Innovation Journey: Is It Better to be Lucky or Good?

Is it better to be lucky or good?

Editor’s Note: Our Consumer & Retail team is launching a blog series for the retail and FMCG industries. In the coming months, we’ll share our thoughts on recent advancements—backed by real-world examples—around the consumer journey from innovation and personalization to channel attribution/interaction and omnichannel marketing. Subscribe to FreshMR now so you don’t miss any updates.

The retail and FMCG industries face an uncertain marketplace where prior known certainties can no longer be relied upon. In that reality, there is nothing quite as exciting in product development research as helping clients discover the products of the future.

One notable example is the number of clients who have asked us to help them develop “company-specific norms.” Many clients have relied on ‘generic’ norms for their simulated market testing, but they’re now ready to move in a different direction. Why? One client responded quite clearly, “We’ve found ourselves developing concepts to ‘beat’ the testing process to move forward, rather than to actually meet consumer and market needs.” The tail was wagging the dog, and potential new products were being designed to beat the process. As a result, the process had become more important than the outcome. Changing the way they looked at normative data was just one way in which this company was trying to reassess their innovation journey to change success/failure outcomes.

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Measuring Physician Relationships in a Changing Pharma Environment

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Editor’s Note: If your company needs to understand where to focus resources in an increasingly complex, multi-channel world, please join our Life Sciences division for Beyond Sales Effectiveness: A Holistic Measure of Stakeholder Experience on March 29.

The world is always changing, and the pharmaceutical industry is no exception.

The Way Things Were

Customer experience research in pharma used to be heavily centered on sales representative performance because they were the “face” of the pharma company and the primary touch point with physicians. They had significant opportunity to form close, personal relationships. Research studies focused on whether sales reps were knowledgeable and professional, respected the physician’s time and helped enable physicians to better take care of patients. But a lot has changed in the past few years…

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Hurricane Season = Outage Season = Decreased Customer Sat… Or Does It?

Turn Outages Into Positive Customer Satisfaction and Brand Trust Scores

Insights Powered by Cogent Reports™    

Hurricane Season = Outage Season = Decreased Customer Sat… Or Does It?

Hurricane Hermine, a category 1 hurricane, knocked out power for more than 300,000 people in Florida before it creeped up and away from the east coast. Most of the electric utilities responsible for the territories in the wake of the storm spent their holiday weekend scrambling to restore power. How each utility performed and communicated with its customers will impact their satisfaction with and trust in their utility. Most utilities’ customer satisfaction and trust scores will decline, but a handful of utilities have figured out how to actually improve their satisfaction and trust scores during power outages.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Up to half of a utility’s Operational Satisfaction score is driven by reliability, according to the Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study. Additionally, slightly over one-third of a utility’s Brand Trust score directly relates to how the utility responds when the power does go out. For decades, utilities have assumed that power outages depress customer satisfaction and trust, and for good reason—most utilities see this phenomenon in their customer research.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.
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The Participant is in Charge

Businessman Filling Survey Form

I had the pleasure of attending “How Advertising Works Now: The Consumer and Customer in Charge,” a really cool event run by The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) in Minneapolis last week. The day was hosted by UnitedHealth Group (UHG) at a facility owned by its Optum brand. This was very appropriate as the day focused a good deal on data, analytics and creating meaningful insights—a bit like Optum. Of course, these are issues we focus on every day—how to best use the data at our fingertips to help clients make confident business decisions.

While Market Strategies has a long history in advertising and communications research, this event featured some great speakers and original research that the ARF had commissioned, so even for those of us who have been in the business a long time, it was of great interest.

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Utilities Face a Widening Communication Gap

Utility communication professionals need to become more strategic as technology changes the way customers want to access information.

Utilities Face a Widening Communication Gap

Utilities have a widening communication gap with their customers, hindering utilities’ ability to engage with customers and build brand trust.

According to our recent Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study, 54% of residential customers want to hear from their utility via digital media—email, texts, mobile apps, online advertising, social media or websites—making digital communication the most preferred of any communication channel. And yet, only 33% of consumers recall any digital communication from their utility.

Communication Medium Response

That’s a significant mismatch of 21 percentage points. Today, utility communication strategies are stuck in the past, at a time prior to the rise of the smartphone and the tablet. In order to remain relevant, utilities need to develop communication plans that embrace new technologies to address consumer expectations of the new millennium.

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Fixing Pain Points that Influence the Consumer Journey

Fixing Pain PointsHow many times have you been on an airplane waiting to take off when the announcement comes on that there’s a ‘minor repair’ to be fixed that will delay departure by 20 minutes? Chances are we’ve all been there, but we typically view this as a minor inconvenience, especially if we make our connections and arrive at our final destination safe and sound. Or, what if your baggage doesn’t arrive? That may be a bigger pain point but perhaps still tolerable, if it gets delivered. When inconveniences are resolved quickly, most customers remain loyal to the airline—especially if they have status—but, it does influence your overall perception.

For brands, these pain points represent opportunity. We often put most of our attention and goal setting based purely on ratings of performance metrics for areas we do or don’t do well. Yet how often do we look through a different lens to identify specific moments of truth that represent problem areas for improvement?

To design a more robust customer experience (CX) research program that measures interactions across all aspects of the consumer journey, brands need to combine the power of a modeling key driver analysis with a “Things Gone Wrong” analysis to get a strategic view of what to do more of and less of.

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Day Three: Live Blogging from @TMRE14

Hello, friends–starting Day Three @TMRE14, and the presentations are still going strong!

First, let me start by giving kudos to Mark Willard and Mary Lee, AAA, on a great presentation about customer experience yesterday! Great audience, great questions! Email me if you want to learn more about our CX solution and closed-loop portal.

willard lee presenting

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Day Two: Live Blogging from @TMRE14

Mark Willard and Mary Lee, AAA, will take the stage @TMRE in one hour to share an amazing case study about customer experience: “Revolutionizing CX: How AAA Turned Satisfied Customers into Loyal Advocates” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21 in Estate 1. 


The gist? AAA needed transaction research to fix customer issues and strategic relationship research to link micro-feedback to operations. By designing a new measurement program and a built-in, closed-loop system, Market Strategies helped AAA revolutionize its member experience program and empower employees to make lasting improvements in customer experience. As Mary puts it, “Partnering with one firm to do transaction-level and strategic research is like having your cake and eating it, too.” 

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Live Blogging from @TMRE14!

Market Strategies International has arrived at The Market Research Event (TMRE) in Boca Raton! I’m here with colleagues Mark Willard, Loribeth McCann, Paul Donagher, Randall Hula, Tish Hasting, and, of course, our esteemed client from AAA, Mary Lee.

As Market Strategies’ humble event blogger, I’ll be sharing thoughts, notes and pics of the conference, including highlights from our own presentation with AAA. Be sure to attend: “Revolutionizing CX: How AAA Turned Satisfied Customers into Loyal Advocates” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21 in Estate 1. 

Here are my first pics of the day. One thing is for sure–we will not be roughing it for the next few days!.

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Headed to Boca Raton for @TMRE

To all our market research friends–and new friends we hope to meet–Market Strategies is heading to Boca Raton to participate in the largest market research event of the year: TMRE! This year, I’m excited to be sharing a very cool case study about customer experience research with Mary Lee, director of member experience for AAA. If you’re attending, please join us for, “Revolutionizing CX: How AAA Turned Satisfied Customers into Loyal Advocates” at 2:30 on Tuesday, October 21 in Estate 1 at the Boca Raton Resort.

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