For example, a community planning team might be working on ways to get more people to recycle, and realize that most people aren't doing it because the existing recycling program in the community is too complex and takes too much time. Often, multiple surveys are conducted during the research phase. Research teams will talk to people working in the industries related to their cause, conduct telephone or email surveys of people in their target society, and may even form in-person focus groups to discuss the issue and gauge the reactions.

The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.[8][9]
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