Radio NewMR Insight Podcast – Melissa Schmidiger, Director, Global Research and Insights at Credit Suisse

Melissa Schmidiger

In this Radio NewMR podcast, Melissa Schmidiger from Credit Suisse chats with Ray Poynter.

The theme of the discussion is NOCH

  • New (what new things are proving useful)
  • Old (which old approaches are still just as valid)
  • Challenges
  • Hopes

Podcast Transcript
This transcript was generated automatically by Happy Scribe, which means it should be about 80% accurate.

[00:11] – Ray Poynter
Hi, Ray Poynter here from NewMR with another podcast from Radio NewMR Today. I’m delighted to have with me Melissa Schmidiger, Director, Global Research and Insights at Credit Swiss. Hi, Melissa.

[00:24] – Melissa Schmidiger
Hi, Ray. Nice to be here.

[00:27] – Ray Poynter
Thank you so much for joining us. Perhaps you can tell us a little bit about your role at Credit Swiss to get us started.

[00:35] – Melissa Schmidiger
Sure. So I head up global research and Insight as credit with what does that mean? I had up a team of ten who are research and insight professionals. They are located in Zurich, India and Poland. And we cover all of the research and insights needs of credit with whether that’s in private bank, investment bank or some of the front. We make sure that people have the voice of the customer or the voice, of course, corporate customers. And we try to make the audience come alive so that we can serve their needs better.

[01:12] – Melissa Schmidiger
We try to paint vivid pictures of the audience. We try to give a brand metrics when needed so that we can look at trends. And we try to give some life to what is happening in the market environment as well. So this is on all the three areas of Chicago. Great.

[01:29] – Ray Poynter
Okay. That gives us a nice picture. And today I’m going to focus on something I describe as not, which is new, old challenges and hopes. Melissa, let’s get started with the new. What have you noticed? Unfitted from that is new in the Insights world.

[01:49] – Melissa Schmidiger
I think in the last round of ad protesting that we’ve done, we started to use artificial intelligence a lot more. So this has been quite exciting for us. We started to use a combination of quant testing, which is typical. We’ll get a panel of people to check out what is likable believable of our ad. But then we also use AI to kind of take a look and see what are the impressions. How will the ads register what would not be recognizable? And this gives a very good flavor to see what would not register in the ads with the logos not be apparent.

[02:37] – Melissa Schmidiger
And this is a quite a good leap forward from eye tracking when you cannot gather people on site anymore because of difficulty and recruitment, and you have AI to come forward. What is interesting, though, is that you still get similar results, but you still need to get the interpretation of people. So it’s a nice combination of getting technology, but getting also the interpretation of your experts to understand the data. So I think it’s a good application, but also understanding that this is a nice step on top of what we had used to do with eye tracking.

[03:22] – Melissa Schmidiger
Right. It’s a great leap forward in that sense.

[03:27] – Ray Poynter
And how does that go down with your internal clients? Are they excited to have AI or they’re a little bit skeptical about AI?

[03:42] – Melissa Schmidiger
You know, I think let’s put it this way. They were excited that we were going to use AI because innovative, I think it comes down to interpretation. When the AI data started to show that only positive images were like then, of course, people are saying, well, do we only show happy baby faces? And that’s not the conclusion. The conclusion is that it’s not the happy baby faces register, always positively. It’s you know, whether humans look at it or whether AI looks at it, it’s that certain images register will.

[04:32] – Melissa Schmidiger
And this is up to the researcher to provide that context. Right. So it’s really up to the interpretation, the strength of the person presenting to kind of provide that context. And that’s why it’s really up to the presentation to the person interpreting the data that they provide. The strong contextual. Discussion, It’s never whenever you introduce a new technology, you have to provide the context because it’s not. When somebody says, I don’t trust the technology, I think it’s because the way it’s been introduced contextualized, there’s been a gap in that.

[05:10] – Melissa Schmidiger
It’s not because the technology fails. It’s because it has not been introduced or contextualized in the area of their research. And I think that’s where we have to be careful. And I think there’s a place to kind of put it in and then not to say that you’re going to make the decisions purely based on the technology.

[05:32] – Ray Poynter
That’s a great point. Great. Now let’s shift away from the new and look at the old. What sorts of things are you still seeing or still using today that are just as relevant as in the past.

[05:45] – Melissa Schmidiger
So, I put a lot of stock in storytelling, as you know, I think this is one of the big things that I put a lot of emphasis on. You can have a lot of great data out there, but at the end of the day, it’s the way stories are told. And I think one of the discussions we’ve had is really, for example, how stories are told with, for example, Corona data, when you see the curves of data being shown and they only see the tail end of the data, and people say, oh, the curve is flattening.

[06:27] – Melissa Schmidiger
Let’s look at the seven day average. It’s going down, well, do we see the whole picture? Do we see how things have panned out throughout the whole pandemic? Because the seven day average indeed, could be lower. But when does that look like? Versus a year ago. And this is really about how you use data in the context of the whole picture. This is about storytelling. And so I think it’s incumbent upon us as storytellers, as prepares of data to take a look and see what trends look like in the context of the whole picture.

[07:04] – Melissa Schmidiger
It’s actually important because we need to make sure that we can be the total message and be able to say, well, what is how important is it? Second, is it the true this is the true message. And third, is it for the right audience. And we need to make sure that our stories are supplies. We only have one chance to say the right story. So we have to make sure that you use the data properly. You have the you have to convey your point or simply, and you have to use the right tone.

[07:44] – Melissa Schmidiger
And in saying a story, you have to have the graphic pass when you say it, and all of these things matter. And I think all of this is actually fundamental. Data is great. But without the right story to convey it, then then you don’t have the right vehicle. So for me, this is always going to be a fundamental, whether you have a new technology, if you can talk about it properly, it doesn’t work.

[08:16] – Ray Poynter
Yeah. Absolutely. What about the challenges? What are the main challenges you’re facing these days in your work?

[08:29] – Melissa Schmidiger
I was just talking about this with some colleagues. You know, like so many of our meetings now are Zoom meetings or Skype meetings or whatever platform. Right. And a lot of our stakeholders may not turn on their camera. So you don’t have the benefit of being in the room, engaging with them, looking at their body language, looking at their eyes, and seeing if there’s a number or a piece of data that engages with them. And can you now take a look and take a cue from them?

[09:00] – Melissa Schmidiger
So you have to find a way to interact with your audience in a different way. So you need to create presentations differently. So I challenged my team the other week. We had to present the ad campaign pretest to an audience. It was scattered around a Pac, New York, or and Poland, and we had 20 stakeholders and co located. When I say Apex, that meant Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong. So like multiple locations in various degrees of engagement across the Zoom call. So I challenge the team.

[09:44] – Melissa Schmidiger
We have to show the ad campaign pretest, and I want to stimulate the discussion. So can we use a man people? Can we show the ad campaign stimulus? Can we engage them? No, we don’t want to just show the winner. But can we engage them so that they discuss the various stimulus and pick their own winner? And then we’ll talk about why something on, and then we can talk about, you know, the likes and dislikes and include them in the discussion. Because now we have to make sure people understand why something, why a particular ad one and how we improve it together.

[10:26] – Melissa Schmidiger
It cannot just be a flat discussion because you want that. You want the lessons to stick.

[10:33] – Ray Poynter

[10:34] – Melissa Schmidiger
So I think we had to create a new kind of research presentation. So it worked because the next thing I knew, we were invited to in the same kind of in a way, we gamified it. It is a game of fight research presentation. And it worked because we’ve been invited to do the same presentation three times over. Yeah. But I think you really have to find a way to re engage. It has to become an event.

[11:07] – Ray Poynter
Absolutely. I mean, what are the differences with the Zoom meetings is you’ve talked about all the challenges, of course, in terms of opportunities we’re actually getting to reach some people we wouldn’t have reached with face to face area. That’s quite interesting, too. Yeah.

[11:27] – Melissa Schmidiger
So I think that’s the whole you know, I think that is the hope. You are now able to reach so many people that, you know, previously we were not speaking to we’re not in contact with. And all of a sudden, our work matters to more people. I think more people have questions and they understand they can reach out to you more easily. There are no barriers. I think they’re less barriers because indeed, we are just a phone call away. I think in this particular page, people are less reluctant to reach out.

[12:14] – Melissa Schmidiger
I’ve had calls with people that I wouldn’t have imagined I would have spoken to before merely because people patch just through. And they said, oh, you and I have something in common. And even if it was a little thread, it became something and something has grown out of it. And I think you realize you have more commonalities and differences purely because people are more open to reaching out and barriers have kind of faded. And I think that’s really interesting. This is something that the Pandemic has given us.

[12:54] – Melissa Schmidiger
I think this ability to reach out.

[12:58] – Ray Poynter
That’s really good. And you mentioned their hope. So let’s stay with hopes and think about the inside. What changes and innovations are you looking for.

[13:11] – Melissa Schmidiger
Changes and innovation? I’m hoping to I’m hoping to have more innovations with regard to quality. I know that we’re using things like Snapchat and other apps to do more qual, but then those are a little bit more specific to a particular target audiences and where it’s available to to that location, because if you’re able to bring a particular applications inside the home. But I think now I just feel that Cobin with us for a little bit longer than we had hoped. So we do need to find different ways to do qualitative interviews where people feel comfortable talking beyond Skype.

[14:12] – Melissa Schmidiger
And so we need to find a way to be brought into people’s homes that people don’t feel that they’re being intruded upon, whether it’s sharing a video and people are becoming more comfortable recording a tick Tock or whatever. But how do we capture unguarded moments? How do we get people to share in ways that they feel comfortable and sharing two companies? Not everybody wants to be in a panel. It used to be that that was the solution. But not everybody, not every audience type one.

[14:52] – Ray Poynter
That yes.

[14:54] – Melissa Schmidiger
Right. So what do we do as an industry to adapt to this idea that people are going to be in this home environment for a longer haul. This idea of isolation has taken hold, so I really hope that we can find a way to adapt to it and get people to be comfortable in a cocooned environment to feel comfortable sharing again. So it’s a little bit of a mix, right, because people have cocoon and have isolated but are also sharing. So how do we get those shared experiences that are private?

[15:28] – Melissa Schmidiger
So, it’s a little bit of both that I think we’ll get there. It’s just a little bit of a very it’s a fine line, and I hope we don’t. I also hope that we don’t tread into this intimate environment too deeply because it is an interesting sphere to research, but it is also an intimate space. So I hope we understand and respect that, but so that we can serve our clients better, but we do it in a way that people continue to feel they can share.

[16:06] – Ray Poynter
Yup, that would be great. Well, that brings us to the end of our time slot. Thank you so much for joining us today, and I look forward to chatting with you again soon. Melissa, yeah.

[16:18] – Melissa Schmidiger
Thank you.