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Insights for YOUR community

Because you are not like Buffalo, NY

Studies to understand communities have not changed in decades.

The same exact questionnaire is used over and over across all communities with no allowance for community differences.

Is your community the same as Buffalo NY?

Should you use the same questionnaire?

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You are not like any other community

Since you are not like all other communities, we start each engagement with a conversation with those closest to the issues to understand your situation.

Boilerplate questionnaires that don’t reflect your community

The largest survey companies use a boilerplate questionnaire. Although that is easier for them, your community may not be like every other. True North will create a custom study based on your specific needs, concerns, issues, and questions.

Standardized reports filled with lots of data but few insights

Our goal is to get you the insights you need – not a big PowerPoint deck. And boilerplate reports may be easier for the research firm, but they may not extract the most important issues for your community. We solve problems, not just give you data. Even with complex projects, the findings and your resulting direction will be well defined.

At True North, we start by understanding your community,
your needs, and your concerns.

We start with a conversation (or two or three).

We strive to understand your situation, challenges, and plans.

We design a questionnaire for your community.

That addresses your issues. Not those of Buffalo, NY.

Insightful report for your situation.

A document written to highlight your communities most useful insights. Not a report filled with generic charts and graphs, just like every other community’s report.

You Can Trust Our Data.

Amazingly, many firms specializing in community surveys fail to control for bad or skewed data.

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Who's taking your survey?

How many respondents no longer live in your city?
On average, 14% of the population will move each year.
The typical city questionnaire does not ask “screening questions” to ensure they are your residents.
True North “screens” out non-residents, ensuring only your community responds to your surveys.

Residents don’t think in terms of 5-point scales.

The typical city questionnaire has tons of 5-point scales. As noted by Nobel Prize-winning psychologists, these results may not reflect real opinions.
This is especially a problem with multi-ethnic communities.
There are better solutions.

Quality control

We incorporate processes to ensure respondents cannot “stuff the ballot box” by taking many surveys.
Checks to ensure AI Bots are not answering questions (yes, AI bots are now trying to take surveys).
We incorporate data validation questions to catch those who should not be taking the survey.
And that’s just the beginning of our quality checks.
You can trust our data.

The project is not over until you get what you need!

You are not purchasing a PowerPoint report; you are purchasing insights.
Thus, we do not stop until you get what you need—even after the report is delivered.

Do you ever have more questions when reading a research report?

Seeing results may spur additional questions.

The project is not over until you get what you need.

The goal is not simply to provide you with a report but to give you the insights you need.

If you need more analysis or presentations, we are there.

All are included as part of the engagement – even after we’ve delivered the report toyou. We won’t nickel and dime you with additional charges, just good old-fashioned service.

Benchmarks You Can Trust

Much of the data making up today’s benchmarks is outdated and comes from communities totally different than yours.

True North has a better approach...

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Comparable Communities

True North will compare your community to that of similar communities – and you can pick your “comps.” Comparing a college town to Cleveland is not helpful. Comparing a Midwest town to Berkeley is not helpful. Let’s compare your community to “like” communities.

Exact Same Questionnaire

The comparable benchmark communities will get the exact same questionnaire. If your questionnaire explores bike paths, we will ask the benchmarking communities the exact same question. So you can benchmark ALL elements of the questionnaire.

Exact Same Time

Most standard benchmarks have been collected over many years. But topics such as Covid, working from home, and personal finances can influence the results. This results in out-of-date benchmarks.
By surveying the benchmark communities simultaneously, all of these problems disappear.

Why would you want to use benchmarks that include data from communities completely different than yours?

Your community may not have the same challenges as Buffalo, NY, or Berkeley, CA.
Let’s compare your community only to those similar to yours.

Combining the skills of the top organizations in the world with excellent community expertise and experience.

Creating an insights organization unlike any other.

Rachael Snider

Director of Community Insights

An expert in city and non-profit satisfaction and needs assessment studies.

Rachael has executed over 100 community studies.

Dave Santee

Founder and President of True North

Named Top 100 Marketing Leader.

Deep experience working with top, well-known global firms.

True North is the thought leader in Community Research

A faster, more predictive, and lower-cost way to screen out new product ideas or features

Researchers love scales. The problem is, there are so many problems. There are better ways.

Working with True North is easy

While others use a “my way or the highway” approach . . .

True North works with you and your team to design a study that fits your community’s needs.

It is easy to work with us. Just 3 simple steps.

1. Set up a meeting

2. Discuss your situation

Explain your situation and what you hope to deliver to your organization

3. Get a plan

We’ll build a plan specifically for you