Global panels – what drives engagement?
27th March, 2013 - Posted by GreenfieldsPR - No Comments
In our last post on ‘What do I need to consider when designing a global panel?’ we talked about the importance of being clear on your objective for your global panel and who you want to take part in it – and how these will dictate just about every other aspect of your panel. This includes the engagement levels of your panel respondents.
It is certainly easier for consumers to engage with some brands and topics over others. People are more likely to want to talk about their favourite brand of coffee than their personal finances, for example. This is likely to be the case in most countries, but engagement with a particular brand or topic could well vary according to market.
Having an emotional investment in the brand certainly helps with engagement levels. Brand loyalty, for example, not only helps to motivate panel participation but can also negate the need for more ‘explicit’ (e.g. financial) incentives to participate. Consumers tend to invest more emotionally in brands and therefore consumer panels often enjoy higher levels of engagement than B2B panels. But don’t forget that emotions are culturally specific. That means the level to which consumers emotionally invest in a brand varies by country.
The type of panel you choose to run will naturally have an impact on engagement levels as well. A panel used to run surveys won’t achieve the same level as an interactive community that allows for two-way communication between you and your respondents.
Communicating with people in their chosen language might lead to greater engagement, but this needs to be balanced with other considerations. (See our 4th March post for more on language considerations in survey design.)
Your choice of communication channels, their content and design, will also influence respondent engagement. Are you planning to have a panel website with a members’ area? Are your target respondents likely to be online? Who is going to manage and update this with interesting content? Is what you’re saying really of interest to your panel members?
Just as language is culturally specific, so too is design. Would you render the website unbranded, fully branded or create a brand especially for it? Again, your decision will come back to who you want to engage.
Nespresso case study: A global panel in action
What is the economic climate going to be like over the next 3 years and how does that impact research?
20th December, 2012 - Posted by Paul Kavanagh - No Comments
Tough economic conditions since 2008
We have all experienced the tough economic conditions of the past four years and there has been much speculation as to whether things are getting better, worse or just staying the same.
For the research industry I would certainly say 2008 could have been called our ‘Annus horribilis’, to steal a quote from our Queen; non-essential budgets were in lock down; those budgets that survived were gradually culled throughout the year; Board rooms were a mass of speculation, sometimes over reaction and general panic about how to weather an obvious storm on the horizon.
Through 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, though the economy has still not been strong, we did see some improvement in the research marketplace as companies began to unlock restrictions on research budgets, however research teams now were being told to scrutinise every penny, raise tenders for jobs that previously would never have gone to a pitch situation and generally to try and squeeze as much out of already tight budgets as possible. As a research agency we now have to work 10 times harder to win a client and work 10 times harder to deliver the project on less budget. For many big agencies this has been painful because of their established overheads, greater difficulty in being flexible and the overall shrinking pot of money in the marketplace.
Noticeably with so many researchers being made redundant over this period, we have also seen a rise in the number of small agencies being set up providing a double whammy for the bigger agencies as the cake is being reduced at one end and being gnawed at from the other end.
So what is in store for the economy in 2013, 2014, 2015…. and onwards? And what will that mean for the research industry as a whole?
Recently I was at the Customer Engagement Summit in London and there were some excellent presentations. But one that I found particularly interesting was by a behavioural economist, a gentleman by the name of Roger Martin-Fagg. I don’t pretend to be able to repeat what Roger said or explain it in any way that will do it justice, but the essence of his presentation was:
- UK consumers have been paying off debt rather than spending, which effectively means money is being extinguished from the monetary system
- The world economy is slowing down rapidly led by Europe which will be in recession
- The UK will grow next year by no more than 0.5%
- Interest rates will remain at 0.5%
- House prices outside central London will continue to fall in real terms
- Wages will grow at under 2%, prices at 2.5%, so real incomes will continue to fall
- Individual businesses will only grow by taking market share. This will require superior VFM, customer service is a key component.
So what will that mean for research buyers and sellers?
In our view for research buyers it will mean more of the same:
- That companies will continue to spend on research, though perhaps the overall pot will not be getting any bigger
- They will continue to submit competitive tenders and have a very tight view on deliverables vs. cost
- They will shop around a lot and be open to new offers, new methodologies, new thinking, better value propositions
For the agency we suggest it will mean:
- We will need to be more creative and add more value to win pitches
- We need to work really hard with our existing clients and make sure they are getting real value and service
- Focus more on our strengths and specialism and be more selective in the tenders we respond to, to maximise both our return but also the time client side researchers are having to spend reviewing a higher number of proposals
It is going to be a tough 3 years ahead and research agencies and client side researchers will need all their skill to continue delivering good research on reduced budgets but for those delivering good service and good research, this should not be a problem!
Roger’s full presentation is available to clients and registered guests in the members’ area of our web site.
Add value and thought leadership
15th September, 2010 - Posted by Tom Raybould - No Comments
Only last week in one meeting we heard from one prospect that an incumbent agency was considered ‘complacent’ but they hadn’t actually been told that. In another there was serious doubt as to whether the account director who had been wheeled in at the start had even been involved in their project.
In a recent Research Magazine article by Steve Gatt, Economic and Insight Manager at Volkswagen Group, complained that most of the research he sees is ‘not up to scratch’ http://www.research-live.com/multimedia/video/volkswagens-insight-boss-on-inadequate-research/4003273.article, that reports are too long and don’t deliver. The article is interesting, as are the comments afterwards; there is certainly an argument that many agencies aren’t delivering, as borne out by the conversations we highlighted earlier, but clients do need to shoulder some responsibility too, only too often briefs are vague and ill conceived.
Perhaps being a smaller research consultancy with senior staff helps us to be more focused on adding value and it is encouraging that the ethos that we set out on day 1 at Beehive is not always shared by some agencies we compete against. Certainly some of the comments in lieu of Steve’s article suggest that smaller boutique agencies should be considered more because of the add value they can bring and this certainly rings true with many organizations we have spoken with.
Maybe the current macro economic climate is a good thing for clients and agencies alike and will force the industry to deliver added value to our customers’ and make everyone take a more strategic approach. We strongly believe the industry as a whole should be striving even harder to go that extra mile, to over deliver not under deliver and that by understanding our clients and prospects better will help us to deliver:
- A more strategic approach – one where our solutions meet with the wider context of business objectives and research requirements
- Creativity in our research solutions
- A pro-active service where Account Directors remain involved and keep clients fully informed – sounds simple but not always done
- Better advise on mitigation of risks before they arise – and not being scared to raise them at proposal stage in case it puts the client off
- Solutions that are what a client needs and not what we want to sell them
- Forward thinking and innovative methods that are selectively used to enhance the recipe
What is good today may not be good enough tomorrow and perhaps we should just strive for excellent today, that way tomorrow has to be excellent too.
It’s certainly an ethos we will continue to strive for, but we also believe clients need to take responsibility more and reward agencies that go the extra mile.