What We Do

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Market Research Services

SPPG + Essman Research asks the right questions, in the right way, to discover insights into what people think, need and want. The right information will help you make important business decisions. The professional staff at SPPG + Essman Research has extensive experience across many industries and our recruiting staff is experienced and certified by the Marketing Research Association.

Qualitative Research Strategies

Traditional and online focus groups, online bulletin boards, one-on-one interviews, usability testing, mystery shopping and more. Our experienced moderators conduct focus groups at our state-of-the-art facility in West Des Moines, Iowa, in rural communities, metropolitan centers, and international locations.


Our West Des Moines facility offers comfortable tiered seating for up to 15 client observers, digital recording, FocusVision, client conference room, wireless internet access and free on-site parking


Quantitative Research

Whether it’s identifying customer satisfaction, brand awareness, market analysis or political polling, SPPG + Essman Research provides statistical data to accurately measure consumer and business attitudes and perceptions.


Both cost effective and comprehensive, our data collection and analysis continually meets and exceeds our clients’ goals and expectations. Quantitative Research Strategies include online surveys, phone-to-web surveys, telephone interviews, mail surveys and more.

Managing Change

Organizational Development

Starting, growing, and maintaining an organization requires ongoing attention to the organization itself. Organizational identity, issue or programmatic focus, and governance sound like jargon but SPPG + Essman Research knows they are building blocks of a strong organization.

Process Facilitation & Facilitation 

It is frustrating to be in a discussion where action gets stuck because people can’t focus or agree. That’s where facilitation comes in. Guiding and managing deliberations is tricky. SPPG + Essman Research facilitates groups to reach consensus decisions. We also design and facilitate processes of decision making based on stakeholder inputs. 

Policy Management

Large or small, it’s not always easy to see the best way through a project – or have the time and expertise to get it done. SPPG + Essman Research’s project management team sets the work plan, time frame, and gets the work done on time. Our internal expertise and skills link activities together efficiently.  

Stakeholder Engagement & Outreach

The foundation of SPPG is managing MEANINGFUL stakeholder input into public policy issues. SPPG finds the heart of the issue and reaches out to those with something to gain or lose. We create an active, involved set of individuals or organization that can use their collective voice for public policy change. 

Strategic Planning

Gone are the days of the 30-year strategic plan, thank goodness! In changing times, strategic plans use the vision and values to focus the organization on the mission. Plans are more nimble, aiming for medium-term goals. SPPG develops practical and realistic strategic plans through a stakeholder-driven process. 

Creative Approaches to Getting  Stuff Done


“Just tell me in a way I can understand!” We imagine those we are trying to reach with a message have said that before. We make it clear, interesting, and easy on the eye. Mostly, we offer information. SPPG + Essman Research is not a communications company, but communications is part of nearly all our work. 


Conferences, workshops, public forums, webinars, policymaker sessions, media events – SPPG + Essman Research makes them happen. SPPG + Essman Research cuts through the information clutter and brings issues and information to stakeholders and policymakers. Success requires the right approach for each client and issue, as well as insights into how best to involve each audience. 

Issue Education & Advocacy 

Sometimes people take a position for no particular reason. At SPPG + Essman Research, we think knowing all sides of an issue and learning why one position is better than others is important. Whether the client, stakeholders, the public, or policymakers, we work with clients on the facts of the issue and how they can effectively advocate for public policy change. 

Public Affairs

Putting the right kind of pressure to the right pressure points at the right time helps bring change. That is public affairs. In work at federal and state levels to affect public policy, SPPG + Essman Research knows the systems and people, has the connections, and provides the right messages to resonate with elected officials. 

Web & Graphic Design

If it looks good, people are more likely to pay attention. SPPG + Essman Research's talented team combines the message with the right look and feel to produce all kinds of electronic and print materials, reports, websites, briefs, plans, pictures, data. We even produce fine art from time to time. 

Information Solutions

Program Evaluation

Whether it is to satisfy a project funding source or to demonstrate program outcomes, SPPG + Essman Research's evaluation and assessment services are aimed at providing timely and constructive information about how your work is achieving results. If you are not getting the results you want, SPPG + Essman Research helps you get back on track.

Research & Surveys

Collecting information and presenting it in a way that makes sense to your audience is an essential part of forwarding your issue. In addition to classic research, SPPG + Essman Research conducts focus groups and develops unbiased survey instruments that obtain the information you need from the people to whom you should listen.


“Training” is not a synonym for “boring” where we come from. Developing training guides and participant materials and conducting training goes along with our mission of managing and sustaining change. The content has to be relevant to participants, interesting, engaging, and scaled to the role of participants and their ability to participate.

Want to learn more? Check out these explainer videos.

SPPG + Essman Research

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© 2020 SPPG + Essman Research | 2910 Westown Parkway, STE 302 | West Des Moines, IA 50266