Agile & lean: The success lies in planning and partnerships

By Nicola Warrington

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Every year there’s a new phrase or buzzword which tries to glamorise the truth that increasingly, due to tighter timelines and budgets, research programmes need to be quick and cheap. This is a challenge for both agencies and clients alike and programmes can only be successful when we work together. Here are my thoughts on the 6 things which are vital to the success of an agile and lean study:

1. Clear roles & responsibilities

At the start of a project, define the roles of everyone on the project and their responsibilities. This ensures nothing is missed and no duplication of processes. Identify a clear point of contact for both parties for quick resolution of queries.

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Agility to enable quick, insight-led business decisions

Business Issue

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Our client wanted to understand why leads weren’t converted to sales.

Within two weeks, a board meeting was to be held where key decisions would be made and actions agreed. However, our client had no insight into where the pinch points within their customer journey lay.

Insitas Delivered

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With processes in place and clear research objectives, we worked with our client to agree key deadlines and tasks which would enable us to deliver clear actionable recommendations to the board for quick decision-making.

Daily communication ensured early and quick issue resolution and all deadlines were met.

Actions Taken

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Our client used our insight to initiate a range of tactical and strategic solutions, including ‘quick wins’ from sharing best practice internally, through to planning more long-term development of additional administrative resource, improved training and a review of finance options.

Driving revenue via dynamic transport pricing

Business Issue

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Our client needed to drive additional revenue from their transport offering.

Prior to the introduction of a dynamic pricing model to maximise revenue and capacity, an understanding of the price sensitivity of different passenger types was essential.

Insitas Delivered

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Insitas established the price sensitivity for each of the user groups, highlighting psychological trigger points  along with maximum and minimum price points.

The impact ticket price had on the likelihood to re-use and overall service satisfaction was also analysed to understand the trade off between short term gains and longer term brand growth.

Actions Taken

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A short term limited promotional price offer was introduced, containing strict eligibility criteria to ensure it could only be accessed by the target group.

The success of the trial led to a wider roll out of a new more tailored pricing model.

Increasing conversion of high value sales leads

Business Issue

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Our client wanted to identify the pinch points within their customer journey to understand why leads weren’t converted to sales.

Whilst their sales force was continuing to generate a high volume of leads, sales conversion needed improvement.

Insitas Delivered

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Insitas mapped out the journey touchpoints and identified the weaknesses at each one.

The value of staff contact was qualified and its role and impact throughout the process was established.

By drawing on national and regional performance, we identified intra-company differences so internal best practices could be implemented.

Actions Taken

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Our client used the insight to  initiate a range of tactical and strategic solutions which included a ‘quick win’ from sharing best practice internally, through to additional administrative resource to support appointment setting, improved training and a review of finance options.

Building revenue through tailored promotions in the leisure sector

Business Issue

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Our client wanted to build brand engagement and ultimately revenue in a market where promotional offers are pivotal to driving incremental spend.

They wanted to introduce a tool which would enable customers in different countries to tailor the frequency and content received, as well as the communication channel used.

Insitas Delivered

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Insitas showed that there was both a strong desire for such an approach and that it would create increased brand engagement.

We identified appropriate content and the parameters within them to prove viability.

Cultural differences meant that content selections varied, and different revenue targets were recommended.

Actions Taken

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Our client refined the content preferences, taking into account national sensitivities identified by Insitas.

Our insight informed decisions on the frequency options to be made available to customers.

Finally they developed the means of delivering the tool along with clear guidelines and instructions for use.

Refreshing a segmentation in light of widening category penetration

Business Issue

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Our client operates in an alcohol category which had grown rapidly in the last five years – increased penetration was the biggest single lever behind this growth. Insitas segmented the customer base back in 2010, but in light of the shifting customer base, our client was keen to know whether this customer understanding was still valid. If it wasn’t, what had changed and what new opportunities did it present?

Insitas Delivered

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We uncovered several important changes; the category comprised far more consuming females, was much younger, and usage & attitudes had shifted. People were far more knowledgeable about the category than previously.

The segmentation largely held true, but with one critical development – an emergent, high value and high engagement segment.

Actions Taken

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The new segment presented significant opportunity for our client. They knew how to build a media strategy to target them, and how to tailor messages using the right hooks. Golden questions meant these segments could be identified in future research, particularly useful when making decisions through the innovation funnel.

Tailoring a product to the local market ​

Business Issue

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Competitors were rapidly entering an emerging and prospering super premium pet food segment. ​

With an existing product in another geography, our client was potentially in a strong place to capitalise. ​

Understanding the local context and nuance was essential to a successful launch.​

Insitas Delivered

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The existing product required a number of changes to give it the appropriate local fit.​

The packaging required re-imagining as well as stylistic changes, more in keeping with local culture.   ​

Subtle differences in purchase triggers between the markets meant that communication messaging needed a change of emphasis. ​

Actions Taken

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The immediate launch was delayed.​

The time was used to develop more appropriate pack imagery as well as create a new campaign vehicle – all working to ensure increased success at launch.​

Setting targets to drive performance​

Business Issue

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As a premium provider within their sector, our client had challenging corporate growth objectives. ​

With very different levels of market performance and diverse competitive sets across their channels, the marketing team were tasked with building both brand awareness and consideration to drive acquisition.​

Insitas Delivered

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Having identified the key drivers of brand use Insitas was able to recommend which needed to be the focus of the marketing activity.  ​

We used our brand tracker to assess current performance levels. ​

We modelled a number of different scenarios, reflecting different spend and activation plans to find an optimal strategy. ​

Actions Taken

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We agreed a number of key metric targets across both key channels for a two year period. ​

The marketing team had these set as part of their internal performance management process. ​

We continue to monitor the performance – updating the targets on an annual basis as part of our partnership working. ​

Optimisation in the present and gifting category​

Business Issue

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With continually changing consumer tastes, optimising the range within the present/gifting category presents a real challenge to manufacturers and retailers. ​

Our client – a leading manufacturer – needed deeper shopper understanding to identify key success criteria and range opportunities to support their retailer partners. ​

Insitas Delivered

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Using a range of techniques, Insitas was able to identify un-met range opportunities as well as key category purchase triggers, linked to different shopper missions.  ​

The impact of store size was highlighted, leading to different category product recommendations to maximise both success and customer satisfaction. ​

Actions Taken

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The insights were vital in allowing our client to lead discussions with their partners in order to improve future collaboration.​

The overall recommendations created a clear plan to enable our client to provide essential feedback to a key retailer to futureproof and build their range. ​

Maximising ROI from media mix refinement

Business Issue

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Demanding growth plans and restrictions on the marketing budget ensured that the maximum ROI for all of our client’s brand communications activity was essential. ​

With a number of highly selective target audiences, deploying the optimal multi-media approach and salient messaging would be challenging.​

Insitas Delivered

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Performance of each strand of the client campaign was assessed across a number of key metrics for each of the target audiences, using a carefully defined sampling framework.​

This highlighted both the executions and media format which worked hardest.  ​

Actions Taken

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The client changed their media mix, dropping one to enable an up-weight of spending in the most effective platform. ​

Regional spending boosts were tailored to improve overall ROI. ​

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