conversation about maximising value from customer insight

A cloud won’t protect your modesty

2014-09-04_cloud-nudity_3I’m sure we have all heard the news about various famous (and not so famous) celebrities having their iCloud accounts hacked and their nude photos shared on social media. It seems to me there are responsibilities on both sides.

Service providers like Apple should review their security and we should all think about the wisdom of saving such personal data in any cloud service.

The best article I have seen on this data & privacy topic is this balanced review by David Reed, editor of Data IQ magazine:

 

 

Why should Behavioural Economics matter to you?

Behavioural EconomicsSince presenting at their regional events and writing an article for the CII’s Journal, I’ve continued to hear a demand for more understanding of Behavioural Economics (BE).

It appears the majority of insurers have delegated this challenge to their risk & pricing teams and few are engaging actively with their marketing and customer insight teams.

I think this is a missed opportunity, not just for better compliance with FCA expectations, but also for the commercial gains to be made from better designed communications.

That said, I suspect the majority of you have at least heard of Behavioural Economics. In recent years, the success of popular books on the subject, have ensured plenty of media coverage and social media debate on its implications.

Easy to read books, as introductions to the subject, have included “Nudge” by Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein. More comprehensive and challenging is a classic text like “Thinking Fast & Slow” by Daniel Kahnemann. Both are well worth reading but there are now many others to choose from.

What makes this subject of greater relevance to the Financial Services industry, however, is the influence of Behavioural Economics on the thinking of both the UK Government and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Government policy is being influenced by the work of their “nudge unit”. Meanwhile, the FCA has commented that it expects companies to consider how their customers actually make decisions. (more…)

Poll: Latest results on analytics software

© Robert F. Balazik | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Well with over 60 votes in, the results appear to have stabilised into a clear pattern. As has been the case through most of my customer insight career, SAS and SPSS (now IBM) are the leading analytics software used by CI teams. For several weeks now they have tied at 25% of votes each.

The real change over recent years, at least from my perspective working with Financial Services companies, has been the rise of R. In this survey it now stands at 17% of the vote, 14 percentage points above any other single entry. That is a significant change and has been influenced by both cost saving during recessionary times and what appears to be a new perspective on open source software (since the success of Linux, Wiki-everything and more recently Hadoop). It will be interesting to see if this dominance continues during our economic recovery.

Another benefit, of course, is the familiarity of graduates with using R at university. For those hiring the majority of their new analysts straight from university (a recruitment strategy that worked well for me for years), it does enable them to be up & working sooner.

Thanks for taking part in the poll and I hope it’s informative to those of you leading analytics teams.

For further information on the top three software (as voted for by CI leaders), here are their links:

SAS

IBM SPSS

The R Project for Statistical Computing

 

Getting the most out of conferences

Getting the most out of those conferencesI don’t know how many events you attend each year, but I can tell you as a speaker and an attendee, you do get out what you put in. Right now I’m creating slides and preparing stories to share at “Insurance Data & Analytics” in September and “Analytics for Insurance, Europe” in October. So, I really appreciated seeing this advice from Michael Hyatt:

 

 

Hope my audiences at both those conferences are coming with that mindset, I know it’s worked for me at past conferences. Active tweeting during an event is another technique that keeps me engaged and can later be aggregated up to form a blog or personal notes. I’m encouraged to find that tweeting during an event, as a way of providing feedback and raising questions, is also being encouraged by more and more conferences these days.

See you on the 18 Sept, ready to get out why you put in!

Infographic on new purchase journey

Consumer-Decision-JourneyAs a second entry to this new section, I was struck by this infographic from SmartInsights that was shared by the IDM as part of their round-up of August Marketing news.

I think they’ve done a pretty good job of combining the learning from Google and McKinsey. This visualisation helps remind us that today’s consumers have a more involved and iterative awareness & consideration journey before we can start measuring conversion.

The only improvement I would like to see to this, certainly for financial services, is more recognition of the importance of multi-channel for many consumers. Triggers can come from many parts of a consumers life and via any channel. Plus those multiple ‘moments of truth’ can be influenced by the channel of most convenience at that time (including non-digital channels) or by consumer need for reassurance (by talking to a person).

Nevertheless, good job & a useful infographic to prompt some rethinking but those seeking to measure marketing effectiveness on these early stages.

What do you think? Any experience of mapping this part of your customer (or prospect) journey?

 

Free chapters from Outside In for you to download

Outside In coverOne of the things I’ve heard you’d value is also having opinion published here from other authors. So, I’ve created a new section called “Others” to provide opinion and resources that I find online and think you’d value. I will also publish offers for free stuff whenever possible.

As a first entry, I’m sharing a link to follow-up on the positive book review that I posted for “Outside In”. Since then (hopefully prompted by it), Forrester have relaunched an offer for you to be able to download a couple of chapters of that book for free, just by sharing your contact details.

If you liked the review & fancy checking out the book for free first, then you can find the offer here.

Plus, here’s their video summary of the book, just to offer you more variety of media on this site (another thing I’m working on):

Do let me know of anything else you’d like to see in this section and your thoughts on the content so far. I hope it helps.

Leadership coaching for you?

Coaching at workHave you experienced the benefits of coaching? Years ago UK business leaders appeared to just see this as an American business fad (for a culture who have also embraced the benefits of therapists and given us great TV like “In Treatment”). However, over the last decade more & more UK businesses have embraced executive coaching and the academic evidence for efficacy has grown substantially. Even in 2005, 88% of UK organisations reported using coaching and by 2009, 93% of US organisations.

The next revolution in coaching for businesses is the expansion of coaching to a wider leadership population. Once the preserve of CEOs or main board members, progressive businesses are now seeing the benefits of expanding to all directors, talent pipeline candidates or in some cases team coaching for the wider organisation. My personal interest is in the benefits of coaching for the rising star that is today’s Customer Insight Leaders. As I have blogged before, there is a growing trend to create Customer Insight Director or Chief Knowledge Officer roles, often for individuals who have never held C-Suite level responsibilities before. Such leaders are ideal candidates for coaching, not because of any deficits, but rather to ensure that they perform as well as possible and achieve the challenging goals for this new strategic focus.

So, what does coaching entail? Very briefly, the term covers a multitude of approaches and has many possible definitions. But most experts now agree that executive coaching can be defined as: “A relationship based intervention. Its focus is on the enhancement of personal performance at work through behavioural, cognitive and motivational interventions used by the coach, which provide change in the client.

That more academic definition hints at the fact of multiple models or techniques which can be used, where helpful, to facilitate sessions. The qualification that I’m completing on Executive Coaching includes learning coaching models including: Goal-Orientated; Cognitive Behavioural; Positive Psychology and Neuro Linguistic Programming. My own experience of coaching executives has taught me that different models can be appropriate at different times, with different clients, in different organisational contexts. The most important skill is still genuine active listening, but frameworks to help guide sessions and clear goals to be achieved do both help.

I’m encouraged by the positive messages being given by a number of organisations with regard to the importance of coaching (including ones as diverse as Network Rail and Mencap in this month’s “Coaching at Work” magazine). However, I have not yet seen this commitment applied to the Customer Insight leadership population. I hope that change will come and I am focussing part of my business on helping to meet that need.

Have you seen the benefits of coaching or mentoring in your leadership role? I’d love to hear more about your experience of this emerging profession.