If you would like to see more results from our study, you can sign up for a walk through
. Find out how the insured and uninsured compare, and get suggestions on how to reach the "not right now, but someday" consumers.
by Andy Smith, new business development manager
The 2013 LIMRA Marketing and Research Conference in Orlando, FL was a big hit!
Thanks to everyone who stopped by the FGI Research table to discuss your research needs. Here's a quick recap and some crucial take aways.
In the world of financial services jargon, you need to know what words to use (yes = protecting assets) or not (no = minimizing losses).
According to Gary Demoss at Invesco, your words must be:
- In plain words
If you engage in fear-based selling, this will hurt your connection with consumers.
The industry needs a new value proposition
New life insurance policies are down, trust is down, and consumers think insurance is 3 to 7 times more expensive that they thought. Consequently, the overall market is $20 trillion(!) under insured.
To turn this around marketers are going to need a multi-platform to sell and your messaging is the first step and key to success.
We did some original research on consumer reluctance to purchase life insurance now or in the future, and likewise found some crucial areas for consideration and improvement. Use the button on the right to sign up for a walk through.
Mine and combine all your data
The power in big data lies in the combination of demographic, attitudinal, and customer data.
This approach will improve your ROI, segmentation, and targeted messaging by a much greater margin.
Added bonus: big data and predictive analytics lead to better JD Power or NPS ratings.
Customer journey mapping
Journey mapping for the life insurance industry begins with acquisition and ends with lapse or termination.
The companies that go through the entire mapping process discovered at first “what dissatisfies customers,” and “just how bad is it.”
The successful formula comprises of a cross functional team or sales, service, marketing, research, IT, legal, billing.
FGI Research, in collaboration with MyWebGrocer, has released exciting findings from its latest segmentation study titled, Exploring the World of Digital Grocery Shoppers.
This study dives into the reasoning and attitudes behind online grocery shoppers and planners by examining their opinions on in-store and online shopping preferences. Based on responses gathered from members of the Grocery Voice Panel—a consumer panel of 30,000 digitally active grocery shoppers and planners—we were able to divide these shoppers and planners into 5 unique segments.
Minimally plans to make the grocery trip bearable, primarily reviewing online weekly specials a few days before they shop.
- Highest percent Caucasian
- Shopping is an “unpleasant and difficult” task
- Plan day of for meals
- Lowest online grocery spending
Traditional Grocery Enthusiast
The oldest group of shoppers, leveraging online resources mainly to research grocery store weekly specials. This group enjoys the in store shopping experience.
- Consist of Baby Boomers and Seniors
- Fewest children at home
- Like to wander the aisles looking for deals
- Shop 6 or more times a month
New Digital Shopper
The youngest and most ethnically diverse group, with very active schedules. They do all of their planning online, search for deals, and are leveraging mobile and e-commerce to streamline their shopping when it’s available to them.
- Largest segment
- Consist of Millennials
- Most ethnically diverse
- More likely to use their phones for grocery-related research
Enjoys planning and excels at it, builds lists in advance, uses online meal planning tools, and searches for recipes and product reviews online.
- Earns the least
- Live in rural areas
- Extreme couponers
- Most likely to share deals with connections online
Affluent Online Shopper
This high-income group is extremely busy and has little time to plan and go to the grocery store. The Affluent Online Shopper feels that online shopping is very easy and convenient.
- Consist of Seniors and Generation Xers
- Earn highest income
- Technologically savvy
- Brand loyal
This is just a taste of the wealth of information that the study contains. Obtaining Exploring the World of Digital Grocery Shoppers is a must for retail grocers and brands that wish to gain a deeper understanding of their digital consumers, and want a complete picture of what shapes each segment’s opinions and actions.
by David Wilson, CEO
Suppose you are driving your car on a dark and curvy mountain road, on a rainy night, with a very foggy front windshield, dim headlights, and a perfectly clear rear view mirror to guide your path forward? It’s not a comforting scenario.
Surprisingly, this is how many companies still operate when attempting to understand and improve their customers’ experiences and the resulting customer satisfaction (or JD Power/Net Promoter) ratings.
They know a great deal about the past but very little about the future; they know a lot about the average customer but very little about the individual customer.
Even worse, with status-quo research, there’s danger around every corner but very little in the way of early warnings or accident avoidance strategies. As a result, relying entirely on traditional customer satisfaction tracking research is an extremely expensive way to chart your past performance, while leaving you with insufficient intelligence to proactively and systematically improve your customers’ experience, future market share, brand equity, and customer satisfaction ratings.
At a minimum, the problems with traditional customer satisfaction studies are threefold:
- They are not forward looking
- They rely almost exclusively on survey/opinion data
- They only measure the average satisfaction of selected segments of customers
The untraditional approach: traditional tracking research, big data, predictive analytics
Here’s the good news: when big data and predictive analytics are added to traditional customer satisfaction research, you suddenly have the power to proactively deliver a better customer experience, and in turn, drive better satisfaction ratings, customer retention, revenue, and other performance metrics.
Here are 5 of the many innovative approaches to integrate into your customer experience and satisfaction strategies:
1. Append big data to research results: Start by identifying additional data that may help you better understand and predict future satisfaction results. Some sources include third party data (Acxiom, for example), web log data, usage and transaction data, call center data, and even unstructured data from social media (e.g. using text mining).
Append this data to your existing research data. Track this data over time and build a variety of time series data sets and derived variables for modeling (see below).
2. Understand customer journeys (or paths) to purchase and other drivers: Traditional satisfaction research tends to focus on discrete touchpoints or drivers. While useful, this approach fails to identify the most common journeys or multi-touchpoint and multi-channel paths that your customers follow. For example, one very common journey might be to attempt a purchase, look for customer support online, call your customer support center, and comment on their experience (good or bad) via social media (Tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, or star ratings).
These and other journeys should be mapped and understood as part of your satisfaction research. They are often highly predictive of customer satisfaction and customer retention.
3. Leverage predictive analytics: Predictive models can tell you where your satisfaction ratings are going, why, and by how much (overall and for each unique customer).
So when JD Power tells you where you have been, your model will tell you where you are going, which gives you time to spot the key drivers and get to work on making real improvements. Or when Net Promoter Score (NPS) research gives you promoters vs. detractors, your model will tell you where your NPS is going in the future and exactly what is driving the promoters and detractors (and what you must do to earn more of the former).
4. Simulate success to prioritize improvements: When prioritizing potential satisfaction improvements, a robust simulator is often your best friend. While complex to design and build, simulators are extremely valuable when determining which improvement initiatives deserve the highest priority and the biggest investment.
The right simulator will be based on your predictive model and will help you rank initiatives based on cost of implementation and likelihood of success by segment/individual customer. This approach gives you objective and statistically-proven metrics to pick from competing alternatives—and that’s far superior to deciding based on political power and rhetoric.
5. Make global and customer-specific improvements: Traditional customer satisfaction research seeks to identify global (or macro) drivers and solutions. For example, if a false perception exists about product quality/reliability, and this misperception is driving down satisfaction ratings, the company will focus on communicating the truth about its strong product quality/reliability (and rightfully so).
The addition of big data and analytics unlocks the potential to communicate with customers on a one-to-one basis, using their unique drivers of satisfaction (or barriers to the same). When appropriate, companies can continually score their entire customer base and communicate in very targeted and powerful ways to improve their satisfaction.
Clearly, there’s much to be gained from using big data and predictive analytics: discover more drivers, identify meaningful journeys, predict future results, objectively rank alternatives, and make macro and micro improvements.
Together, these enhancements can lead to significant gains in customer satisfaction results over time and with a better ROI. (See my post explaining what big data is and how to get started for more on this topic.)
While successfully integrating these 5 approaches isn’t easy, the results are almost always worth the effort. The next time you find yourself on that winding and treacherous road, you’ll appreciate your crystal clear windshield and your super bright halogen headlights leading you safely to your destination.
Now, that’s a better scenario.
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.