eConceptLab White Paper
 

eConceptLab White Paper

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Abstract: ...

Abstract:
In
this
whitepaper
we
present
an
efficient
way
to
research
what
consumers
really
want
for
their
money.
We
have
learnt
from
consumers
that
“The
Number"
is
the
most
engaging
way
to
talk
about
financial
services.
“The
Number”
is
the
amount
of
resources
(financial
and
other)
that
people
think
they
need
to
feel
safe
for
the
rest
of
their
life.
Understanding
how
people
see
"their
Number"
brings
a
fresh
and
actionable
way
to
design
and
communicate
financial
services.
We
developed
our
own
proprietary
connector
research
tool,
eConceptLab.com,
making
use
of
simple
Google
and
Facebook
ads.
Connectors
are
small
sentences/visuals
like
the
ones
used
in
Google
or
Facebook
ads
that
generate
interest
and
create
a
mental
frame
of
expectations
about
a
product
or
service.
They
are,
in
this
sense,
a
great
door-­‐opener
to
help
sell
in
a
relevant
way.
Keywords:
Concept
Lab,
online
advertising,
Google
and
Facebook,
Internet
consumer
research,
Address
stated
behaviour

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eConceptLab White Paper eConceptLab White Paper Document Transcript

  • What  if  Apple®  Created  a  Financial  Service?    Leveraging  Google  and  Facebook  Advertising  to  Design  Consumer  Innovation   Dr.  Dirk  Lorré   Consumer  psychologist     Dirk.lorre@brandstrategists.net   Benoit  Gaillard     Digital  Marketing  Entrepreneur   wsibusinessperformance.com  Abstract:  In  this  whitepaper  we  present  an  efficient  way  to  research  what  consumers  really  want  for  their  money.  We  have  learnt  from  consumers  that   “The   Number"   is   the   most   engaging   way   to   talk   about   financial  services.  “The  Number”  is  the  amount  of  resources  (financial  and  other)  that   people   think   they   need   to   feel   safe   for   the   rest   of   their   life.  Understanding   how   people   see   "their   Number"   brings   a   fresh   and  actionable  way  to  design  and  communicate  financial  services.      We   developed   our   own   proprietary   connector   research   tool,  eConceptLab.com,   making   use   of   simple   Google   and   Facebook   ads.  Connectors   are   small   sentences/visuals   like   the   ones   used   in   Google   or  Facebook   ads   that   generate   interest   and   create   a   mental   frame   of  expectations  about  a  product  or  service.  They  are,  in  this  sense,  a  great  door-­‐opener  to  help  sell  in  a  relevant  way.      Keywords:  Concept  Lab,  online  advertising,  Google  and  Facebook,  Internet  consumer  research,  Address  stated  behaviour                   1
  • What  if  Apple®  Created  a  Financial  Service?    Yes,  what  if  Apple  really  did  this?  Without  a  doubt,  consumers  would  love  it!   They   would   most   likely   stand   in   queue   for   hours   to   be   the   first   to  participate.   The   reason?   Apple   has   a   track   record   of   inspiring   innovations  that  really  touch  the  hearts  of  people.        What  would  be  the  Apple  way  to  approach  such  an  innovation?  We  know  that   they   would   start   with   the   customer   and   not   with   the   technology.  Despite   the   repeated   use   of   this   sentence,   it   is   still   valid.   In   the   time   that  companies   used   new   data   storage   techniques   to   make   MP3   players,  Apple   invented   iPod   and   iTunes.     And   the   reason   they   were   so   successful  is   that   they   connected   to   music   lovers,   to   people   who   buy   a   lot   of   music.  Knowing   that   music   lovers   cherish   their   collection   of   records   and   CDs,  they   offered   the   iTunes   service   (which   lets   you     transfer   your   CD  collection  into  a  database,  offering  playlists  and  also  coupling  the  visuals  of  the  covers  to  match  the  songs).        Making  Connections    From  what  we  have  seen  as  consultants  and  as  customers,  the  financial  services   industry   is   still   far   away   from   this   type   thinking.   Yes,   more  consumer  research  is  being  used  now  than  it  was  before,  but  companies  still  talk  use  the  approach  of  asking  consumers  “What  do  you  think  about  the  benefits  of  this  product?”  The  real  question,  however,  is  what  are  the  customers’  concerns,  hopes  and  expectations  about  money?  We  need  to  ask  “Why  do  people  need  financial  planning?”  And  we  are  referring  here  to  the  real  consumer  need,  not  the  need  of  the  financial  institution.      If   you   are   a   bank,   you   would   like   to   know   everything   about   your  customers   (especially   the   money   they   have   in   other   banks.)   But   that   is  your  need  as  a  financial  institution,  not  the  need  of  your  customer.  You  need  to  “connect”  to  what  the  customer  needs.      As   a   concept   development   company,   here’s   what   we   would   do   −   If   you  ask   us   to   design   a   financial   planning   concept,   we   will   not   start   with   the  benefits  you  want  to  sell  or  the  “offer”  you  want  to  promote.  Instead,  we  will   start   by   asking   “How   do   you   connect   to   customers   about   financial  planning?”     2
  •  The   approach   of   “connection”   is   a   very   simple   one:   a   connector   is   the  most   simple,   short   and   efficient   stimulus   that   triggers   the   relevance   of  what  you  are  trying  to  sell  in  the  life  of  the  customer.    Or,  in  the  context  of   financial   planning,   it   is   what   you   can   say   to   make   people   consider   a  financial  planning  product.      What’s  a  Connector?    Let’s  explain  the  “connector”  concept  with  the  example  of  a  door-­‐to-­‐door  salesman.   You   ring   the   doorbell,   someone   opens,   and   you   can   say   only  one   thing…what   you   say   then   will   either   catch   this   person’s   interest   or  result   in   a   door   slam.   This   is   how   we   begin   a   concept   co-­‐creation  workshop.      You  can  do  the  test  for  yourself  to  confirm  that  it  is  not  by  promoting  a  benefit   (or   worse,   an   offer)   that   you   connect   with   people.   In   order   to  connect,  you  have  to  be  relevant.  What  you  say  must  be  something  your  audience   can   immediately   relate   to   and   it   must   offer   a   solution   to   a  strong  need.        In  the  research  industry,  we  often  talk  about  “insight”.  Now  how  do  you  check   if   an   insight   is   indeed   an   insight?   For   instance,   “People   want   the  highest   possible   yield   on   their   investment”.   Is   this   truly   an   insight?   Just  because   you   put   this   question   in   a   poll   or   survey   and   the   majority   of  respondents   said   “Yes”   does   not   make   it   a   good   insight.   Think   about   it,  why   would   anyone   say   “No”   in   response   to   your   question?   Why   would  anybody  want  to  appear  stupid?      That’s  why  we  talk  about  connectors  rather  than  insights.  A  connector  is  operational  −  if  people  show  interest,  they  are  connected.  In  a  qualitative  group  discussion  session,  you  can  judge  the  interest  level  by  the  energy  displayed  in  response  to  a  statement.      Though   they   are   very   interesting,   organizing   group   discussions   is  expensive  and  time  consuming.      eConceptLab.com  −  how  to  sift  what  works  from  what  doesn’t  work        
  • Let  us  demonstrate  how  we  can  screen  good  connectors  via  Google  and  Facebook  ads:  we  call  this  our  eConceptLab.com.      If  a  connector  connects  your  product  in  a  relevant  way  to  your  customer,  it  is  similar  to  a  surfer  clicking  an  online   ad.    This  is  the  beauty  of  modern  technology.  A  simple  Click-­‐Through  -­‐Rate  (CTR)  is  a  perfect  indication  of  whether   or   not   people   are   connected.   If   I   click   on   an   ad,   it   is   because   I’m  interested   and   I   want   to   know   more   about   the   offer.   People   giving   you  time   is   one   of   the   best   measures   of   the   level   of   interest.   And   because  surfing  is  not  an  experimental  situation  (like  filling  in  a  questionnaire  or  attending  a  group  discussion),  CTR  is  very  reliable  and  valid.  This  makes  CTR  a  perfect  measure  for  connection.    So   the   first   step   of   the   process   is   very   simple:   We   make   a   long   list   of  potential  connections:      “How  do  you  make  someone  consider  a  financial  planning  service?”       -­‐ Maybe   we   have   to   refer   to   the   stock   market   going   down   (and   your  savings  evaporating)   -­‐ Maybe  we  have  to  dwell  on  the  idea  of  outliving  your  savings   -­‐ Maybe  we  have  to  consider  the  cost  of  retirement   -­‐ Maybe….      We  do  this  brainstorming  about  potential  ways  to  connect  together  with  our   client.   It   is   a   foundational   step   and   the   one   where   we   become   aware  that  we  do  not  really  know  a  lot  about  what  keeps  our  customers  busy,  or  the   way   they   think.   It   is   also   a   moment   of   humility,   of   recognition   and  realization.  You  may  work  for  a  big  company  and  a  well  known  brand,  but  in  the  life  of  your  customer,  you  and  your  category  represent  only  a  tiny  part.      When   looking   for   connectors,   it   is   interesting   to   use   some   simple  consumer  psychology.  You  can  connect  to  problems  (or  fears),  solutions,  opportunity;  and  you  can  connect  to  the  person  as  an  individual  or  as  a  member   of   the   group. We   often   use   the   Censydiam   model   to   look   for  different  connections  in  different  need  state  area’s.       4
  • Normally   we   check   connectors   qualitatively,   with   our   bulls   eye  customers.   The   nice   thing   about   this   new   method   is   that   we   can   do   it  online,   with   ads.   So   each   connection   idea   is   translated   into   a   Google  Search   ad.   To   determine   who   will   see   the   ads,   we   selected   a   set   of  keywords  related  to  our  field  of  research:  financial  planning,  retirement,  saving  money,  investing,  etc.  Whenever  a  consumer  searched  for  such  a  keyword,  our  ads  were  validated  as  “connecting  statements”.  All  the  ads  were  launched  via  Google  Adwords.      Fig  1:  shows  how  an  ad  might  look  to  a  surfer….        As   soon   as   the   advertising   campaign   is   rolled   out,   you   can   immediately  see  the  clicks  coming  in;  thousands  of  consumers  get  to  see  your  ad  from  as  many  countries  as  you  wish  to  target.    The  Google  way  to  promote  relevant  ads  (i.e.  the  ones  that  people  click  through)   is   actually   supporting   our   methodology   quickly   separating   the  statements  that  connect  from  those  that  don’t.      Table   1:   List   of   connecting   statements   and   their   CTR,   and   number   of  impressions.      Connector Connector CRT ImprsWhat is your How much do you need to livenumber? comfortably the rest of your life? 1,40% 45353Learn about your How much do you need to live 1,05% 3232
  • number comfortably the rest of your life?Calculate your How much do you need to livenumber comfortably the rest of your life? 1,02% 2741Stock market is Impact on the rest of your life?down Learn about your Number 0,89% 12592Stock market is Does it impact your plans? Learndown about your Number 0,89% 27863 Is money enough to stop working?Planning retirement Downshift for better lifestyle 0,74% 945Stock market is Are you doing better than thedown market? Learn about your Number 0,72% 8595Stock market is What are your friends advising?down Learn about your Number 0,63% 2878Lucky are thosewho inherit Plan for the rest of your life. 0,59% 3713How much is my Calculate your Number to safelynet worth? plan the rest of your life 0,57% 7740Do you expect Family is always here to support.inheritance? Plan the rest of your life 0,56% 6473 Planning retirement beyondDownshift for better money? Time for you? Time to dolife what? 0,55% 542How much is my I count my friends, not my money.net worth? Plan for the rest of your life 0,53% 1522 Calculate how much you need to live comfortably the rest of yourHow much is rich? life 0,50% 801How much is my Who cares? Focus on what younet worth? earn and spend 0,49% 4089Do you expect Pass it on to your kids. Plan theinheritance? rest of your life 0,48% 2717 Your parents helped you, helpCost of elderly them. How much do you need forcare? the rest of your life? 0,48% 2936Cost of elderly Who will take care of you if youcare? have to take care of your parents? 0,48% 2078 You may grow older than youOutlive your expect to live. Plan the rest of yoursavings? life. 0,47% 6114Do you expect Dont plan on it. Finance the restinheritance? of your life safely. 0,36% 4753 6
  • Planning retirement is all about me. How much do you need forMe, me, me ... the rest of your life? 0,33% 600How much to How much do you need to liveretire? comfortably the rest of your life? 0,32% 634 In your roaring thirties? HowSave for golden much do you need for the rest ofyears your life? 0,32% 316 I know I will have to take care ofCost of elderly my parents. Plan the rest of yourcare? life 0,27% 1130 Beyond financial planning. WhatCan money buy do you need for the rest of yourhappiness? life? 0,26% 387Outlive your Lifestyle defines life expectancy.savings? Learn about your Number 0,24% 1667Outlive your I dont worry about how long Isavings? may live. Plan the rest of your life. 0,17% 1179How much is mynet worth? Benchmark it with peers 0,12% 849    This   exercise   clearly   shows   winning   connecting   statements.   In   this   case   it  is   “What   is   your   number?   How   much   do   you   need   to   live   comfortably   for  the  rest  of  your  life?“    With  a  CTR  of  1,4%  this  is  a  very  strong  connecting  phrase.      We  got  the  idea  for  this  connecting  statement  from  a  book  by  Lee  Eisenberg  called  “The  Number”i.  If  you  are  work  in  the  financial  sector  and  you  are  interested  in  the  psychology  of  your  customers,  we  definitely  recommend  you  read  this  book.      Drawing  Insights    The  next  step  after  finding  a  good  connection  is  finding  insights.  We  have  to   understand   why   a   phrase   is   connecting   well.   For   the   details,   I   would  refer   you   again   to   Eisenberg’s   book.   But   in   short,   the   big   issue   with  financial  planning  is  to  know  if  you  have  saved  enough  to  stay  dry  the  rest  of   your   life.   It   is   the   dilemma   between   saving   and   spending.   If   you   are  
  • sure   you   have   enough,   you   can   spend   (or   donate   to   your   children),   but   if  you  feel  insecure,  you  will  tend  to  save.      This   balance   between   saving   and   spending   is   very   well   known   on   a  macro-­‐economic  level.  For  example,  China  wants  to  install  social  security  to   fight   the   high   saving   rate   of   its   middle   class   and   thus   stimulate   the  internal  economy.      But   we   do   not   know   a   lot   of   financial   services   that   try   to   seek   clarity  about   “the   individual   number”.   We   immediately   see   a   lot   of  opportunities  though,  such  as:       • giving  people  an  overview  of  what  they  have  (financial  wealth  and   real  estate  together)     • proposing  benchmarks  of  other  people’s  number     • assuring  big  but  rare  risks     • helping   customers   estimate   how   much   they   will   need   to   live   comfortably  as  they  downshift     • suggesting   ways   to   estimate   how   much   people   will   need   to   live   well  through  their  senior  years  when  they  become  dependent   • helping   to   calculate   how   much   you   need   to   take   care   of   your   parents  or  if  your  kids  come  back  home      You   see,   it   is   not   so   much   about   making   consumers   experts   in   building  the   most   efficient   portfolio   but   rather   a   holistic   understanding   of  financial  planning  and  related  life  choices.  And  overall,  what  people  want  is  simplicity,  a  keen  overview  and  personal  relevance.  The  question  is,  is  this  what  the  financial  sector  has  been  selling?  It’s  never  too  late  to  start.    Once   a   good   connection   is   found,   we   can   start   digging   deeper.   One  aspect  is  tweaking  the  connector  and  finding  the  right  language.  Should  we   say   “what   is   your   number”   or   “calculate   your   number”?   Google   ads  give  the  answer.  “Calculate”  is  slightly  less  effective,  perhaps  because  it  sounds   more   complicated.   Remember,   our   insight   is   that   people   are  looking  for  a  simple  answer…      Targeted  Connections     8
  • For   the   development   of   concepts,   we   can   isolate   specific   target   groups.  For   financial   planning   you   may   find   that   professionals   in   the   55+   age  group  are  very  important.  Selecting  this  target  group  with  Google  search  is   not   possible   (here   the   selection   goes   via   the   search   items.)   But   on  social   networks   it   is   perfectly   possible   to   select   using   basic   demographics  like  age.      So   we   did   run   an   experimental   campaign   on   LinkedIn,   focusing   on   55+  professionals.  This  helped  us  to  tweak  the  connector  and  to  better  study  the   psychology   behind   it.   If   we   add   “Me,   me,   me”   (a   sort   of   outcry   of  individuality),   our   number   campaign   works   better.     For   us   this   was   a  reinforcement  of  what  we  suspected.  The  concept  of  “the  number”  is  a  very  individual,  even  egoistic  given.  People  want  to  know  their  number,  not  the  number  in  general.  They  want  to  know  where  they  are  and  about  their  individual  situation.    Visuals  as  connectors!    Another   advantage   of   the   eConceptLab   technique   is   the   opportunity   to  research  visuals.  We  know  that  visuals  connect  effectively,  but  it  is  much  more  difficult  to  research  their  impact.  Consumers  don’t  see  our  strategy,  they  see  execution.  So  researching  the  actual  execution  is  very  critical  to  ensure  it  connects.      When  it  comes  to  complex  products  and  services  (like  financial  services)  it   becomes   very   difficult   to   understand   the   visual   language.   That’s  probably   why   the   financial   sector   is   known   to   use   dull   and   very   flat  pictures  in  their  communication.      Here  too,  Google  offers  some  help.  Google  Images  is  like  an  instant  tool  to   conduct   visual   semiotic   analysis.   If   you   type   the   word   “retirement”  into  the  Google  Image  search  window,  immediately  you  get  an  overview  of  the  visual  language  that  is  currently  used.  You  will  find  typical  images  like   feet   up   on   a   beach   chair   in   front   of   the   ocean,   the   nest   with   401K  eggs,  a  smiling  elderly  couple  enjoying  a  candlelit  dinner,  etc.    This  can  be  instantly  researched  too  as  shown  in  table  2  below.      Table  2:  CTR  for  the  same  connector  with  different  visuals  
  •  VISUAL  ADS   CTR   CTR   GOOGLE   FACEBOOK   SEARCH   PLACEMENT   0.61%   0.049%     0.39%   0.022%     0.93%   0.061%     1.01%   0,03%     0.61%   0.061%     0.21%   0.052%       10
  • Apparently   the   famous   “feet   up   in   the   air”   does   not   work   with   our  number   concept.   While   the   beautiful   lady   (almost   like   a   photo   you   find  on  dating  sites)  does  work  very  well!      eConceptLab   offers   tremendous   possibilities   to   fine-­‐tune   and   research  the   connector   further.   But   more   importantly,   we   can   work   with   the  people  that  click  on  our  ads,  because  they  need  a  concept  landing  page.  Just  like  youngsters  making  a  temporary  Facebook  page  to  invite  people  to   a   party,   we   make   temporary   Internet   and   Facebook   pages.   In   our  experiment   we   started   with   a   general   “financial   planning”   page,   but   as  soon   as   we   narrowed   down   our   connector   to   “the   number”,   we   made  special   “number”   landing   pages.   The   really   interesting   part   was   that   we  were  able  to  further  research  the  people  we  attracted  in  the  first  place.    Target  Audience  Profiling      On one page we designed a small psychological profiling tool wherepeople could find out their attitude towards the number.The page is still up: http://bit.ly/qrddO4 , so you can find about your ownattitude.
  • In Fig. 2 you see the result of our simple (only 9 questions) profilingexercise.    Not   surprisingly,   the   majority   of   people   that   landed   with   “the   number”  connector  are  safety  seekers  (assurers).    The  amazing  part  is  that  38%  of  the  people  who  landed  on  our  page  did  respond   to   the   profiling   questions   and   spent   +/-­‐   4   minutes   doing   so.   This  demonstrates  the  quality  of  the  engagement  you  could  achieve  with  this  research  methodology.    On  Facebook,  the  cooperation  of  people  who  click  through  is  even  bigger.    The  nice  thing  about  Facebook  is  the  “Like”  button,  a  good  indication  that  you   brought   people   in   for   the   right   reason.     In   our   sample,   78%   of   the  people   who   were   brought   in   did   “like”   us   (without   our   content   being  hidden  behind  the  “like”  wall!).      With  the  people  who  are  now  fans  of  “the  number”  Facebook  page,  we  can   hope   to   create   a   financial   service   based   on   the   psychology   of   the  number.   We   could   introduce   ideas   on   our   wall   −   ideas   about   how   to   give  people  insights  about  their  number.  Each  idea  that  is  public  on  our  wall  will   pop   up   on   their   Facebook   page;   that   is   the   way   to   co-­‐create   new  products  and  services  with  their  potential  users.      eConceptLab.com   makes   it   possible   to   work   both   unbranded   and  branded.   We   prefer   to   start   unbranded,   but   once   your   company   has  decided  which  service  to  develop,  we  can  move  the  landing  pages  under  your   brand   name,   if   you   wish   to   do   so.     This   is   interesting   to   do,   but   it   12
  • also   shows   how   the   world,   under   pressure   of   new   technologies,   has  become  hyper-­‐transparent,  and  our  processes  (including  innovation)  still  need  to  adapt  to  this  new  world.    Conclusion    We  perceive  the  financial  services  industry  as  one  of  the  most  challenging  ones   in   terms   of   crafting   engaging   communication   and   services.   We  believe  that  consumer-­‐centric  concept  development  is  critical  to  change  the   way   the   industry   communicates   and   innovates.     To   catch   up,   we  should  be  more  connected  to  the  customer.  Innovation  should  start  from  good   connection   with   customers.   Being   connected   means,   looking   at  money  like  customers  do,  speaking  the  language  of  the  customer.      With  eConceptLab.com,  we  have  demonstrated  a  new  way  to  find  good  connections   to   customers   via   Google   and   Facebook   ads   and   landing  pages.     We   have   offered   some   initial   examples   about   how   customers  might  be  connected  to  “their  Number”.      We  have  proven  the  actionable  worth   of   this   new   research   methodology   through   researching   the  “Number”.                                          
  •                          i Lee Eisenberg, The Number : A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest ofYour Life, free press, 2006 14