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The SME finance monitor: The de facto authority on access to finance conditions in the UK
Shiona Davies and Caroline Ahmed, MRS Awards, Finalist, MRS Awards, December 2013
This article describes the development of the SME Finance Monitor, a measure of UK business access to credit produced by BDRC Continental.
This article describes the development of the SME Finance Monitor, a measure of UK business access to credit produced by BDRC Continental. The monitor uses telephone interviews with SME business owners and financial decision makers to understand finance applications, success, and appetite for growth. Quality is ensured by reviewing the questions asked regularly, checking data meticulously, and maintaining the independence of the report. The report has impacted on government policy, and informed the public and academic debates on issues surrounding business finance.
AXA PPP Healthcare: Nurturing symbiotic intermediary relationships
Farzana Qadir and Barbara Wright, MRS Awards, Finalist, MRS Awards, December 2013
This article describes how AXA PPP Healthcare, the insurance company, uses an annual research programme to gain in-depth understanding of how the company is perceived by insurance intermediaries.
This article describes how AXA PPP Healthcare, the insurance company, uses an annual research programme to gain in-depth understanding of how the company is perceived by insurance intermediaries. Understanding this perception is important to the company's success as its products are sold through them. Previously, data was gathered through online quantitative surveys, but small sample sizes and lack of diagnostic evidence limited the usefulness of this method. A new approach included quantitative and qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews. This approach has led to changes including: how accounts are serviced, training updates, the development of a new communications strategy, a new online portal, and improving turnaround times.
Putting the fizz Into finance: How emotional advertising helped HSBC change its global image
MRS Awards, Finalist, MRS Awards, December 2013
This article explains how HSBC used research to inform the development of a global emotional advertising campaign.
This article explains how HSBC used research to inform the development of a global emotional advertising campaign. Financial services advertising is usually rational, but research had shown emotional advertising to be more effective. HSBC created a series of ads with an emotional appeal, with each one tested through research and found to be successful. This led to a change in approach: instead of rational ads for each the company's business units, an over-arching campaign with the brand emphasised was created.
Investec: Embarking on a voyage of discovery - Crafting a market-leading premium financial product
MRS Awards, Winner, MRS Awards, December 2013
This article describes research by Investec, the financial services company, which was used to change the way new products are designed and launched globally.
This article describes research by Investec, the financial services company, which was used to change the way new products are designed and launched globally. With tight deadlines, the research needed to reach high net worth individuals (HNWs) in different parts of the world. The project had six stages: ensuring Investec teams across the world were on-board with the decided approach; defining the segment of HNWs that should be targeted; working with the marketing team to recruit participants; creating a luxury research experience; facilitating peer-to-peer conversations; and delivering insights to Investec through a workshop. The research informed a new product launch targeting HNWs.
New insights from practice: Exploring online channel management strategies and the use of social media as a market research tool
Philipp 'Phil' Klaus, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 6, 2013, pp. 829-850
The concept of online customer experiences, and in particular the role of social media in online customer behaviour, has recently received great interest from academia, business and market researchers alike.
The concept of online customer experiences, and in particular the role of social media in online customer behaviour, has recently received great interest from academia, business and market researchers alike. Despite the belief that social media, imbedded in a corresponding online channel strategy, can be the key to successfully track and analyse consumer behaviour, most of the research focuses solely on the consumer rather than the companies’ strategic viewpoint. This study investigates current online channel management strategies of retail banking services, developing a much-needed typology of such practices. Based upon a thorough and rigorous data analysis process, we propose a typology of online channel strategies. The typology differentiates existing practices into initiators, reformers and consolidators, and discusses the differences between these categories with implications for theory and practice. We highlight the current and future roles of social media market research, and their strategic implications for the industry sector and market research in general, introducing the concept of ‘Strategic Social Intelligence (SSI)’.
The beauty and the beast: How can a bank communicate in times of stress
Jochum Stienstra and Tibor van Bekkum, ESOMAR, Qualitative, Valencia, November 2013
This paper explains how qualitative research was used to expose 'prejudice-without-knowing' during work for a Dutch bank.
This paper explains how qualitative research was used to expose 'prejudice-without-knowing' during work for a Dutch bank. A narrative method is presented that is inherently and radically open, and enables the client not only to look deeper into their consumer, but in the mirror as well. The method helped the client to transform the view on their business (consumer loans) and was integral in cultivating a healthy organisational identity.
Ads are watching me - A view from the interplay between anthropomorphism and customisation
Marina Puzakova, Joseph F. Rocereto and Hyokjin Kwak, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 32, No. 4, 2013, pp. 513-538
With the advancement of technological platforms, the use of recommendation agents that can provide highly customisable solutions has become more ubiquitous.
With the advancement of technological platforms, the use of recommendation agents that can provide highly customisable solutions has become more ubiquitous. Marketing academics and practitioners alike have begun to investigate various communication styles and functionality designs of such decision aid systems. One variant of a design of a recommendation agent is to imbue it with humanlike features (i.e. to anthropomorphise it). However, academic research is silent with respect to whether this type of design would lead to more favourable consumer evaluations. To fill this gap, our research investigates the downstream consequences of anthropomorphising a recommendation agent, when the recommendation itself may require the exchange of personally sensitive information, and the message is customised. The results of two experiments reveal that, when a message is customised, the effect of an anthropomorphised recommendation agent on attitude towards the advertisement is predominantly negative and is mediated by consumers’ unwillingness to provide personal information to an anthropomorphic recommendation agent, as well as by greater psychological resistance towards the advertisement. Our research concludes with theoretical and practical implications, as well as further research directions.
MMA EMEA Forum 2013: Mobile strategies from Unilever, AXA and The Weather Channel
Joseph Clift, Event Reports, MMA EMEA Forum, November 2013
In this event report, three major brands outline how they are using mobile to advance their business objectives.
In this event report, three major brands outline how they are using mobile to advance their business objectives. Unilever, the FMCG giant, believes it serves as a “connective tissue” linking together the various other aspects of the marketing mix, and can be employed beneficially in both mature and emerging markets. On its part, AXA, the insurance provider, has turned to apps to boost its core brand metrics, a goal largely achieved through utility marketing and providing useful tools for drivers. In the advertising sphere, The Weather Channel has sourced data from a range of internal and external sources to build a predictive advertising service, and is also integrating native ads into its app.
MasterCard evolves ‘Priceless’ campaign with QR code based shopping app
Stephen Whiteside, Event Reports, ad:tech New York, November 2013
This event report describes how MasterCard, the financial services company, has created a shopping app in an evolution of its 'Priceless' campaign.
This event report describes how MasterCard, the financial services company, has created a shopping app in an evolution of its 'Priceless' campaign. The app allows users to scan QR codes at a location and pay for goods through the app, and has been used in coffee shops, cinemas and sports stadiums. The app makes purchasing easier and more rewarding for the consumer. It is not designed to drive sales, but to enhance the customer's experience and therefore build an emotional connection with the MasterCard brand.
Allstate: Save 11 - Putting a human face on a cold statistic
Jay Chiat Strategic Excellence Awards, Honourable Mention, October 2013
This case study describes a campaign by Allstate, the American car insurance company, to pass a new law for teen drivers which Allstate thought would reduce deaths.
This case study describes a campaign by Allstate, the American car insurance company, to pass a new law for teen drivers which Allstate thought would reduce deaths. Allstate had found that states which had introduced 'graduated drivers licensing' had teen death rates up to 40% lower than states which had not. Allstate planned to take the best safe driving laws from across states, and combine them in a national bill. The campaign aimed to gather public support, get the attention of Congress, and ultimately lead to a change in the law. To make the issue stand out an emotional message was chosen. Teen deaths were made more personal - instead of referring to 4,000 deaths a year the campaign talked about 11 deaths a day - and faces of teenagers were used on ads. Congress-people were targeted through the print media they read with ads placed on the front pages, and as the vote approached an 11 page spread was placed in Politico, the news magazine. Information was also delivered directly to every Congressperson. Public support was mobilised through social media, with a Facebook app that allowed people to email Congress. As a result of the campaign, the bill was passed into law.
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