to):
- A tool to work out unique combinations of codes present across a sample for a question which generates MRDCL script
- A tool that converts Excel data to ASCII
- A tool that makes tables in Excel look good with a hyperlinked table of contents
- A rim weighting calculator which is downloadable here https://www.mrdcsoftware.com/blog/what-is-rim-weighting-with-free-excel-working-model
- A target weighting and effective sample size calculator that is downloadable here https://www.mrdcsoftware.com/blog/target-weighting-effective-sample-size
- A tool to manage unusually long ASCII records of hundreds of thousands of characters
- And much more….
5. Free advice
From time to time, our customers have a project that is a bit different to everything else they have encountered. It might be a complex tracking study, something with unusual data or 101 other things. As part of our service, we advise users how to approach the data, tabulations and analysis in the most effective way. Looking at problem before a project has been started can save hours later.
6. Free inspection of work
This free service means that we will look at your work and suggest ways of making more efficient use of MRDCL. It’s a highly effective way to learn when you find that you can prepare something more easily than has been scripted. Often, there are unknown parts of MRDCL, which may have been overlooked. Unfortunately, we cannot offer an unlimited service for this, but every user is free to have an amount of their work critiqued by an expert based on the number of licences owned. Our feedback has often saved users hours of time on their future work and opened up new ways of making optimum use of MRDCL.
7. Free initial training
When you buy a MRDCL licence, you are immediately entitled to some free online training. We recommend that new users watch the ‘Getting Started’ series of videos to learn the basics, but then use the free sessions as a Q&A to get up to speed and to deal with their own needs.
8. Free upgrades
As MRDCL is developed, any upgrades that we release are free to everyone to use. There are no fees to get the latest upgrades. They are totally free.
9. Generous discounts on other products
As most people know, MRDC Software sells several other products that cover data entry, CATI, CAWI/online surveys, CAPI, online dashboarding, online communities and more. MRDCL licences can get a discount of, at least, 15% on any other product that they buy from us. On some products, we offer a 50% discount.
10. Unlimited use
And, finally, you can run as many projects with as many respondents as you like with your licence.
NOW THAT IS QUITE A LIST!
So, we will be rolling out a ‘What you get’ page on our website for every product. The list for MRDCL is, I believe, quite impressive. In my view, it is totally reasonable to expect. Our aim is to keep MRDCL as the most productivity-focused tool on the market. We, therefore, want to ensure that it is backed up with the services that can make that happen. That might be blindingly obvious, but, at least, we have said it now!