Importance of user experience & usability testing

The investment made in your website’s user experience ultimately determines the success or failure of your online venture. When was the last time you asked yourself if the money you invest in your online channel is effectively converting website visitors into online customers?  A positive online consumer experience will improve not only the conversion rate of your online channel, but help you propel your brand’s profile by turbocharging your website’s net promoter score (A net promoters score is a measurement which reflects the likelihood a online consumer will recommend your websites, and its product or services, to friends, family and acquaintances). Acquiring customers online is by no means an easy task! It requires a great deal of time and investment to pull in visitors to your website, engage with them in a meaningful way, and ensure they don’t leave your site without first investing the time to evaluate your offer.  Unfortunately the majority of websites are created without any consideration given to the actual individuals who might be using it! Simple questions like: “how and why would consumers connect with this brand online?”, and “are we helping or hindering consumers in achieving their online goals?”,  are more often than not just a reactive afterthought! Your online consumer experience can be tested using techniques like group based online website usability testing. Bringing a group of people together in a real-time virtual environment to find out if the website message is too complicated, hard to read, poorly organized, and if the proposed layout is as intuitive as your developers tell you it is. All of these very important user experience attributes...

Online Surveys & Online Focus Groups Play Together

Anyone who interacts with people understands that human behaviour can some times seem as unpredictable as the weather. But by combining online surveys and online focus groups you can go along way in understanding why people do the things that they do. For a business you might want to understand how people react to a particular marketing message, or how you should effectively engage with employees. When combining the convenience of online surveys with the effectiveness of online focus groups you can answer many questions like these, and discover a whole new world of actionable insights! It’s easy to see the differences between quantitative online surveys, and qualitative research methods like online focus groups, but how can they be combined, and why would you consider doing so? Quantitative research is primarily done for statistical purposes. For mathematical reasons, it’s necessary to take a little bit of data from a large group of people. It’s good for things like opinion polls, where the emphasis is more on the quantity of respondents that fall into a given group, as opposed to what those respondents think. Quantitative research, for example, can tell you how many people in your capital city might choose vanilla over chocolate milkshakes. Qualitative research is primarily done for the purpose of understanding why people think they way they do. It is not purely mathematical, since the groups involved in qualitative research are far too small for significant statistical analysis, and the information gained from them isn’t the kind that can be easily broken down like survey answers can. It’s good for things like new product or advertising development,...

Agile online market research revitalises a brand

Background: The client has been successfully operating in the home loan broking industry for over 2 decades. Due to shifts in the industry, they were looking to increase their market-share in more profitable markets, however, there were concerns that opportunities were being held back due to the current perceived market positioning of the brand. Objective The principal objective of this research was to identify the true perceptions of the brand within the market, establish the current positioning in relation to competitors and provide recommendations on brand ‘renewal’. It had to be done quickly and on a tight budget. Not all participants would be available to travel, so online discussions and focus groups where a perfect match. Target groups Clients: past, present and potential clients who have or are looking to refinance, upgrade their home, or buy an investment property. Partner channels: industry partners such as Solicitors, Accountants, and Real Estate Agents who may refer customers. Home loan team: current staff who nurture and manage the customer and channel touch points. Methodology Clients Target Audience: Past, present and potential clients who are looking to refinance, upgrade their home, or buy an investment property within the next 12 months. Method: 5 day online discussion board. Participants: 15 Objective: To gain feedback on the service offering of the home loan service provider. Including opinions on current branding and marketing, and market position. Partners Target Audience: Industry partners, such as Solicitors, Accountants, and Real Estate Agents. Method: 5 day online discussion board. Participants: 11 Objective: To gain feedback on the service offering of the home loan service provider. Including opinions on current branding...

VET & workforce real-time online focus groups

Background: A government relations, marketing and advertising consultancy who had been engaged to provide strategic communication advice, key message development and copywriting services for their client with a specific education and training public initiative. Our client was responsible for communicating to stakeholders about national changes to the VET system at a local level, promoting awareness of the initiative and building knowledge of the organisation amongst stakeholders. Objective To use agile and low cost online market research methods in order to reveal insights about training and workforce development. To ensure the language, tone and content of the communication material was relevant and on track for all targeted audiences. Target audiences There were 3 primary audiences for this study: 1. Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) 2. Learners (Students) 3. Employers and Industry Methodology Method: 3 x Online Focus Groups – 1 group per target audience Participant numbers: 10 per group Duration: 60 minutes per group Outcomes The consultancy took the results and formulated the communication strategy and collateral to roll out across the different channels. This communication included keywords, descriptions and info that was highlighted by the target audiences as important and preferred. This ensured the language, tone and content of the communication material was relevant and on target for all audiences. The research data also assisted in developing a name for the program that would engage each target audience. Furthermore, develop editorial for TasTAFE, Department of Education and the Skills Tasmania newsletters – “Fact Sheets” for each stakeholder group. The language used by the different target groups during each online focus group session, provided speaking points for Skills Tasmania employees, and...

Online discussion board & online focus groups

An advertising agency and a state University needed to conduct online research to gauge the underlying emotions and motivations behind the student decision making process when choosing a university. The objectives of this research were to capture and understand the reactions to the current university advertising campaign, and to gain a deeper insight into the thoughts, feelings and mindset of potential university students. The knowledge gained from the research would be used to evaluate campaign messages and develop a future communication strategy. The research was conducted across 4 key target markets: Undergraduates School leavers Mature age students Postgraduate Career advancement A New start A hybrid online qualitative research methodology was employed to gain a deeper understanding of the needs and attitudes of potential students. Stage 1: Online discussion board homework. 12 participants were recruited to undertake an online task spanning 3 consecutive days. The homework was designed to explore the current stage-in-life situations of the student groups, the bases for the decision making processes and the current perceptions about the university. Stage 2: real-time (live) online focus groups 8 participants were identified during the homework task for their rich level of online contribution. A cross section of participants were selected based on the quality of the answers provided and invited to participate in a real-time (live) online focus group. The objectives of this online focus group were to expand and build on the insights gained during the homework tasks. Stage 1: Homework The homework session was facilitated using an online community discussion board. This is not a real-time method, but occurs over-time, and in this case was conducted over...