MARKETING SERVICES

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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

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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:

  • In-depth interviewing
  • Shadowing
  • In-person group discussions (workshopping, “focus” groups, triads/dyads)
  • Uninterrupted observation
  • Diaries
  • Online community discussions
  • Mobile methods

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:

  • Design and Initiation
  • Engagement and Exploration
  • Synthesis and Review

In addition to functional requirements, QR can be effectively applied for:

  • Customer experience design
  • User experience design
  • Communication design
  • Curriculum design
  • Organizational design

SOCIAL + DIGITAL MEDIA

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It is a well-known fact that approximately 90% of all digital data in the world is unstructured content. In recent years, every marketing executive has felt the pressure to derive value from data that comes from mobile devices, clickstreams, emails, web logs, social networks, call centers, sensors and other sources. Despite this, the ability to monetize this data to drive tangible revenue remains elusive.

Although most data-driven initiatives remain focused on traditional structured data, there is a growing trend to “retailization” across every industry, most prominently financial services and healthcare. This is because the rise of e-commerce and digital technologies are fundamentally changing consumer expectations; they expect to consume products and services that adjust to their personal lifestyles and preferences, provided on their terms. As a result, there is a growing focus away from “event-based interactions” and toward “experiences” and “journeys” that connect information to create a connected and integrated view of their needs. This is often referred to as an “Omnichannel” or “360-degree” view.

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.

Organizations therefore recognize the value in being able to respond more quickly to changing market and consumer sentiment by integrating unstructured and structured information to generate these insights. This however must be done in a deliberate and measurable way that addresses the following:

  • How to properly collect, synthesize and leverage unstructured data from existing and new sources?
  • How to identify valid business cases with quantifiable benefits for use of this data?
  • How to integrate the organization’s structured and unstructured data?

To help organizations progress their efforts in this area, TCC has created an Omnichannel Assessment process which includes the following services as part of our Social+Digital portfolio:

  • Digital Asset Inventory Review
  • Digital Analytics Maturity Assessment
  • Digital Analytics Roadmap
  • Social Audit

BRAND IMPLEMENTATION MANAGEMENT

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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:

  • Review of options and scenarios specific to branded asset conversion in line with the determined brand strategy
  • Focus on efficiencies (time/money), structured financial analysis (costing/budgeting), quality decisions and risk reduction
  • Development of a detailed project plan
  • Best-practice applications and templates to maximize planning efficiency and asset conversion strategies
  • Engagement/coordination of internal pertinent personnel specific to branded asset conversion
  • Branded asset conversion input into key stakeholder Communication Plans to provide specificity and level set expectations
  • Vendor strategy, RFP execution and vendor management

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:

  • Brand Conversion Assessment
  • Brand Implementation Plan
  • Brand Execution and Transition

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