Tag Archives: data

Customer Experience Conversations: Maxwell Luthy

Today, the customer experience (CX) landscape is drastically changing with the explosion of new and emerging technologies affecting the customer journey. With all of this change, it is now more important than ever to understand what it takes to create a strategic customer experience program.
That’s why we recently sat down with Maxwell Luthy, director of Trends & Insights at Trendwatching.com, to discuss the state of CX today and what’s in store for the future. Luthy is speaking at the upcoming Total CX Leaders Conference 2015 this spring in Miami.

This year, the two-day conference brings together thought-leadership to focus on higher level thinking around the strategic alignment of customer strategy, technology and business aspirations. Linking data driven behavior to business results, designing next generation customer experiences and measuring the impact of your customer programs is the difference between great and greater.
Here is what Luthy had to say:
IIR: What is the best customer experience you’ve had?
Luthy: Like many people, I clearly remember my first Uber. Beyond the convenience, value for money and seamless payment, the highlight for me was when I stepped out of the vehicle at my destination and saw the app’s prompt to rate the driver. It was easy to do and the journey was fresh in my mind. I particularly love how the drivers are also able to rate passengers. There are legitimate concerns about discrimination as a result of the ratings, but putting the responsibility back on to the customer to be a pleasant and punctual passenger is genius.
So much today shows how consumers are increasingly empowered in the brand-customer relationship. It’s nice to see a little power back in the providers’ hands! The customer experience benefits from both parties’ involvement in the two-way rating system. Without sounding too idealistic, drivers and passengers may become more courteous to each other around the world.
IIR: What is top of mind for you regarding customer experience in 2015?
Luthy: One of the major themes we’ve witnessed at Trendwatching.com, is how consumers are taking expectations that were cultivated online, offline. Customers who’ve grown accustomed to the personalization, customized experiences, dynamic pricing, and transparency of the online world increasingly demand those perks in the real world. Many of the trends that we track reflect this shift.
Brands must use customer data (with permission), new technologies, and old-fashioned, people-powered customer service to make sure the 2015 customer experience is personal, painless and contextualized across all channels.
IIR: What is your prediction for where customer experience is going this year and beyond?
Luthy: One way that many of the fastest growing startups around the world are providing superior customer experiences is by employing ‘peer armies.’ By utilizing a network of peers who aren’t traditional employees, businesses are able to provide local, personalized services at a national or even global level. That’s how Instacart affordably delivers products from its customers’ favorite stores in one hour. Peers can even be utilized to provide authentic product reviews, Made, a UK-based furniture e-tailer allows shoppers to view photos of products in the homes of customers who’ve already bought them. The shoppers who’ve uploaded the photos are proud of their homes and happy to improve the customer experience for others.
Another trend we will see more of is ‘honest flexilibity.’ This is where brands are honest about the limits of their product or service (they communicate it clearly to customers), yet they are as flexible as possible with their efforts to find a solution.
A great example is from BMW, who knew people hesitate to purchase an electric car when they suffer from ‘range anxiety’. In other words, what if I need to do a long journey and the battery runs out? Rather than skirt around the issue or use marketing to allay the concern, they created the ‘Add-on Mobility’ program, where those who purchase the all-electric BMW i3 can register to access other, gas-powered BMWs should they need one. This trend is exciting because firstly, it taps into the new reality that brands must be honest and open about their limits, because in the digital era consumers find out everything. Secondly, it reflects how flexible they have to be to meet consumers every increasing expectations.

Want to hear more from Luthy? Don’t miss his keynote session, ‘Key Consumer Trends to Kick Ass With’Now!’ at Total CX Leaders Conference 2015 this June in Miami. For more information about the event or to register, click here: http://bit.ly/1wDWAqv

How to Make YOUR research unboring

B2B research has an unfounded reputation for being dull and limited in scope. Using meta analysis, understanding of human behavior, and a little creativity, Freeman created a persona archetype spectrum of their most important customer audiences. This knowledge has been used to design emotionally-engaging event spaces that powerfully tell brand stories. This presentation was shared at TMRE 2014.

 

Who Says B2B Research is Boring and Emotionless? from Loretta Hudelot

  • Creativity > Make YOUR research unboring
  • Work with what you’ve got > What data, company knowledge, and partnerships can you leverage?What outside categories could you look to? 
  • Watch and improve > What response do you see? What validates? How can you improve? 

Live from #TMRE14: The Culture Shift of Segmentation

Rob Barrish, SVP at GfK, LeAnn DeHoff, Senior Manager,  Consumer Insights & Competitive Intel at ADT Security Services.

Focus was critical for this collaboration, segmentation program wass widely embraced by ADT. They focused on a framework based on Maslow’s hierachy of needs, connecting needs-based segments which they studied via digital ethnographies. They made sure to prioritize segments so that they were spending time and focus on those key categories and size them.

One typing tool may not fit all needs. Be prepared for multiple.

ADT employed  a four stage process for activation:
Immersion
Prioritization
Activation
Socialization

Think strategically:

Have a framework to guide strategy planning
integrate the segmentation into all the research
Deeper dives among the segments with our online community

Segmentation is so much more than a project, it can change the way you do business.
Enlist a cross-functional team
Take the time to do the early stage exploration
Really build a solid strategy to value segments and size those markets and opportunities

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.

Live from FOCI 2013: Big Data: Powerful Predictions Through Data Analytics

Nate Silver, a world renowned statistician and founder of fivethiryeight.com, spoke of the world of errors and predictions, very relevant to the big data environment. He evoked the thought of what kind of predictions we can trust, and how much can we trust forecasters?

Judging from Hurrican eSandy or terror attacks or unforgiving hacked tweets and the widespread reach of all these, the topic is very relevant in a world where we want to know what happens before it happens, and wish to micromanage while it happens.

Nate’s 4 suggestions are as follows:

1. Think Probabalistically: convey uncertainty knowing what can go wrong. Only if you know what you do can you know what goes wrong.

2. Know Where You’re Coming From: Know that you have a point of view, it is helpful in identification and forecasting.

3. Survey the Data Landscape: What makes data rich? Quality, quantity and variety. Understanding if you’re in a data rich or data poor environment is critical.

4. Try and Err: Experiment with real data, test hypotheses, segment the big data, and converge to a great solution.

We live in a big data and uncertain world. Never has it been more obvious that we need analytics to navigate better.

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.

Live from FOCI 2013: Transforming Weather Data into Consumer Insights

Every day, we are affected by weather. We check it 3 times a day or more, or simply intuitively. Its more important than our social media feeds, but it drives purchase intent too! It affects everything encompassing:


Your commute
What you buy
What you do
Your health
Where you eat
How you feel 
What you wear

The opportunity here is that weather is measureable and predictable. Weather is locally specific, too. It s not just the weather that influences consumer behavior, but its what is going to happen with the weather.

Its fascinating that marketing is needed as an adaptive solution, which cannot be fixed from an advertising or media perspective, the the key is to understand how you can leverage media and technology to get the word out to people. That is, keeping it local and relevant.

Its quite simple: you know how weather affects consumer behavior in the past. You know what the weather is going to be like. So marketers must intuitively put the two together to come up with an adaptive marketing strategy.

A simple and intuitive thought. Which makes so much sense!

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.

Live from FOCI 2013: Big Data & Attribution, from Fedex

2,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of data created every day. 
And are we still thinking of big data as a phenomenon?
Its a reality.

Its not just that the data is generated, its the rate at which it is generated. 90% of it has been generated in the last 2 years! Even though statistically less than 0.1% of it is useful, when you do understand and engage with the data, it adds tremendous value in fundamentally engaging with them differently. Or correctly.

Big data depends on analytics. That’s the only way to make sense of it, because data is all about the big 4 V’s.

Volume: There’s a lot of it.
Velocity: It travels fast. And is growing.
Variety: Unstructured, structured, and in various mediums – its all there.
Variability: And with variety comes the variability and usefulness of it.

The goal is to first start small: have questions you want to answer, and then get your analytics. This resonates well with social media research and related unstructured data that I’ve spoken about before too.

Ultimately, Ned Kumar from Fedex sums it up quite well, after startling statistics like 3000 transactions made per second (WOW!). “The issue isn’t information overload, its filter failure”.

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.
 

Live from FOCI 2013: Big Data, Little Data, New Data. aka Evolution

Always nice to get a big picture style history session: market research started because the data needed to make decisions was rare, which then transitioned into specialized skill sets revolving around analysis and such.

So then when did things blow up into big data?

Fast forward to today, and you have long surveys, declining responses rates, flat lined metrics, very little tie in to business performance and very low actionability. The reason for this is that data is not rare. Exponentially growing with population, it has exploded as both a challenge and an opportunity.

As Larry Friedman pointed out, its an evolution that now needs a new mind set. Old approaches are not necessarily right, and the assumption of truth is often wrong. Its almost like parenting and the generation gap, only applied to an industry. Technology will play a big role here, as he mentioned that SPSS and the likes may not work so well anymore. Multi source versus single source data will be necessary for modeling. Social media monitoring and discussion makes it easier to monitor and track responses to questions that need not be asked anymore, mostly psychographic or tracking related. What people say is acquired from social media, while tracking and timing behavior is found from other sources.

Ultimately its about the integration of different data sources – of which only one is on a survey. Evolution has never been as apparent as it is now.

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.