Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    p:| 360.222.6820
    c:| 425.351.7531

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    2-18-16 What demands attention? A cat

    I am mystified by Facebook.  I admit to not always knowing or understanding what draws attention, especially when you’re trying to figure out what you can show in social media that will result in responses.

    I often see that what my daughter made for dinner draws 20 or 30 “likes,” yet when I post incredibly cute pictures of my grandchildren or something else I find especially interesting, maybe I’ll get 10 or 15 “likes” (although some of my grandkid and daughter photos have occasionally gotten more).

    There has been a recent exception to my past experiences.  A little over a week ago, Rich and I got a three-year old kitty from the WAIF Cat Cottage in Freeland….and I posted a photo.  I had nearly 40 “likes” and an amazing number of comments.

    I guess if you want to have more responses to your Facebook posts, just add a cat or two.


    2-11-12 Marketing is important, even if you’re selling used cats

    Rich and I have been in the market for a new cat or two since we lost both of our fur buddies in the last couple of years and are cat-less.

    We visited WAIF’s Cat Cottage in Freeland. As we walked around checking out the residents, a lovely lady named Judy, who works there, began talking to us about Dash: “He is the sweetest cat, and we don’t know why someone hasn’t taken him yet.”  She proceeded to tell us all of the special traits of this cat. We didn’t make up our minds, but we were definitely leaning toward giving Dash a home. He had been at the cottage for a year. His biggest problem is that he doesn’t like other cats, but loves humans, both adults and children, and he loves to play with toys.

    We were there checking out all of the cats for about half an hour. As we were getting ready to leave – without a cat – Judy commented, “I have a feeling that you are the perfect match for this cat.” 

    We drove up to the WAIF shelter in Coupeville, and when we walked in to look at their cats, and mentioned we had talked with Judy at the Cat Cottage, someone commented, “Oh Judy told us all about you. She thinks that Dash is the right cat for you.”

    A week later we returned to the Cat Cottage, and Judy and Dash were there….waiting for us. Judy kept talking about how she was sure we would be back because we were just the perfect people for Dash. We finally succumbed, and Dash is our cat now.

    After we confirmed our plans, Judy apologized and admitted that she did sound a bit like a used car sales person.

    So, whatever you’re selling, make sure your potential customers know how important they are and what a good fit they are for your product or service.


    2-4-16 Making eye contact helps create a relationship

    My husband recently sent me a YouTube link that showed some results from a study of couples who looked into each other’s eyes for four minutes. The study shows that this helps build intimacy.

    I’ve written in this blog before about the importance of eye contact when you are running a retail business. You aren’t building an intimate relationship, so you don’t need to look into a potential customer’s eyes for four minutes. But, if you make eye contact, you are creating a potential relationship.

    Think for a moment about something as simple as going through a grocery checkout line. If the clerk looks at you and the two of you make eye contact, your simple transaction becomes a friendly experience, one you’ll want to repeat. If the clerk is busy and looks away and never looks at you (which I’m sure we’ve all experienced), it’s almost a relief to be done with the transaction and walk away.

    If you have a retail business, whatever product and/or service you are selling, a potential customer wants to know you have a genuine interest in them when they enter your store. The simplest way to demonstrate this is by making eye contact…..and a smile helps too!


    1-28-16 Why do a survey?


    It seems like I get a Survey Monkey, or some similar kind of email survey, at least a couple of times a month. As someone who has written hundreds of marketing research surveys in my professional life, I am often bemused at the lack of focus and the inhibiting types of possible responses I see. The maverick in me often wants to provide an answer that’s different than what I’m offered.

    The major question I always ask myself is “What is the purpose of this survey?” In other words, what will be done with the information that is gathered, and how accurate will the material be that is collected?

    The most common purpose for doing a survey is a need to gather information about a group of people – often customers or potential customers – that will impact how you market your product. If the responses to a question do not fit this purpose, they should not be included.

    And, if you do not have a clear purpose for doing a survey in the first place, why waste the time and energy.



    1-21-16 Polling: How can there be such wide ranges of differences?

    Now that election season is ramping up, it seems we hear about new polling results every couple of days….and the results appear to be all over the place. Since random sample surveys are based upon math principles, what accounts for the variations?

    How a sample is chosen and how a question is asked determine if a survey result will truly be providing projectable statistically valid data.

    A random sample means that everyone in a given population has an equal chance of being selected. Anything that alters this concept biases the results. Right now, we’re hearing a lot about polls relating to the November election.

    Here is what will determine the accuracy (i.e., the likelihood that the sample results will match the total election results):


    • If you sample everyone who is registered to vote—this will include a lot of people who will not vote.
    • If you sample likely voters in a way that excludes certain elements of the population (such as neighborhoods with a lot of low-income or minority populations, or that will exclude many people who may be likely to vote, but were not included in the sample.
    • If you sample using a self-select method (such as a Survey Monkey) it will exclude people who simply have no interest in responding.


    As part of the survey methodology, the survey company will want to have a screening question, (assuming they are using a list of registered voters) such as: “Are you planning to vote in the November election?”

    And, surveys are a snapshot of the moment. If a major event happens that is widely reported in the news a few days before the polling is done, that will definitely affect the results.