Transcript of recording with Katrine Noelle – generated automatically by HappyScribe which means it will be about 80% accurate – if you spot confusing errors, please email email@example.com. The timestamps are included to help you jump directly to a point of interest.
[00:00:07.290] – Katrine Noelle
Good morning, my name is Katrina Noel, I’m so happy to be here today to talk about the complimentary insights of both qualitative insights and social media listening. This whole presentation is based on a pro bono study that we did in twenty twenty, and that allows me to present it fully as a case study and super grateful for our generous clients for that ability to do so. Just a little bit about me before we get started. I’m sort of an Insight’s industry lifer.
[00:00:36.570] – Katrine Noelle
I’ve been running No Research, a qualitative consultancy for about 18 years now and about five years ago launched Scud Insight’s, which is a separate company that focuses mostly on decision making for business leaders. But today, we’re not here to talk about either of those companies, but here to talk about the amazing work being done by the financial gym. And if you’re not familiar with the company, they are a personal financial services company that takes a fitness inspired approach to clients finances.
[00:01:09.090] – Katrine Noelle
So it’s very much like working with a trainer rather than working with an advisor. And we’ve been in touch with the organization for a while. And at the beginning of twenty twenty, they had planned to kind of take the show on the road and do some traveling shows across the US where they would introduce people to their offering. They have an amazing package service, but at that time it was mostly focused on a few in-person markets and they were hoping to expand across the country.
[00:01:38.490] – Katrine Noelle
So as you can imagine, things got stalled a little bit because of all of the incidents in the first quarter of last year. So we tried to think of what else we could do because their project objectives remained the same. They still wanted to deliver targeted strategies towards these potential customers and inspire some new messaging and marketing strategies when reaching out to them. And also at the same time, really look at their core service offering and determine if they wanted to fine tune or expand it, and if so, in which ways.
[00:02:12.720] – Katrine Noelle
And as you can probably imagine from the picture on the right, they weren’t able to do things as they were used to doing them. So we stepped in and we said, OK, how can we help learn? How can we help you learn those things despite not being on the road? So we started with qualitative or qualitative first firm, and we definitely believe in connecting with consumers in the form of open ended conversations. We want to hear stories in their words and the financial Jim did have a lot of customer data, but it was existing customer data.
[00:02:47.100] – Katrine Noelle
They hadn’t really taken a step towards understanding or making a connection with those non customers or prospects yet. So we thought about what could we do to bring them closer to that audience to help them make those decisions and those next steps, both in terms of those messages as well as the service offering itself. We also in this case wanted to make sure that we were looking at a large enough audience qualitatively to make sure that the leadership team really had confidence in the learnings.
[00:03:19.950] – Katrine Noelle
So what we ended up doing for them in the first part is a qualitative deep dove in the form of our booth insights methodology. And basically what this does is the attempt is to mimic the spontaneity of an in-person intercept. So we want a large qualitative, so qualitative sample size in a short amount of time. And we want to have these focused conversations with a number of people and focus in this case. You know, these days everything has a national reach if you want it to.
[00:03:50.640] – Katrine Noelle
Right. But in this case, we wanted to make sure we focused on those markets where they wanted to be and we’re not there yet. So this was hopefully the audience that they had wanted to meet on the road. And so we were bringing them into the digital booth. What we ended up doing is speaking with 30 people in a day and we do these very sort of quick conversations, deep dives with these folks about their personal finance worries, needs, priorities and what really coaching or advisory company would be able to do for them.
[00:04:25.670] – Katrine Noelle
So this is just kind of a highlight of some of the qualitative findings that we discovered during this first phase of work. And it was really a lot about control, security, feeling like they were proactive about their finances and growing more knowledgeable at the same time. So we really encountered not a set it and forget it mindset, but it really helped me learn and grow, which is, as you can probably imagine, very closely aligned with the financial gym’s training goals.
[00:04:53.990] – Katrine Noelle
And then we we noticed there was some interesting differences by life stage with these sort of more younger participants or seeking knowledge to kind of get in the game or get revved up, get started really working on their personal finances. And then we did to hear some openness in these conversations to a potential paid service model where really if there was a focus on education and action around goals, people would could really see the value in an ideal service like that. And they really spoke to the need for a tiered model that it wasn’t a one size fits all, that this would hopefully be something that could be tapped into to various degrees based on your life stage, your goals and the level of Hands-On help that you might need.
[00:05:44.540] – Katrine Noelle
So really valuable findings that set them on the path of definite, solid learnings for their next set of decisions. So why did we pull in social media listening? So basically at this point we thought we’ve got some great data, but we want to cast a wider net and we want to hear what’s naturally and organically discussed in these populations because we had this set of qualitative conversations. But does that mirror the views of the larger population? And we could have done a survey, right?
[00:06:17.390] – Katrine Noelle
We could have written a custom survey. But in this case, we really wanted to see what was naturally going on kind of throughout the year, because by this point it was followed twenty twenty. And we wanted to know how this conversation about personal personal finances, how had that changed throughout the pandemic and throughout the lockdown and what conversations were happening and by whom? Just naturally, as we all kind of moved through this time that was, you know, ever changing in many ways, but also had a big impact on finances across the board.
[00:06:51.470] – Katrine Noelle
So we wanted to we wanted to kind of cast that net out. We wanted to do some social media listening. And so we actually tapped into two amazing colleagues and resources. North Star Solutions Group was kind of our conduit to the top Walker platform. There’s lots of great platforms out there that allow you to tap in and listen. And in this case, we were specifically interested in conversations on social that happened over the past twenty four months because we really wanted to see what was pre covid and pandemic and what was happening now.
[00:07:28.910] – Katrine Noelle
So we really looked at conversations both on our topic right. Of personal finance, but also mentions of the financial gym brand and mentions of other resources that people were tapping into for advice and information during these times. And so we have another set of findings, so our social findings really, we were really allowed to kind of give some more validation and scope to what we had learned from the qualitative. So we definitely heard that there was this timeline that began with this fear and uncertainty around finances that transitioned in the summer of twenty twenty to be talking about really proactive actions that people could do to stabilize and further their financial goals.
[00:08:18.290] – Katrine Noelle
And we did sort of double confirm that demographic difference that we noticed from the qualitative, which was this younger audience was really hungry for information and ways that they could not only get in the game, which is what we learned on the qualitative, but really kind of rev up and take advantage of what they could at this time. But if you think about kind of when those stimulus checks arrived, the first batch, there really was some focus on what do I do with this?
[00:08:46.640] – Katrine Noelle
How do I use this money most intelligently? And then interestingly, we tapped into this other group where parents were especially engaged with this topic online. And we thought that was a very interesting demographic that didn’t necessarily come through in those smaller qualitative set, that really there was a light shown on parents wanting to make sure they are making the best decisions for their family and really setting up their household well financially. And so that conversation really got a big focus.
[00:09:17.510] – Katrine Noelle
And also this idea of people wanting to be in control definitely was magnified. But we also learned which tools people discovered during the pandemic. Now, there has been a lot of press about the the prominence of a lot of these investing and savings tools over the past few months. But we were really able to kind of dove dove deep into which ones were mentioned, how often, how they helped people. And so we got this bigger picture of what folks were doing using and wanting, and it was extremely valuable.
[00:09:55.280] – Katrine Noelle
Just a little quote here from our partners at Northstar Solutions Group, which is really saying that there is this is very important right now to bring social media analysis into consumer research projects. We really felt like this was a very complementary set of methodologies because we were able to they were able to help us identify these tangible insights that informed and complemented the qualitative. So it really was a pairing of data sources. And I think as we all think about mixed methods or hybrid projects, this is just another combination of tools that really benefits are in clients and brands considerably when you get two approaches working together and validating each other.
[00:10:42.890] – Katrine Noelle
So if you remember, they had come into this, the financial didn’t come into this looking for a few different sets of objectives. So we found that this targeting strategies for their potential customer base and the inspiration to develop messages and marketing strategies and campaigns. Those goals were really were benefited by the combination of the social and qualitative approaches, and we were very excited to be able to deliver that. But also it really helped validate the need for qualitative as well, because in order to capture this feedback on their service offering specifically, that was something we really had to lean in and have conversations specifically with consumers about the offering, about the potential iterations of the offering.
[00:11:36.230] – Katrine Noelle
And that’s something we couldn’t listen for. We had to ask. So we got validated as well that what we have been doing and what are our methodologies kind of our are naturally very much suited. That goal and also what it allows us to do was really shine a light on our participants via video. I think video is becoming so essential in delivering insights and telling stories. And by having those 30 people in the booth with us, we were able to clip together some great reels, really, of people expressing what they needed and wanted in this area of their lives.
[00:12:14.720] – Katrine Noelle
And obviously, that’s not something you can tap into when you’re when you’re mining in a greater audience. So really important to have both of those sources. However, in the future, we also can see flipping that and trying to gather the broader social spectrum of information before the qualitative so that that really informs the participant screener of the discussion guide and how you listen in the qualitative. So we really think, you know, going forward, it’s going to be not only a decision of to use or not use this combined methodology, but how to set up the pieces to make sure that it is helping you learn and tell the story best.
[00:12:58.840] – Katrine Noelle
And ultimately, the goal is to deliver insights that are helpful and usable. And so we just wanted to make a note here for our from our client that very much appreciated the validation of these updates that they were planning and hoping to make. So they really appreciated being able to see the validation and as you notice, being able to see those learnings via video as well. I would be open to receiving some sort of like financial adviser or somebody who could kind of show me which areas would be best to invest in because I am only twenty five.
[00:13:38.120] – Katrine Noelle
So I feel like now is the time to really get into the investments to help them grow. So I would definitely be open to receiving some sort of financial advisor who could kind of show me the right path to go down, that I need someone who has those magical money tricks that I always hear about where you can turn money that you have into more money. And I know people are doing this and I don’t know how. So I need someone to help me with.
[00:14:03.560] – Katrine Noelle
Like, how do you invest? Do you invest? Is that what you do? How do you like I don’t even know how to buy a house, you know, like I need I’m like a thirty five year old that has not really learned any of how to be an adult, but has gained some money.
[00:14:20.870] – Katrine Noelle
So just if you want to reach out and talk more happy to do so, and I also want to make sure we leave enough time for Q&A. Thank you so much.