Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hallmark’s Innovation Leaders Value Market Researchers for Customer Insights

At last year’s TMRE, Laurie Monsees, Vice President & Platform Leader, Hallmark, sat down with IIR’s Marc Dresner to discuss how market researchers help Hallmark reach its customers more effectively.

When it comes to Hallmark, it’s a best practice in the industry to have an innovation funnel and pipeline with stage gates in between so you have lots of ideation in the front of the pipe.  According to Monsees, there is a lot of iteration at the front and that is where Hallmark’s spends time working with research.

“I recently read Tina Fay’s book ‘Bossy Pants’ and it made me think about how collaboration has a lot to do with comedy, especially improvisation,” she explained. “In addition, you have to be very open to everyone else’s ideas and you can’t be set in your idea and wait for the person to stop talking so you can say your idea - you have to respond to what the other person says.”

To Monsees, it’s a dance within the room as there is a great deal of cross functionally at a table, but everyone is throwing ideas around as innovators.

“Collaboration is where the juice is for me,” she commented.  “As someone who has a background in creative design, writing and editorial, I welcome the ideas of our research partners because they are objective and have all this consumer insight floating around in their brains that they are able to pull out at the right moment so that we are not speaking to ourselves.”

According to Monsees, you must put yourself in the consumer’s mindset. She took one of Hallmark’s new concepts home to share with her family, but she soon realized the scale just wasn’t there.

She added, “You can’t get that insight without living it yourself. It keeps you in the real instead of the ideal.”

Check out the full interview below:

Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmanadCicc. 

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