helping you master customer insight leadership

Event: Forrester Customer Insights Council 2014

Forrester ResearchIn May 2014, I attended this council run by Forrester Research. For those not familiar with Forrester they are one of the biggest global research firms providing independent advice on technology and suppliers (another being Gartner). Unlike Gartner, I have always found Forrester to be more open to focussing on business decision makers and the technology needs of Marketing, Operations and Insight leaders. Gartner has some very able thinkers (including Ed Thompson and Gareth Herschel), but their US parent seems to keep pulling them back to focus on the needs of CIOs and their IT teams.

Anyway, thanks to the kind invitation from Jeff Brown (Principal Advisor on CI and my key contact when I had a seat with them), I attended my second CI Council and once again found it helpful. One of it’s key benefits is the absence of consultants and suppliers (I was still working for Lloyds at this time). Plus Jeff and his team do well to attract the actual Customer Insight leaders from the organisations represented, so there is real understanding of one another’s challenges. It tends to be a small select gathering (15-20), with both Banks & Insurers disproportionately represented, which suited me fine.

It is a confidential, Chatham House rules, meeting (which is also helpful) so I am limited in what I can share. But I thought it would be useful to both let my readers know that this exists (ask Jeff if you’d like to attend in future) and to highlight a few topics which were covered this year:

  • Innovating your Customer Insights offering to add value (inc. assessing CI capability – something that I also offer);
  • Leveraging Marketing Technology for Improved Results (inc. marketing automation);
  • The Tools CI Pros need to usher in Customer Obsession (inc. strategy & processes – again I also offer this service).

If you are considering paying for Forrester’s services, rather than just negotiating a free attendance, a few learning points from when I paid for their services: (a) Remember that they are a research company not a typical consultancy, so think of where research or best practice models can help you not just general support & advice; (b) Especially when arranging calls with a specific Forrester expert, you will get out what you put in – i.e be sure to have a very clear brief and clear focus for the call, otherwise you can waste time explaining your internal language or trying to cover too many points at a superficial level.

Anyway, I hope that’s of interest and helped – let me know if not! I have no relationship with Forrester but am grateful to Jeff for the invite and wanted to let other Customer Insight leaders know that this forum is available and worth considering.

Do comment below if you have ever attended and have any thoughts on where Forrester can add value (or not) for CI leaders.

Event: B2B customer insight

Cutty SarkLeading insight for a major life & pensions provider for many years, you become painfully aware of the added difficulty in reaching strong insights on B2B customers. Although at first B2B insight can just appear less developed as a market, with a much smaller quality data provider market and still more of a focus on sales management and brand (almost where B2C was 5-10 years ago); on reflection this is not the case.

It is more challenging to develop as robust analysis (mainly due to data challenges driven by both less capture and matching challenges) and more challenging to interpret robust research (mainly due to multiple relationships and opaque decision making hierarchies/influences). However, on closer inspection, some of the challenges being attempted for B2B insight are both more challenging and able to create a bigger commercial impact if achieved.

So, I was pleased to see a tweet & blog post from Peter Lavers and the team at Customer Attuned on the lessons that B2B and B2C insight can learn from each other.

Earlier this year I attended an event run by them entitled “The Great Debate” (part of a series of such events), with this one being held at Greenwich. I was reticent to write too much on my thoughts from this; as it is a Chatham House rules meeting. However, Peter has usefully shared the key anonymised lessons learnt on his blog. The above link is well worth reading.

Any other thoughts from those who like me have had the challenge of both B2B and B2C insight? Did others also find the approach to NPS needed to be tweaked? Do reply with your comments.

Event: More Behavioural Economics at a Cricket Ground

Following my presentation at Edgbaston, last week I also presented at the Gloucestershire County Cricket ground in Bristol. Clearly the CII favour the view over a green for their regional market forums. Anyway, it was another opportunity to share my thoughts on Behavioural Economics and why it matters for Insurers. Another positive response and good engagement from a mixture of insurers, brokers and related agencies; which promises well for this industry engaging with the FCA’s challenges in this area.

To help spread the word further, below I share the presentation that I used:

Happy to offer training or consultancy to companies wanting to engage with this challenge. To my mind expertise in this area is a natural and needed fit with customer insight teams within Financial Services.

Event: CII Regional Market Forum

Good to present at this event on the relevance of Behavioural Economics to the Insurance industry. I’m used to presenting on this theme to marketers but it was interesting to engage with underwriters, brokers and other insurance professionals.

CII Regional Market Forum

 

The follow-up to this will be an article I’ve written, entitled “Why Behavioural Economics matters for Insurers“, to be published in July’s CII Journal.

Plus it afforded us all a fine view of the grass at Edgbaston:

Edgbaston

 

 

Event: Data IQ Now 2014

I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at this conference. It was an enjoyable and useful event, hosted at etc Venues near St Paul’s, which seems to be a popular location for such events this year. David Reed was as ever a convivial host.

For me the stand out presentation was from eBay, a clear message on simplification to manage complexity, that is so relevant in getting from too much data & even too much analysis to clear recommendations that can be acted upon.

I’m pleased my presentation was also well received, especially as it was my last opportunity to present on behalf of Lloyds on the good work that has been achieved there. Exciting times ahead for that organisation as the focus that we’ve built over years (on customer needs not just product sales) is implemented to actually control interactions across a massively multi-channel, multi-brand, multi-product environment.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQafQWCawXw&w=560&h=315 [/embedyt]