The AT THE EDGE OF WAR Humanity VOLUME 21 • NUMBER 4 SUMMER 2022 BUSINESS MATTERS Analytics That Matter for Your Personal LinkedIn Profile TOOLBOX Diverse Research Teams Help Maximize Your Insights How Research Can Help Brands Become More Meaningful TRENDS
SUMMER 2022 TABLE OF CONTENTS BUSINESS MATTERS: A social media and marketing expert shares ways to maximize your LinkedIn experience to create successful lead generation, meaningful connections, and exposure for your amazing thought leadership. By Priscilla McKinney TRENDS: Ipsos Mori’s Nick Chiarelli breaks down the implications of their twenty-five-country global trends survey for brands and researchers conducted in 2021. TOOLBOX: This article discusses the positive impact a diverse research team can have on your ability to connect with audiences. By Brandale Mills Cox, PhD Analytics That Matter for Your Personal LinkedIn Profile How Brands Can Become More Meaningful to Consumers and How Research Can Help: An Agenda for 2022 and Beyond 40 Diverse Research Teams Help Maximize Your Insights 50 26 GLOBAL: Oana Popa Rengle, a QRCA member in Romania—a country bordering Ukraine and absorbing many refugees—talks to market researchers who are helping in Romania, Moldova, and the Czech Republic. 16 QRCA is the world’s largest association of qualitative researchers: • Members in 40+ countries, composed of professionals in UX and CX, ethnographers, sociologists, and traditional qualitative researchers. • Mix of independent research consultants, clients, academics, and suppliers. For more information about QRCA and joining, check out www.qrca.org. The AT THE EDGE OF WAR Humanity 4 CONNECTING. EDUCATING. ADVANCING.
SUMMER 2022 TABLE OF CONTENTS 63 FOUR NEW BOOK REVIEWS Asking for Trouble: Understanding What People Think When You Can’t Trust What They Say, by Jon Cohen, guides qualitative researchers through the challenges of “getting the truth” in stimulus testing research. Reviewed by Oana Popa Rengle Tell Me More About That: Solving the Empathy Crisis One Conversation at a Time, by Rob Volpe, is an engaging and personal book on empathy with helpful anecdotes that show good examples of how empathy is put to practice in both life and work. Reviewed by Pam Goldfarb Liss Winning on Purpose: The Unbeatable Strategy of Loving Customers, by Fred Reicheld, the originator of the Net Promoter Score (NPS), takes a deep dive on why NPS is being used wrongly at many companies, how to use it correctly, and its potential for driving customer-centricity. Reviewed by Melanie Brewer Kindra Hall’s Choose Your Story, Change Your Life: Silence Your Inner Critic and Rewrite Your Life from the Inside Out, focuses on the self-stories we tell ourselves—many times subconsciously—and how they can impede our happiness and success, and what we can do to change our self-stories to create more positive outcomes. Reviewed by Susan Fader 8 FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF 10 FROM THE PRESIDENT 11 INDEX OF ADVERTISERS 53 QRCA PODCASTS VIEWS Podcasts: Mike Carlon interviews empathy researcher April Bell on igniting innovation with empathy. QRCA 3 WAYS QUALITATIVE RESEARCHERS CAN HELP P&C INSURANCE COMPANIES TRANSFORM THEIR INDUSTRY 12 INDUSTRY FOCUS: In this article, feature editor Tom Neveril describes key P&C business objectives that are driving insurers’ qualitative research initiatives, what types of studies are typically most helpful, and how researchers can conquer the longstanding, fundamental challenge for qualitative studies in this industry. DEAR EMERITUS ANSWERS NEWBIE RESEARCHER 46 DEAR EMERITUS: QRCA Emeritus members offer experiential wisdom and insightful guidance on maximizing a career in marketing research. By Betsy Bernstein, Lynn Greenberg, Laurie Tema-Lyn, and Diane Trotta LEVEL-UP THE CONVERSATION WITH RAPPORT-BUILDING 201 34 TOOLBOX: In today’s world, researchers need to create a safe and inclusive environment for all respondents; mindful rapport-building is critical to this work. By Roben Allong MORALITY: LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS OF VIRTUE 22 SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT: To understand consumer motivations and behaviors, researchers must understand the moral considerations that drive them. By Tom Rich STEPPING INTO HER POWER: DEEPA PURUSHOTHAMAN'S JOURNEY FROM CORPORATE AMERICA TO FORMING NEW SPACES FOR WOMEN OF COLOR IN THE WORKPLACE 54 LUMINARIES: After spending twenty-plus years at Deloitte, Deepa Purushothaman left corporate America to focus on breaking down the barriers and addressing systemic issues facing women of color. In this interview, Purushothaman talks about how her life and career experiences led her to focus on this mission, and why corporate America should rethink how it approaches DEI. By Zoë Billington HAVE PADDLE, WILL TRAVEL: 16 STATES, 2 COUNTRIES AND COUNTING . . . 59 TRAVELWISE: Discover how pickleball is the perfect pairing for a traveling qualitative researcher and how it could be a perfect pairing for you! By Kristin Howell Global Research: Oana Popa Rengle email@example.com Book Reviews: Susan Fader firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Tamara Kenworthy email@example.com Trends: Sebastian Murdoch-Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org Podcasts: Mike Carlon email@example.com Travelwise: Ashley Paulson firstname.lastname@example.org Industry Focus Tom Neveril email@example.com Luminaries: Zoë Billington firstname.lastname@example.org Business Matters: Mark Wheeler email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR: Karen Lynch firstname.lastname@example.org Toolbox: Pamela Batzel email@example.com Toolbox: Natalia Infante Caylor firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Emeritus: Frankie Lipinski email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR: Susan Fader firstname.lastname@example.org Schools of Thought: Karen Lynch email@example.com Proofreading: Quinne Fokes firstname.lastname@example.org Digital Editor: Frankie Lipinski email@example.com STAFF EDITOR: Laurie Pumper firstname.lastname@example.org 6 CONNECTING. EDUCATING. ADVANCING.
Exploring a Sense of Renewal—One Issue at a Time I don’t have a green thumb, and while my husband gets all the credit for our many thriving plants indoors, we struggle with our outdoors landscaping. So, a friend who is obsessed with gardening is helping us visualize some problem areas outside to provide us with a renewed sense of surroundings for our home. She doesn’t just plant and enjoy. Rather, she is constantly trying new plants, moving things around in her yard, and learning as she goes—all the while enjoying a refreshed look at beauty all the time. As I sat down to write this column, her gardening approach made me appreciate how this philosophy is so important in all aspects of life. While we typically look at January 1 to recharge our engines for a new year, we know plans/goals cannot stay static in time—they evolve with new and changing dynamics. Our main goal at VIEWS is to educate our readers on new and thought-provoking ideas and ever-changing tools and methodologies—to help you stay up-to-date and enjoy a sense of renewal every quarter, personally and professionally. Sometimes, changing dynamics can be life-altering and hard to take. Our cover story is a MUST-read as Global Feature Editor Oana Rengle, who lives in Romania bordering Ukraine, gives us a stark look at what the humanitarian response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis can teach us about empathy in our work. In one of our Toolbox articles, we learn how to engage more culturally aware and driven empathetic approaches to research conversations and rapport building. Two innovative women are featured this issue—our Luminaries column is a conversation with Deepa Purushothaman who discusses the challenges women of color face in the corporate world, and the Podcast interview is with empathy researcher April Bell, discussing how to ignite innovation with empathy. Our Trends column highlights what we can learn from the 2021 Ipsos Global Trends Survey in making brands more meaningful to consumers. And our Industry column dives into three ways quallies can help P&C insurance companies transform their businesses. In Schools of Thought, we explore systematic ways to think about morality (sin versus virtue) in how we design and analyze research. In our second Toolbox column, we learn how diverse research teams help maximize insights. Leaning in for our businesses too, our Business Matters column focuses on LinkedIn and its analytics that matter most in positioning our business; Dear Emeritus responds to “Newbie Researcher” with lessons learned and success strategies for a long career; and the Travel column makes us think about how we can renew ourselves outside of work with a fun article on how one researcher loves pickleball and ties it into her research travels. Finally, our myriad Book Reviews offer so many great titles—be sure to check them out and set a goal of reading at least one from each issue. Please share this summer issue (qrcaviews.org) with your network, post the digital flipbook link on social media, and email your clients an interesting article relevant to them. Lastly, we love feedback—please let me know if you have ideas or thoughts on VIEWS. Happy reading as you refresh your mindset and toolbox this quarter! Until the next issue, Tamara Kenworthy Tamara Kenworthy Editor-in-Chief QRCA VIEWS Magazine On Point Strategies Des Moines, Iowa email@example.com 8 CONNECTING. EDUCATING. ADVANCING. n FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF n
Stay Connected to Keep Growing and Glowing Up The relevance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s letter (excerpt at left) is as undiminished as when it was written in 1963, almost 60 years ago. At that time America was in a struggle to end racism and discrimination. The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, and national origin, and later sexual orientation and gender identity were added to the list. At QRCA, we too, continue to elevate our efforts around increasing our member skillset, diversity, inclusivity, and consequently, our networks. We do have a ways to go. When our membership and attendance at our events are diverse, it empowers all of us. To facilitate that it is essential that we are all well versed in the evolving consumer demographics, emerging cultures, and technology impacting our world, our industry, and organizations like QRCA where we choose to belong. So how can we challenge ourselves and others to obtain a better understanding of and keep up to date on what’s happening around us so that we all glow up—reach our full potential? First, awareness is not solely dependent on curiosity. Raising our awareness through connecting and openly sharing with others is one of the most effective ways to elevate knowledge, skills, and more importantly, human interaction. Second, quallies know that the real trick is maintaining connection. When you learn how to stay connected, you also develop the ability to uncover deeper insights, expand your network, make new friends, and you might just experience more fun in life. Of course, the benefits of staying in contact are too numerous to mention here but suffice it to say being a member of QRCA makes it a bit easier. Attending annual Conferences, Chapter and SIG events, whether on or offline, as well as various Qualology programs, provides great opportunities to stay connected. Participating and/or volunteering to serve on a Committee or Task Force is also another way to get involved, be seen, and share your experiences and talents. Third, frankly, the ease of accessibility to other QRCA members, and nonmembers who drop in from time to time, is one of the many reasons why I’ve stayed a member for so many years. And in that time, I have witnessed a myriad of diverse members be nurtured, mentored, and supported by other members, each growing to reach their potential and beyond. Being a member has helped me foster many lifelong friendships, develop more effective research and leadership skills, and become a published writer sharing my own toolbox about conducting research among other cultures and ethnicities. Membership can do the same for you, but it also requires a commitment to helping not only yourself, but others grow and glow up. Lastly, seeing your potential reflected in that of others at QRCA is a unique gift that sets the organization apart. Technology makes it easier and more convenient to reach members across the globe in forty-five countries! QRCA sees that each member regardless of gender, race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, and/or ability is a seed of greatness just waiting to take root. We strive to provide that fertile soil to connect and unlock the potential within all researchers because we are and remain inter-related and connected. Best regards, Roben Allong Roben Allong Lightbeam Communications (M/WBE) New York, New York firstname.lastname@example.org “In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be . . . This is the interrelated structure of reality.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation 10 CONNECTING. EDUCATING. ADVANCING. n FROM THE PRESIDENT n
QRCA 2021–2022 OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS Roben Allong President Michael Mermelstein Vice President Anya Zadrozny Treasurer Susan Fader Secretary Farnaz Badie Director Pam Goldfarb-Liss Director Corette Haf Director Cynthia Harris Director Lauren Isaacson Director QRCA is dedicated to advancing the impact of qualitative research and all who practice it. The statements and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the association, its staff, or its board of directors, QRCA VIEWS, or its editors. Likewise, the appearance of advertisers, or QRCA members, does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services featured in this, past, or subsequent issues of this quarterly publication. Copyright ©2021-2022 by QRCA. QRCA VIEWS is published quarterly. Subscriptions are complimentary to members of QRCA and are available to research buyers upon request. Presort standard postage is paid at Fulton, MO. Printed in the U.S.A. Reprints and Submissions: QRCA VIEWS allows reprinting of material published here, upon request. Permission requests should be directed to QRCA. We are not responsible for unsolicited freelance manuscripts and photographs. Contact the editor-in-chief for contribution information. Any views or opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of E&M Consulting, Inc., publishers. Advertising: For display and classified advertising rates and insertions, please contact E&M Consulting, Inc., 1107 Hazeltine Boulevard, Suite #350, Chaska, MN 55318. Phone (800) 572-0011, Fax (952) 448-9928. Ad deadline is July 11, 2022. 1000 Westgate Drive, Suite #252 St. Paul, MN 55114 USA Burke Institute. ........................................... BC www.burkeinstitute.com 800.543.8635 Civicom Marketing Research Services......67 www.civicommrs.com 203.413.2423 Fieldwork. ....................................................... 3 www.fieldwork.com 800.863.4353 Murray Hill National....................................15 www.murrayhillnational.com 972.707.7645 Paramount Market Publishing Inc. .........48 www.paramountbooks.com 607.275.8100 Precision Research. ...................................... 7 www.preres.com 847.390.8666 RIVA..................................................................5 www.rivainc.com 301.770.6456 Schlesinger Group. .......................................2 www.schlesingergroup.com 866.549.3500 THANK YOU TO OUR VIEWS ADVERTISERS Tel (toll free in N. America): 888-ORG-QRCA (888-674-7722) Phone: 651-290-7491 Fax: 651-290-2266 Email: email@example.com www.qrca.org n INDEX OF ADVERTISERS n Get a Subscription to QRCA’s VIEWS Magazine The QRCA VIEWS magazine is mailed to all QRCA members (except for Graduate Student Members), as well as to a select group of research buyers. VIEWS is available to everyone with an interest in any type of qualitative research—including UX, ethnography, academia, in-house research, support services, and more. To sign up for a digital subscription, visit www.qrca.org/page/views_ subscription or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To become a QRCA member and reap all the benefits of belonging to the global association of the most innovative, collaborative, and passionate research professionals dedicated to uncovering actionable insights, visit www.qrca.org/page/join_qrca. www.qrca.org SUMMER 2022 QRCA VIEWS 11
What you probably don’t think about is how much the insurance experience has changed since Martin debuted in 2000. For example, in those days, agents were still on the front line for property and casualty (P&C) insurance companies. Agents sold policies and performed a multitude of other tasks including marketing, risk selection, pricing, and customer service. Today, about 65 percent1 of auto insurance policies in the U.S. are sold directly to customers. Automated phone service, email, and chatbots are playing an increasingly important role in sales, policy management, and claim interactions. A recent JD Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study2 showed—for the first time ever— that insurance company websites were more influential than agents in producing customer satisfaction. Regarding the next ten years for the industry, consider this September 2021 analysis from McKinsey & Company3: “A handful of accelerating technology trends are poised to transform the very nature of insurance. In auto insurance, risk will shift from drivers to the artificial intelligence (AI) and software behind self-driving cars. Satellites, drones, and real-time data sets will give insurers unprecedented visibility into the risk around facilities, leading to greater accuracy. Claims processing after natural catastrophes will be automated, infinitely scalable, and lightning fast.” So, what do these big changes mean for the insurance industry’s market researchers? As insurance company business models continue to evolve from agent-centric service to include more digital interactions, there are profound implications for market research studies. In this article, I’ll describe a couple of key P&C business objectives that are driving their qualitative research initiatives, and what types of studies are typically most helpful. I’ll also explore the long-standing, fundamental challenge for qualitative studies in this sector, and what methods and skills are necessary for success. The article is sectioned into three ways that insurance researchers and marketers can help P&C insurance companies transform their business and, ultimately, the industry. When you think about insurance, there’s a good chance you think about the funny brand characters that have flooded the airwaves over the last decade, including Martin (the gecko) from GEICO, Flo from Progressive, and Jake from State Farm. By Tom Neveril n President n Storybrand Consulting n Los Angeles, California n email@example.com n @tomneveril Qualitative Researchers Can Help P&C Insurance Companies Transform Their Industry n INDUSTRY FOCUS n 3 WAYS 12 CONNECTING. EDUCATING. ADVANCING.
1. Personalizing Their Brand Experiences As customer service automation spreads throughout the industry, basic coverages like auto and home policies are becoming commoditized. So, insurers are focused on differentiating by providing a more personalized insurance experience around these core products. The most common tactic is providing more personalized pricing, offers, and discounts based on private customer data. These range from simple (alumni association membership) to more complicated (vehicle sensors that monitor driving habits). Another common tactic has been to create a seamless omnichannel experience for customers. Insurers have focused on ease of use across websites, mobile apps, and phone service so that customers can easily access their policy information, make updates, manage billing, and report claims in whichever channel they prefer. Perhaps the most innovative tactic has been the development of new, more lifestyle-oriented coverage lines. The most interesting new offering is comprehensive insurance packages, where multiple complementary coverages are not only bundled, but customizable and integrated for easier policy management. For example, in 2018, Farmers launched a subsidiary called Toggle Insurance, specifically for modern consumers. Josh LaRoche, research and marketing director at Toggle, explained their strategy in an interview for this article: “We started Toggle with a design-thinking approach. We began by observing younger adults in the broader context beyond just insurance. We wanted to really understand them, their pain points, their problems, and the things we needed to solve for. We started with renters insurance because only 40 percent of consumers had it. Clearly the industry wasn’t meeting their needs. We also noted that 70 percent of our target market has a pet. So, we created pet parent coverage, which provides for liabilities and damages associated with pet ownership in an apartment. We also have a side hustle or micro-business policy, which covers a business that makes no more than $25,000 per year. So, you know, it’s little product lines like that. Completely digital. Seamless, quick, and easy. Getting a quote literally takes seconds, and then you can customize it and see the price changes immediately.” Today the challenge for insurance brand leaders is that these personalized products must feel easy and intuitive across all communication channels. Insurers can no longer rely upon agents to tailor the explanation of risk scenarios, coverages, and claims processing to customers. The storytelling at the heart of insurance coverage must be explained in a digital format, in ways that will be clear and engaging to all customers. Implications for Qualitative Researchers Given the importance of optimizing language and complex concepts, insurance brand leaders are increasingly turning toward agile market research. Agile market research methods are defined by gathering consumer feedback quickly and iteratively, applying technology at any point in the creation, development, or launch of campaigns, products, and other growth initiatives. Examples of helpful methodologies include the standards within UX research: remote usability testing and observation-oriented IDIs. As Mr. LaRoche explained, “We didn’t take one bite at the apple and spend weeks or months analyzing the data. We used a lot of qual, often with very small sample sizes, asking very specific questions. We’d get answers back in a few days, and those answers would often trigger new research questions. And we would follow those, laddering up as we were building and designing.” Christina Nathanson, former insights strategy director at AIG, explained a similar approach: “To achieve comprehension across these audiences, we used an iterative process, testing and tweaking language to see what worked. What was great about this is we knew the background of our participants and their prior feedback. We could select people, put them into groups, and then deepen our understanding of their perspectives with deep-dive sessions.” 2. Developing Digital Experiences to Build LongTerm Customer Relationships Brand loyalty has always been important in the insurance industry, and the traditional agent-centric model reinforced loyalty. Back in the day, changing insurers often required customers to engage in extensive company research, agent interaction, and paperwork. Making matters worse, sometimes leaving an agent meant losing the substantial trust built through claim experiences. Today, consumers are empowered by technology to get a quote and switch “Given the importance of optimizing language and complex concepts, insurance brand leaders are increasingly turning toward agi le market research.” www.qrca.org SUMMER 2022 QRCA VIEWS 13
carriers in minutes, so there’s little transactional cost in switching. Moreover, insurers have developed digital apps to help customers navigate their claims experiences. Therefore, customers now seek human interaction primarily to address specific questions or gain advice on an ad hoc basis. Soon, insurance companies will increasingly rely upon digital-based experiences to help develop lasting emotional connections with customers. Therefore, insurers want to know what digital marketing concepts resonate within and across generations. What services resonate with each generation? How do the generations differ in their technical capabilities? What technology adoptions are painless across generations? Perhaps most importantly, how do brands remain relevant to customers as they move through different life stages? A comparable example of a generational challenge is happening in the automotive sector, as generational preferences are changing the long-standing distribution model. Brands like Tesla and Carvana have recognized that Generation Z and millennials think nothing of configuring and ordering a vehicle online, without stepping foot into a dealership. But they’ve also recognized that baby boomers and silent generation shoppers typically insist on a face-to-face interaction when buying a vehicle. Hence, Tesla offers both online ordering and showrooms where buyers can see vehicles and purchase them in person (without the haggling). Implications for Qualitative Researchers Insurance brand leaders expect qualitative researchers to be familiar with generational trends and skilled at integrating quantitative trend data into the hypotheses that are explored in qualitative studies. Ethnographic studies are particularly important for understanding how people in different life stages assess the value of insurance. Ms. Nathanson explained the importance of comparing segments: “The benefit of having multiple audiences (consumers and B2B) in our panel allows us to compare feedback to each other. Seeing the contrast, for example, of how consumers perceived the nomenclature of insurance products and offers compared to our agents, enabled us to improve product descriptions to be accurately understood across audiences with varying levels of insurance knowledge.” 3. Engaging Customers to Think about Insurance More Often The long-standing challenge for the insurance industry is that people don’t want to think about the bad things that may happen to them. This is why GEICO and the other large P&C insurance companies choose to spend $5 billion each year trying to grab our attention with funny advertising. But the human instinct to repress these negative thoughts also costs insurers in other ways. When a customer represses thinking about insurance, their coverage may become mismatched with their risks. For example, at the time of purchase, coverages are selected and priced based on information provided by the customer. But after the policy is sold, the customer’s life events and risks are likely to change. The reality is that insured customers do occasionally discover—often an unpleasant surprise—that they’re over- or under-covered. Invariably this leaves the customer disappointed in their insurance experience and erodes their brand loyalty. Some insurers have responded to this reality by exploring new technologies 14 3 Ways Qualitative Researchers Can Help P&C Insurance Companies Transform Their Industry CONTINUED
that “embed” insurance into products or scrape our financial accounts for changes in assets. But these technologies are in their infancy. Another response by insurers has been to build other financial products around the basic P&C coverages, so that customers have a sense of accruing value over time. Ultimately, they want to avoid the situation where the only time customers interact with their brand is when they’re in an agitated state, forced to deal with the hassle of updating a policy, or stressed by the need to report a claim. Implications for Qualitative Researchers Insurance brand leaders need market researchers to replicate the reality of how customers shop, select, and interact with insurance brands. But customers typically learn about insurance only when they must: when they’re actually shopping for insurance, or when they’re experiencing a claim. In the months or years between these events, their knowledge tends to fade. Lackluster memory recall presents another challenge for qualitative researchers. Therefore, the ideal methodology for capturing the perceptions and priorities of an informed customer is the longitudinal qualitative study (research that takes place over a long period with the same participants). Building a long-term relationship with respondents increases the number of opportunities to capture authentic, informed responses. This methodology also encourages respondents to dig a bit deeper for researchers. As Ms. Nathanson explained, “We really built our relationship with the community. Since people don’t really want to talk about insurance, we tried to make the experience more personal. I often ‘spoke’ to the community in video clips introducing questions or exercises and thanked them for prior responses. We also used projective techniques and stimulated discussion with visual metaphors to engage them. As a result, they opened up and shared more. Further, we shared insights of their feedback from surveys and discussions back to them. This demonstrated that we really cared about their input.” An experienced qualitative consultant, Abby Leafe, principal of New Leafe Research, explained the importance of requiring insurance customers to think about their actual situation. “It’s valuable to ask people to do a little homework and bring their policies with them to an interview or a group. There’s some interesting work to be done there, just asking people, ‘What do you think you have?’ and ‘What is it really doing for you?’ Using that as a mechanism to explore how people make these decisions can be really insightful.” Mr. LaRoche echoed these comments: “But in property and casualty insurance, of course, people don’t think something bad is ever going to happen to them. When we ask our younger customers, how much coverage do you want for your technology stuff? People say, ‘Oh, okay, well, I do have a phone, I do have these computers, you know, I do have a drone.’ And you know, they’ve moved from the abstract to doing a mental inventory. So, that’s how we try to take it with the insurance conversation, from the abstract to the concrete.” References: 1. www.iii.org/article/background- on-buying-insurance 2. www.jdpower.com/business/press- releases/2020-us-auto-insurance-study 3. www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial- services/our-insights/how-top-tech-trendswill-transform-insurance “Insurance brand leaders need market researchers to repl icate the real ity of how customers shop, select, and interact with insurance brands.” www.qrca.org SUMMER 2022 QRCA VIEWS 15
By Priscilla McKinney n CEO and Momma Bird n Little Bird Marketing n Joplin, Missouri n firstname.lastname@example.org n @LittleBirdMomma Analytics That Matter for Your Personal LinkedIn Profile « Photo Credit: Ben Sweet @benjaminsweet 16 CONNECTING. EDUCATING. ADVANCING. n BUSINESS MATTERS n
To help you become savvier about how to maximize efforts and gauge return on (time) investment with the proper use of analytics, I am sharing a short list of tips and notable LinkedIn metrics. These metrics will help to transform your experience from missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential to successful lead generation, meaningful connections, and exposure for your amazing thought leadership. First, let me give you some tips about how you can maximize your time on LinkedIn—and then we’ll take a look at the analytics that should start to climb when you start following these seven great tips for LinkedIn success: 1. Rewrite Your “About” Section in the First Person We are humans, connecting with humans. Use your summary to have a conversation with your profile viewers and yourself about why you do what you do and what makes you unique. Let go of salesy jargon and be yourself ! Personal stories of your journey and your native genius (what you can’t keep from doing even if you tried) help you stand out from the crowd. With 700 million people on LinkedIn, this is important! 2. Include Industry Keywords in Your Profile Search engines love keywords. By incorporating them into your profile, you’re increasing your chances of being seen when someone searches a keyword in your industry. I’m not just talking about being found on LinkedIn, but on search engines via LinkedIn. Take a few minutes to identify specific keywords and search terms in your field. A simple Google search provides a wealth of knowledge. Then, review your profile and insert keywords where applicable. The best place for keywords is in your “Experience” section where you can enumerate your skills and past projects. 3. Ask for a Strategic Recommendation Strategic recommendations are more powerful than endorsements because someone takes time to speak of your awesomeness based on their personal experience, not their hunch about you. When asking for a recommendation, do not send a generic LinkedIn message. Instead, remind your contact what you did while working with them. This will jog their memory and steer them in the right direction. The last thing people need is another job to do. Instead, make a short one-sentence suggestion about Networking is important, and thanks to technology, it is now even easier. But effectively connecting and using technology for maximum efficiency, productivity, and quality relationship building can be challenging. With over 700 million users, LinkedIn offers an amazing opportunity to make connections, interact, and share opinions. Yet, many waste precious time on social media. So, how do we make sure the time we spend on LinkedIn is a worthwhile investment? Especially if what you sell involves a longer sales cycle, it can be difficult to gauge whether or not your online efforts are moving the needle, providing brand awareness, or even creating greater visibility for your profile. « www.qrca.org SUMMER 2022 QRCA VIEWS 17
6. Follow and Use Hashtags Search for and follow hashtags effectively. You can find hashtags to follow by looking at colleagues’ or industry thought leaders’ posts. A good rule of thumb is not to use more than three hashtags per post and only use them at the end. Be careful of the “double search.” If you use the word marketing in your post, you don’t need to use #marketing—that is a double search. You can use hashtags to optimize your post for maximum visibility by checking how many followers a hashtag has. It only takes a simple search. For example, you could choose #marketingadvice— but why would you, when that hashtag has barely over 600 followers? The hashtag #marketing has over 20 million followers. Use the tags that get you better exposure. 7. Always Be Helping Aside from focus and strategy, the number one thing you can do to grow your online social presence is to meaningfully connect with others. The best way to do that is to find ways to proactively help them. Support others by engaging with their content via the news feed or visiting their profile. It takes five minutes to offer a few words of encouragement, congratulate someone on an accomplishment, or share an experience. Not only will you start to see your profile views go up, you just might make someone’s day. Look for ways to help personally and professionally, and you’ll soon find yourself with meaningful connections and involved in productive conversations. How Analytics Help Drive Value LinkedIn has, in my humble opinion, one of the worst dashboards in social media history. But, if you understand it, it really does provide useful statistics to help you measure your ongoing progress. This dashboard is private to you—no one else taking a peek at your profile can see this information. Your dashboard can easily be spotted near the top of your profile page. On this dashboard, you will find three main areas to track and focus on: profile views, post views, and search appearances. Statisticians everywhere break out in hives when I explain the first number is based on ninety days, the second is a representation of only your last post, and the third is a trailing past week (seven days). Do not ask why. This is the way (see the illustration above). Profile Views This number reflects the total number of LinkedIn users who viewed your profile over the last ninety days. If you subscribe to LinkedIn Premium (whether it’s Career, Business, or Sales Navigator), you’ll be able to see a list of everyone who visited your profile unless they’ve what they could talk about, and you’ll find people are happy to give you a nice recommendation. It’s magic! 4. Post Every Day To move forward on your journey to thought leadership, you need to post every day. “I don’t have time to post every day.” Well then, I don’t know how you’re going to move your brand forward. Simply put—you have to make time to post every day. It doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes. If you want to be strategic about it, schedule your posts ahead of time through a free or very inexpensive system like Buffer or Hootsuite. One great way to not fall into the black hole of social media is to set a timer. It’s easy, “Siri, set a timer for fifteen minutes.” 5. Be Authentic Avoid talking about the features and benefits of your product or service. Make sure your posts are not always direct sales. Nobody likes being sold to, and it doesn’t allow space for you to truly connect with people. Instead, work on developing your personal brand. Post relevant and curated content from trusted sources, or even work up to publishing original articles to build your personal and professional brand. Write things people can look forward to! “You can use hashtags to optimize your post for maximum visibility . . . use the tags that get you the better exposure.” 18 CONNECTING. EDUCATING. ADVANCING. Analytics That Matter for Your Personal LinkedIn Profile CONT INUED
Post Views This figure only represents the views for your most recent post at this moment in time. If you’re interested to see how certain posts performed (which you should be), there is a simple way to get these insights. Navigate to the post you wish to view the stats. For example: After clicking on the number of views below the post, you will get a pop-up window with more details, showing you the top companies whose employees viewed your post, a top list of job titles, and the top geographical locations of your post viewers. 1. Top Companies This analytic will tell you where your post viewers work. If the top company of your post viewers is consistent through several posts, that might indicate that the company is getting to know you, and you’re in the critical phase of the purchase cycle. Keep building trust and being helpful. You’re halfway there! 2. Top List of Job Titles This is a good indication of how well you cater to your target audience. If the titles here match the niche you’re looking for, then you’re doing great. 3. Top Geographical Locations This analytic tool will give you insights into where people are viewing your post from. Wish List A statistic I would like even more, and I wish LinkedIn were listening to me right now, would be an average of views for your last ten posts. Even better, I’d like to see that on a weekly or monthly basis. I don’t need to get too crazy. It’s not all about getting the most views. Again, there should be a natural ebb and flow. But you should use this to understand what your activated Incognito Mode. Without LinkedIn Premium, you’ll only see the last one or two people with names. LinkedIn Premium also allows you to see the “trends” over the past ninety days. Let me note, you do not need LinkedIn Premium to improve your networking and social selling abilities. I like the approach of doing all you can on the free account before making the decision to invest further. But, if you do have access to this graph on Premium— use it! It’s like they are knocking on your door. It’s only polite to answer it (see the illustration below). Take a look at the past three months and note each curve, up or down. Here you can extract some valuable insight into the quality of your content. If your percentage takes a dip after a period of inactivity, that’s expected. If the curve skyrockets, then revisit the posts from that day. You are getting great exposure, so consider putting out similar content. This stat should have a natural ebb and flow, as we’re human and some content we post is more interesting than others. Knowing where you started the year with this data and what you are experiencing now can help you understand if people are finding your posts valuable enough to actually review your profile. www.qrca.org SUMMER 2022 QRCA VIEWS 19
LinkedIn searches. This number will largely depend on your tagline, as well as your “About” and “Experience” sections. If you have an excellent keyword-rich write-up in your “About” section that speaks to the audience you’re targeting, you’ll get to see more search appearances. This is really about successfully using keywords or searchable phrases you want to be found for and placing them in your profile. By clicking on this metric, you’ll find more insights into the titles and companies your searchers work for. Consider keeping your “About” section more personal and using bullet points to make your “Experience” section more scannable. The number of search appearances is a measure of your findability on LinkedIn. As the adage goes, “Unseen is unsold.” Why Analytics Matter As you optimize and tailor your profile with keywords and proper (even fun) information, you’ll begin to create meaningful connections, and those connections will open the door to a whole new world. Not only will you notice an increase in post engagement and profile visibility, eventually establishing you as a thought leader in your area of expertise, but you will also find that the best way to generate leads sustainably is not by selling to your connections, but by selling through your connections. Missed opportunities will be a thing of the past. audience likes best and if you are making progress honing in on better messaging that is relevant enough for your post to be pushed through to the feeds of connections of connections. Gaining views from those who already follow you is important, but there is more. The exponential magic of LinkedIn is found when what you post is of so much value to your followers that LinkedIn starts serving your content up to their followers, which are second or third connections to you. This opportunity for exposure strikes at the core of LinkedIn’s very own mission which is to “connect talent to opportunity at scale.” It would take you many lifetimes to reach the exponential numbers of reach LinkedIn offers as a course of daily business. Search Appearances Search appearances are a weekly statistic (on your profile page, not your news feed) reflecting the number of times your profile appeared in “Avoid talking about the features and benefits of your product or service. . .instead, work on developing your personal brand.” 20 CONNECTING. EDUCATING. ADVANCING. Analytics That Matter for Your Personal LinkedIn Profile CONT INUED
By Tom Rich n Thomas M. Rich & Associates n Westfield, New Jersey n email@example.com n @RichThomas Case in point: a few years ago, I was conducting research on medication noncompliance. We interviewed people with a variety of chronic conditions, including obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, asthma, multiple types of diabetes, and various autoimmune conditions. They had all struggled with these conditions for years, some for decades, and had been steadily losing ground. Yet, their compliance rate for taking their medications was very low. (By the way, in case you’re wondering, this was a very easy study to recruit—we had no difficulty finding individuals who met these specifications.) When the conversation got around to why they were so unlikely to take their medications, or to even fill their prescriptions, most participants started out by talking about cost and side effects. However, it only took a little bit of additional conversation for them to acknowledge that these justifications were just red herrings, not the real reason. The participants then explained their behavior by saying something like “it’s just too easy,” or “that’s not the right way to do it.” Ultimately, they felt that medicating these conditions was somehow wrong. In other words, it was immoral. This perceived immorality was the primary barrier to compliance. This attitude carried over to other ways of addressing these conditions. For instance, when the topic of bariatric surgery came up in one interview, the participant described that approach as being “borderline sinful.” What Is Morality? There’s no shortage of definitions for the term, and certainly no single correct one, but here are a few explanations of morality to establish a context for you: Looking through the Lens of Virtue Qualitative researchers spend quite a lot of time trying to figure out why people think what they think and do what they do. There are many models and schools of thought on motivation, but one that gets little attention from researchers and marketers is morality—our intuitive sense of right and wrong. MORALITY: 22 CONNECTING. EDUCATING. ADVANCING. n SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT n
• That morality is our innate, intuitive sense of right and wrong is a highly practical definition. People tend to make moral value judgments quickly and instinctively, much the same way we make aesthetic judgments. We might not always be able to explain precisely what moral or immoral behavior is, but we know it when we see it. • Morality can be thought of as a cognitive system—inputs go in, perceptions and actions come out. B.F. Skinner, one of the most influential psychologists of the twentieth century, would probably say morality is one of those mysterious, unobservable things inside that black box he wrote about. • Social psychologists have described morality as a means of balancing the needs of the individual with the needs of the group. The fact that humans can act cooperatively and altruistically has enabled us to organize ourselves into groups (tribes). This organizational structure is fully dependent on an ability to think in moral terms. Nowadays, we no longer live in tribes. Instead, we create our tribes through such mechanisms as our interests, political affiliations, ethnicity, and so forth, and we highly value loyalty to them. • Morality is an evolved trait, directly linked to our species’ extremely large brain. Our exceptional cognitive ability allows us to think deeply about our actions, and our ability to control our own behavior makes us responsible for their consequences. Therefore, our ability to exercise free will is intrinsic to morality. Morality is one of the things that defines us as humans. It is at the core of all our societal norms. It is at the root of all religious traditions. In fact, you could make the argument that establishing and defining morality is the primary purpose of religion. • Ultimately, morality is a mindset—a lens through which we see our world. It influences our view of everything we encounter. I’ve spent a lot of time studying mindset models, and they’re among the most valuable tools I use as a researcher. Difficult-to-understand or seemingly irrational behavior in others becomes clear when we view it through the operative mindset. Morality, however, is the mother of all mindsets. It’s constantly active, constantly influencing our perceptions, and constantly informing our decision-making. So, it’s essential that researchers always be aware of it. It’s important to remember that morality is inextricably linked to the idea of free will. Philosophers have been telling us for centuries that the factor that distinguishes us from other animals is that we are not slaves to our fundamental nature. We can elevate ourselves above our basic desires and fears and choose what we will be and what we will do. So, when we judge the behavior of others, we are making the fundamental assumption that their choices are conscious and voluntary. Moral Foundations Theory Jonathan Haidt is a social scientist and moral psychologist. He wrote a book in 2012 called The Righteous Mind. It’s based on many years of studying moral perceptions and behavior, using systematically collected and rigorously analyzed data. This is probably the most important work on morality anybody has undertaken in the past century, and I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Haidt’s fundamental premise is that, while we would like to think that we reason our way into what we believe about right and wrong, we believe our way into our reasons. In other words, we create post hoc rationalizations for what we think and do. We all have innate moral intuitions, and those intuitions are at the root of our beliefs, perceptions, and actions, not rational analysis. Haidt is known for saying that “morality binds and blinds.” It’s crucial to social cohesion, but it also makes it very difficult to understand people outside of our way of thinking. Haidt’s research revealed six innate, fundamental, cross-cultural underpinnings of our sense of morality. Following are some very brief descriptions of them. If you want more detailed descriptions, you’ll need to read the book. The black box theory states that human behavior results from external stimuli (inputs), specifically punishment and reward. Behavioral psychologists (most prominently, Skinner) believe there to be little point to studying what’s going on in the “black box” of the mind, as these processes cannot actually be observed or accurately described. Rather, by focusing on inputs and outputs, we can understand, predict, and influence how people behave. This is a highly pragmatic approach that has been shown to be quite effective in practice. For instance, putting a misbehaving child in timeout is a classic application of “black box” theory. The Black Box Theory “Moral ity is a mindset—a lens through which we see our world, influencing our view of everything we encounter.” www.qrca.org SUMMER 2022 QRCA VIEWS 23
• Care/harm—this foundation comes from our innate desire to care for and nurture others and underlies such virtues as kindness and gentleness. • Fairness/injustice—this is related to the evolutionary process of reciprocal altruism. It underlies ideas of justice, inalienable rights, and balance. We have an innate sense that things should be “fair,” and that one good turn deserves another. • Loyalty/betrayal—as I’ve pointed out, we’re tribal animals. We highly value loyalty. This foundation underlies such virtues as patriotism, identification with a specific ideology, and self- sacrifice for the group. • Authority/subversion—submission to authority is a powerful driver in family, religious, military, and corporate contexts. Unlike most other animals, authority among humans is less based on physical dominance, and more on voluntary deference. • Purity/degradation—this is related to the ideal that we can attain virtue by controlling what we do with and put into our bodies or minds. It underlies religious notions of striving to live in an elevated, less carnal, more noble way, and drives the widespread idea that the body is a temple which can be desecrated by immoral activities and contaminants. • Liberty/oppression—this is about the feelings of resentment people feel toward those who dominate and restrict liberty. The American Declaration of Independence and Constitution are both very much about this moral foundation. Haidt’s purpose in creating this framework was to help us understand ourselves, and maybe be a little more rational. He’s quite concerned with political and social dysfunction and would like to play a role in helping foster private and public discourse that can help us communicate and understand each other better. That’s all very noble, but for researchers and marketers, it has somewhat different applications. This model of morality is highly useful for creating a schematic for consumer perceptions and decision- making. It could be argued that Haidt’s model might be the only one you really need—it’s kind of a unified field theory of morality. Sin and Virtue A hugely important moral framework— one we encounter all the time—is the Christian worldview of sin and virtue. Many of us were brought up with this model of morality, especially those of us who went to Catholic school. The very idea of sin is a uniquely human one; once it’s programmed into you, it never goes away. It’s an entirely binary way of looking at things—something is either one thing or it’s another, either a vice or a virtue. There are no gray areas. Morality and Marketing Morality is intrinsic to nearly all marketing issues and is an important component in branding. Brand personality and brand equity usually have a moral element, and brands and their competitors are often associated with specific virtues and sins. Consider two brands from Seattle that have often come up in my research studies: Starbucks is often associated with fairness and good corporate citizenship, while Amazon tends to be associated with rapaciousness. Morality is also key to segmentation— different consumer segments are often motivated by different moral imperatives. Morality is particularly important when it comes to politics. Nearly all political branding and brand communication is built around moral considerations. For us to understand the role moral considerations play in consumer perceptions and decision-making, we need tools—some systematic ways to think about morality and to design and analyze research with morality in mind. Putting Morality to Work Here are some practical tips on how to explore the topic of morality within a qualitative research context. • Get yourself into the habit of looking for morality. This is probably the most important principle of all. Simply becoming attuned to morality is probably 80 percent of the job. Do that and everything else will pretty much fall into place. Morality is already being talked about in your research— you just need to learn to recognize it. • Make sure you have pre-loaded thinking about morality you can draw upon. In other words, become well versed in at least a few moral models. • Think ahead about the various moral considerations and mindsets you might encounter during your research. Then prepare some The Seven Deadly Sins from Roman Catholic Theology The Seven Corresponding Virtues Gluttony Prudence Sloth Justice Lust Temperance Pride Courage Wrath Faith Envy Hope Greed Charity 24 CONNECTING. EDUCATING. ADVANCING. Morality: Looking through the Lens of Virtue CONT INUEDwww.emconsultinginc.com