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Hansa Marketing Services Blog

6 min read

Customer Acquisition: How to Attract the Right Customers

By Hansa Marketing on May 30, 2013 7:00:00 AM

By Roy Wollen, President, Hansa Marketing Services.

New customers are either loyal advocates in training or a hole that will drain company resources from the moment they land in your database. Taking the long-term view of customer acquisition programs will give you tools to identify both types.

Avoid those Pesky One-Time Buyers

The sad truth in our industry is that most new buyers never blossom into loyal fans and customer advocates. In fact, the majority of new customers never even buy twice.

Different offers, channels, or seasons attract a different crop of new buyers. You would think it would be relatively simple to predict who will blossom and who won’t. We certainly put a lot of resources into marketing communications from welcome kits to catalogs to e-mails - you name it.

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3 min read

Building a Better Product: New Options for Conjoint Analysis

By Hansa Marketing on Apr 4, 2013 7:00:00 AM

By Dan Llanes, Director of Analytics, Hansa GCR.

Listen up product managers, researchers, designers and marketers. No matter what product or service you are designing and selling – there is a better way of narrowing down what is important to your buyer.

Companies face the continual search for which product/service options best meet the needs of the market. Techniques commonly used include flat-out guessing, focus groups and simple surveys. The preferred method has always been Choice-based Conjoint Analysis, or CBC. The CBC exercise walks respondents through choice sets between various product/service attributes in a randomized fashion. The result is deep insights into a respondent’s decision-making criteria.

Despite its widespread use, there are potential problems. Namely, the randomized choices may all fall outside the realm of what’s important to the respondent’s ideal, making the selection less realistic. In addition, a respondent will answer a choice-based question in a few seconds. Not so when actually considering a purchase.

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3 min read

If this is your Marketing Automation, you’re probably doing it wrong

By Hansa Marketing on Mar 14, 2013 7:00:00 AM

This is part 1 in a 2 part series about marketing automation and trigger events.

Campaigns are nice to have, but they don’t mean anything; they’re not important to customers. Customers go through a continuing process of making purchase decisions. Marketers are the ones who said ‘this is the campaign, it’s going to start here, it’s going to end here.’ Now, you as customers have to fit yourself into this campaign idea.

-- Professor Don Schultz, Northwestern University

When I check my phone in the morning, I usually have at least 15 marketing emails from various companies.  I wouldn’t mind if the messages I received were relevant, but most of the time they are examples of bad marketing automation.

Verizon emails me about a new phone even though my upgrade is over a year away. West Elm emails me about a couch sale, even though I bought a couch (from West Elm) a month ago. These emails were probably automated marketing communications, which were set up without looking at me as a customer; at Hansa, we call this “let’s just message everybody” practice “batch and blast,” and it’s the wrong way to implement marketing automation.

The perception many marketers have is that email is basically free, however that simply isn’t the case; just because there are minimal monetary costs doesn’t mean that there isn’t a customer cost. Here are three potential consequences of over-communicating with customers:

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3 min read

Click Data is Not Customer Focused, and Vendors Want It that Way

By Roy Wollen on Mar 7, 2013 7:00:00 AM

By Roy Wollen, President, Hansa Marketing Services.

How do you take control of click data when your vendors want to make things more complicated? Clicking behavior is complicated enough. Customers click on both paid and organic search listings. Customers use browsers and mobile devices. Customers ask their social community for buying advice. When they land on your website, their navigation provides clues as to how interested they are in your brand. The bloated weblog that gets produced from all of this is a mess. It’s voluminous, redundant, noisy and much too granular to make business decisions in its raw state.

What you need is a way to make things simpler – to understand the customer prior to the sale.  You need a way to determine what to offer new customers, what to say, what to feature, how to ensure a good brand experience.

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4 min read

Is Customer Experience Mapping for You?

By Hansa Marketing on Feb 14, 2013 12:10:00 AM

By Kathryn Stevens, Client Services Director, Hansa GCR.

As far as you know, your customers use the processes you provide for communication, in-person transactions, online purchasing, or order placement successfully. When you take the customer pulse with satisfaction polls, you generally don’t see any completely unhappy customers. The limitation here rests with "as far as you know."

If you listen to the undercurrents, you may have some nagging suspicions that all is not well. Customer service reps may tell you that your customers can be anywhere from mildly upset to completely hostile after a transaction. The flow of online orders, such as for takeout lunches or tickets to your events, has been going steadily downward in recent months. Customers indicate they are not willing to recommend your services to friends or relatives.

How do you figure out how well your customers progress through your processes and what they really feel after interacting with your company? The answer: Customer Experience Mapping.

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4 min read

Living a Qualitative Lifestyle with Ethnographic Research

By Hansa Marketing on Feb 7, 2013 12:16:00 AM

By Julie Meyer Asp, Sr. Project Director, Hansa GCR.

I get paid to meet up with people I don’t know. I set up these rendezvous at bars and restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques, and sometimes at people’s homes. These brief encounters give me amazing insight into people. And they should: I am an in-field qualitative researcher.

Encounters with Reality

Recently, my encounters changed my team’s and my client’s assumptions about a new product that bridges the world between personal accessory and technological device. The change started during a meeting with a 35 year-old male (an early adopter of technology) at the fine jewelry department in Bloomingdale’s.

This tech-savvy guy didn’t shop with a list of specs or buy his “only brand” as he’d told me in our previous conversations. He started the way I had expected; he picked up and carefully reviewed all of the products. That continued until one sparkled and glittered in just the right way. I could see it in his eyes; he’d found the right one. He’d fallen in love. He bought with his heart. And he loves the product he bought.

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4 min read

Consulting on Marketing Dashboards: Get the Insider's Top Ten Tips

By Roy Wollen on Jan 31, 2013 10:43:00 AM

By Roy Wollen, President, Hansa Marketing Services.

If you’re responsible for marketing dashboards, you know you’re off to a bad start if you hear people say: So what? That’s nice to know, but what do I do with it? It’s pretty, but what’s next?

Business people are already inundated with numbers. To help you cut through the clutter, let’s discuss some pitfalls to avoid and top tips for developing marketing dashboards. But I will start by telling you the main takeaway: it’s not about creating cool gauges and dials, it’s about solving business problems.

Dashboards require planning. Dashboards embed actions. Dashboards have champions that socialize the work. This doesn’t happen because of a cool gadget.

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2 min read

Master the RFP Process: Start with your Needs Analysis

By Roy Wollen on Jan 24, 2013 10:27:00 AM

By Roy Wollen, President, Hansa Marketing Services.

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2 min read

Customer Experience vs Customer Service - Learn the Difference

By Mary Valenta on Jan 16, 2013 5:31:00 PM

Customer Experience 3.0

A Hansa Thoughticle™, by Wayne Marks.

How we view brands and the customer experience is governed by paradigms, or mental models, if you prefer.

The brand model, for example, goes something like this: The brand is this “thing” or idea that represents the essence of what the company stands for.

For many companies, managing the brand means marketing communications – conveying the brand value proposition to target audiences. Indeed this communication has expanded in recent years with the advent of social media. But, we still manage brands as if we were advertisers pushing messages out to the receiving audience.  As Seinfeld said so well, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

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3 min read

Moving Beyond a Commodity-Provider Mindset

By Liz Ryan on Aug 7, 2012 8:58:00 AM

Can utilities develop new products to drive opportunities with small businesses?

Magazines and newspapers are buzzing with articles on energy-conserving products for consumers, such as electric vehicles, solar power options, and zoned temperature controls. But how can utilities take advantage of the buzz? Portland General Electric (PGE) wanted to find out.

PGE theorized that ductless heat pumps can offer constant comfort to small businesses without the cost or hassle of a major HVAC overhaul.

PGE engaged Hansa GCR to conduct research with the small business market—ranging from a tattoo shop to a winery to a dog daycare to a printing company. Research explored their current needs, their perceptions of the ductless heat pump product, and the hurdles they perceived in adoption.

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4 min read

Brand Triumvirate

By Liz Ryan on Jul 20, 2012 10:00:00 AM

By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa|GCR

There are a gaggle of ways to look at brand and define what a brand is. We at Hansa like to think of a brand as a gestalt. No matter what elements we put forward as the ingredients of a brand, the whole will be more than the sum of the parts. This fact explains why there are so many different ways of looking at brands – we are implicitly trying to understand this gestalt.

Beyond the gestalt, we also advocate that a brand is much more than a logo, tagline, or the position a company communicates to the market. While these are important, customers and prospects judge the company and its products by far more than that. They don’t experience just the brand communicated in messaging; they experience all ways in which they touch the product and company. They form their thoughts and feelings about the company based on this total experience. The experience is the brand. This total experience shapes the customer mind space occupied by the brand.The mind space occupied by the brand should not be accidental. It needs to be purposeful. This requires the company to be clear about what it wants the brand to stand for. What the brand stands for needs to set the company apart and provide the customer with a reason to buy its products rather than a competitor’s.

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3 min read

Results Generated from Adaptive Choice-based Conjoint Analysis

By Liz Ryan on Jul 19, 2012 8:38:00 AM

By Dan Llanes, Director of Analytics, Hansa GCR

If you’ve been reading along or perhaps attending webinars we’ve been taking a look at the many benefits of Adaptive CBC (Choice-based Conjoint). Now it’s time to turn our attention to the types of results we can generate with this technique. The Adaptive CBC questionnaire contains three major areas, the Build Your Own (BYO) section, the screener and the choice tournament. From these areas we can learn the following from a purely descriptive standpoint:

  • BYO: How often levels were included as part of respondents’ preferred concept
  • Unacceptables: How often levels were considered unacceptable
  • Must-Haves: How often levels were must-haves
  • Screeners: How many products were screened into the consideration set
  • Choice Tournament: How often levels were included in the “winning” concept

These are all important questions, but they only begin to scratch the surface of what is possible with Adaptive CBC data. With the use of a simulator tool, conjoint data comes alive.

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4 min read

Refreshing the Brand: Putting the Brand to the Test

By Liz Ryan on Jul 10, 2012 8:35:00 AM

By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa GCR

In a prior Thoughticle™, Refreshing the Brand: Focusing on Key Brand Elements,” we described Hansa’s proprietary Brand RJVNTR™ process and the brand elements that need to be addressed to create your brand promise. These elements are summarized in the following exhibit.

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4 min read

Refreshing the Brand: Focusing on Key Brand Elements

By Liz Ryan on Jun 7, 2012 8:35:00 AM

By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa|GCR

Is you brand current and impactful? Does it need to be refreshed? Where would you plot yourself on the following chart? Is your brand still on it is initial growth curve? Is it starting to level off? Perhaps decline? Should the brand be refreshed and readied for its next evolution?

To answer the above questions, consider the following:

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1 min read

Small Firms Need Analytics Too: Here's Why

By Liz Ryan on Apr 25, 2012 8:40:00 AM

By Ed Jaffe, Customer Intelligence Consultant, Hansa Marketing Services

Often, when one hears about business analytics, big firms (Amazon, IBM, Google) come to mind. However, analytics aren’t just for the big guys – small companies can also reap the benefits of business analytics to increase revenues and improve the bottom line.

Last year, I consulted with a small Consumer Product Goods (CPG) company. This two year old company’s primary sales channel was the internet, and they had received about 13,500 orders. The owners came to me knowing they had a retention problem (92% of customers ordered two times or less); however, because they had never analyzed their data, they were unaware of

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4 min read

Why Most Brand Tracking Research is Almost a Complete Waste of Time and Money...or Worse

By Liz Ryan on Feb 7, 2012 8:47:00 AM

By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa|GCR

Think of any well-known (niche or global) consumer or business-to-business brand: Oracle, Apple, Coke, Burger King, etc. What comes to mind?

Logos, taglines, symbols, stories, images, and other more abstract meanings we associate with the brand. The better known a brand is to us, the more extensive our knowledge and perceptions will be. In combination, these elements reflect the brand promise. When you buy something, you are essentially buying the promise underlying the brand.

Incredibly, most brand tracking research does not explicitly measure brand promise or whether brands deliver on that promise. Instead, they focus on important – but often less critical (and certainly incomplete) measures like awareness and relevance.

Let’s take a look at what happens when a brand fails to deliver on its promise.

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6 min read

Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Money Pits or Business Critical Management Tools?

By Liz Ryan on Jan 11, 2012 1:01:00 PM

How much money are you spending on tracking customer satisfaction? Consider not just the costs for research, but internal costs of personnel managing research plus all the stakeholders who receive the tracking results or who are otherwise involved in the process. Also consider whether there are opportunity costs – in other words, if you re-deployed these monies to other purposes what could you do with them that might be of value? Perhaps you are spending $100,000. Or, might you even be spending millions like some companies do with massive global customer satisfaction tracking programs. This can be a significant investment for any enterprise and as with any investment, we must ask… how can we get a return?
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4 min read

Stated and Derived Importance - Is it a Mistake to Ask Customers What's Important?

By Liz Ryan on Jan 9, 2012 8:47:00 AM

Written by Dan Llanes, Director of Analytics, Hansa|GCR

At the risk of stating the obvious, marketers care about what’s important -- what’s important to customers relating to products, messages, and brands. Understanding what is important, however, is easier than understanding the why and the how of importance. More specifically, market researchers usually talk mainly about two kinds of importance: stated and derived. We tend to think this view is oversimplified, however, and that it actually interferes with truly understanding customer behavior. In this article, we’ll review stated and derived importance and then discuss why we think there’s more to “importance” than meets the typical researcher’s eye.

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5 min read

Business To Business Research Needs To Change

By Liz Ryan on Dec 1, 2011 10:58:00 AM

By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa|GCR

Marketers confront a real paradox when dealing with business customers, and this paradox is often not realized or addressed in approaches to understanding what drives corporate decisions. The paradox is: Am I selling to a person or a company? The answer is “both.”

At a basic level, interactions between companies are simply interactions between people. That may sound silly, but consider its implications. Buyers who work in companies don’t change their bodies when they leave work and then they go home and become purchasers of consumer goods and services. As consumers, they walk around as a package of thoughts, feelings, and attitudes, along with a history of experiences in buying goods and services and an ever-evolving set of expectations. None of this goes away when they go to work the next day and dress up in their corporate buyer persona.

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2 min read

Creating Emotional Bonds

By Liz Ryan on Sep 9, 2011 12:21:00 PM

I visited an Apple Store the other day and waited outside till they opened.  When I entered, the entire Apple crew was arrayed from front to back along each side of the store and facing the front.  They all clapped when the doors were opened.  Clapped for me and the other customers who entered.  Hokey?  Maybe.  Effective? 
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5 min read

Brand Assessment Tools: Measuring Relative Importance with Shapley Value Regression

By Liz Ryan on Aug 31, 2011 12:23:00 AM

Be careful that you use the right analytic technique in asessing your brand's performance!

Hansa’s brand assessment approach utilizes numerous methodological tools – perceptual mapping, maximum difference scaling, and key driver analysis to name a few. Typically, these tools focus on predicting the factors that most directly impact the bottom line: behavioral outcomes.

These behavioral outcomes are frequently viewed as loyalty metrics and include purchase behaviors, willingness to recommend, and increases in wallet share.

Among the methods of predicting outcomes, key driver analysis is by far the most popular method to assess the relative importance of brand attributes. Key driver analysis answers which brand attributes are critical in predicting customer loyalty. Is it the perception that a brand is cost effective, a leading innovator, or provider of top-of-the-line customer support?

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5 min read

Don't Lose The Product In The Customer Experience

By Liz Ryan on Aug 9, 2011 12:30:00 PM

If customers didn’t like Starbucks coffee, they wouldn’t go to their stores.  Period.  Of course the Starbucks customer experience goes quite a ways beyond the latte.

One might even argue that objective evaluation of the coffee is not really done by consumers. The cache of the Starbucks brand and being a Starbucks customer brings all sorts of nuances to likeability of the product per se.

But the coffee has to be good enough to at least pass a threshold of consumer-perceived quality. Indeed, when Starbucks broke into the market, the coffee was decidedly different, save for a few American roasters like Peets and the Italian baristas that are the Starbucks heritage.

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6 min read

International Research: Where to Go, What to Do, and What to Expect

By Liz Ryan on Jun 8, 2011 12:37:00 PM

Your product or service is enjoying success in North America, and you have a clear notion of the next stage of maturity in that market. But you may want to consider how it will play on an international stage. To begin thinking about international research, ask yourself these questions. How will you start to develop an international research road map? And more importantly, what do you need to know when you arrive at the end of the road?
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3 min read

The Power of Feelings: Building Resilient Customer Relationships

By Liz Ryan on May 24, 2011 12:37:00 PM

Many customer relationships are in a sorry state today. While it might be easy to look at the past few years and blame the economy and cuts in staffing or service levels, our research indicates an unexpected root cause. Many customers are unhappy, and at risk, simply because they do not feel a connection to their most strategic providers. Using words I have heard too often in executive interviews: “They don’t get me. They don’t get what I need. And it’s not a partnership. It’s just about them.”
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4 min read

Segmentation: B2B Customers Are Different -- And So Must Be Your Approach

By Liz Ryan on May 11, 2011 12:38:00 PM

Hitting a golf ball down the middle of the fairway may be good in golf, but not so good in marketing. As with B2C, B2B marketers see value in understanding their customers and potential customers through segmentation. We need to ask whether there are different groups of customers with different needs or other characteristics that require different go-to-market strategies and possibly different products or services. Segmenting businesses, however, presents some complications that require careful thinking to navigate successfully.

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5 min read

Shattered Loyalty

By Liz Ryan on Apr 18, 2011 12:39:00 PM

I have been a truly loyal customer to my insurance company. I don’t even want to count the years. I am so loyal, that a colleague of mine once was astounded when he learned that I don’t even compare prices for insurance. I simply stay with my company.

I must be a dream customer for them. While I have had a few claims, their net profit from me would be an aspiration for all their insureds. I have been one of those customers to whom they couldn’t sell enough products. I have homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, umbrella liability insurance, life insurance, and once had earthquake insurance until they got out of that business. Within these product lines, I have multiple policies.

The company to which I have been truly loyal is one that would position itself as always there for me, with agents who provide very personalized service, looking out for my interests. I frankly would not have been interested in the many firms now warring over who has the greatest discount. I was not their target customer. But “was” is the operative word here.

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8 min read

Delivering the Brand: Nine Principles of Change Management

By Liz Ryan on Mar 30, 2011 12:40:00 PM

Scores have written about the making of great brands. Much of the writing focuses on the clear communicated benefit, the sharp understanding of consumers’ lives, the need for reach and frequency, and the rest of the brand communication bible. Less has been written about the critical importance of the promise being delivered consistently, clearly, memorably, and uniquely in the customer experience. As we have written in other Thoughticles, the brand is the experience, the experience is the brand.
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1 min read

Our head of Analytics responds to Ad Age article with his own predictions...

By Liz Ryan on Feb 2, 2011 1:00:00 PM

See article here: http://adage.com/agencynews/article?article_id=148083

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