No, not Winston. Charlotte Churchill, Classics student at the University of Exeter, has been with us this week on Work Experience.
Read on to hear a classicists view of market research and digital marketing. I know, what an eclectic mix.

Hi, I’m Charlotte and I’ve spent the week working at Applegate to gain some experience in the world of business. Having just finished my first year studying Classics at Exeter Uni, I wanted to gain some experience working in a business instead of just watching the Netball World Cup/Love Island for the entirety of summer…
Like most people my age, I hate speaking on the phone; I tend to stare at my mobile in horror while it rings before texting “Oh, sorry, I think I missed your call!” So, when I was tasked with calling buyers and suppliers to ask for feedback on the Applegate website, you can imagine how I felt. *insert ‘loudly crying face’ emoji* 
I was bracing myself for flat-out rejections and the sort of groans that usually come with requests for filling out feedback forms or taking part in surveys but to my surprise, everyone I spoke to was more than happy to help. Often, I’d start with an opening question and then listen as both buyers and suppliers would talk continuously as I frantically tried to type down notes! Calling customers, not just sending out an online survey, meant that conversation flowed naturally and there was little use for the rigid script of questions we had created beforehand. 

Asking open ended questions allowed us to gain more detailed insights as I’m sure people wouldn’t have been as inclined to spend several minutes typing an answer into an online form. It also helps to build relationships with the customer, and it promotes the business as credible and trustworthy which, for a business like Applegate, is crucial to ensure success and longevity.
Online questionnaires sent out to external audiences have an average response rate of 10-15%, which is, well, shocking, and such a low amount of data is not very helpful for creating pretty charts in Excel. I have found that the average response rate of people I have called and asked for feedback is 100%. After careful consideration… it’s probably just about worth putting in the effort to make the call!
So, as a true Classicist would say, Carpe Diem! and make those calls. What could go wrong? Not a lot, from my experience, and the insights you could gain are invaluable.
If you’d like to provide feedback, please get in touch with Jack Richards on or 01271 852000. 

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