Consumer Insight :: Go Deep or Go Home

We meet companies and non-profits who have been marketing to the same
lists for years. Often, these lists and the assumptions about the
people on their lists are more than a decade old. These aged lists may
have been scrubbed, but that is simply for those who have fallen off the
grid, one way or another. This point should be obvious: there are major problems with this scenario.

1. First off, organizations marketing to the same list for years lose
the feel of how their buyers make decisions. Their selling instincts
dull, and then they tend to think of names on the list as objects rather
than subjects with rich, full lives, motivations, and choices. In
essence, they lose their hunting impulse, their sense of courtship, and
reduce a possible valuable customer relationship into a vague,
impersonal slot machine, settling for a single transaction with low

2. Second, people are dynamic, not static. If these organizations put
their prospects into a rigid category instead of knowing them on a
deeper level, they will be marketing to a snapshot that is no longer
valid. Think of yourself or your children 10 years ago to demonstrate
this point. People are one of the most progressive species on the
planet. Fortunes can be made, lost, and regained in a decade’and if your
customer information keeps the same basic inputs, you are out of touch
with reality.

3. Third, your weakest competitors are marketing to the exact same list.
Incredibly, they are marketing to them with a similar value
proposition, brand promise, feature and benefit set, and price range
(perhaps with a few incremental differences, but nothing really
discernible to them). They, too, are eking out a living on the after
fumes of cobwebbed insights from a decade ago, and cannot think outside
of the confines of a strategy set when the world was a different place.

4. Fourth, the most egregious sin: They don’t have any actionable
insights about the market, the people in the market, the trends and
forces that shape the market, and they do not renew and transform their
innovation and marketing efforts to position as a leader in their
category. This is the classic deadly sin of sloth. If it exists in your
organization, eradicate it or risk extinction.

Face it: this is the post-industrial world, the economic era of
innovation. These innovations are steeped in human-to-human
valves’offering products, services, causes, and messages that add value
to a person’s life. You have to know a person to go this deep. You must
immerse yourself in their world and get out of your conference room to
comprehend where and how you can really add value.

Call it a deep dive, a voice of the customer, an ethnography,
narrative insight based marketing research, field studies, whatever’just
get out of your own head and your rut-like routines and get inside the
homes, routines, rituals, and hearts of your people. Honor those that
buy from you or give to you, as subjects with dynamic lives.

By investing in them, you create a win-win relationship. You offer
something of value to Joe, Betty, John, Veena, and Amir’and they, in
return, return to your offering as part of the natural course of their
lives. This quid pro quo, these repeat sales, will not happen if you
keep playing the old lists game and never spend time with your prospect

Go deep.

Shift Your Mindset to Win the War for Customers

Shopping center Magna Plaza in Amsterdam by Tuxyso / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.” – Walt Disney

Competition for customers is all-out war. To succeed, you must be able to “identify and conquer key profit pools.”

During Total CX Leaders Conference this month, Brian Byrne, President, Aviador and Associates, described the phenomenon of business war gaming and how to create and sustain a robust competitive strategy.

According to Brian, our organizations are waging war on a global V.U.C.A. battlefield. Volatility. Uncertainty. Complexity. Ambiguity. “We are moving from solving a world of problems, which demand speed, analysis and elimination of uncertainty to a world of dilemmas, which demand patience, sense-making and an engagement of uncertainty.”

“This creates a quantum change in the way we buy and sell goods and services – it’s a REtail-VOLUTION. To win the war for customers, you must stretch your mind beyond accepted norms of competition” by:

- Understanding the enemy: character, culture capabilities
- Thinking like them, get into their head (role play)
- Developing disruptive strategic activation
- Scenario-planning opportunities and risks
- Fiercely activating as a Samurai Warrior or Cossack

As war gamers, look for the three dimensions of disruptions (Innosight, 2014) :

1. Customer Diagnostic: Over- and under- served customers. Excessive product complexity. Large segments of non-adopters.

2. Portfolio Diagnostic: Changing value dynamics. Acquisition targets and patterns. Disruptive suppliers in adjacent sectors.

3. Competitor Diagnostic: Emerging “whitespace” segments or differentiated competitors. Strong players in adjacent segments, especially mature markets.

Let’s keep the Total CX Leaders Conference conversations going! Stay connected with TCXL15 at:
- Customer Experience Leaders
- Customer Experience Leaders

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at

Have you looked up from your phone yet today?

image from

Have you looked up
from your phone yet today?
On the phone, music in the other ear, drinking a morning
juice, all while Instagraming and
walking up from the subway stairs- let’s face it- people today are more busy
than ever.  We are the generation of
multitaskers who aren’t pleased unless we’ve done it all’and then some. This trend
has impacted how we live which down streams to how brands must connect with us-
what ads actually catch our
attention, what do we buy, how do we buy it, etc.
Brands must foresee these sorts of trends and accommodate unmet
needs before they arise. I’ve come across many great examples in my everyday
life which granted the idea to touch upon this subject. Think back to childhood-
the beloved Go-Gurt (yogurt in a tubular
stick for on the go)
your mom would send you of with as you ran out to the
bus. Google Glass allows you to basically do anything on the internet without
inhibiting your vision. Taco Bell’s new breakfast burritos combine all you
would want in breakfast into a neat one handed meal option.  Product, and
, continue to evolve which further drives our desire to
How does this effect brand communication? Staring down at
our phones, we rarely catch a glimpse of that billboard or window ad. Now ads
must be strategically placed on our phones through use of encrypted cookies
based on your previous viewings, or geolocation for nearby stores. Brands must
also keep up, ensuring they identify with the slowly changing consumer while
staying true to their own brand heritage. This also opens opportunity for many
new brands to enter the mix who start with a fresh slate and can adjust to todays’
consumer needs with no consequences.
We’ve even upped the bar on the products we desire. We are
no longer happy with just a cooler to keep our food cold; we now need one that acts
as a blender and plays music too
. Remember when cellphones only made calls
and allowed you to play snake? Now performing as miniature computers, we are
almost incapable of human life without phones in our hand.
Today’s ominshopper has high demands for meeting all needs
and in a timely fashion. We want innovation that meets our demands and then
some. Brands must adhere to this in order to stay relevant.
At what point does this become too much. Will there be a day
when we no longer have time to sleep? Too many to-do items to check off and too
many products driving this ambitions way of life- what’s next? 

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant
at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a
background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous
experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM
provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media
and marketing. She can be reached at

This Week In Market Research: 6/22/15 – 6/26/15

Social Listening To Connecting With Prospects: 5 Things social listening can do for your firm

The Hat Whisperers: A Boston startup tracks shopper’s habits to help stores make sales

You Need Big Data Now: 5 Professions that can benefit

Facebook Gives 3 Tips For Mobile Marketing: One in three millennials only discover content online

The Future Of Small Business Marketing Will Be Automated: Getting small business out of the stone age

2015 Will Be Transformational Year For Biometrics: Both public and commercial applications

Microsoft Moves Closer to Cross-Platform Domination: Launching office apps for Android phones

Looking Beyond The Known-Knowns: Why only 15% of the Fortune 500 uses big data analytics

Taking Mobile Marketing To The Next Level: From intent to purchase

Analytics App Helps Make Sense Of Marketing Data: Datameer is launching multi-channel analytics app

About the Author:
Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at

The Biggest Changes in Shopper Behavior in the Past 5 Years

Shopper behavior is changing at an uncontrollable pace, and retailers must keep up. In the past five
years, there have been a lot of changes in shopper
that marketers and researchers in retail should pay close
attention to. That’s why we asked the top leaders in the industry to share the
changes that they think are most important.
Here is what they said:
Dan Pink, Author:
The once-breathtaking, but now commonplace, idea that most people carry in
their pockets a powerful computer that can connect to the entire world.
Joseph Davis,
For me, it has been the surprising pace with which shoppers are
moving to fresh or prepared foods ‘ driving traffic out of the center store and
into the perimeter. And it’s a behavior without boundaries ‘ large store,
small store, online ‘ it’s a real shift in demand toward on-demand, easy meal
solutions.  This kind of thing you’d expect to be more glacial in pace and
moving with generations, but the behaviors are changing faster than I think
many of us expected.
Christine Trodella,
Mobile is the biggest shift in shopper behavior over the past
five years. Mobile usage continues to grow at an astounding pace and people are
now shopping, browsing and researching across devices. As Retailers optimize
their mobile experience and people become more comfortable buying on mobile,
conversions will continue to grow. Today, mobile is a powerful tool
for discovery and an increasingly influential part of the shopper’s journey. 41
percent of people who research on a smartphone convert on another device and 38
percent convert in store (eMarketer report Cross Device Search Marketing, April
2015). As mobile bridges the online and offline world, retailers need to invest
more in their mobile presence and understand and assign the proper value to
each customer touch point along the path to purchase.
Jonathan McDonald,
Thought Expansion Network
: I think the biggest shift in behavior is less to
do with how people behave while shopping but instead how people are far more
empowered to be ANY part of the value chain. Over the last five years we’ve
seen an exponential increase in the capability and affordability of technology,
driving the ability for anyone to be an investor, manufacturer, retailer,
marketer and consumer of products and services. Platforms like and
Kickstarter have enabled this shift and I believe it is just the beginning of
what I would term ‘value chain democratization.’
Neil Howe, Author:
More consumers using smartphones. Whether they’re making purchases from their
devices or using them to compare prices in-store, shoppers have more
information at their fingertips than ever before and are using it to make
better-informed purchasing decisions.
Sheila McKay, HP:
The use of cellphones on the shopper journey – the smart phone is giving
shoppers access to endless amounts of information – figuring out how to get the
information you believe your shopper would like to see has not been easy – we
are still trying to figure out the best way to help shoppers access the
information we have created based on their desires – would love to know what is
working best for you!
Michael Klein, Post
The changing path to purchase away from traditional shopping to
online and digital is the biggest shift in shopping behavior over the last five
years. As technology has advanced, and Millennials are becoming more dominant
in the marketplace, the path to purchase has evolved.  
Dan Mudd, Clorox
Crowdsourcing: Ratings & Reviews increasing importance
on category and brand choice within it. Clear benefit communication and
delivery of it at every possible touch point in the shopper’s journey has never
been more important.
Jon Fehrman, Big Lots:
Over the past few years the shift from cellular to mobile and the ability for
shopping on demand. I can recall discussing this with peers approx. five to six
years ago about whether to include a graphic depiction of a mobile phone versus
cellular on pack, and at that time it was too soon. Not now!
Kristian Aloma, Brandtrust: There are two things here I find most
intriguing in the market place. First, is the ability for consumers to
immediate craft and distribute stories to their personal audiences. Whether in
brick and mortar or online, consumers are increasingly posting, tweeting,
Yelp-ing, blogging, almost instantaneously about the service, product or
experience they’ve just had. This fact requires a shift in the way marketers
and brand managers think about their communications strategy and the tools,
props and artifacts they give consumers at the point of purchase. With a consumer
group that is so ready to tell stories, the brands that help them do so, and do
so in a way that is favorable to the brand, are those that will win in this
space. In some cases, we see brands, especially online, immediately encouraging
this. Airlines, and many others
immediately provide consumers the opportunity to post about their purchase
right from the site. 
James Sorensen,
Kantar Retail:
Shoppers go to fewer stores, smaller stores, seek more
personalization and make more purchases through ecommerce channels.  But
these changes are not a result of a change in shopper behavior, but are rather
simply a result of the change in the retail landscape. Shopper’s want what shoppers
have always wanted.  Most of the time they want to get the goods they
need, as quickly, easily and at the lowest cost possibly. Retailers and
brands that deliver the most frictionless experiences at the best price will
win a greater share of the shoppers’ loyalty.
Jim Cusson, Theory
Five years ago my front porch was likely to be a resting place for
potted flowers or a place to sip a cup of iced tea. Today it has become a
depository for UPS to drop off Prime boxes. I suspect my home life
serves as a microcosm for today’s shopper. My household is increasingly buying
online while at the same time splitting grocery shopping between two
supermarkets, Target and Club stores. We’re taking advantage of choice,
convenience and also specialization. 
Like what you’ve read? Attend The
OmniShopper 2015 Conference
in Chicago July 20-22 and revolutionize your
shopper strategy to get ahead in the emerging retail landscape. OmniShopper, formerly
Shopper Insights in Action, is the event of choice for the retail
industry, and has been for over a decade. Experts from leading Retailers and
Brands break down the dramatic shifts in shopper behavior and then teach you
how to redefine your shopper strategy to win at retail.
Use discount code
OMNI15BLOG for $100 off the current rate. Register today!
The #OmniShopper15 Team


The TMRE 2015 Brochure is Now Available for Download

The Market Research Event 2015 brochure is here! TMRE is your industry’s #1
Insights Event, giving you access to the most insights professionals all in one
place at one time.
Translating insights into bottom line impact and
demonstrating the new business value of research is the holy grail. Level up
your skillset and ensure insights remain indispensable to your business.
Seismic shifts are banging at your door. Drive your future and shape the
industry’s future at TMRE.
Download the brochure
for full program details:
This year TMRE has:

65% client side attendees
1300+ leading insights/research professionals
150+ research and insights speakers
100+ cutting edge solutions providers
Level up your skillset and ensure insights remain indispensable
to your business. See how for yourself.
The TMRE 2015 Team

This Week In Market Research: 6/15/15/ – 6/19/15

Big Data Was The Beginning: What Comes Next?

6 Ways To Get More From Data Science 

Individualized Marketing: Myths vs. Reality

Marketing Has A Marketing Problem: 5 Changes marketers need to understand

Big Data Today: High hopes, but short on returns

Why Every Flight You Take Is Obsessively Monitored: From weather to parts to flight plans

Building A Self-Sustaining User Base: How to do it without a marketing base

When Email Marketing Goes Awry: You need your emails to get read

Beyond The Basics: User experience and how it is at the core of every organization

How To Listen On Social: 6 Powerful things you can do

About the Author:
Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at

Permission to Walk Away from Survey Trends

By: David Shanker, CEO,
The Americas, Lightspeed

In our complex world, the accelerated pace of innovation and
technology has created a struggle in the marketing research industry. Consumers
are our greatest assets, but they are overloaded: countless digital marketing
campaigns, social media platforms and infinite numbers of apps are fighting for
their attention. Our attempts to quantify their behavior and attitudes are
heavily influenced by technology. But with the frequency of change so rapid,
how do we judge if we are capturing the ‘norm’? Are we capturing their full
There is a need for change in our industry. Similar to the
advertising industry, marketing research is heavily fragmented. We can no
longer passively capture data, we need to ask, listen and learn while being
more nimble than ever. As we look more and more at consumer behaviors, we need
to think more about the data than about the tools capturing the data. Norms are
evolving ‘ driving us away from traditional survey trends.
Today, possibilities with how we connect with a consumer are
faster than ever. When people take surveys it means they need to have the same experience
no matter what device they are on. The adoption of mobile devices, particularly
smartphones, is having a big impact on our ability to provide representative
samples’in fact, the impact of mobile devices on our ability to reach people
cannot be overstated.
Nielsen reported that as of Q4 2014, over 70% of
people in the United States own a Smartphone;
This compares to only 22% in 2010;
Current smartphone ownership is even higher for
the highly coveted Millennials and multicultural; it’s 80% for those
Adapting to change
Change is hard. We realize it is easier said than done’it
takes a lot of work; but status quo is not an option to survey in today’s
industry. You will miss the young adults and multicultural; you’ll also miss
members of the general population who use their smartphones to take surveys, a
percentage that will continue to grow. So what should we do?
Surveys have to be shorter’15 to 20 minutes
They have to be designed to be engaging and take
advantage of the latest programming techniques’getting caught in grid paralysis
is no longer an option
Surveys have to render appropriately for
whatever device is being used
The ‘whys’ and the ‘so what’s’ need to balance traditional big
data. Consumer insights are not only necessary, but essential. The need to
connect with the consumer in the right way at the right time will be as
important as the technology used to do it.
About the Author: David
leads the Lightspeed business across the Americas region, unifying and focusing
systems and expertise to meet clients’ dynamic needs and consistently exceed
their expectations. A veteran of 20-plus years in sales, marketing, operations
and research, he has served in senior management roles in established, start-up
and turn-around business situations. His strategic and operational leadership
has resulted in significant business improvements for companies such as Ipsos,
OTX Research and Information Resources Inc. Prior to joining Lightspeed, David
was CEO of PINCHme, a digital marketing/market research start-up that delivers
insights to leading CPG companies through a unique approach to consumer

This Week in Market Research: 6/8/15 – 6/12/15

Big Data Success Stories: From Carnival Cruises to Dickey’s BBQ

Why Social Media Insights Are A Gold Mine: Content must speak directly to what your audience cares about

4 Areas TO Focus On For Shopper Marketing in 2015

Why Big Data Matters In Finance: Helping average Joe investors make money

Snagging The Best Data Talent: How to find the right candidates

What Is Content Marketing? The mercantile version of thought leadership

The Fast Track To Optimizing User Experience And Visibility: Making it intuitive 

Can Social Media Provide Better Insights Than Traditional Market Research? 4 ways that it can

Mobile Biometrics: The industry may grow to $36.4 billion by 202

This Company Followed The Same Marketing Strategy As Amazon And Apple: See how Dice beat the odds  

About the Author:
Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at


Your Most Important Customer is Your Employee

Photo: Unusual view of the glass roof of the courtyard of the religious art museum, Teruel, Spain by Diego Delso, Wikimedia Commons, License CC-BY-SA 3.0

“Without caring there can be no quality.” – Joel A. Barker, Author of Future Edge

According to Andrew Walpole, Manager of Experience Design, Jack in the Box Inc., “Your customer knows when you care, and when you don’t.” By harnessing your organization’s untapped potential, you can create a sustainable culture of learning and innovation to benefit your employees, and ultimately your customers.

During Total CX Leaders Conference, Andrew explained how “a leader’s job is to design the experience of work” and how this strategy guided their transformation from an internal training department to Jack’s University, the learning and development function at Jack in the Box:

1. Have a vision, but co-construct the strategy. It’s OK to be fuzzy. Let the team provide the lens to focus it. The strategy should move you toward the vision state. Let your vision evolve.

2. Set clear expectations for everyone. Promote change and movement toward your vision. Hold people accountable. Role-model your expectations. Let strategy define a new way to work.

3. Inspire a movement. Start doing something. Be public about it. Commit to your strategy, own it, don’t let culture steer you off course.

4. Empower employees to own their expertise. Give them purpose beyond the needs of the business. Let them write it into their job description. Align what people want to do with what needs to be done.

The result?
- A new work environment
- An empowered, motivated, successful group recognized by company leaders
- New vision and strategy

Let’s keep the Total CX Leaders Conference conversations going! Stay connected with TCXL15 at:
- Customer Experience Leaders
- Customer Experience Leaders

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at

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