Consumer Consulting Boards by Tom de Ruyck #NetGain8 #MRX

Live blogging from MRIA’s #NetGain8 conference in Toronto. Any errors or stupid jokes are my own.


Tom de Ruyck, Head of Research Communities, Insites, Belgium

Consumer Consulting Boards (MROCs):
Integrating the Voice-of-the-Customer across the Entire Enterprise

  • consumers have the power to make or break a brand
  • brands don’t have full control over what is being said about your brand
  • fans want to have a say in the future of their brand
  • consumers expect better, faster, stronger every single day
  • being open and agile is what consumers need to be, but most companies are not here
  • most companies think they have two way dialogues with consumers but most don’t, they are faking it or not really doing it, they are afraid of starting a dialogue
  • it can take 18 months to bring a new “ketchup” into a shop – that is not agile! There is too much passing between departments. Need to stop ad hoc projects and we need to work on teams not departments.
  • customers are the best consultants a company can hire. obviously customers know more than someone whose only been the brand manager for a year or two. The brand manager knows the marketing, consumers know the product.
  • your brand fans might be the toughest audience ever, they become angry when the brand team do something wrong
  • consumers consulting boards are closed long term communities – you can have clashes of ideas which can spark great ideas
  • it’s one piece of the puzzle to be a more open company, a community doesn’t necessarily mean you are more agile though
  • to succeed, you need the right people on board – find people who are TRULY fans of the brand who are interested and interesting, you don’t need a “rep” brand. instead of the 2 out of 8 people in your focus group who are interesting, why not just do the research with those 2 – plus more of those 2.
  • to succeed, you need the right number of people – 50 intense participants is enough, 150 or more is when they start to interact less and it’s more difficult for the moderator to probe
  • to succeed, you need engagement – tell them about the research and the incentive which is feedback and maybe a small gift, maybe a basket of products they have worked on. they like to show it off to their family and friends.
  • “i was part of a global team that redesigned the Heinz ketchup bottle” – that kind of incentive works, it doesn’t always have to be dollars
  • people tell you more if one of the moderators is joe-participant, they may not ask the research questions but they know what buttons to press
  • why would you NOT have a 16 year old girl help you analyze data from 16 year old girls [darn right!]
  • [communities sound like gamification of surveys if you do them right]
  • give people a different hat to release them from social or cultural issues – “You are now the boss”  “You must tell us all the bad things you see”

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  1. […] Consumer consulting boards by Tom De Ruyck – Speaking of Canada, Annie liveblogged the recent MRIA conference in Toronto, NetGain 8, […]

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