How organisations are considering their audience in business decisions

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Empathy set out to explore how NZ organisations are learning about their audience, and how they’re using the resulting information to make business decisions. …

Empathy set out to explore how NZ organisations are learning about their audience, and how they’re using the resulting information to make business decisions.

We talked to 55 of New Zealand's best organisations, both private and public sector. This is what we found...

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  • 1. ! How organisations are considering their audience in business decisions Prepared for all participants | 25 August 2009
  • 2. Objective: To explore how NZ organisations are learning about their audience, and how they’re using the resulting information to make business decisions. 2
  • 3. But really, it’s about NZ organisations coming together: to learn to share to enable to inspire to collaborate to grow stronger together. 3
  • 4. More than 50 organisations shared our vision Acland Holdings Limited (CITTA Design), ARANZ Medical Limited, Balle Bros Group, Bendon, Biggie, Cadbury New Zealand, Christchurch City Council, City Market, Criterion Group Limited, DDB New Zealand, Direct Broking Limited, Ecostore, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, Foodstuffs New Zealand Limited, Foot Science International Limited (Formthotics), Formway, Glidepath Group, Good Health Products Limited, Health Sponsorship Council, Holmes Solutions, Hospitality Standards Institute, Humanware Group, Industry Training Federation, Jenkin Timber Limited, Kiwibank, Les Mills International, Lion Nathan International, Loyalty New Zealand Limited, Macpac, Markhams, Meridian Energy, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Youth Development, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Natcoll Design Technology, National Institute of Management, New Zealand Defence Force (Army), New Zealand Post, PGG Wrightson Limited, Positively Wellington Tourism, Rembrandt Suits Limited, SALCOM Technologies, Southern Spars Sport & Recreation New Zealand (SPARC), Statistics New Zealand, Television New Zealand Limited (TVNZ), Tourism New Zealand, TOWER Limited, Unitec New Zealand, University of Canterbury, Wild at Heart - Wellington International Airport Limited, Wellnomics Limited 4
  • 5. Every organisation that we spoke with contributed something new and valuable 5
  • 6. The starting 10 The number engaged in Insight R&D The most common methods Quant vs Qual How you are generating ideas Insight R&D in the design process The use of tools for referencing your audience Managing the value of research Touching base vs engaging & collaborating The value of front-line interactions How audience understanding influences business decisions 6
  • 7. #1 The number engaged in Insight R&D 7
  • 8. Insight R&D Quantitative research Symposia Qualitative research Secondar y research Media Understanding Cultural Emotional People & Practice Social in Context Physical Motivations, Mindsets & Behaviours Cognitive Drive community change Inspire & infor m design Improve organisational perfor mance Build in-house capability Generate insights 8
  • 9. Nearly all of you are engaged in Insight R&D to some degree A mix of formal and informal Some invested heavily (and some are not) Some value it highly (and some do not) 9
  • 10. #2 The most common methods 10
  • 11. The four most common methods of gaining audience understanding Surveys Focus groups Having sales and support interactions Analysing transactional data 11
  • 12. Although lots of examples of other kinds of research 12
  • 13. #3 Quant vs Qual 13
  • 14. Quant vs Qual A lot of organisations use quant to answer most research questions A few supplement quant with some qual A few see clear differences in the benefits of quant and qual, and use them in different situations 14
  • 15. “We can see trends through [quantitative] data, but it won’t tell us why.” Sharon Daly, TVNZ 15
  • 16. “Qual is about finding the insights and why. Quant is about finding the scale of the issue.” Thinza Mon, DDB 16
  • 17. “We only do quant if we need to validate what we’re doing... if we need to eliminate or reduce risk.” Jandi Shennan, Lion Nathan 17
  • 18. It’s harder to get to the heart of the matter with quant 18
  • 19. “It is always tempting to cast your net as widely as possible, thinking you can get the biggest return. But it doesn’t usually work. You end up making compromises that don’t really suit anyone.” Stewart Pegg, Humanware 19
  • 20. #4 How people are generating ideas 20
  • 21. For most, research is predominantly used... For the evaluation of ideas not the generation of ideas 21
  • 22. Ideas are often reactions to opportunities to new technology to new materials to new legislative requirements to new partnerships 22
  • 23. Or reactions to issues... to customer complaints to cost cutting to competitor movements 23
  • 24. A few of you... generated new ideas by using audience understanding to predict latent or future needs, or to make incremental product improvements. 24
  • 25. “The companies that don’t [find out what the customer needs], well, I think they’re risking their own future.” Mitch Cuevas, ecostore 25
  • 26. #5 Insight R&D in the design process 26
  • 27. About half of you... test concepts & prototypes when designing and developing a product/service/campaign. 27
  • 28. “How much we do and what we do, depends on our brand proposition for that product. It depends on the consequences of failure.” Campbell Junior, Macpac 28
  • 29. #6 The use of tools for referencing your audience 29
  • 30. About one third of you use tools to help you reference your audience Personas, mindsets, audience models, segmentation models, design guidelines. 30
  • 31. For some, personas are created to support specific product & service development projects 31
  • 32. CITTA Design: Winter 09, The Coopers 32
  • 33. A few of you want tools that help the whole organisation to work together to better serve your customer. Those organisations recognise that they need a holistic understanding of their audience. 33
  • 34. An audience model for use throughout the organisation 34
  • 35. #7 Managing the value of research 35
  • 36. Many of you... are not happy with the way you manage your research. 36
  • 37. Why? Most of you said you have a lot of under-utilised research reports sitting on your shelves Many find it hard to get sufficient funding for research, due to previous projects Many feel you don’t get value for money Many feel the findings are not translated into useful outcomes. 37
  • 38. Cross-functional Maximise value committee of 12 of research Stage-gate process Maximise value of research research committee Rigorous debate Wiki of findings Monthly meetings 38
  • 39. “It isn’t the department’s money. It is EECA’s money. So we can all have a say to ensure we get the most value out of the spend.” Dr Sea Rotmann, EECA 39
  • 40. #8 Touching base vs engaging & collaborating 40
  • 41. Most organisations are... touching base with their audience 41
  • 42. Some are... truly engaging with their audience, and involving them. 42
  • 43. Consulting, engaging and including young people 43
  • 44. “Engaging with any audience requires that you know the language they speak.” Lorraine Gittings, Ministry of Youth Development 44
  • 45. #9 The value of front-line interactions 45
  • 46. The value of front-line interactions “We hold it up top, not laptop.” Permission pending 46
  • 47. You might want to ask yourself Do you value your front-line interactions? Are you collecting anecdotes and data? Are you sharing information you collect? Are you using the information to uncover insights? 47
  • 48. #10 How audience understanding influences business decisions 48
  • 49. costs timeframes audience understanding and insight last year’s best sellers technical possibilities other stuff legislative requirements competitor activities organisation values organisation capability organisation goals 49
  • 50. Audience understanding is valued highly by many 50
  • 51. “If you know a little more about ‘people’, the tills will ring out more... day and night.” Andy Millard, SPARC 51
  • 52. But several note that research isn’t always the answer 52
  • 53. “A focus group can dilute the end result, especially if the brand is pushing the boundaries or embarking on new territory. The Elle Macpherson intimates brand is about Elle and her tastes and desires. There really is no point in getting a focus group involved!” Elizabeth Thomas, Bendon 53
  • 54. “You need to research a certain amount, but sometimes overruling the research has been the best decision we’ve ever made.” Chris Lamers, Loyalty New Zealand 54
  • 55. About half feel that you have to be particularly focused on your audience during the recession 55
  • 56. “Now is when you absolutely have to listen to your customers.” Mitch Cuevas, ecostore 56
  • 57. Research papers ‘How to’ guides Magazine articles http://blog.empathy.net.nz 57
  • 58. thank you for listening & most importantly for sharing. 58