Archive for the ‘Consumer Insight’ Category

What exactly is “being” a Canadian?

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Happy Canada’s Day – July 1st!!

There is more speculation on how Canada is changing as the country’s mosaic continues to shift.  Manufacturers believe that if we just had a comprehensive profile of these individuals and their cultural values, they would be better able to meet their needs.  Others have taken a different approach.  They have taken their brands to those countries to ensure their brand BECOMES ROOTED in their culture prior to arriving in Canada.

So my question is ….are we all that different?

The truth is that we are ALL human beings who intrinsically seek to establish loyalties in this world.  Loyalty comes from significant emotional bonds. The intensity of the bond is what we seek as humans to feel a deep sense of happiness.  This bond or need that we are seeking to satisfy is emotionally the same whether we have it with other people or with things. For brands then, achieving more love or more relationships would directly translate into more sales.

 So if we understand the “need” that a brand can emotionally satisfy….we should be able to more effectively and target all customers who seek to satisfy that same need.       So….do you know what they are really buying from your brand vs. what you think you are selling?

~ Margo

Why do people continue to say one thing and do another?

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Why do people continue to say one thing and do another? I get this question all the time… “The methodology said it tested above norm……in fact, it was the best tested idea for their norms”. So what happened?

The answer is simple.  Because you are asking questions and they are telling you what they “think” and you are not actually getting to where they make their decisions (subconsciously in their value structure).  The answer lies in getting to their subconscious and correctly mapping their decision making structure through their emotional filters.

A second observation I am very familiar with… “We have invested heavily in training. But in 30 days they are doing it wrong again”. At lunch the other day, I listened while a senior thought leader stated that “people are not trainable”.

If you are “telling” people what to do, they are not able to make a transition for more than 30 days.  TRUE.   You actually need to start with their individual psychology.  They must understand themselves inwardly.  Upon having this clarity, then they are able to align the “intention” of the training.  When you get this kind of “values buy in”, you will find that 60 days or 2 years later they are delivering on your requirements.

We call it values alignment and it works.

~ Margo

What keeps me awake at night…?

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

MRIA Conference June 1, 2010

I have heard from a few sources that the marketing departments are drying up in Canada.  (Loud sigh), as Canada continues to be folded into Global thinking. LighthouseSearch has statistics collected in support of this statement.

How is it that in MOST companies, research is considered a “cost” and not the lifeline to stay close to their customers in their business?

While we search for ways to improve responsiveness in research, we must first ensure that we NEVER:

  • to have “fast” without “quality”.
  • to have sizzle without the right foundation or methodology.

Our marketers have fewer opportunities than ever to understand their customer. I actually believe that it is the customer that we are ACCOUNTABLE TO.

We heard from many speakers including Dr. Irene Rosenfield, that we must ensure that there is value that translates into sales. Only with that will research be a healthy and protected line within the P&L.

I am going to push even harder. We need to provide INCREMENTAL value from the global truths locally…..or our client base will continue to dry up.  If research and advertising are seen as costs versus business builders THEN WE ALL LOSE.   There are not many Dr. Irene Rosenfeld’s who believe that the marketers need to be in close proximity to feel the pulse of their customer’s.

I BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE CUSTOMER and through them the client.  Then the work is authentic, objective and will translate into a win/win.

~ Margo

Do you Claim to be Customer Centric?

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

There is a popular trend in today’s marketplace as businesses focus their attention on becoming increasingly customer centric. But what exactly does that mean…?

Based on experience, I believe the definition of a customer centric business is quite widespread and negotiable. Some perceive a customer centric model to mean having a superior Customer Service Department… or a friendly and approachable organizational culture …or production capacities that enable one to customize their products. Some people even prefer to sum it up with the phrase “the customer is always RIGHT!” All the aforementioned can be great, but I believe that these are simply symptoms which allow organizations to ‘kick under the rug’ the real fact of the matter – the reality that they do not really understand their customer!

I believe that operating a customer centric business means knowing the specific underlying reasons to why your customers’ purchase from you. It’s deeper than knowing they enjoy the benefits of a product/service… it is actually about satisfying a subconscious need! Your company’s ability to understand your customers’ underlying subconscious need manifests into a relationship with your customer that is relevant, inspiring and most importantly loyal! Imagine the benefit when you truly understand your customer and tailor to their needs…exponential revenue…thoughtful relationships…viral word of mouth…disappearing expenses…a gratifying and prominent impact on the community…the list is eternal!

As a result the business model suddenly shifts. The marketing strategy is now focused on the pin-pointed subconscious need vs. what you think your product/service offers. The business is now consolidated to departments and functions that actually ADD VALUE in the customers’ eyes.

Suddenly irrelevant costs vanish.

Suddenly the organization is a team racing towards a CLEAR GOAL.

Suddenly managers are on the SAME page.

How might your organization change…..?

~ Margo

Building trust has never been more important to your customers.

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

We have just completed an in-depth investigation that defines significant behavioral dynamics associated with decisions and how people view themselves.

We just completed a large study (sample size of 33,000 18-29 year olds, with 51% female) in the US.  The results were compared to a similar study completed in 1985.

There are consistencies with how this demographic views themselves.  Relative to the world around them, they have a slightly greater sense of freedom, individuality and control.  Their desire to be leaders, making smart choices and pride is also slightly greater.

The big change however, is that this group of 18-29 year olds, have significantly less trust in their relationships and experiences today.

So what does this mean?

They trust themselves (internal). They don’t want to be sold (external).

Companies will do well that have problem solving vs selling styles, two way relationships where the customer feels like they are considered in decision making, brands that “inspire” versus provide a creative solution…….

StrategicVision Worldwide ValueCentered Study Youth June 2010.

~ Margo

The REAL VALUE of a conference

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

I have always been a big believer in sending my people and personally attending conferences.

The MRIA was no exception.  Conferences create provocative thinking. If the speaker content is good, it provides an opportunity to take nuggets and apply them to your business without phones ringing and meeting interruptions.

To connect and grow in any business segment today, you need provocative thinking.

Take Hewlett Packard as an example.  Satjiv S. Chahil is Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for HP’s Personal Systems Group.  He provoked his team to get outside of technology and built fashion into his business. The result…..changed the course of their business and sales.

Eileen Campbell who demonstrated that creative must do more than win awards. It must support the client’s business. Her example rang home with the $1.6MM beer commercial in Australia that did not move the business one share point.

And then there was the Cadbury Gorilla Commercial that broke all the normal rules.  It demonstrated through music and close ups of the impact that the five senses were having as “joy” led to such passionate energy.  And not one product shot until the last 5 seconds.  And it pre-tested well and is driving sales in market.

Or getting a conversation around “love” to be comfortable in the boardroom.  As my panel members Tim Keiningham and Jannie Hofeymer shared after our session…..love is right tool.  The people that love your brand have the right insights for sales growth.

We just need to provoke comfort around “love” in the boardroom.

MRIA Fun

And of course there is always time for fun.  Here are some of the shots from the 1950’s gala that was set up for us.

Here are a couple of shots from my Panel presentation with Jannie Hofmeyr and Tim Keiningham.

~ Margo

United Van Lines named one of the 50 best managed companies

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

United Van Lines has just been named one of the 50 best managed companies in Canada.

This is a unique organization made up of over 200 individual companies, each led by a smart, visionary, entrepreneur.  They collectively choose to belong to the UVL Group believing that together they can deliver superior service.  I share this background as Anne Martin, President of UVL was able to take this community of members to a new level. 

It takes courage to face tough questions.  It takes more courage to digest information and within 6 months shift an organization to be one of the 50 best managed companies. They first embraced what they learned. Second they had desire and drive to make change. And three, had a passionate leader who understood and deeply cared to support the necessary changes throughout the organization and its members.

And here are just a few of the people that made it happen!!!

 Canada's 50 best managed companies award night

~ Margo

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