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3 Key Takeaways From Innovation Day to Carry Into 2024

Written by Alida

Published January 11, 2024

Imagine yourself at this time next year. Your insights program is humming along like a precision engine. New products are exceeding their targets after being shaped and named by studies you ran. Leadership recognizes your team for saving money, improving customer satisfaction, and helping to set the company’s direction. 

If this vision feels far away, take comfort in the fact that many 2023 Delta Award winners felt the same at the start of last year. Some were facing budget cuts, others leadership changes and M&A challenges. To reach their goals they had to make changes to their customer experience and Voice of Customer initiatives. 

These folks reimagined their insight programs, doubling down on strategies that deliver results. We celebrated them on Innovation Day because they overcame some of the most common obstacles insights teams face and set a new bar for the profession. Though the winners came from different industries and geographies, their stories highlight several themes any insights professional can learn from. 

1. Collaborating with stakeholders increases buy-in

Innovators made it clear that stakeholder support is crucial to their success. This year, they became more prominent participants in team meetings and brought their business partners into all parts of the research process. 

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), for example, went through an extensive education process to give collaborators a chance to ask questions and fully understand the research team’s goals. They’ve greatly increased the number of stakeholders they serve.

The J.Crew Group began having stakeholder meetings with smaller groups to understand the nuances of what different teams were looking to achieve. They now ask more questions up front, using a standard template to guide their stakeholder discussions.

To supplement insights from product users, Experian Health collects feedback from internal subject matter experts and consultants, giving employees a channel to share what they hear on the front lines and influence the future of the products the company develops. 

Utilizing Alida’s member hub feature, tombola launched a creative way to connect business leaders directly with the players in their panel. Their “Ask the Expert” series gives the tombola c-suite a chance to answer questions and hear what is top of mind from their audience.

Similarly, The Wendy’s Company invites chefs into moderated conversations within the community, bringing the people creating new products as close as possible to customers.

2. Look for insights, not just data points 

Innovators look for the big picture view of how multiple data points fit together. 

For example, instead of evaluating each digital interaction in isolation, BMO simulated the end-to-end digital experience customers would face when switching to a new online system. Doing so was important to identify and remove points of friction or confusion.

Toyota (GB) tracks all the touchpoints their customers experience so they can make sure they're talking to the customer as “One Toyota”. They identify common themes and use these to help make the customer’s experience seamless.

Insights from the Woolworth’s Financial Services community are used across the business from sales to collections and help inform product development during agile production schedules.

Rather than a high volume of broad research, the J.Crew Group focused their efforts on fewer, more strategic studies. Instead of churning out “one and done” surveys to address tactical questions, they designed surveys that went deeper, with questions that would support trend analysis and inform the bigger picture.

Experian Health found early results can be a canary in a coal mine. When initial surveys revealed that claims denials were a top pain point for customers, the insights team dug deeper. They learned that the source of the dissatisfaction was long processing times and manual guesswork, which validated the need for more automation.

3. Segment for more meaningful results

Several innovators in this year’s group of winners leverage many years of customer community data. Because each participant in a community is tagged with profile attributes, insights teams can identify emerging personas and target studies to relevant audiences.

For example, Canadian Tire has gained a deeper comprehension of the requirements and motivations of its consumers with every engagement. Their insight team now has a thorough grasp of various audience demographics thanks to the integration of transactional, loyalty, and direct consumer feedback data.

With over 12 years of historical data, Warner Bros. Discovery tailors their research to sub-communities based on profile attributes. They segment at-home watchers, parents, and customers of specific tours and in-person experiences to create a more detailed view of their feedback, and get focused answers that have direct impact on campaigns and initiatives.

A community with over 45 unique profile variables helps The Wendy’s Company analyze research results according to people’s attributes, purchase history, preferences, and previous responses. The restaurant chain can understand niche product appeal and messaging preferences of different buyer profiles. 

Want to uncover more? 

To learn more lessons from this year’s winning innovators, make sure to read  the Innovators eBook, featuring 14 success stories of top global insight teams, and check out all our Innovation Day video content.  Get inspired and explore proven strategies to help you prioritize initiatives and achieve success in 2024 and beyond.

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