As TCC became engaged by more and more customers who wanted to focus on using data to drive tangible business outcomes, several themes were repeated: single view of customer, communications effectiveness, customer journey, market/customer insights, brand consistency, to name a few. Moreover, through our data governance efforts, we became aware that the executive sponsor for this is most likely to be the Chief Marketing Officer. As a result, a focus on marketing services began to emerge naturally, and TCC realized that this represents an obvious, and necessary, complement to our Data + Analytics core focus.
That being said, we also quickly perceived that this is a distinct area, with its own key areas of focus, and must be led by experts from within the marketing discipline. As a result, we analyzed the needs of our customers and concluded that there are three core areas in which projects rely on applying strategic and implementation expertise to enable organizations to make better use of information: qualitative research, social/digital media, and brand implementation management. Our goal is not to compete with creative agencies, but to adopt a marketing-driven approach to drive results in areas that make sense.
The good news is that each of these areas of focus combines our mission to integrate information to help our clients identify quick wins to maximize returns and ensure that efforts are focused on business outcomes.
Qualitative Research (QR) is an exploratory process in which researchers gather information through “fieldwork” with participants on the meaning, experience, motivations, and behaviour around a given topic. As a result, this research is inductive, in that it is aimed at taking descriptions and synthesizing them into a collective understanding. Thus, this category of inquiry is concerned not only with the “What? Where? When?” of the decision-making process, but also the “Why? and How?”.
At its core, QR is all about learning. This research is based on a “Participatory Design Philosophy” and common data collection methods employed are:
Although QR is often employed for market research (market need, market size, and competition), and social or behavioural analysis, TCC recognized this practice as an innovative way to address the issue of defining user-centric business requirements for analytics projects. It is employed as the first step to produce general conclusions or informed assertions, which are then mapped to functional requirements.
From a high level, the QR process involves the following three phases:
In addition to functional requirements, QR can be effectively applied for:
We’ve all heard the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes, a cautionary tale about a vain Emperor who only values outward appearances and not what may be behind them – sight over insight. Rebranding exercises, whether the result of a merger/acquisition transaction, or a rebranding initiative, take a tremendous amount of work to define and design the brand identity, however, they are subject to the same risk: organizations often fall prey to the danger of spending all of their time solidifying the brand identity, while losing sight of all of the related tasks that need to be accomplished to fully implement a brand change across the organization and its culture.
Brand Implementation Management is based on the premise that HOW the brand is implemented is as important as WHAT gets implemented. It typically includes the following scope of work:
The term branded assets runs the gamut from product and packaging, architectural signage, fleet graphics, uniforms, business cards, security badges, all customer touch-points, human resources, printed materials and forms, digital assets, etc. Anything that has the logo, word mark, and potentially the color scheme is included.
TCC's Brand Implementation process includes the following three phases: