Tag Archives: customer

Jobs to be Done: A Roadmap for Customer-Centered Innovation by Stephen Wunker, New Markets Advisors

Live note-taking at the November 10, 2016, webinar. Any errors are my own.

  • People aren’t just buying products or services, they are trying to get things done, many ways to get these things done
  • How can we sell more ice cream? No calories, better distribution. Now think about you personally the last time you had ice cream, why did you have it? Completely different answers, nice way to end the evening, bribe the kids, want to cool down after a run, playgrounds, coffee, cigarettes, beer are the competition. It’s not an ice-cream company and the competition is much broader.
  • Can do job quicker and faster because you’re more targeted on what needs to be done
  • Need to know why consumers prioritize certain jobs and why they buy the things they buy
  • When: understand target markets fully and meet the needs of multiple stakeholders
  • How: address root causes and specific use cases
  • Why: broad solution space base don both functional and emotional insights
  • Discover the jobs, what do stakeholders want to accomplish, what are the pain points and current approaches but don’t start there are you will miss the why
  • Identify the success criteria and investigate the obstacles, go into detailed planning
  • Assess the value and beat the competition, do NOT start by trying to beat the competition
  • Credit card company – are you in the ‘gold card’ segment? Not very sophisticated. Add demographics which isn’t much better. Maybe go further with ten life-stage segments (college students, couple with baby) but this is not all that predictive for a gold credit card. Company really wanted to attract high spenders – business travelers, small business owners who put business charges on personal cards, these are very different people. Not everyone is seeking more even though that’s what we’re trying to give them. Business travelers might want instead preferential events so they can connect with their family at home.
  • Toothpaste – satisfies a very specific job. Is Wisp the worst toothbrush? It’s hardly a toothbrush at all. But it’s a huge category success. Has a very clear view of the customer. People who travel during the day and it’s hard to brush your teeth when you’re away, don’t want to carry a wet toothbrush. You don’t need a dental hygiene cleaning, you need to make sure there’s no broccoli in your teeth. Can’t be bulky. Have to be okay with throwing it away. [Darn, they almost had me until I heard it’s disposable]
  • Décor Aid redefined the norm by focusing on hundreds or low thousands of dollars clients, not hundreds of thousands. Value of freshening a living room before a party. Give you a newly interesting den. No obvious competition other than DIY and maybe it looking like DIY.
  • Go from big to narrow, get more targeted over time.
  • Case study – prepared food company expanding product portfolio. Functional job – budget, nourish, reduce time on menial tasks, eat healthy. Emotional job – unwind, bond, try new things, variety, demonstrate caring, express creativity. Makes more sense to start with the emotional jobs in this case – “feed yourself” isn’t very useful. Success criteria – tasty, filling, healthy, easy, fresh, variety. Obstacles – lack of energy, lack of ideas, distractions, cravings, timing. There are industry benchmarks and you have to be prepared to break those so you can stand alone a bit. Myth – couples want quick meals is more correctly couples want easy meals.
  • Jobs To Be Done goes different than needs or features. It’s only one piece of understanding the market. Don’t compete on features.
  • Map the entire process of customer behaviour and keep digging to get a root causes. Be a kindergartner and keep asking why why why. Create a hierarchy of stakeholder jobs and priorities. Satisfy both functional and emotional jobs.
  • Get out of the conference room and talk to actual people. people have a hard time telling you these kinds of things on a questionnaire. You can quantify context and experience, you can ask about frequencies. And then qualitative gives you the full experience
  • Two segments is probably too simplistic and too many is unreasonable. Direct mail gives you more options for more segments. 4 to 7 is probably a good balance to exploit richness of the world but not getting over detailed.







How to create a loyal following like Lady Gaga by Jackie Huba #CMACX #MRX

Live blogging from the MRIA/CMA #CMACX customer experience conference in Toronto. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

How To Create A Loyal Following Like Lady Gaga

Jackie Huba, Author, Speaker, Consultant

  • Lady Gaga has only been around for 6 years but everyone knows her nameCMA
  • 24 million album, 15 grammy nods, 5 grammy wins, 41 million twitter followers
  • Gaga focuses on the one percent of fans who really care
  • Her fans are of all ages
  • If you are first in line for her concert, you get to meet Lady Gaga. People wait in line all week to be first.
  • 1% can be really crazy people. It doesn’t mean they’re nutballs or crazy, they could be your best most die-hard fans. The weirdness is centered around love.
  • Are there huge fans of Costco? Yes. Even though it’s just a discount warehouse. There are 1%ers everywhere.
  • 1%ers can be virtual salespeople. What if you didn’t KNOW you have lots of 1%ers
  • it is 5times cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one. we spend so much time on getting customers.
  • Troy Carter – it’s more important to have one million diehard customers than 54 million facebook likes
  • Lead with values.
  • Lady Gaga was initially popular in the LGBT crowd and she never forgot them. “Born this way” album and song were for them. People told her the song gave them strength to not end their lives. Gaga created a Born This Way foundation to promote bravery, acceptance, love to this community.  She even let people hang out on the tour bus and there were counselors available if you needed them.
  • Companies that lead with better do better financially
  • “Method” brand of soap/cleanser. Brand started as a catalyst in a happy, healthy home revolution. Kicked off category of green cleaning and did well until the recession.
  • Build community – 1%ers love to connect with other people like them. It feels weird to be weird so it’s good to connect with others like you.
  • Gaga created a social network just for her fans. “Little Monsters” https://littlemonsters.com/ It translates 100 languages in real time. Gaga posts messages here just for her fans, her hair, her choreography, her weight. She interacts with them personally. NOT on facebook, NOT on twitter.
  • MINI does this well. There are fan clubs around the country organized by 1%ers, not the company.
  • “MINI takes the stakes” A ten day trek across new york. 300 minis might show up at events. 89 people drove the entire trek. This is what 1%ers do.
  • Generate something to talk about. People can talk about things but eventually they run out of topics. Gaga has a perfume.  This is a crowded field. She wanted something different – it looks black  in the bottle, but it’s clear inside. She created a ten minute movie about the perfume.
  • Was the fastest selling perfume after Chanel 5.
  • She pushed to do something completely different.
  • ALAMO drafthouse cinema always tries to stand out. provide an awesome experience for true movie fans – quote along, sing along shows. “We do not play ads. We do not allow small children. We do not allow unaccompanied minors. We do not allow late comers. If you keep talking or texting we will throw you out with no refund.”  [YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] Remember their viral video?
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L3eeC2lJZs

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Fueling Passion in the National Hockey League (NHL) #CMACX #MRX

Live blogging from the MRIA/CMA #CMACX customer experience conference in Toronto. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Fuelling Passion

Don Mayo, Managing Director, IMI International; Kyle McMann, Group VP, Integrated Sales, National Hockey League

  • Take an experience of dissatisfaction and create positive engagementCMA
  • The way we engage the most important people will be the deciding factor in whether you win or lose
  • Do it right – stop doing what doesn’t work, that gives you money to do more of what’s right
  • Goal is to get 80% of initiatives working, not just 50%
  • In sports, the purchase funnel is passion
  • Need to consider stats, history, traditions, game understanding, players, events, team rivalry – but not everyone knows all of these things.
  • Most people can understand team rivalry and events even if they don’t know the game
  • Goal is to grow fan value
  • 80% of viewership is predicated on whether their favorite team is playing
  • There was no League Halo for our clubs
  • Need to deepen fan engagement – use new platforms and create entryways for new fans – national event platforms. And this ought to start as soon as the season starts not 6 weeks into the season. Today, compared to 6 years ago, there are many more events.  Bring in big name musicians to show that it’s more than just hockey, it’s an activation point for corporate buyers.
  • Need to have big matchups in big venues to drive fan behaviour
  • Add more to it. Turn celebrations into TV shows and week long events. Avid fans really want to know and casual fans just want to see the hot guy.
  • Need to meet fan needs on ANY device. Build the platforms that fans want in the voice they want at the time they want.
  • Let the fans who will be on the cover of _______.
  • Need to break through tribalism. 50% drop out if their team isn’t playing.  All these activities delayed the loss of markets as teams were eliminated.
  • Twice as many avid fans as any other major sports property in Canada. Grown 7% in past 5 years. 73%of 13-65 of Canadians are fans of NHL.
  • 5% more fans pay close attention to promotions for the NHL now.
  • Television + digital + word of mouth are the 3 awareness sources
  • If you know it’s going to be -15 degrees at an outdoor game, sponsor a ‘warming’ tent and don’t even try to sell your product in it. Don’t need to move them indoors, fans are still happy if you treat them right.

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Rethinking mobile, social, and video by B.B. Bough #CMACX #MRX

Live blogging from the MRIA/CMA #CMACX customer experience conference in Toronto. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Rethinking Mobile, Social And Video, B. Bonin Bough, Vice President, Global Media and Consumer Engagment, Mondelēz International

  • “all media is digital”CMA
  • media is more than simple awareness, media is more than the media you are using today
  • soap operas did indeed come from CPG companies creating media to sell soap
  • we are the most distracted society in human history “multi-task”
  • 7 billion people on earth, 5.1 billion own a phone, 4.2 billion own a toothbrush
  • iphone took 2 years for widespread adoption compared to radio and tv that took 50 years
  • “Getting to 10” want to spend 10% on mobile – aspiration with allocation is meaningless
  • Video equivalency – we are consuming more video on smaller devices, didn’t have strategies to gain back this reach
  • Social TV – content consumption is up but engagement is down and it’s because of the phone, commercials mean it’s time to text and email, we no longer tacitly hear the messages any more
  • Mobile impulse – one device you have during the entire journey
  • Loyalty – retailer no longer owns the loyalty relationship, the device owns the path to a relationship
  • allow consumers to clip and share
  • Colbert and the wheat thins sponsortunity – Colbert decided to just read the “how we view our brand” on air
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqyK8WA2zxU
  • Created 6 second vines in front of every video spot. Used Vine celebrities. Created 22 every day for Trident Layers. Got millions of views every day. They had the #1 branded Vine. Created increased purchase intent.
  • “Twist Lick and Dump” game for Oreos.  4 million downloads, 2 billion oreos dunked, #1 app in 12 countries, 1000 years spent playing the game, 250000 active users, 5 major awards won. Can direct message them and drive to purchase. The game cost about $100 000
  • You can create a start-up feel within a big company – intra-preneurs
  • The best way to predict the future is to hack it [hell ya]

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The toughness of soft skills by Steven Tramposch, Heineken #CMACX #MRX

Live blogging from the MRIA/CMA #CMACX customer experience conference in Toronto. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

The Toughness Of Soft Skills

Steven Tramposch, VP Consumer and Marketing Intelligence, Heineken USA

  • 3rd largest brewer in the world, #1 in Europe, operate in 71 countriesCMA
  • How do transform a bar/restaurant beer to a home/house company
  • Applied marketing to the market research function, needed to change the market research function
  • System 1 and System 2 – facts and feelings
  • It’s not enough to be right. There are feelings, history, relationships and more that we need to tap into.
  • Need to know “What’s in it for me”, the customer
  • rebranded as consumer market intelligence, global function
  • Sought one definition of market share, etc measurements globally – one version of the truth
  • Created a video to put the consumer at the center, celebrate the world of Heineken
  • Created a logo for their department
  • Created a tagline for their department – we know, we share, we inspire
  • Think of the research department as the co-pilot. Need to make sure we share the important messages with the right people. Constantly air the key points.

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Mix in a little India #CMACX #MRX

Live blogging from the MRIA/CMA #CMACX customer experience conference in Toronto. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Mix In A Little India: How Patak’s Understanding Of The Their Consumers Led To The Brand’s Growth

Anagha Patwardhan, Vice-President, Research & Incite Consultants; Ron Tite, CEO, The Tite Group; Vikram Verghese, Marketing Manager – Americas, AB World Foods Ltd


  • Messages must be as tailored for specific customers as possible
  • There are many assumptions about how Canadians interact with Indian foods. Most popular flavor – butter chicken. Then second is tikka masala.
  • A lot of flavours are becoming mainstream in countries far removed from their origin
  • The path to growth – understanding needs and barriers, translating into actionable ideas, willingness to implement new ideas, delivering to customer expectations [I suspect willingness is the biggest barrier]
  • 3 paths from consumer measurement – distribution, direction for NPD, communications
  • Ethnic channel is no longer the main source, mainstream was the main
  • Loyalty was not high, if you were not seen you were not bought and it encouraged trial of another brand
  • The top brand can do all the heavy work by bringing people in but if they aren’t seen, then they’re just encouraging trial of the other brands that are there
  • Create in-store excitement – used Diwali to bring the brand out of the aisle and into a display. Triggered the celebration of an even lesser known special day to bring the brand out again. Also successful.
  • Patak is seen as the most authentic brand, replicate restaurant experience. 
  • Neutralized the negatives by moving all canned products to jars
  • Consumers are ready for more spice, more heat, but still can’t mess with perfection. Created a red packaged variety that was authentic, more indian cues, paisley design, deeper colours, contemporary make-over.
  • Used words like “creamy coconut” and more familiar words to attract new people
  • Created smaller packages for trial
  • Used social analytics to fine tune thinking about consumers. two segments – ethnic community, and non-southeast asians. There is a lack of conversation about such a great flavour and product, people really only talked about coupons and jar sizes. People wanted education and there was none.
  • Created a “brand belief.” Every brand is more than the list of ingredients and jar sizes. Found the customer was way more progressive than we thought. They were ok with having indian aspects of culture, made us feel more canadian, more like we are the mosaic we pride ourselves on.
  • Once people try one ethnic food, they will try more from that area.
  • “Singh out loud” Put the ‘dot’ on the forehead of Mona Lisa. Tried a non-traditional advertising campaign. [apologies, not sure about the correct name]
  • Used the Zero Moment Of Truth  – Stimulus, search, read reviews, watch videos, ask your network, shelf.
  • Mix in a little corporate – pursuit of better way, make it happen, consumer focus, nimbleness, pioneering


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How Mondelez captured the heart of Canadians during the Sochi Olympics #CMACX #MRX

Live blogging from the MRIA/CMA #CMACX customer experience conference in Toronto. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Harnessing The Power Of Emotion – How Mondelēz Canada Was Able To Capture The Heart And Minds Of Canadian During The Sochi Olympics


Aditi Burman, Senior Brand Manager Consumer Promotion and Scale, Mondelēz International

Simon Creet, Chief Creative Officer, The Hive

Chris Irwin, Journalist, Head Producer Sochi Winter Games, CBC

  • Our brands reflect little moments of job – cadbury, oreo
  • Goals 1) win at retail 2) bring joy to canadian consumers 3) create pride for employees
  • Didn’t have the same big budgets as other global sponsors.
  • Key to success was collaboration – launched for four olympics skus in four months – oreo, ritz, chips ahoy, maple leaf
  • It had to make sense coming from a snacking brand – snacks are not a sport, needed a really good idea
  • The space was crowded, needed unique positioning
  • Joy campaigns – joy that happens when you share an oreo, bicycle factory is the joy of giving bicycles to kids in ghana
  • Joy campaign for olympics turned into Pride and Joy – celebrate moments of joy and pride that happen at the olympics using two cartoon characters, put the character on the products,  created in-store displays, including “win along with canada” by downloading an app with the olympics schedule, pushed out notification near instantly and these included prizes, e.g,. when canada walked out into opening ceremonies, when we won a medal, when fans made their own medals, the selfie trend, #beardmode popularity
  • Much of the work happened real time, worked directly with CBC to make it happen
  • “Take me somewhere” and “Tell me a story.” These two things were the main goal of CBC
  • People want athletes, history, community, culture, results, science, connection, all of these for the best possible story
  • The entire process includes build awareness, interest, anticipation, hype, the moment, reactions, encore. They want to be in between the moment and reactions.
  • “We don’t want to put cups on tables and logos on walls.” Being late in the game was good and bad – insufficient time to do certain things but now they could see the gaps. Were they prepared for the fact that the word “Pride” could be seen differently than what they thought, was it a problem.  Discovered no one was in the space of light and humorous. It’s just cookies for crying out loud.
  • Needed it customizable, and changeable in the last 30 seconds. Promoted until noon, prime-time summaries in the evening. 18 days, 25 animations. Don’t make people think about pride and joy, just SAY pride and joy. Got 59 000 app downloads. 10 000 mentions, lots of great metrics.

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Mind, Mood, Music, and Marketing by A.K. Pradeep (Great talk!) #CMACX #MRX

Live blogging from the MRIA/CMA #CMACX customer experience conference in Toronto. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Opening Keynote: Mind, Mood, Music, And Marketing

Dr. A.K. Pradeep
Chairman, Nielsen NeuroFocus


  • He starts with just four slides. [so what has he got up his sleeve?]
  • Worst environment for the human brain is the retail store. Why is it so harsh for the brain? 100 million bits of information rush towards the brain, consciously we can process 40 bits. Brain uses 25% of body’s oxygen and it gets really tired trying to process all this information. The web store is no different.
  • The rule of 3 – 3 image groups and you’re done, too tired. ever been to a website that had only 3 image groups? never.
  • Turn off your preconceived notions of how retail stores ought to be. Forget what marketing school taught you.
  • “The most amazing creature on the planet – me”  [funny dude 🙂 ]
  • Attention – emotion – memory – are measured directly in the brain
  • Brain is programmed to seek novelty – even as we listen to this talk – is this new? is this new? is this new?
  • Any confusing experience will not be liked. Must be understandable.
  • Information – do i have enough information to decide. “category busting metric” – eg megapixels for cameras, for computers it’s gigahertz, nobody knows what it is but we know we need it, for cola it’s zero calories, what is it for YOUR product, if you don’t have one, your brain will create one called “Price.”
  • Interaction – in an apple store, can you play with every product and every piece of software? yes! In Best Buy, most products are locked up, you can’t interact with them. In your product category, is there any interaction you can give your consumer? Interaction is critical especially for female shoppers. Women shop, men buy. Women are experience seekers. Men are transaction seekers. Purchase journey is cliche and boring. [DAMN RIGHT. and it’s wrong.] This journey does not exist.
  • Entertainment – Entertain me in the aisle. Does this audience want to see pictures of brains? We want information but we want to be shamelessly entertained. It’s ok. Am I entertaining the consumer at the point of purchase online. Southwest airlines tells you a joke. Apple Store employees all look like funny geeks. Don’t be wrapped up your boring self. You’re not saving the planet. You’re selling stuff.
  • Education – Brains crave one new fact.  Did you know the brain uses 25% of the brains energy? It is a reward mechanism, dopamine.  Little facts are dopamine squirters.  This is why people share stupid facts all day on social media.
  • Simplicity – This is the most complicated concept. Rule of 3 applies here too. Before, during, after. Past, present, future. Always divide things into threes. 3 types of gatorade, 3 types of skin cleanser. Create subbrands that dovetail and fit in with consumer experience. Images on the left, words on the right. Left visual field is processed by right brain and vice versa. If you don’t put images on the proper side, the brain has to take an extra step and shift it over to the correct side and this takes more brain energy. Babies look at faces 400 times, want to engage with your face. Why do ads show people looking out into the distance? It makes us take an extra step in the brain for processing. Pet food makers put puppies and owners on the food bag. BUT, humans have to touch animals, want to touch the damn dog! This is frustrating for the brain. Female brains read everything, men just look at the pictures. Women use 20 000 words a day, men 7000 words including grunts and groans. [He’s being funny. again. 🙂 ]  Men need visual. Women need words.
  • Satisfaction – “Hand feel”  Homunculus – every part of the body has a part in the brain. Your palms and your lips take up 60% of your brain power. Coke tastest better from a bottle than a can. The shape of the bottle creates sensations in your palms much more than the generic shape of a can. Can I taste a cookie through the package? Can you make my brain fire before I experience your product? [scratch and sniff cookie package!  🙂 ]  Do you peel the label off of bottles? You are creating stimulation for your brain. I.e., if people are peeling packages while you’re talking, you are BORING!  Customer experience is painting a masterpiece. You can’t just paint a gorgeous face, every step counts.
  • Self-Worth – Sales people always say you look amazing when you try on new clothes. We know they’re lying. But we like it. We want it even though it’s not true.  Every time your consumer has an experience with you, how have you made them feel better about themselves? What about when they ask you at the checkout counter by asking “Would you like to donate $1 to save a child”? No, they lowered your self esteem because now you feel horrible about not donating. Payment=Pain. There is brain proof of this. The only things that mitigates this is an act of charity at the point of payment. A coupon that says a donation will be made if you use this, mitigates the pain of payment.  Even if it’s only 10 cents. “Thank you for buying all this beer, we will now donate 10 cents on your behalf.” We miss out on linking acts of charity to create a superlative consumer experience. Including a charitable act in the payment process reduces the pain, boosts self-esteem. Put a mirror at your new products. People will look in it, be happy with themselves, creates halo effect of products around it. If you argue with your significant other, argue in front of the mirror. You can’t be mad in front of a mirror. Put mirrors in your complaint center. Get the best performance review ever by putting a mirror behind you while your boss talks to you. Make people happy by increasing the weight of the package and make it shiny – heavy is more valuable. Put CDs in a big box with a heavy manual. Wear shiny clothes.
  • Community – People want to belong.
  • You can’t pick one of these and expect to get all of them. You can’t do some mediocre. It is not an a la cart menu.
  • We solved a 2000 year old puzzle. What are the precise emotions evoked by music? Specific music by category by brand by time of day in the aisle or by ad creates neurological context.
  • Music is the non-conscious part of the brain 95% of decision making is non-conscious. Medical study – one group chose music to listen to, the other group had no music during the surgery. Recovery rates were higher for those who heard the music. Interesting – both groups of people were anesthetized during the surgery and therefore didn’t hear the music – unknown mechanisms are processing the music during non-conscious periods. This is specialized by culture, geography. We can layout what emotions are elicited second by second.
  • What if consumers hear music in the aisle that elicits the emotion the brand wants? Right now, no one knows how to pick a good song, or the good part of the song.
  • “Call tune” – I’m running late so when I call home to tell them, there’s music in the background to calm them down and keep them from getting angry. How about using the right calming music when people are on hold?
  • [Great speaker! If you need a key-note, look no further!]


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Better way to Use Segmentation by YUM!, TNS, and Taco Bell #TMRE #MRX

Live blogs by @LoveStats! This is a session summary from The

The classic Taco Bell logo used from 1985 to 1...

Image via Wikipedia

Market Research Event by IIR in Orlando, Florida, November 2011. It was posted mere minutes after completion of the talk. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any humorous side remarks are also my own. Feel free to leave comments and critiques.

***                                                                                                          ***

8:00 – A Better Way to Use Segmentation for Strategic Product

Planning & to Drive Innovation
Debra Kassarjian, Director, Customer Experience, YUM Brands
John Essegian, EVP Client Service, TNS

  • Wanted to develop a new menu architecture. It was time for an update. Where were the innovation opportunities.
    HARNESS THE POWER!  [Buzzword bingo 🙂 ]
  • Need to get the information and how to activate it
  • Great segmentation integrates brand, consumer,competitive landscape to  identify gaps; holistic; living document
  • It is NOT target user groups in isolation; a tracker with brand ratings; put it on the shelf
  • Most common downfalls – only identified segments, not linked to opportunities, not at product level; can’t communicate them, lack of organizational structure to bring to life
  • 2001 – no innovation, test market was 50/50 successful, no up-front insights, too much spent on product testing
  • Needed more comprehensive approach to developing new products; melting cheese on everything doesn’t cut it 🙂  [although that does work for me]
  • Started with 2 hours indepth interviews and projective techniques, make people talk about QSR in a way they never have [now @Zebrabites is listening]
  • Take qual work into quant work
  • Used cluster analysis, factor analysis, no magic there [shocking, most people like to think their analysis is unique when it really isn’t 🙂 ]
  • Thought they had “big” covered but they didn’t; restructured so they had a pillar focusing on this area; they had focused on flavours not world of big and meaty and humungous
  • They went barhopping and restaurant visiting with menand their friends
  • Developed 4 to 5 years of pipeline out of this one area
  • Why go to Taco Bell? Sit and stay, waiting for paycheck, on the go, only the best meat, hungry man, fresh and tasty; these create a lot of profile information – demographics, visit motivators
  • Plotted 56 of their menu items to see role and where there are gaps
  • “Live life large” Big fun, big events, big food
  • Led to Triple Steak, 5 buck box, L chalupa, volcano menu, fully loaded nachs; Their ads focus on how huge the food is.
  • [I think everyone wants Taco Bell for lunch after seeing a series of ads focusing on “Big”]
  • They realized they didn’t move fast enough on some of stages – snackwrap, quality. They still need to do beverages, breakfasts, hispanic needs
  • Success rate in 2010 was 80%, consumer based ideas, 90% success at height of program [Now THAT is increased ROI!]
  • Then she moved to Pizza Hut where the situation was the same. 50% success rate at beginning and they had to start all over

Guest Post: The Power of No

[tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]By Brett Jarvis, @SawtoothConsult

According to the old maxim, the customer is always right. But I’ve always believed that it’s each of our jobs to help our customers be more right. And we’re really doing our jobs if we get them to help their customers be more right. A powerful tool in this effort is knowing when to tell customers “No,” and perhaps more importantly, to teach them when to say “No” themselves.

As market researchers, it’s essential to have informed dialog with our clients to come to the best business decisions. Sometimes the best decision is to choose not to do something. Those decisions often take more courage – and insight – than the decision to do something.

As researchers, we need to make clear what the market is telling our clients. And sometimes the market is telling the client “No.” For example, we as researchers may:

  • Recommend that clients select specific target segments for their products and say “No” to others. It takes discipline to do so, as many clients want to “be all things to all people,” but ultimately the targeted approach results in an extremely relevant product and precision messaging for segmented customer groups.
  • Encourage a no-go decision when there is only lukewarm reaction from the market for a new product idea. When made properly, that decision is still a success, as it saves money, it saves time, and it saves face.
  • Tell the client “No” to adding every bell and whistle to a product. We can help clients focus on what’s most valuable, marketable and profitable – and avoid over-engineering.
  • Recommend that the client not expand their product line – and perhaps even shrink the product line, which in certain cases can be a far more successful approach. This approach can also provide focus and clarity in marketing and reduce costs.

“No” might be a difficult message to communicate, especially if the organization is very enthusiastic about an idea. But we need to arm the sponsor with the insights needed to make those difficult recommendations and to help the client organization as a whole make the right business decision. That is when we know that we are truly adding value – when we help the client make a difficult, but impactful, business decision. Even when that decision is to say “No.”

Of course, we don’t need to run around saying “No” all the time, but you’ll find that saying “No” when that’s the right decision breeds trust – akin to the mechanic who tells you that you actually don’t need work on your brakes right now. Clients with whom you have that level of openness are more likely to return in the future and they’ll know they can rely on you for objective advice.

So while you’re out there making sure that the customer is as right as can be, it’s important to remember that that might just be best accomplished through the Power of “No.”

Read these too

  • The Dilemma that is Market Research Data Quality
  • To zero or not to zero, that is the question #MRX
  • 6 reasons why you should start a blog now
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