It's not a secret that we like grocery infographics.
To get the data for the one below, we ran a couple of surveys through our Grocery Voice Panel, comprised of highly qualified respondents who have agreed to participate in market research studies and shed light on why they research, plan, and shop the way they do.
The result: we spotted some emerging trends when it comes to online grocery planning and shopping.
by Philip Atkins, account director and healthcare practice leader
Health insurance companies need to understand their changing market landscape in order to prepare for a time when the population has greater choice under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and providers are forced to compete for members.
And there are certain fundamental questions that face a company when competing for these customers:
- How do they perceive me now, and how do they perceive my competitors? Who has the better image?
- What are my perceived strengths and weaknesses, and what are my competitors’?
- How satisfied are my members with us and how satisfied are competitors’ members with the competitor? How vulnerable are my members to getting picked off by a competitor and how easily can I grab my competitors’ members?
- How likely are they to consider changing their health insurer? Who would they consider?
- Are they open to the newly emerging sales channels, i.e., Walmart, Walgreens etc.?
We wanted to give health insurers a peek at these attitudes and did so by conducting a research study at the national level to provide a benchmark against which health insurers may measure results from their own research.
In our research study, respondents were adults in the United States with current health insurance. Some of the data was provided in February’s infographic, but we wanted to dig a little deeper and share more of the insights that came out of the research.
Major takeaway 1: Prepare for churn.
Although many are satisfied with their health insurer provider, a large number are not. Across our national sample, top three box scores (T3B) for satisfaction of their provider ranged from 57 percent up to 73 percent.
Consider the results when respondents were asked: Overall, how satisfied are you with [provider name]?
Further, as mentioned in our infographic, the research shows that between 15 percent and 20 percent of the health insured say they will actively think about switching to another insurer and could churn, when given the chance.
Bottom line: A sizable chunk of every health insurer’s membership is at risk of leaving.
Major takeaway 2: Which insurers have the edge?
The insurers who have the strongest awareness will be first in line to attract the switchers. That helps BCBS associations across the country as well as Aetna.
But other insurers have a good starting point, too.
But the market is wary about their choices, not showing a great deal of confidence in providers outside the one they use.
Bottom line: Although BCBS leads in mindshare there are several competitors with a commanding presence and are able to compete for new members.
Major takeaway 3: Old health insurers will find themselves competing with new channels.
One result of the market’s lukewarm feelings toward the old-line insurers is the consumers’ openness to buying insurance from non-traditional sources such as drug store chains and the big box stores.
Bottom line: The post ACA world is shaping up to be very competitive, with a great deal of churn, a new line-up of insurers, and a host of new consumer expectations to be met.
Warning #humblebrag ahead.
We got the news on Friday when a large envelope arrived in the mail. And there, in an eloquently stated letter, was the decision: a Gold Hermes Creative Award in the Website Overall/Business to Business Category. Our website redesign and rebranding effort is an award-winning one!
The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies. Winners in the 188 categories are judged and selected by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. This year, there was a total of 5,600 entries in the competition.
The Gold Award is given to those who exceeded the judges' standards of the industry norm in their category and is awarded to approximately 19 percent of entries. There is also a Platinum category that is given to about 15 percent.
“The award serves as great validation for all of the hard work that went into the redesign and rebranding," says David Wilson, CEO. "As a company, we’re moving in bold directions this year with things like predictive analytics, big data mining, and mobile research applications, and this new site is a reflection of that.”
Even better than the award would be to hear what you think (yes, really!). What you like, what we could go on to improve, or really anything you might have on your mind. We're also actively looking for guest bloggers, so if you're interested, let us know.
Lastly, we'd be remiss if we didn't wish you both a happy weekend and Happy Mother's Day!
Editor's note: Our short Q&As introduce you to the hardworking individuals that crunch the numbers, make the connections, and change the industry. This month, meet Madeline Varney, Project Coordinator.
Where is your hometown?
I’m from a small town in western North Carolina. It’s about 40 minutes from…everything.
What do you do at FGI?
I’m a project coordinator! Most days I do a little bit of everything. I provide support for our project managers across a variety of projects. As well, I assist Sarah Bishop, our community manager and quality coordinator, with editing and fact checking for the deliverables we send to clients. I’m also responsible for providing customer support to survey respondents and panelists.
As a part of keeping the FGI social scene moving, I’m a part of the Fun Committee—we plan and set up activities for employees. For example, today after our company-wide meeting, we had a potluck lunch with lots of delicious food.
Why do you work at FGI?
FGI is a rare blend—while we’re a nationally recognized market research firm, we maintain a small company feel. I really enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere, but appreciate even more the opportunity to expand my experience in this industry. I work with very smart, very helpful people who have taken the time to mentor me and provide a strong foundation for my career.
One thing not many people know about me is…
I have a deep and abiding appreciation of zombie movies.
If you could be a superhero what would your powers be?
Definitely flying. Or shooting lasers from my finger-tips. Or an eidetic memory, though I don’t know if that qualifies…
by Andy Smith, senior business development manager
We just get back from the 2013 Chartwell Utility Market Research Summit in sunny Phoenix, AZ.
All the utility attendees were on their game to discuss multiple solutions to improve customer satisfaction. We kicked off the meeting with several discussions that encompassed the following themes.
Segmentation came up several times as a great research approach with the mantra “We Must Know More”.
Most companies are looking “inward” at operations, programs, etc., and not out to the customer. But segmentation allows a utility to have a 360-degree single view of the customer and a more holistic view overall.
Segmentation also provides a wealth of info on attitudes, values, motivations and can help at all stages of engagement, such as with your messaging, campaigns, budget, and pre-pay billing.
Precise targeting is key. The C&I accounts are also part of the segmentation as one utility did segment their accounts to help with energy efficiency targets.
If you’re not measuring customer experience and improving satisfaction then your rate increase case is in jeopardy.
As utilities benchmark their touch points, some had new discoveries. For example, customers like telemarketing calls vs. emails, some like hard copy letters and newsletters vs. email. And message testing came up as a must for the rate increases, along with outage maps, mobile apps, and web testing.
The utilities that are building teams to strategically improve JD Power scores are finding that perception (in some cases outages that happened 5 years ago) is reality, and customers think that the utilities should “know me by my energy usage”
Market researchers have to lead and educate their internal clients about big data. What is it? Why is it important? To start, big data gets beyond the quantitative and qualitative; it's proactive and focuses on advanced analytics down to the individual to personalize services, products, and programs.
Certain trends continue to grow, such as mobile apps (which utilize point of sale/interactive research), social media, insight communities (which help flush out the story behind the data), and especially, predictive analytics. Combining customer data with the attitudinal allows utility companies to build crucial predictive models.
If you have been a silent advocate for all the benefits that market research (MR) can bring to your company, then we’re here to help you find your voice.
Our Ultimate Guide to Proving Your Market Research ROI brings research to the forefront as a key player in achieving business objectives, optimizing strategies, and—most importantly—improving return on investment (ROI).
This guide is packed with helpful information and tips for everything a MR champion needs, including how to:
- Determine if market research is a sound investment
- Develop your MR department to its fullest potential
- Prove ROI outright and overcoming perceived barriers many MR advocates face from internal clients
- Socialize MR results in unique, understandable ways
If you believe it’s time to change your company’s outlook on MR, it’s extremely helpful to be able to articulate exactly how and why it can be beneficial. Our guide will take you step by step through the process so you can feel confident as you justify what MR can do for your company.
by Dino Fire, director of marketing science
What it is
An Exploratory Data Analysis, or EDA, is an exhaustive look at existing data from current and historical surveys conducted by a company.
In addition, the appropriate variables from your company’s customer database—such as information about rate plans, usage, account management, and others—are typically included in the analysis.
The intent of the EDA is to determine whether a predictive model is a viable analytical tool for a particular business problem, and if so, which type of modeling is most appropriate.
The deliverable is a low-risk, low-cost comprehensive report of findings of the univariate data and recommendations about how the company should use additional modeling.
At the very least, the EDA may reveal aspects of your company’s performance that others may not have seen.
Why do it
An EDA is a thorough examination meant to uncover the underlying structure of a data set and is important for a company because it exposes trends, patterns, and relationships that are not readily apparent.
You can’t draw reliable conclusions from a massive quantity of data by just gleaning over it—instead, you have to look at it carefully and methodically through an analytical lens.
Getting a “feel” for this critical information can help you detect mistakes, debunk assumptions, and understand the relationships between different key variables. Such insights may eventually lead to the selection of an appropriate predictive model.
What else you can do
If additional predictive modeling is deemed appropriate, a number of approaches may then be utilized.
Approach 1: A logistic model (LOGIT)
You may elect to segregate a company’s business customers into 2 separate and distinct classes: those who place a high value on or express high satisfaction with company services, and those who don’t. This type of analysis is sometimes referred to as a response model.
LOGIT could offer some insight into the factors that drive this customer rating, especially when some of those factors are opinion oriented (from existing surveys, a survey designed expressly for this purpose, or both). This model would also utilize appropriate customer data from the company’s various strategic surveys, demographic variables, etc. One of the outcomes of LOGIT modeling is a probability, or “score,” that can be appended to each person in the larger database from whence the analysis came.
Approach 2: Recursive partitioning
Recursive partitioning is a technique that uses the same database and survey information but in a different way.
This modeling approach does a good job of taking categorical variables into account as well as ordinal and continuous value variables. Categorical variables tend to be characteristics, such as type of rate plan, type of business, or location, for example. Continuous variables are numbers, like number of employees or annual revenue. Ratings scales from surveys fall into this latter type of data.
Recursive partitioning provides a “tree” output, and customers branch toward one classification or another based on how they respond to questions or how their behaviors and characteristics are measured.
No matter which course of action your company decides to take, the first step is always begins with an EDA. It’s an important component of the marketing research process that allows data to be organized, reviewed, and interpreted for the benefit of your business.
From top to bottom to middle market, 2013 will be the year life insurers and annuity providers explore how to build powerful consumer profiles that define evolving consumer segments.
Deloitte’s yearly outlook gives us a roadmap of insurers’ top marketing challenges—here we unpack how insurers can creatively address changing consumer bases.
Low to middle market
While insurers and annuity providers face low interest rates and slow economic recovery, consumers in the low to middle markets are dealing with more immediate economic concerns even as they struggle to find products that fit their budgets and individual needs.
The low to middle market has traditionally been under-targeted, and thus underpenetrated, but many carriers are now seeking consumers outside of the mass affluent space.
The challenge: Creating cost-effective distributions strategies and product remodeling to better serve this underpenetrated market segment.
Learn and grow: An undertaking of this magnitude can seem intimidating, but the 2-pronged approach of a customer segmentation study coupled with a market inventory study creates a customizable and comprehensive solution.
With this approach, a segmentation study provides: ages, genders, purchase drivers, preferences, and attitudes of each type of consumer that will buy your product. Marrying that data to a comprehensive awareness and usage methodology gives insurers the ability to build a retail case based on the following tools:
- An overview of whole category, including awareness, usage, preference, and key drivers
- In the appropriate product categories, real information about what professionals buy versus other consumers and why
- What your competitors sell and how they rank against you with consumers
- Your competitors’ weaknesses and how to exploit them
Growing with your market share
Fact-based strategies and science driven rationales give insurers the opportunity to more deeply understand these consumers and tailor the retail experience to meet their needs. Using an integrated approach offers a foundational approach to building consumer profiles while providing a new direction for innovative product offerings.
Editor’s note: we interview John Blunk, director of client services, who talks about how returning to and clarifying project objectives can help ensure that research insights are not wasted with inactivity.
As a market researcher, do you ever feel like other departments at your company don’t render the insights and recommendations gained in studies into actionable strategy? Here’s what it takes to get all the teams are on the same page.
Get the right people sitting at the table
“When you go in to design the project, you need to have the real decision makers, if not around the table, then very well-represented at the table,” Blunk advises.
With these decision makers’ input, answer questions like:
- Who is going to use this data?
- What type of decisions will be driven by this data?
- Who is funding it?
- Who are the clients, and what do they need?
In other words, getting down the 5 W’s and the “how?” of research is the first big step. The next part is actually delivering these insights in meaningful ways that management or marketing can understand.
Socialize the research
You’ve probably seen it before, your colleagues’ eyes glazing over as soon as the fat, three-ring binder full of data is dropped onto the desk. Such outdated, uninvolved tactics are a huge reason why research goes to waste.
“You have to make the data come off the page,” stresses Blunk. “You have to tell a story, but you also have to define what that message is, what was learned, and provide them with the insights on what’s working and what’s not.”
But even if you do have an easy-to-read infographic to accompany your market research story (versus the dreaded binder), your findings might still be left on the shelf. The key is clarity in the message.
“We have to make the transition for the client from just ‘data’ to the next steps,” say Blunk. Some ways to do this are:
- A crisp, clear, and concise executive summary
- Avoiding text-heavy language (think visuals, like a key drivers analysis)
- Narrowing down on priorities in research findings
When telling a story through research and insights, you must remember the audience you’re speaking to.
Decide when user-friendly language is preferable or whether high-level, technical jargon is necessary instead. While the latter may seem like a foreign language to you, the style in which you describe these insights must speak directly to your audience.
“This goes back to the work you did previously—having a good grasp of the objectives when you start the project,” says Blunk. “That helps you provide clarity on the insights of what you’ve acquired.”
In the end, tying data back to your established objectives helps everyone keep a clearer focus.