Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Looking at leaders: Ken Erickson

Our 2013 event is all about the Insights-Rich Customer Stories. With that in mind, in the months leading up to the 2013 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit we're going to be featuring some of our amazing customer experience leaders here on the blog.

This week, let's take a look at:

Ken Erickson, Ph.D., CEO & Cultural Anthropologist, Pacific Ethnography Company

Erickson will be presenting the keynote "Able to Fly: Global Design Ethnography and Airplanes" at the 2013 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. In this session, you'll hear how Boeing wanted to understand the experience of differently-abled passengers around the world to improve the design of its passenger airplanes. Fly-along research in India, Chile, the USA and China, with an anthropological eye on “rites of passage” revealed how existing design—and service—made the experience disabling.

The audience will learn:
• How ethnographic methods are applied to design research
• How universal design transforms special needs into universal benefits
• How aging reshapes consumer needs and widens business impacts.

For more about the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit and our featured speakers, visit our website and download the brochure. Register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL13BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. Visit the webpage to register today.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Deconstructing Anticipation via Social Media

With every social media platform exploding with either the Oscars or Fashion Week or the Future of Consumer Intelligence (#FOCI13), the anticipation levels for events in general have heightened to dizzying levels.  I am reminded that I have to plan my watching and eating schedule for the aptly hashtagged #OscarsParty, or plan my fashion week agenda by stalking #NYFW, and once again explore the exponentially growing ways to market my presence at the events or on the net – be it instagram, tumblr, twitter or downloading a momentary app.

Even Guy Kawasaki shared an infographic on the Oscar winners based on social media alone. The role of social media has evolved as an event enhancer and accessory to a fundamental connection and sharepoint, making it the backbone of existence.

My addiction to consumer behavior and personality deductions from two by two matrices quickly ignited the anticipation framework that groups people between planners and spontaneity seekers, and those who engage or observe in the activities they are about to embrace. And thus, akin to classic marketing research, we have consumer segments based on their social media usage and consequential anticipation. It fits with any upcoming event really, since part of marketing research is really understanding what drives consumers towards things, isn’t it?



Some prefer to observe the events; discretely or directly look, casually chat with others, snap a few photos, and continue in repeat mode. If done with planning, these are theorists; they will carve a niche with a well-defined blog or become journalistic fortune tellers. The spontaneous folk can be described as spectators, either following the crowd or simply observing what comes their way, instead of finding it, thus creating a group that many newbies fall into, including those that coincidentally feel the fever in the air.

People that like to engage in the events, who are bold enough to do more than photos and shatter their muted expectations, they can either do so via planning and fall into the enthusiast bucket, or be bold and brilliant enough to spontaneously trudge through the live events or be active on the social networks with vicarious pleasure, and fall into a category I have occupied many times: the addict.

No matter what your goal, objective and personality is, social media forms segments of consumers who you cannot ignore. And if you are even a spectator or an attendee of anything from Fashion Weeks to the Oscars to conferences like FOCI, you are likely fall into one of the deconstructed quads. Right now, I am still unsure of where I fall, but probably swaying between diametrically opposite ends of theorists and addicts.

As I’ve stated before on my blog, “An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing.”

What tickles your anticipation?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh.
 

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Video Retrospective of the Insights Industry

The world of marketing research, analytics and insights is evolving continuously and we are constantly focused on the future but, let's examine what brought us here today.

From straw polls to in-home interviews, to telephone and online research, see where the industry has been and where it's going. Visit The Future of Consumer Intelligence to explore the progression with us.

 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience & Mergers/Acquisitions

Not just hearing, but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leadership. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspiration with business relevant actions and have been one of our most highly rated features in the past.

Here's our weekly idea gathering wrap ups of some of our favorite customer experience strategy, design and alignment news and views:

Given their recent appearance in the news this week our topic is mergers and acquisitions.

Within the last month several big names have announced mergers and acquisitions including Berkshire Hathaway acquiring Heinz Food, US Airways and American Airlines seeking to merge, and Office Depot merging with Office Max.

Inc Magazine reported that large companies spent a total of 84 billion last year alone in acquisitions of smaller companies with the top five being Facebook, Google, Groupon, Twitter, and Cisco respectively.  For many companies making acquisitions is just part of their corporate strategy, and for many more being acquired is their strategy.

Mergers and acquisitions can often be long drawn out affairs depending on the sizes of the companies, and can certainly be a headache for all parties involved. However, despite the difficulties that businesses ma face during a merger and acquisition it’s crucial that they don’t lose sight of the most important thing: the customer.

Many acquired customers are often lost primarily due to poor communication regarding the acquisition process. If it’s a bigger company, customers might hear about the merger or acquisition themselves and immediately fear service or quality changes. With smaller companies the problem often arises when the customer tries to make contact and struggles to find the new department, service, or even company.

It’s the responsibility of all parties involved in a merger or acquisition to re assure the customer that things are going to stay the same, or improve for them. People tend to fear change and a customer finding out that their new provider is some random merger who “acquired” them might be put off. Often mergers and acquisitions mean disruptions in service for customers and strategist guru Joe Lamantia explains in an article on the subject how “Much of the disruption is easily managed in advance by communicating upcoming changes to customers”.

They key of the whole process is communication. American Banker sums it up saying “The value of communicating to strengthen customer retention through the post-acquisition integration process is quite clear.” Keeping customers informed means keeping customers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs atFordham Nights and can bereached at JMarino@iirusa.com.

At the intersection of Market Research and Big Data


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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Looking at leaders: Anders Nicholls

Our 2013 event is all about the Insights-Rich Customer Stories. With that in mind, in the months leading up to the 2013 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit we're going to be featuring some of our amazing customer experience leaders here on the blog.

This week, let's take a look at:

Andres Nicholls, Partner, Prophet

Presenting one of our "Design" focused sessions, Nicholls will be telling the story of Emart.

Emart is the largest retailer in South Korea, with more than 120 big-box superstores, including some in China. With an eye toward a brand invention and format development, Emart recently created three stand-alone retail brands: Matrix, a specialty consumer electronics store; Molly’s Pet Shop, a high-end pet store/pet hotel; and Emart Traders, a warehouse-style store. Take an inside look at the design and development of these brands and their introduction to the Korean consumer.

In this session, you'll learn about:
• Leveraging segmentation data to focus on your most profitable segments
• Engaging customers to create a compelling and differentiating brand experience
• Designing your brand positioning and bringing it to life

For a great sneak peek of the session, check out this blog post on the Emart transformation.

For more about the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit and our featured speakers, visit our website and download the brochure. Register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL13BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. Visit the webpage to register today.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience & Customer Journey Mapping



Not just hearing, but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leaders. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspiration with business relevant actions and have been one of our most highly rated features in the past.


Here on the blog, we'll be presenting weekly idea gathering wrap ups of some of our favorite customer experience strategy, design and alignment news and views.  


This week our focus is on Customer Journey Maps.
Customer Journey Maps are one of the most underrated parts of a good Customer Experience Strategy and are all too often under utilized or not used at all. Imagine a general who made battle strategies without a map or a contractor trying to build something without blueprints. 

These examples are exactly as absurd as trying to create a customer experience strategy without a customer journey map. Customer Journey maps track customer engagement with a business every step of the way from the first interaction, or thoughts of potential interaction, to after the sale, and every possible step in between. 

Customer Journey Mapping is about understanding the wants, needs, interactions, and emotions of the customer in relation to your business. How does walking into one of your stores make a customer feel? What is a customer thinking when they search for your product online? These are examples of questions that a good customer map should answer. Taking the time out to actually relate to the emotions of customers is an invaluable effort that will reflect greatly on actual customer experience. PeopleMetrics describes this kind of customer empathy as “mak[ing] it easier to shift out of internal process mode and into thinking about how the company could be doing a better job of delivering value to customers.”

Customer Journey Maps should not be taken lightly and to create a truly effective map takes a lot of time and research to determine actual customer experiences and emotions. You also might not like what your first map looks like but that’s part of the process.

UXmatters.com explains that Customer Journey Mapping is all about very subtly selling service design. They define service design as “the design of the overall experience of a service, as well as the design of the process and strategy for providing that service” . 

This means that customers should enjoy the experience of doing business with a company every step of the way despite the fact that the experience is not something which can physically be capitalized on. So while making a Customer Journey Maps wont instantly give you business,  when properly used, they will significantly improve the experience of the customer.

About the Author

Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs at Fordham Nights and can bereached at JMarino@iirusa.com.

How to Explore the New Normal for Researchers: Last Chance to Save $600


The market research industry is going through a major revolution; it's not the same as it was 10 years ago, 5 years ago or even just last year.

Big data, social media analytics, prediction science and data visualization are quickly becoming the new normal for researchers.

How are you leveraging all of these new tools to establish a competitive advantage?

Be the first to learn about the emerging technologies and methodologies that are being used to collect, analyze and evaluate consumer and marketplace intelligence at The Future of Consumer Intelligence.

It's your key to standing out among your competitors. See who's already signed up to attend:

Affinnova, Inc. 
American Family Insurance
Arbitron Mobile
ARCO
AutoTrader.com
Bayer Healthcare
Blue State Digital
Bose Corporation
Boston Children's Hospital
BP Products NA
CareerBuilder
CFMC Research Software
Chadwick Martin Bailey
Citrix
Colgate Palmolive
California State University of San Marcos
Column Five Media
Consumer Intelligence
CrowdMed
Cutting Edge Research
Decipher
DHCU Community Credit Union
Eastern Bank
EMI Music and zeebox
FedEx Services
Fifth Quadrant Pty
Fifth Third Bancorp
Firemans Fund Insurance
Ford Motor Company
Forrester Research
General Motors
GfK
Gongos Research
Harrah's Entertainment
Heineken USA
IBM
Intel Corporation
Intuit
Irving Oil Corp
Johnson & Johnson
Kelley Blue Book
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Logitech
Maritz, Inc. 
Mars Chocolate Russia
MasterCard
Matthew Ferraro Music
Microsoft
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MSW Research
National Analysts Worldwide
Northwestern University
PepsiCo
Phoenix Marketing Int'l
PopTech
Post Foods
Premier Bankcard
Prime Therapeutics
Project Management 
   Institute
Qualtrics
Quester
Sachs Insights
SciFutures
Simon Analytics
SMART Technologies
Socratic Technologies
Starwood Hotels & 
   Resorts
Sterling Brands
The Clorox Company
The Coca-Cola Company
The Weather Channel
TiVo Research & Analytics
TNS
TPN
TrendWatching.com
UBS
UCLA Medical School
Universal Music Group
Veterans United Home Loans
VEVO
Virgin Online
Vision Critical 
Vivaldi Partners Group


Registration Information: 

Mention your Blog VIP code to save 15% off the standard rate:  FOCI13BLOG
Phone: 888.670.8200

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to Make Smarter Decisions in a Data Overloaded World


Big Data is a small idea; according to Christopher Frank it's all about being able to use the information to make smarter decisions. However, according to a recent study by McKinsey, the United States will soon face a shortage of up to "1.5 million managers and analysts to analyze big data and make decisions from their findings."*

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit will explore the skills needed to sift through the Big Data to uncover and understand the insights that lead to better business decisions. Customer-focused leaders from eBay, Facebook, Forrester, Hunter Douglas, JetBlue, Safelite AutoGlass, Toyota Financial Services and more will share best practices with their own customer programs that drive business results.

Christopher Frank
Keynote Spotlight: Curating the Customer Conversation: Making Smarter Decisions in a Data Overloaded World
- Christopher Frank, Vice President, American Express, Author, Drinking from the Fire Hose

Just about everyone these days suffers from information overload the 24/7 explosion from our computers, smartphones, media, colleagues and customers. Information is essential to making intelligent decisions, but more often than now, it simply overwhelms us. It's like trying to drink from a fire hose.

How do you find the truly essential nuggets of information and use them with confidence? From first-hand experience from Fortune 100 companies and start-ups, Christopher Frank will share insights to drive your customer experience agenda forward.

Hear more about big data and customer experience from Christopher in this exclusive podcast.

Special Offer! The first 10 people to register with code CHRISFRANK will receive a complimentary copy of Drinking from the Fire Hose.

Joining Christopher at the event is an impressive speaker roster including:

• Tony Ezell, Chief Customer Officer, Eli Lilly and Company
• Paula Harries, Director, Client & Member Research, CVS Caremark
• Ken Erickson, Ph.D., CEO & Cultural Anthropologist, Pacific Ethnography Company
• Jasmine Green, Vice President, Chief Customer Advocate, Nationwide
• Andres Nicholls, Partner, Prophet
• And more, download the brochure for the complete speaker list and agenda.

Announcing New Speakers!
• Jim Bampos, Vice President, Total Customer Experience, EMC Corporation
• Katy Churches, Manager, Customer Experience, American Family Insurance
• Paul Magnone, Co-Author, Drinking from the Fire Hose

Register before Friday, February 15, 2013, to secure your spot and save $300.

Registration Information:
Mention your Blog VIP code TCEL13BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate.
http://bit.ly/X7rrpq 
Email: register@iirusa.com
Phone: 888.670.8200

* From McKinsey Study: Big Data & Analytics, Talent & the "Brand"

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A new way to get insights, everyday


Today we turn our attention to building a better relationship with consumers:

At iModerate, we are constantly asking ourselves - how can we facilitate better communication between our clients and their consumers? 

We believe in the power of individual conversations, not just to gain insight around that big tracker or ad test, but as a way to answer your everyday questions and keep your finger on the pulse of your consumers.

Therefore, we are introducing a new way to work with us, one that enables you to easily establish consistent, fruitful dialogues with customers, fans, and desired market segments. 

iModerate’s new subscription service provides you with a bank of conversations that you and your colleagues can quickly draw from whenever issues or questions arise. 

With just one phone call you have access to professionally moderated qualitative conversations that deliver a level of insight that goes deeper into the minds of your consumers, uncovering what truly matters to them.

Beyond securing a better way to talk to consumers, the subscription offering allows you to achieve savings of up to 20%, secure preferential fielding windows, unlock more deliverable options and enjoy a simplified, streamlined process. 

How transformative can this be? Find out how it’s changed our marketers by checking out our comic strip series… www.imoderate.com/superhero



About the Author

iModerate is a qualitative research firm that goes beyond the obvious by connecting with consumers through real-time, online, one-on-one conversations. Utilized within an online survey for a hybrid approach or as a stand-alone qualitative method, our professionally moderated conversations deliver candid feedback and give you more of the insight that matters to you.

iModerate Research Technologies is a sponsor of The Future of Consumer Intelligence and The Market Research Event and will join us on site to explore we can transform market research together.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Looking at leaders: Peter Fader

Our 2013 event is all about the Insights-Rich Customer Stories. With that in mind, in the months leading up to the 2013 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit we're going to be featuring some of our amazing customer experience leaders here on the blog.


This week, let's take a look at:

Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Fader's keynote will be on the topic of "How Can Customer Centricity be Profitable?"

Many experts are touting the virtues of
“Customer Centricity” as a valuable emerging
business model, but there is a lot of confusion
about what this concept means – and
uncertainty about whether and how it actually
leads to greater profitability. The purpose of
this session is to bring clarity to both of these issues. We begin with a brief review of Professor Fader’s recent book (“Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage”) but then dive deep into the profitability question. We examine the main tactical “building blocks” underlying customer centricity and point out some subtle but important insights to help managers make the most effective and efficient use of each of them.

Check out this video from Wharton Digital Press for a glimpse into the topics Fader will be sharing at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit.


For more about the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit and our featured speakers, visit our website and download the brochure. Register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL13BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. Visit the webpage to register today.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Connecting VOC Data Back to Your Customer Strategy


Building a sound strategic customer plan calls for making some really tough decisions. You know that providing unique and authentic experiences to your customer is an integral part of the plan - but balancing that alongside meeting your short-term business goals, requires true organizational alignment in order to achieve real success.

Deliver the experiences your customers have come to expect from your brand means knowing your customer, what they value and translating that value into what matters most.

How well do you know your most valuable customers and are you connecting your VOC data back to the customer strategy?

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit is uniting cross-industry, customer-focused leaders to share best practices in linking data-driven behavior to business results, designing next generation customer experiences and measuring the impact of customer programs. Download the brochure for full details here.

Keynote Spotlight: 
 
How Can Customer Centricity Be Profitable?
- Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
 
Many experts are touting the virtues of "Customer Centricity" as a valuable emerging business model, but there is a lot of confusion about what this concept means - and uncertainty about whether and how it actually leads to greater profitability. The purpose of this session is to bring clarity to both of these issues. 

We begin with a brief review of Professor Fader's recent book but then dive deep into the profitability questions. We examine the main tactical "building blocks" underlying customer centricity and point out some subtle but important insights to help managers make the most effective and efficient use of each of them.
 
Joining Peter at the event is an impressive keynote roster, including:

Jasmine Green, Vice President, Chief Customer Advocate, Nationwide 
Dan Hill, Ph.D., President, Sensory Logic
Sean Bruich, Head of Measurement Platforms & Standards, Facebook
Christopher Frank, Vice President, American Express, Author, Drinking from the Firehose
Thomas Feeney, President & CEO, Safelite AutoGlass


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Win a Meet & Greet with Nate Silver

Nate Silver
Nate Silver (Photo: jdlasica)

Nate Silver, World Renowned Statistician and Founder, FiveThirtyEight.com, is leading a game-changing shift in data analytics and prediction science. He says, by identifying the signal in a world of noisy data, almost anything can be predicted.

The opportunity is yours.

How will you recognize the truly insightful pieces of data and use them to make confident business decisions? 

The Future of Consumer Intelligence is addressing the industry evolution by sharing the insight and tools needed to uncover connections and expose hidden patterns to predict future behaviors using technology.
Download the brochure here.

SPECIAL OFFER: The first 10 people to register with code NATESILVER will be invited to attend an exclusive meet and greet with Nate! Register today to secure your spot!

His 100% accuracy in calling all 50 states during the presidential election is historic. He's doing just a handful of talks in 2013 so hearing him will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

Featured sessions include:

Big Data: Powerful Predictions through Data Analytics
Nate Silver, Founder, FiveThirtyEight.com, Author, The Signal & The Noise
The Human Face of Big Data
Rick Smolan, Creator, Human Face of Big Data
Big Data & Attribution
Ned Kumar, Interactive Marketing Strategist, FedEx Services
Big Data Sucks! (For Understanding Consumers, Anyway)
David Boyle, SVP Insight, EMI Music & Director, of Insight, Zeebox
Journey from Data to Information to Decision Making
Camille P. Schuster, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing, California State University of San Marcos

Download the conference brochure for the full speaking roster and session descriptions.
 
Together, let's embrace new opportunities and new ways of thinking about our industry. 


Friday, February 8, 2013

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience & the Decline of Green

English: The financial crisis affectes the rea...
 (Photo: Wikipedia)
Not just hearing, but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leaders. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspiration with business relevant actions and have been one of our most highly rated features in the past.

Here on the blog, we'll be presenting weekly idea gathering wrap ups of some of our favorite customer experience strategy, design and alignment news and views.  This week our focus is on consumers and the environmental movement. 

Despite environmentally conscious products generating 40 billion dollars for businesses in 2011 the hype around these “green” products is fading with consumers, likely due to the higher prices.  According to a consumer survey conducted by Gfk the number of consumers who were willing to spend more on green items such as food, cars, light bulbs, apparel, and packaging has all decreased since 2008. The percentage of consumers willing to spend more for greener versions of these items has decreased between 5 and 13 percent over the last four years.  This correlates with an Ipsos poll which revealed that 59% of American consumers were not at all willing to spend anymore on a product just because it was more environmentally friendly.

According to a Time Magazine survey, it’s not just over pricing that’s deterring consumers from going green but an overall change in belief. The survey reports that the number of Americans who describe themselves as “environmentally conscious”  and “car[ing] a great deal about the current state, and future, of the environment” has decreased since 2009 as well. 

Beyond price and attitude however Advertising Age magazine suggests that the rejection of green products could be due to marketing over-hype and aggression. These kind of marketing tactics which involve exaggerating the impact of purchasing (or not purchasing) certain products have led to consumer skepticism and distrust. When consumers Advertising Age goes on to describe some companies such as Axe and its parent company Unilever which have begun environmental campaigns with limited sales motives merely to gain back the invaluable trust of consumers.  

About the Author

Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs at Fordham Nights and can be reached at JMarino@iirusa.com.