Breaking the rules of Consumer Research


Published on

Enhance your research decision-taking with these 10 hard-won lessons of what to do....and what to avoid

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Breaking the rules of Consumer Research

  1. 1. Breaking Rules in Consumer Research
  2. 2. Breaking RulesEnhancing your decision just5 minutesA Futures Coaching
  3. 3. #1 Favour in-depths For real depth of understanding always go for one-on-ones over focus groups  Could a focus group ever tell you that some nature-lovers use binoculars to approach God?
  4. 4. #2 Pick experience  Too many tasks have been wrongly downgraded and given to juniors Did you really want a chaotic 75 pagedesk research report or 3 pages giving you precise & meaningful insights? Reevaluate the experience needed to complete research tasks
  5. 5. #3 Look for the essence  Avoid transcripts and videos: no one (should) have the time to review these  What counts is: the essential, the break-through insight, the aha! moment  A BIG outcome from a focus group could be a one liner: not a presentation deck
  6. 6. #4 Use innovative methods  A big agency billed a training session I attended New research techniques for the new decade, then presented semiotics, lexical analysis & tracking!  Their justification: a new wave of researchers find this stuff new  There is little innovation in research so insist on new ways; new approaches
  7. 7. #5 Reject research as a job  A major FMCG firm has an overflow of customer, shopper & channel data  Its insights team see running research studies as their job  Avoid this: delivering business goals is the real objective, a task which is (sometimes) supported by research
  8. 8. #6 Become your consumer  What do consumers say? Become the consumer of your products and youll already have the first insights When I worked for Habitat, I had to  spend days in store; working for Olam (a commodities company) requires time spent living & working in the countryside
  9. 9. #7 Probe people  How many times have I seen user- based segmentations? But we are consumers for a fraction of our lives People are more than consumers: they have jobs, friends, hobbies - & all this colours attitudes & behaviours Research real people in their everyday lives first before drilling down to purchase & usage
  10. 10. #8 Know your culture  Working with Ford, they wanted databooks; Virgin Atlantic wanted interpretation  Know that company cultures dictate the type of research that is required Know too, that there are times whenthe real research need is at odds with what the culture normally dicates
  11. 11. #9 Focus on the last 5 items  Huge U&A surveys are overloaded with detailed questions  But questions near the end can often be the key to decode the results  I particularly like value statements tacked on the back so I know, the who? and not just the how much/how often/why
  12. 12. #10 Cut down your budget  Even with complex targeting, incremental focus groups deliver diminishing returns Ive seen 8 even 16 groups  commissioned when 4 would have given 95%+ of insights  In-depths are the same. Did 72 make the study more robust or were the last 42 interviews giving the same thing?
  13. 13. Enhance your decision-making join forces with
  14. 14. What is Futures Coaching up to during May 2012? Helping reinvent an entire supermarket department Preparing an international innovations project for a winning global brand Building a Key Note for NGO Fundraisers in Geneva in JunePitching to build an international development strategy for a major European agency Planning a business trip to Jakarta and Singapore Pitching some new book ideas to Pearson
  15. 15. LONDON • PARIS Website: www.futurescoaching.comBlog: Email: