How I help clients custom-build their insights system

Photo Credit: Dilbert’s Cartoon
Source: Pages taken from a market research report. They have been blurred out because this problem is common across the entire market research industry.
Source: Retail Asia (link). The problem with this survey is if you ask people whether they think it is important to have promotions for Chinese New Year, most will instinctively say yes.

The road to true insights

Tip 1: Good-bye to traditional market research?

Tip 2: Big data and analytics are part of the insights system, not the whole

Tip 3: Uncovering insights is a long-term process

Tip 4: Everyone can uncover insights

  1. Interviewing customers at the right moment across touchpoints so that feedbacks that are truest-to-the-reality can be obtained at the moment when customers are feeling/experiencing it while not disrupting their experience of the brand. I will also teach interviewing techniques— e.g., avoid leading questions, start from open-ended questions and the general then drill down to the specifics, etc.
  2. Building empathy in our customers by immersing in their experience. I will train everyone from CEO to front-line staff to be ethnographer. An important concept of ethnography in anthropology is “etic and emic”. When immersing in our customers’ experience, I will train the up-and-coming ethnographers to collect data both from a first-person, subjective view of their customers by putting themselves in their customers’ shoes and a third-person, objective view of what is happening with, to and around their customers. This is not easy and will require lots of practices to master. An exercise I often use is role-playing where my clients will take turns to play the role of themselves (service provider) and their customers.
  3. Be curious. When you are at a restaurant, be curious about the ways your dishes are cooked coupled with the ambience and service. When you are shopping for a pair of sneakers, be curious about how you experience the store environment. When you want to buy a bottle of soy sauce while cooking dinner, be curious about whether a store provides support for such “emergency situations”. Everyone from CEO to front-line staff should be encouraged to “nose around” even when they are off-work. But such nosing around should be done with the least inconvenience, not only to ensure people will keep being nosy, but also to make sure they are gathering data in their most natural state without bias.
  4. Knowing when to engage external vendors and how to coordinate and integrate them with our internal insights system.

Tip 5: Crowdsourcing

An insights system is just a start…




Hong Konger. World Explorer. Fun Lover.

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Frau IC

Frau IC

Hong Konger. World Explorer. Fun Lover.

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