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The Consumer Consulting Board: Leveraging the Impact of Market Research Through Structural Collaboration by Niels Schillewaert of Insites Consulting - Presented at the Insight Innovation eXchange North America 2013

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The economic downturn and several global trends are re-shaping the market research business. Based on IMD’s and Dynamics Global trends study and Trendwatching, here are just a few that make a …

The economic downturn and several global trends are re-shaping the market research business. Based on IMD’s and Dynamics Global trends study and Trendwatching, here are just a few that make a difference for applied marketing research:

Social everything technologies are part of consumers’ daily lives and they shift their mindset to “made with me”. Over 2/3 consumers are willing to collaborate with brands. They value experiences and things they can share as much as possessions.

Consumers want “flawsome” brands and services. The ones that care, go the extra mile and evolve … even with a little flaw from time to time.

Dealerchic relates to consumers having a sense of mastery when finding that best price, price-quality or even luxury deal in whatever they do. It is a new sense of accomplishment.

“Distributed everything”. Not only production but also value creation becomes broadly distributed. As researchers we need to ask ourselves what in our process delivery cannot be distributed (not what can) and focus on those.

We want professional participants as technology allows amateur consumers to deliver content up to professional standards.

Information is still power, but accessing and sharing it is “powerful”. Knowledge provides advantages but it now remains more and more with consumers. The challenge is to get control and access with increasing mobility and democratization of everything.

The ever rising screen culture impacts the type and format of touch points people can be reached with.

And with all of this brands and marketers are forced to deliver better, faster and stronger results while the reality is that many executives are still operating in silos and one shot market research operations. Research needs to influence management decision making, but even more basically just stimulate their thinking and inspire them. If we are completely honest, a lot of the research that is commissioned by clients does not have the necessary impact and there remains unused potential. We overly focus on data, analysis or technicalities, reliability, representativity, etc. Sure these are important, but they often lead to numbers that are exactly wrong rather than approximately right (to quote J. Tukey). Research as we have been doing it for decades has commoditised – clients search for ‘more and cheaper’, not true transformation or added value. In short, market research is in a state of ‘limbo’. If we do not act and change the way we run our profession, we will be held up and not much progress can be made.

We are missing out on the huge opportunity that consumers are amongst the best consultants a company can hire.

We will show how consumer consulting boards (aka online research communities) can help and generate impact at three levels by means of a variety of case illustrations.

Published in: Business, Education

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  • The economic downturn and several global trends are re-shaping the market research business. Based on IMD’s and Dynamics Global trends study (www.globaltrends.com) and Trendwatching (www.trendwatching.com), here are just a few that make a difference for applied marketing research:- Social everything technologies are part of consumers’ daily lives and they shift their mindset to “made with me”. Over 2/3 consumers are willing to collaborate with brands. They value experiences and things they can share as much as possessions.- Consumers want “flawsome” brands and services. The ones that care, go the extra mile and evolve … even with a little flaw from time to time.- Dealerchic relates to consumers having a sense of mastery when finding that best price, price-quality or even luxury deal in whatever they do. It is a new sense of accomplishment.- “Distributed everything”. Not only production but also value creation becomes broadly distributed. As researchers we need to ask ourselves what in our process delivery cannot be distributed (not what can) and focus on those.- We want professional participants as technology allows amateur consumers to deliver content up to professional standards.- Information is still power, but accessing and sharing it is “powerful”. Knowledge provides advantages but it now remains more and more with consumers. The challenge is to get control and access with increasing mobility and democratization of everything.- The ever rising screenculture impacts the type and format of touch points people can be reached with. 
  • There is a need for collaboration but we all look at technology … not peopleUsing your instinct, your own gut feeling…We are surrounded by customers…Going into concept/idea creation without validated customer insights, using trend and desk research onlyCustomer emotions/motivationsnot fully understoodRisk of extending frictions to another category without a proven link.High level human truths often have a weak link with a specific categoryMyth 1: “I know the customer – (s)he is my wife, mother, sister, daughter, cousin, and friend.”This myth is strongly believed by successful entrepreneurs who have grown their business idea, who scoff at all formal research and refuse to invest any significant amounts into research. It is a myth because most products and brands have a large and diverse user base that is nothing like the entrepreneur’s family and friends circle. Their living conditions and product usage contexts bear no relationship to the lifestyles of the wealthy entrepreneur or his MBA marketing team. That is why the first step to getting powerful insights lies in observing the real users of the category and brand in their real life conditions.At the other end of the spectrum are the marketing teams’ at large multi-national firms who have huge budgets for marketresearch at their disposal. They fall prey to another set of myths.Being customer centric by looking into big trends and using desk research problems(1) Customer emotions/motivationsnot fully understood(2) Risk of extending frictions to another category without a proven link(3) Level human truths often have a weak link with a specific category
  • In a first stage, the research community was used to detect new needs and frictions from transfer passengers. We started with Multimedia ethnography (Verhaeghe, Van den Bergh & Colin, 2008); 39 frequent flyers reported their transfer experience on a personal blog on the community. During a 3-week ideation and concept development community, a different group of 46 frequent travellers (INNINF-profile) joined forces in generating over 450 ideas and comments, resulting in 32 new transfer concepts.
  • collect existing insights from previous research. An important part of the connecting the dots workshop is to recycling previous research. In order to be successful all previous relevant research material needs to be studied by the workshop participants. During the workshop, we connect the dots into first insightswe applied similar techniques that qualitative researchers use in info structuring: each participant to the workshop was asked to go through previous research and had to pick the three most important transfer learning’s from each report. For each finding, we further probed to detect the insight explaining the finding. This exercise was wrapped up by clustering the insights based on the findings across research reports. Projective techniques typically applied to reveal emotions of research participants can also be applied to our clients. Based on personification techniques we developed a Board game to place the Air France and team in the shoes of their customers, allowing us to map all the current assumptions about their needs. The team members were all assigned a persona representing a typical passenger. During the Board game, they had to come up with needs and problems their persona could have during transfer. In order to stimulate out of the box thinking, they were given probing cards revealing more information about the persona. This could both be a more intrinsic characteristic of the persona (e.g. you are always up to date with latest technologies) or contextual information (e.g. you are coming back from a long business trip after 3 weeks and miss your family).
  • Through 400 observations in text and pictures we immersed in the world of the transfer passenger. The meaningful observations from this blogging stage were further shaped in the discussions on the research community. The blog stories and community discussions were analysed through info structuring and pattern detection while visual analysis principles (Pink, 2007) provided understanding in the pictures.
  • Consumer story dashboardA Consumer story dashboard was set up to analyse the over 1000 stories and visuals about the transfer process collected during the insightment stage. The Consumer story dashboard is an online reporting tool for visual & unstructured information that allows the qualitative researcher to intuitively analyse qualitative data in a quantitative way. During the observation, all stories were tagged according to an analysis framework. This was not only the start of the info structuring, but a deliverable by itself. Once the results were uploaded, we could easily compare the rich input on many dimensions like type of airport, stage in the transfer process and type of frequent flyer traveller, without the need of any statistics. The dashboard also allowed us to prioritize the insights based on their occurrence in an easy way since our sample of consumer stories was sufficiently large. 10 insight platformsIncreasedconsumerconnectduringandafter the projecthttp://afkltransfernews.insites.eu
  • Consumer story dashboardA Consumer story dashboard was set up to analyse the over 1000 stories and visuals about the transfer process collected during the insightment stage. The Consumer story dashboard is an online reporting tool for visual & unstructured information that allows the qualitative researcher to intuitively analyse qualitative data in a quantitative way. During the observation, all stories were tagged according to an analysis framework. This was not only the start of the info structuring, but a deliverable by itself. Once the results were uploaded, we could easily compare the rich input on many dimensions like type of airport, stage in the transfer process and type of frequent flyer traveller, without the need of any statistics. The dashboard also allowed us to prioritize the insights based on their occurrence in an easy way since our sample of consumer stories was sufficiently large. 10 insight platformsIncreasedconsumerconnectduringandafter the projecthttp://afkltransfernews.insites.eu
  • The MROC environment works particularly stimulating for the generation of ideas; consumers receive challenges based on the detected insights and can build further on each other’s ideas to make them more relevant. With these creative consumer tasks, it is crucial to provide a stimulating environment by also discussing trends and best practices. As gamification elements have proven to increase participant engagement in MROCs (De Ruyck and Veris, 2011), we added a countdown to the challenges, addressing the competitive nature of people to come up with as much ideas as possible in a limited timeframe. Although gamification is already fully embedded in online research communities (De Ruyck and Veris, 2011), we took it to the next level by addressing to the collaborative spirit of the participants. Instead of attaching rewards on a participants or community level based on the achievements, each and every idea initiated by one of our frequent flyers received a status. By commenting on the idea, participants were challenged to improve it and up the status of the idea from mining, rough diamond, cut diamond to diamond ring! As a reward to most feasible ideas with the highest status were visualised by one of the industrial designers in the project team. Highlight mailingthe involvement of the client team was vital to stimulate the frequent flyers in their generation of relevant ideasThis communication plan took full advantage of the excitement generated during live interaction moments, by sending debrief pictures and quotes of participants, while also sharing teasing insights to engage the team to follow the discussion on the community and to join the update sessions.
  • No competition without a reward: the most popular ideas were visualized by the industrial designer in our project team.
  • The Air France and KLM team was kept up to date with the most striking and refreshing consumer stories of the day. Seeing pictures of the transfer and reading the transfer story from the mind of consumers, allowed them to better connect with their target group. The ‘opportunity to engage’ was also extended by allowing each team member to follow a passenger from packing his luggage to arriving on his destination.
  • It is notaboutassembling a large sample of consumers online in a panel …It is aboutcreating engagement andleveraging the experiencethey have withyour brand.It is aboutworkingthroughthemandhavingthemthingstowitheachother, workthroughconsumernottothem …
  • IN 4 DAYS OVER 13.00 VISITORS IN THE CLUB, OPEN FROM 11-11; DIFFERENT TIME BUT WITH THE RIGHT NIGHTCLUB FEELUSA PRODUCED TOGTHER WITH VICE, A LARGE MEDIA COMPANY DISCOTEXTURE, A DOCUMENTARY OF ODE, INCLUDING BIG SPEAKERS SUCH AS ….248.000 VIEWS ON COOLHUNTING AND 70.000 ON WALLAPPER, KEY OPINION LEADING DESIGN MEDIAOVER 100 JOURNALISTS INTERSTED IN THE STORY533 PIECES OF COVERAGES INCLUDING LARGE IMAGERY OF THE CLUB, INCLUDING …TV & ….ALL CURISOUS TO VISIT THE CLUBGREAT COVERAGE IN USA, BRAZIL AND ITALY1500 TWEETS IN THE 4 DAYS OF VISITING
  • Make a lasting impression for all …Challenges and games generate 7 times more relevant discussions
  • Transcript

    • 1. @niels_insites…FLAWSOMESCREENCULTUREINFORMATIONCONSUMERPROFESSIONAL AMATEURSDEALERCHICSOCIAL EVERYTHING
    • 2. Reality= TECHNOLOGY TAKESOVER WHAT SOCIAL &HUMAN ISALL ABOUT@niels_insites≠ DATABASES≠ COMMUNITY PANELS≠ BIG DATA
    • 3. @niels_insites
    • 4. START FROM THEIROWN EXPERIENCEIMPROVING TRANSFERFLIGHT EXPERIENCE@niels_insites
    • 5. InsightmentIdeation &Concept DevelopmentValidation3 Phases@niels_insites
    • 6. Connecting the dots@niels_insites
    • 7. Insightment communityInsight Activation communityOBSERVATIONFollow passengerson their journeyCROWDINTERPRETATION©Get in-depth insightsDISCUSSIONShape theinsights@niels_insites
    • 8. @niels_insitesMY STORYMY OBSERVATIONMY INTERPRETATIONMY EVALUATION
    • 9. The results?@niels_insites
    • 10. @niels_insites
    • 11. @niels_insites
    • 12. subscribe to consumernewsStay tunedDear,The co-creation transfer project started justover a week ago and have gathered a lot of valuable inputfrom your transferring passengers.We hope you enjoyed the consumer news!The first phase is coming to an end and we are crafting our insights.In the beginning ofnext year. We arestarting with the co-creation of new ideas.So justfor the holidays we would like to ask you one hour of your time. We want you to play an onlinegame together with the frequent flyers in this study.The goals ofthe game is to analyse the needs from the transfer passengers. We will show you 5consumer stories and it’s your goal to describe as accurate as possible whatthe needs is from thispassenger.Your inputwill be showed to the passenger who posted the story. The customer will give you points: thebetter you have analysed their needs,the more points you can collect!No competition withouta price!Beside the honour you can also win this KLM sportbag:<picture bag>You can play the game until the 15thof December.We will announce the winner of the gam e on the 23th ofDecember!<add link game>Let the game begin…Hungry for more consumer stories: Read more and complete customer stories on our “Transfer news”weblog: (username: AFKL | password: AFKL2011!)ADDITIONAL INFORMATION@niels_insites
    • 13. @niels_insites
    • 14. Consumerinsights inspirethe nightlifeexperience oftomorrowHow to create the club of tomorrow?
    • 15. Making the final selection on Pecha Kucha nightsin Milan, New York, Sao Paulo & TokyoCrowdsourcing emerging designersvia social media
    • 16. The bar is interactive and allows you to order a beer,it even keeps track of who is next in line.
    • 17. Leave your drink on the numbered shelfand go crazy on the dance floor.
    • 18. H® BUILDS CREDIBILTY IN DESIGN WORLD13.000 + V I S I T O R S3 MILLION + V I E W S O N V I C E T V ; 2 1 . 0 0 0 + V I E W S O F O D E M O V I E S- C O O L H U N T I N G + 250.000 VIEWS- W A L L P A P E R + 70.000 VIEWS + 600.000 print533 C O V E R A G E P I E C E S O N T H E C L U B + 1 4 I N D E P T H I N T E R V I E W S“ I thought Heinekens Milan concept club project was a real highlight of the Milan furniture fair.Ambitious in scope and extremely well executed,it really moved the brand forwardand positioned it as a defining forcewithin the design world.I was particularly impressed by the brands approach to mentoring and nurturing new design talent.“Sunday Times: Style
    • 19. What you DO to people isequally important aswhat you ASK@niels_insites… “THROUGH” NOT “TO”
    • 20. It is about HUMANS, not technology or panelsUse them as PARTNERS – 20 to 40% UNIQUE insights@niels_insitesRESEARCH IS ABOUT ACTIVATIONKnowledgeTouchpointInternalThey do not pay attention to BORING things.We need to ENGAGE, and relate with our audiencesCreate IMPACT withinMake research a CONVERSATION starter
    • 21. www.insites-consulting.com@niels_insitesEngagement inConsumer ConsultingBoards leads to howmany more on-topicdiscussions?Crowd interpretationleads what % of uniqueinsights?
    • 22. linkedin.com/in/nielsschillewaert@niels_insitesniels@insites-consulting.comwww.insites-consulting.comNew York I London I Ghent I RotterdamManaging Partner