Monday, 27 March 2017

The heartbeat of modern marketing : Data activation and personalisation

We’ve come a long way from “People who bought this, also bought that.”
Consider the experience of a representative customer we’ll call Jane. An affluent, married mom and homeowner, Jane shops at a national clothing retailer online, in the store, and occasionally via the app. When visiting the retailer’s website in search of yoga pants, she finds style choices based on previous purchases, the purchases of customers with profiles similar to hers, and the styles of yoga pants most frequently purchased on weekends. She adds one of the offered yoga pants to her shopping cart and checks out
With the exception of a follow-up email, most interactions with the customer stop there. But here’s what this example looks like when we activate Jane’s data: Three days after her online purchase, the retailer sends Jane a health-themed email. Intrigued, she clicks the link and watches a video about raising healthy kids. One week later, she receives an iPhone message nudging her to use the store’s mobile app to unlock a 15 percent one-day discount on workout equipment. Though she has never bought such items at this retailer, Jane takes advantage of the offer and purchases a new sports bag. What began as a simple task of buying yoga pants ended up being a much more engaged experience.
Such data-activated marketing based on a person’s real-time needs, interests, and behaviors represents an important part of the new horizon of growth. It can boost total sales by 15 to 20 percent, and digital sales even more while significantly improving the ROI on marketing spend across marketing channels: from websites and mobile apps to—in the not-too-distant future—VR headsets and connected cars.
[For rest of article, read HERE]

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Considering a career in marketing research? Why not?

This blog was written by Naomi Potter, Research Executive
As the youngest research staff member at DJS Research, I like to think I have a bit of a different view on working within the market research industry.
I joined the company through the graduate scheme last year, shortly after I graduated from the University of Aberdeen. Throughout my time here I have received so many titbits of good advice, and they have really helped me to settle in and progress. Therefore, I thought I would share my four biggest lessons from the last six months in the hope that they might be of some use to you, particularly if you too are considering a career in market research

Market research careers DJS Research

Lesson 1: Say yes!
The most significant, yet simple, piece of advice I have received was to take opportunities for as many things as possible. By following this mantra, my experience has absolutely rocketed. Amongst some of the weird and wonderful things I have been involved in, I have: been thoroughly lost on the way to a remote sawmill, interviewed students alone in Glasgow for a week, managed a hall test in Hull, presented at the headquarters of a leading energy supplier and watched a member of the Royal Family fly a helicopter ambulance. All of these experiences materialised because I challenged myself to step outside my comfort zone. Funnily enough, these are the instances that have provided me with the best opportunities to develop.
It has also helped me to create a lot of time and space for myself to grow within the role. By taking as many opportunities as possible you develop along a steep learning curve. I have found it helpful to fully consolidate new skills by seeking feedback from colleagues. At DJS Research, there is a real sense of team spirit so I find that this is an easy step to make. Taking the time to digest the experience makes it much more valuable in the long run.
Lesson 2: Variety is the spice of life
Now I have covered what you might need to put in to your career to reap the greatest rewards, let me tell you why I think my job is absolutely fantastic…
I couldn’t tell you what an average day in market research looks like. This week, I will be in London scribing for a public-sector workshop, managing projects in the office and meeting with a client on an airbase for a project in the charity sector. As a curious person, these experiences refresh my sense of engagement and energy. Day-to-day variations mean there is constant opportunity for growth.
Somebody once told me that part of being a market researcher is the ability to become an expert on incredibly specific and sometimes rather obscure topics. For me, that is all part of the fun.
Lesson 3: Build on what you do well
I chose market research as a career primarily as it offered me the opportunity to build on things I not only enjoy doing, but I feel that I am good at too. I have found that there are lots of opportunities to identify areas where your personal interests can add value.
My anthropological background means that my interest is grounded in the sociocultural aspect of research. I was inspired by a presentation given at the recent MRS conference in Manchester last year, where ethnographical research methods were discussed in terms of what they can offer in the market research industry. The presentation hammered home the strong link between the skills I had acquired during my studies and the research methods I use day-to-day. On returning to the office, I found that there were even more opportunities to build on these interests than I had previously thought. For example, volunteering to write a desk research report on the factors influencing recruitment in the construction industry. I really enjoy giving that bit extra and sharing what makes me tick.
Within the company, different people have naturally gravitated towards different industry focuses. These people have become well versed in the areas that interest them and, while they work on other projects too, their expertise in these areas adds colour and inspiration to their approach. While I think it is important to experience as many different things as possible in these early stages of my career, I look forward to the possibility becoming known for my work in a particular area.
Lesson 4: Be a people person
To be a researcher means a lot of time working with, writing about and speaking to, people. It is important that you are interested in and enjoy these interactions, as it really shows.
You have to be adaptable. Think: swinging from speaking to a student about the difficulties of drinking on a night out while managing their diabetes, to discussing the intricate details of energy usage monitoring with a Power Operations Manager. As DJS Research is a full-service market research agency we have complete teams in the computer-assisted telephone unit, field and data, data support and recruitment. Part of doing the job well is building relationships with your colleagues, understanding the pressures of their role and working out how to support each other in the best possible way.
Finally, consider the most important relationship on the project, the one between yourself and your client. I have found it helpful to keep in mind that projects cannot be dealt with using a cookie-cutter approach, that personal connection is important in your interactions with clients and that a successful project relies on collaboration.
On a grander scale, market research is at its core attempting to tap into the lives of people, real people, and seeking to understand what drives and motivates them.
So, there you have it. My four biggest take-away points after half a year of working in the industry. I’m counting on having much more to say in the years to come…

Friday, 24 March 2017

Capturing value from your customer data

Companies can put their information to work by teasing out novel patterns, driving productivity, and creating new solutions.
In an increasingly customer-centric world, the ability to capture and use customer insights to shape products, solutions, and the buying experience as a whole is critically important. Research tells us that organizations that leverage customer behavioral insights outperform peers by 85 percent in sales growth and more than 25 percent in gross margin.  Customer data must be seen as strategic.
Yet most companies are using only a fraction of the data in their possession. Sprawling legacy systems, siloed databases, and sporadic automation are common obstacles. Models and dashboards may be forced to rely on stale data, and core processes may require considerable manual intervention. Often, too, organizations may not have a clear understanding of the specific outcomes they’re looking to achieve through data optimization. All that is leaving significant value on the table.
How much, you ask? A McKinsey survey of more than 700 organizations worldwide found that spending on analytics to gain competitive intelligence on future market conditions, to target customers more successfully, and to optimize operations and supply chains generated operating-profit increases in the 6 percent range.
Our work suggests that these returns don’t have to be confined to a handful of top players. Rather, when it comes to generating measurable value from their data, most organizations have plenty of low-hanging fruit they have yet to harvest.
[For rest of article, read HERE ... ]