Insight Communities – Driving ROI, Not Just Research Value

Richard Clarke, Vice President
Global Partnerships, VisionCritical

For decades, research has delivered powerful consumer sentiment and opinion into organizations – enabling these organizations to put the voice of the consumer into their decisions with the goal of creating more meaningful, successful, and effective products and services.

Methods and modes have changed over the years, with more and more complex solutions being created to get closer to the consumer truth at an ever-increasing speed. Incredible insight has been (and will continue to be) gleaned from consumers, informing multiple parts of clients’ business eco-systems. However, for many clients and users, research is seen as a cost center within an organization – something that needs to be done as part of a process or something that must be purchased as part of the broader vision of the business. The value of research is not generally associated as being an integral and fundamental part of overall business planning and development.

This is why whenever there is a downturn in business performance, or regional/global downturns (ex: 2008 Global Financial Crisis), one of the first areas to be questioned and lose budget is research.

What is the “value” that research is delivering?

There are many answers to this question, both objective and subjective, however, too few times does research itself get directly linked back to business performance. Ultimately, asking about the “value” of research is the wrong question. We should be asking: What is the “Return on Investment” of research? Because that is what research is: an investment into the organization, and not a cost.

There are many ways that Return on Investment in research can be measured, including:

  • More informed/accurate business decisions – what is the cost savings from NOT doing the wrong thing or validating the decision (risk aversion)?
  • Faster to market with the RIGHT product – how much does speeding up the development cycle save?
  • Quicker reaction time to customer feedback and demand – what is the short- and long-term savings of rapidly reacting to the situation or of knowing your customers’ buyer journey and pain points?

For years, I have been an advocate of research and Insight Communities – the idea of engaging with individuals to answer the business issues at hand with engaged members who, ultimately, also drive advocacy for the brand. Insight Communities should not be considered a research “cost” but rather as an organizational asset that both informs business decisions and creates brand advocacy among members.

Forrester Consulting recently completed a Total Economic Impact™ Study on the ROI of Insight Communities to clients. In addition to the cost efficiencies and speed value propositions of Insight Communities, Forrester quantified the financial value of continually engaging with members in a community. The highlights include:

  • $1.7M business value from increased customer insight
  • 590% ROI
  • $546K incremental profit and $4.7M increased sales from community members
  • 39% increase in average order value and 70% lower churn rate from community members
  • 75% reduction in cost compared to traditional market research methodologies
  • 4-6x faster speed to results

This continues to reaffirm the belief that an Insight Community is not only an incredibly valuable tool in providing fast and efficient consumer insight, but also drives business action that results in incremental sales and profit for organizations.

These are just some of the reasons that organizations are implementing communities. The client stories about the impact of an ongoing Insight Community are powerful and continue to prove out the short-term and long-term Return on Investment. Shifting the mindset to consumer engagement is resulting in hundreds of organizations realizing significant returns and outcomes (click here for client stories).

Five years ago, communities were more of a niche solution or emerging technology but, according to the latest GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report (Q3 2017), 82% of respondents stated that communities were either in use (60%) or under consideration (22%). This has led GreenBook to no longer believe that they are an emerging solution but are, in fact, a mainstream solution:

“In future editions of GRIT, it is likely that online communities will also be removed from “emerging methods” now that it is mainstream.” (GRIT Q3/Q4 2017).

Ultimately, these two pieces of evidence indicate that an Insight Community is not only a solution that spreads efficient business insight across organizations but is also an asset that drives revenue and profitability – thereby attaching a real-world ROI to the value of the asset.

Feel free to contact me to learn more about how an Insight Community can become your most powerful asset.


Tactics For Humanizing Data From Connected Devices and IoT To Drive Business Outcomes

By Lucas Lowden, Research Director

Connected devices. Automation. Machine learning. Artificial intelligence.

Just a few short years ago, we would’ve thought we were watching a science fiction movie.

There is much discussion around these technologies – and for good reason! Each are critical components of scalable Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Today, it is the reality of our day jobs. With the support of various functions across the organization, we are actively establishing Morpace’s thought leadership and positioning for what we believe will be the future of the market research industry.

In support of these technologies, the importance of the human element should not be discounted.

There are numerous human interactions that provide crucial inputs to enable successful automation of machine processes. Doing so allows for a broader understanding and application of big data to produce actionable insights for business outcomes.

With several years growing in this space, we have developed a passion about leveraging big data and IoT systems. We have also realized the importance of Big Context – the intersection of man and machine that layers contextual understanding and lends business meaning to these massive data systems.

Are you leveraging Big Context in your business? Are you finding the humanity within your organization’s data?

Join the Strategists on Morpace’s Growth & Innovation Team – Jason Mantel (Sr. VP), Dania Rich-Spencer (VP), and myself, Lucas Lowden (Research Director) – for our webinar from Qualtrics’ Experience Week, Big Context: Humanizing Big Data From Connected Devices” and learn about tactics for driving positive business outcomes. To sign up and view our webinar, click here.

In the webinar, we explore the tenants of Big Context and how we have proven the importance of the human element and answering the question “Why?” for an automotive manufacturer and a transportation & logistics fleet.

We encourage you to reach out to us directly for any questions or further discussion around humanizing your organizations’ data at information@morpace.com.



Cardholder Sentiment for EMV “Smart” Chip-Enabled Cards is Mixed

Cardholder Sentiment for EMV “Smart” Chip-Enabled Cards is Mixed

By: Tim Taylor, Vice President; Steven Welling, Project Director; Jessica Tomlinson, Research Analyst

There have been a number of articles over the past several months related to the rollout of chip-enabled credit cards and how both retailers and consumers are reacting to them.

To better understand cardholder perceptions of this new technology, our Morpace Financial Services team posed questions to more than 1,000 U.S. consumers about their experiences with chip-enabled cards. Our results showed that customer perceptions are mixed.

Overall, more than one-third (37%) of cardholders prefer the EMV chip-enabled cards while another third (31%) prefer to swipe their credit/debit cards in the traditional manner. The remaining third (32%) stated they had no preference as long as their card works and is safe.

Interestingly, younger cardholders are more likely to prefer the traditional card (43% vs. 21%), while older cardholders are more likely to prefer the chip-enabled cards (48% vs. 30%). This finding took us by surprise given younger generation’s tendency to adopt new technologies quicker than older generations. As a result, we dove deeper into the data to see what is causing younger cardholders to resist this change.

We found that cardholders who report a preference for the traditional cards shared the following sentiments:

  • Do not feel the time it takes to pay using a chip reader is satisfactory
  • Are not always sure when to use the chip reader when making a purchase
  • Do not understand why the traditional cards are being replaced
  • Do not believe chip-enabled cards are more secure
  • Do not feel the card provider sent information about the chip-enabled card

This data led us to believe that there are two major barriers to chip card satisfaction among those who prefer to swipe their credit/debit cards in the traditional manner. First, cardholders believe that it takes longer to complete a purchase when using a chip reader. Millennials are well-known for their fast-paced lifestyle so it is unsurprising that transaction speed is a top mentioned reason for disliking chip-enabled cards.

However, the data suggests there is more to the story than speed alone. A lack of understanding surrounding this new technology also acts as a major barrier. Cardholders who prefer the chip-enabled cards are more likely to understand why they are receiving the new cards and the added security benefits of the chips, and therefore appear to be more adoptive of the technology.

So what role should card providers play in improving customer perceptions of chip-enabled cards?

First, they will want to find additional ways to communicate the benefits of chip-enhanced cards–especially to younger cardholders. These communications should serve to educate cardholders on why chip-enabled cards are being adopted as well as how and when to use the chip readers at retail locations.

To appeal to the younger crowd, card providers should consider providing anecdotal examples in a storytelling approach of how these cards enhance security and reduce the number of data breaches or by using infographics in communications with easy-to-follow facts and figures.

Secondly, card providers and retailers must work together to address the perception of longer transaction times. It will be important that card providers set appropriate expectations regarding the time it may take to pay using a card reader in order to mitigate dissatisfaction.

Recently published articles by national media outlets anecdotally support these findings, both in terms of perceived longer transaction times and the proven security benefits. Even in today’s digital world, we feel ongoing communication and education will be a key factor in making this ongoing transition more widely accepted.


What Would it Take to Use Mobile Banking?

mobile banking image

By: Steven Welling, Project Director

With mobile banking continuing to rise in popularity, the financial services team here at Morpace wanted to look a bit further into mobile banking usage and understand what features consumers would most like to see added.

In our monthly Omnibus, we found that increased mobile banking usage among consumers is associated with higher satisfaction with their primary bank, suggesting that introducing customers to mobile banking and/or providing additional tools within mobile banking may have a positive effect on overall satisfaction.

The Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs (DCCA) conducts a yearly study about consumer and mobile financial services. (You can find the most current study—released in March 2015— on the Federal Reserve Board’s website here.)

Many of the findings from this survey confirm the understanding we have about mobile phones and banking, including the top reasons why some consumers do not use mobile banking. These include:

  1. Their needs are already met
  2. They don’t see a reason to use it
  3. They are concerned about security

We investigated this further and looked at not only consumer interest in mobile banking, but also their concerns. We considered if all consumer concerns were alleviated, what exactly would create the most interest in using mobile banking? We created an exercise to rank the importance of various enhancements to determine the relative magnitude of the impact when it comes to encouraging mobile banking usage.

We asked consumers: For those who currently use mobile banking, what would increase their usage? For those who do not use mobile banking, what would increase their likelihood of using mobile banking?

We found that not only were some form of incentives the top choice, but the relative magnitude was quite substantial. In fact, those already using mobile banking are over four-times as likely to increase their usage due to some form of an incentive as the second most important, fingerprint authentication.

Financial Services chart

While incentives are still the most important for those who have never used mobile banking, they are not as strong of a motivator for increasing the use of mobile banking. Two-factor authentication (using two separate security verifications to login), fingerprint authentication, and live 24/7 support are also strong influencers when it comes to introducing consumers to mobile banking.

These findings show us that the motivation for mobile banking is not as simple as just introducing them to the app. Individuals have various reasons as to what would make them consider mobile banking or increase their usage. These factors need to be taken into consideration when a financial institution is trying to promote their mobile banking capabilities.

While these findings provide more insight into understanding mobile banking usage, we plan to explore this further by examining how the results would change if incentives were not an option. If a financial institution is unable to offer incentives, how much do the rankings change and how does the relative magnitude of each change as well?

As we continue to monitor and analyze these results we will make sure to keep you up to date on our findings. If you would like to learn more about this research and hear about what our future results tell us, make sure to follow our blog or contact our financial services team here at Morpace.