NEWS15 March 2023

Customer events ‘powerful’ for research

Insight Alchemy Media News Technology UK

Customer events are a "powerful" research tool in “cutting through” and “getting things done”, according to a panel of data and insights specialists at the Market Research Society (MRS) conference Insight Alchemy 2023.

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Emily Driscoll, head of data, intelligence, planning, LADbible; Bea Jones, consumer insight manager, Deliveroo and Lindsay Forster, chief executive at Shepper, spoke on a panel discussing contextualising data and how researchers can discover innovative value without losing rigour.

Jones spoke about the benefits Deliveroo reaped from hosting customer events and the valuable data garnered from them and how they helped its customers better understand its business.

Jones said: “We run a lot of customer events. We actually held a customer festival last October which was very full-on. I think we managed about 90-something events over two weeks.”

Included in the events was a rider challenge involving customers getting on a bike and ordering a McDonald’s and a grocery shop, helping its customers gain “real empathy” for Deliveroo riders, according to Jones. 

Forster echoed the importance of live customer events in helping prompt change in organisations. She said: “I think about the 25 years I worked in corporate, I can probably remember the two or three moments when we have had customers in the room, where we have put on some theatrical experience. 

“I still remember vividly my favourite moment when a customer stood on the stage in front of the whole executive board and played our hold music for seven minutes. And honestly, literally everybody was hiding under the table.”

Forster said such customer-involved events are “so powerful in cutting through”, where somebody stands up and says ‘we have got to change this’.

The panel also discussed research insights they had developed within their organisations which had excited them.

Driscoll said that LADbible had introduced a “more robust” framework in how it was judging the effectiveness of media campaigns.

The panel also talked about how there businesses were experimenting with AI chatbot ChatGPT and what benefits it can bring to their organisations and, more broadly, market research.

Deliveroo is talking about how it can use the tool to help it “synthesise” research work, according to Jones. She said: “I think it is an opportunity. I think when used right and correctly it should free up some more of our time. 

“It’s that synthesis tool to start to help you find the key things that are coming out of work and we can think about recommendations and actually how to embed that insight. 

“I don’t think it is always going to be the right thing to do. I think there is huge value in getting people to sit in a room with your consumers and hear them talking through things in great detail.”