Each year, the Financial Brand produces a comprehensive report on the landscape of banks and credit unions across the globe with the assistance of Aite’s Senior Analyst Ron Shevlin. As a market research firm that specializes on insights for the financial sector, our Analytics team always looks forward to the yearly release date for the new report. The comprehensive study helps our team provide better recommendations for our clients, benchmark their activity to other institutions, and helps us provide them with reference data for their marketing efforts.
Click here if you would like to read the full 2014 State of Bank and Credit Union Marketing report.
After reading the full report, I wanted to take some time to share my insights for our current banking and credit union clients. Here are my key takeaways from the annual report:
- Insufficient budgets and manpower is the #1 challenge for financial institutions. Survey respondents reported this as their main concern for 2014, coupling nicely with #2 which is having too many initiatives. Using a consultant like RMS can free up time for your staff by outsourcing key research activities. Customer surveys can also be designed to help prioritize initiatives for customers.
- The importance of mobile banking continues to grow. Nearly 70% of respondents rated mobile banking solutions as the most critical product or service to promote in 2014.
- Why aren’t more banks and credit unions using NPS? Likelihood to recommend and NPS are such a key driver to loyalty and likelihood to switch primary financial institutions (PFIs), so I am shocked to see that 55% of banks and credit unions do not measure NPS. You can obtain NPS through a simple image and awareness survey to your markets.What is NPS and why is it important? Click the previous link to find out.
- Online account openings not offered by the majority. We’ve seen through past research how important internet/online and mobile banking is when choosing a PFI, especially among those aged 35 or younger. Still only 41% offer online account openings and another 24% haven’t yet but plan to do so. Social media, email marketing, and online ads dominate the tools used by marketers but it doesn’t appear operations are following suit to electronic platforms. So banks are using online strategies to recruit new customers, but fail to fulfill those same user’s needs once they grab their attention. That’s a major concern.
- Emergence of switch kits (finally). One theme that is reoccurring in our market research is respondents reporting is the high barriers to switching financial institutions, especially PFIs. With the adoption of e-deposits, direct deposits, automatic bill pay, and more, customers fear of switching all of that information to another institution is at an all time high. Switch kits are packets that help banks and credit unions collect data from customers’ deposits and withdrawals to one form so the bank can seamlessly make the switch for you. Team this with a switch liaison staff member and financial institutions are finally starting to break down this barrier and create a full-on shopper’s marketplace.
- Poor response rate. Okay, maybe this one hits home as a market researcher and doesn’t necessarily relate directly to banks and credit unions, but the Financial Brand states it has over 1,000,000 readers and only 300 participated in the survey representing a response rate of .03%. I hope there isn’t any non-responder bias.
Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research firm for banks and credit unions. We specialize in a number of market research studies for financial institutions including image and awareness surveys, customer satisfaction and loyalty studies, new account surveys, closed account surveys, branch feasibility studies, and employee surveys. If you are a bank or credit union looking to conduct market research contact our Business Development Director, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.
Posted in Financial Services | Tagged Banking Trends, Credit Union Trends, Market Research Firm for Banks and Credit Unions, State of Bank and Credit Union Marketing Report | Leave a Comment »
First the big hype was all about “Big Data” but now there is some buzz generating for “Small Data”. The concept of big data has caused strain at many companies as they realize their databases lack both the size and sophistication necessary to analyze large amounts of data and produce actionable next steps. Ultimately, utilizing big data is not feasible for many companies, and likely will never be. Companies need to work with what is available and focus on deriving insights from the data it has on hand.
As a market research and marketing consulting company, we’ve been familiar with the concept of small data for a while. However, we simply refer to it as just plain old “data”. We’re in an age where it is becoming easier than ever for small to medium size businesses to collect data on their customers and the usage of products of services.
Here are 4 basic types of small data to review that does not require a sophisticated database, tracking tool, or staff hours:
- Loyalty Data – Collecting loyalty data is all about uniquely identifying your customers or clients (through loyalty cards, customer IDs, usernames, etc.). Once customers are identified, you can collect longitudinal data recording purchasing habits, as well as comparing purchasing data to demographic data to create niche buyer segments.
- Satisfaction Data – Many companies collect satisfaction data, but ultimately don’t do anything to aggregate and analyze it. This is a great place to start for understanding customer satisfaction. This can be collected through a simple customer comment box, survey posted on your website, or through a Quick Pulse telephone survey.
- Lead Data – Tracking the source of leads can be hugely beneficial for a company. Asking all new customers, “How did you hear about us?”, and analyzing those results can be quite eye-opening, yet many businesses fail to collect this information. Tracking the source of new customers will help with optimizing your marketing budget by letting you know what is working, and what isn’t.
- Product and Service Usage Data – Tracking which products and services are being purchased and how frequently they are being purchased can provide lots of insights. While this ultimately might lead to more questions (like why a product is or isn’t being utilized?), it is certainly a step in the right direction to understanding what your customers want from your company.
While every company is at a different stage with data management, companies need to become experts on garnering actionable insights from the data it has and look for ways to acquire data it needs. Technology is making it easier than ever for companies to get started with data management, whether it be big data, small data, or any data. CRM systems (Customer Relation Management) and POS (Point-of-Sale) systems are two great examples of systems that allow you to track, report, and analyze customer and transaction data. Additionally, businesses that have a web presence have a variety of different website and social analytic tools at its disposal.
Utilizing and making sense of your company’s available data can provide the insights necessary to successfully market, operate, and grow a business. Are you a company looking to analyze data, or trying to bring of all your data and findings together in a productive manner? Feel free to call our Business Development Director, Sandy Baker, at 1-866-567-5422 or email her at SandyB@RMSresults.com.
Posted in Customer Satisfaction/Loyalty, Insights | Tagged Big Data, Customer Relationship Management, Data Analysis, Small Data, What is Small Data? | Leave a Comment »
We’ve touched on a variety of market research panel topics on the company blog over the years. Online panels are growing for a variety of factors including a decline in landline telephone usage and a desire for paying clients to obtain quality market research that is inexpensive and timely. If you deal with market research at any level of your profession, you’ve probably come across the term panel on more than one occasion. The industry has witnessed a growth in both provider panels and corporate panels.
Need Help Developing Your Research Panel? Focus on These 7 Areas. (Picture Via Evolllution.com)
If you are a company interested in developing your own corporate panel of customers and potential non-customers, or if you are a market research supplier looking to provide a panel service to your clients, here are 7 areas to consider when developing a research panel:
- Defining parameters - determine geographic focus, determine profiles for recruitment including demographics, determine any niche segments you want to recruit or over-recruit.
- Protocol and operations - establish processes and protocol, design registration and sign-up form, develop FAQs for participants, determine appropriate database, plan resources.
- Communications - establish strategy for audiences and stakeholders, name and brand panel, create panel marketing materials for recruitment, publicize panel and recruit through channels, communicate with internal staff.
- Rewards program - research and determine appropriate rewards program for your panel through partnerships, barter opportunities, sweepstakes, pay per complete, point systems, or other reward options.
- Competitive profiling - research other panel providers and document best practices.
- Business development - establish strategy for growing and selling panel to internal corporate teams or clients, determine other areas of application for the panel through partnerships or syndication.
- Exploring opportunities - share new ideas and connect with the panel team on a regular basis, brainstorm ideas to evolve the panel and increase usage and growth of the initiative.
Here are some other relevant blog pieces RMS wrote about market research panels in the past:
Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research supplier with an extensive regional online panel for Central New York. Our panel is named RMS ViewPoint and if you are interested in signing up for paid research in Syracuse, click here. If you are a business in the Syracuse NY area and you need access to market research data from real respondents in an inexpensive and timely manner, give our Business Development Director Sandy Baker a call at 1-866-567-5422 or email her at SandyB@RMSresults.com.
Posted in Insights | Tagged 7 Areas to Consider When Developing a Research Panel, How to Start a Market Research Panel?, How to Start a Panel? | Leave a Comment »
Recently, Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) unveiled its new marketing folder giving our company a new look and design. What exactly is the new look and design? Check out the images below:
The inside cover features an ‘About RMS’ section. RMS is a full-service market research firm. We specialize in providing strategically-sound solutions to the challenges and opportunities confronting a wide variety of industries today, including: advertising, education, finance and insurance, government, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, not-for-profit, real estate, and retail.
We offer the following capabilities: strategic planning, data mining, panel development and management, satisfaction surveys, lead qualification, HIPAA compliance, brand equity studies, image and awareness studies, feasibility studies, and CAHPS® & PCMH consulting surveys.
The vision of RMS is featured on the back cover and states: Our vision is to develop long-term partnerships by enhancing our clients’ ability to: (1) understand their customers, clients, markets and competitors, (2) respond quickly to market opportunities and challenges, (3) formulate effective business and marketing strategies, and (4) analyze data to drive decisions.
You can contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422 for more information.
Posted in Announcements | Tagged Market Research Syracuse NY, New Marketing Folder, Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) | Leave a Comment »
The United States Census Bureau states NAICS is the North American Industry Classification System and this classification system is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. In 1997 it officially replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system.
NAICS breaks down industries into 20 key sectors, with each of those 20 sectors having sub-sectors to further classify businesses within each industry. For market research purposes, these NAICS codes come in handy when purchasing B2B sample for targeted telephone and online studies. They are also used quite often by market research firms to collect business demographics and classify industries through the demographic sections in surveys.
Each specific business falls into a 6 digit NAICS code that begins with one of the 20 main prefixes below:
- 11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
- 21 Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
- 22 Utilities
- 23 Construction
- 31-33 Manufacturing
- 42 Wholesale Trade
- 44-45 Retail Trade
- 48-49 Transportation and Warehousing
- 51 Information
- 52 Finance and Insurance
- 53 Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
- 54 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
- 55 Management of Companies and Enterprises
- 56 Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
- 61 Educational Services
- 62 Health Care and Social Assistance
- 71 Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
- 72 Accommodation and Food Services
- 81 Other Services (except Public Administration)
- 92 Public Administration
Are you wondering how specific these 6 digit NAICS codes get? If you are an Artichoke Farming, Field, Bedding Plant or Seed Production business, your NAICS code would be 111219. The first two digits fall within the (11) Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting and the final 4 digits specify the exact type of operation. So there really is a code for everything – 19,253 as of 2012 to be exact. If you are looking for definitions for NAICS code classification, read this PDF from the Census website. Also, here is a handy NAICS code look-up and search tool.
Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research firm located outside of Syracuse NY. If you are interested in hiring a market research consultant for your company’s needs, contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.
Posted in Insights | Tagged U.S. Census, What is NAICS? | Leave a Comment »
Over the past year or so, The Research Bunker Blog has been tracking the development of massive online open courses (MOOCs) and their impact on higher education. Much has been written about the ups and downs of the course format during that time, and the future at this point is still very uncertain. In the midst of that uncertainty and some of the lingering concerns, a new piece in Inc. entitled “Digital Education, Yes. MOOCs? Let’s Think it Through,” by Rita Gunther McGrath argues that it’s time to rethink the MOOC model and some of the (possibly dubious) assumptions that went into it.
Should we be rethinking MOOCs?
McGrath points out that MOOC enrollments and completion levels have not met expectations and generally that MOOCs have failed to live up to the initial hype that surrounded them. In that regard, she asserts that MOOCs suffer from the same underlying problems as many other new innovations that are embraced by entrepreneurs, namely (1) that they were launched based upon many untested assumptions, (2) overinvestment due to “Capital Market Myopia,” (3) lack of a clear business plan based upon realistic demand assessments, and (4) a lack of clarity about the problem(s) to which MOOCs represent a solution.
The points about MOOCs being based upon untested assumptions and un-validated expectations of demand are reminiscent of familiar issues that we in The Bunker observe too frequently as market researchers. We are sometimes approached by clients who want us to research why an offering that they already launched hasn’t been living up to their initial expectations. In many, if not most, of those cases, these clients admit that they didn’t do any preliminary feasibility research beforehand and went ahead with the initiative simply because there was “gut-level” belief in it within the organization. When we undertake projects like that, we often find that key initial assumptions about the size and composition of the key market segments were misjudged – or maybe not even thought through at all. That appears to have been the case with MOOCs. There was a sense that because the technology was available to deliver courses in a certain way, universities should begin doing so, without a lot of thought as to what the market potential might be.
Even more alarming is the extent to which universities may be harming their own economic futures by plunging headlong into MOOCs without a fully articulated plan of where they might make up the revenues lost. McGrath writes, “No one, even those who founded the major MOOCs, quite knows yet how they are going to make money. Giving away your core product and hoping to make up the difference using other revenue streams is risky–just ask the newspaper business.” As someone who worked in the newspaper industry from 1991 to 2003, that line struck a chord with me, personally. There are a lot of eerie similarities between what’s going on with MOOCs in higher education and the way that newspapers started giving away their previously paid content for free on the internet and then regretted that there was no putting the genie back in the bottle.
Ultimately, McGrath makes a conclusion about MOOCs similar to one we made in July 2013 when we speculated that MOOCs may be an evolutionary step to an ultimately different model, but the limitations on educational accessibility caused by constraints of time and money are very real and will addressed by some form of online education. The Inc. piece cites some promising organizations that are working toward a “post-MOOC digital education model.” Regardless of how MOOCs or Post-MOOC alternatives evolve, the last four words in title of the Inc. article serves as good advice to educational institutions that are trying to adopt them: “Let’s think it through.”
Please feel free to comment below. What is your take on MOOCs? Should we be rethinking them?
Posted in Education | Tagged Higher Education Trends, Rethinking MOOCs, What are MOOCs? | 1 Comment »
Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research vendor in Syracuse, NY. Our company strives to mitigate any predisposed client frustrations they might have with market research. Many of our clients come to us with past experience with other market research vendors and they tell our team that we are better than the rest. Or at least that’s what our anonymous client satisfaction survey data says over the years. As a market research firm, of course we have to conduct market research on ourselves right?
So when new clients come to RMS, we often have to ensure them that the experience they will have with our team will differ from other vendors. It starts with the business development team before a proposal is even started. Even our kickoff meeting agenda point-blankly asks our clients “what are your expectations from the research?”, and “what would you like to learn from the market research?” Through these discussions about previous vendors and expectations, common themes and frustrations emerge.
“We should have used RMS.”
Here are 3 client frustrations with market research vendors:
- Research vendors too often see potential clients as undifferentiated. Example Quote: “They do not even know what our company does or what my position within the organization is.” Many market research firms specialize in specific industries and nothing else. So that works if your organization is in that industry but doesn’t if you are not. Fortunately, as a smaller market research firm, we offer the best of both worlds for our clients as we have extended knowledge in the healthcare, education, and financial services industries but we also have a large base of clients in other industries as well. This extends our breadth of knowledge across many industries and chances are your new project will benefit from insights and knowledge gained through our team’s past work.
- Research vendors jump to offering solutions, without really listening to my needs. Example Quote: “Their biggest mistake is not asking me what I’m looking for.” They start talking about what they will do and what they offer without knowing what is on my plate.” Our company motto is Ask. Listen. Solve. So it is ingrained in our team to ask and listen to your needs before offering solutions. The RMS Analytics team fully believes in customization and creating research processes that deliver results. A firm should view itself as a market research consultant and not your market research vendor. As a consultant you should listen to your client’s needs and work on a solution that benefits them.
- Too many vendors don’t treat us as people, but potential accounts. Their focus is on sales not assistance. Example Quote: “Understand what my needs are a little better instead of one size fits all.” Our Analytics team views each new client’s project as just the first step in a long-term relationship. This is a testament to the number of repeat clients that come back to RMS after their initial project is complete. Developing a solid client relationship and understanding is the key to a successful project. Relationship building is often one of the most, if not the most important skill in consulting.
What are some other frustrations you have with market research vendors? Tell us about them in the comments section below. If you are interested in contacting RMS to be your market research consultant, send an email to our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or call her at 1-866-567-5422.
Posted in Customer Satisfaction/Loyalty | Tagged 3 Client Frustrations with Market Research Vendors, Market Research Vendor Syracuse NY | Leave a Comment »