November 16, 2022
Brands are always looking for ways to stay relevant! With 38 years in the data collection industry, MacKenzie Corporation understands how to pivot and incorporate changes to help brands evolve to meet customer needs. Co-owner Jenny Dinnen shares the secrets to the organization’s success and tips on how to use data to enhance the customer experience in this two-part podcast.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:00:00] This is The 19, a podcast that delivers marketing insights from Orange Label in 19 minutes or less. This year, the agency is celebrating 50 years of working with established brands that are driven by a fearless entrepreneurial mindset. What does this mean for you? It means enriched conversations and stories with marketing and leadership experts aimed at improving lives.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:00:29] Hello and welcome to The 19: Entrepreneur Edition! I’m Rochelle Reiter, President of Orange Label. You’ve likely heard the saying, “It’s better to be proactive than reactive.” But when it comes to brand marketing, how can brands be proactive? One way to remain agile in an ever changing market is through data driven decision making. Specializing in forward-thinking, data-focused solutions is our guest, Jenny Dinnen. Jenny is the co-owner of MacKenzie Corporation, a customer insights consulting firm, and a certified foresight practitioner. Jenny, welcome to The 19. We’re so excited to have you on the show today!
Jenny Dinnen: [00:01:05] Thank you for having me. I’m so excited!
Rochelle Reiter: [00:01:11] First of all, let’s start off with what types of research McKinsey Corporation provides to brands and organizations?
Jenny Dinnen: [00:01:19] Oh, my gosh, what type? So we’ve been doing this for a minute. We’ve been around for 35 years. You know, most of the research that we do. Kind of broad stroke is all around, I mean, customer insights, right? So which I know broadly speaking, but really we are looking to understand the human beings on the other end of products, services and experiences. So when you back up and talk about the human beings on the other end of that, that really opens up the scope from not just customers but prospects, customers, employees, stakeholders. So we do a wide variety of research projects and really all along the customer journey. So we kind of get in a little bit deeper of what that means, but a lot of quantitative and qualitative.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:02:06] Right.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:02:07] Kind of get it of what all that means there, but research to really start understanding the human beings and their buying behaviors and what’s going on, the why behind they buy.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:02:16] The why.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:02:17] Yes!
Rochelle Reiter: [00:02:17] That’s great! So you’ve been in business for 35 years, which you mentioned, and your positioning for your brand is be relevant, stay relevant. Can you expand on your secret to remaining in business for 35 years?
Jenny Dinnen: [00:02:30] Yeah, so 35 years. So and I guess to back up, I think 35, 38 years something. So my dad started the business a long time ago. So we are a family business. My twin sister and I are in and running the business, so we came in 12, 15 some years ago. So I’ll kind of pick up from I mean, well, growing up in the business in high school and working with them, but when Kate and I came into the business, the data analytics space has changed so much from 35 years ago, and I feel like it was like Dad catching lightning in a bottle way back when. When Kate and I came in we started thinking. What is happening outside of just our business, which I think is a really big thing for businesses to be doing, is I think for a while there it was head down getting the job done, just doing what we needed to do. Kate and I had the honor of coming in and taking a look back and outside and bringing in our outside experience and saying, what else is happening in this space? What’s affecting the space? So instead of just working in the business or working on the business, which I’m sure as any business owner. So we are always out talking to people, which kind of comes back to the reason of doing research. But we’re out talking to people, we’re out exploring, we’re out at conferences that are outside of our space to find out what is happening in the world and how can we pivot and adjust our business to meet the needs that are changing. Instead of holding so strongly to what we’ve always done. How do we kind of loosen the grip a little bit to say, Hey, listen, the world is changing around us and we need to be changing at the same time.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:04:07] Changing for relevancy?
Jenny Dinnen: [00:04:08] Oh, my gosh. Yes, I mean, yeah, if you think about the data space from 35 years ago, in theory, we’re doing the same thing of helping people figure out who their customers are, how to stay in touch with them, how to find more of them. But we are now drowning in data, most companies out there. The variety of information that’s in there, the types of conversations that are having. So we’ve had to pivot and adjust along the way for how we’re serving our clients.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:04:37] Pivoting and adjusting. That’s probably the biggest secret, right?
Jenny Dinnen: [00:04:40] Yes!
Rochelle Reiter: [00:04:41] It’s no secret. You have to do that.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:04:43] I know, as I say, it seems like an obvious type of thing out there, but especially while I think any kind of legacy business, but family businesses as well, there’s a lot of honoring the past. This is what we’ve done. I’m sure everyone is heard and not just in family businesses as this is the way we do it here, you know?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:05:00] Yeah.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:05:00] And so Kate and I are really big on changing and evolving, but we’re not changing for change sake. We’re changing to make sure that we are being our way of honoring our dad and our company is to make sure that we’re still going to be here in another 35 years from now.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:05:16] Yes.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:05:16] And that means loosening up a little bit. So being very clear on the overall mission of the company of what we’re doing, but looser on exactly how we’re getting there. And I mean, it’s not rocket science of pivoting and keeping our heads up and seeing what else is going on out there.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:05:32] Right. Well, when your company was founded, direct consumer feedback played an essential role in the business, and it still does today.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:05:38] Yeah.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:05:39] Why is hearing from the customer so important and how can brands tap into this?
Jenny Dinnen: [00:05:44] Oh my gosh, I am so passionate about this. People and customers, but people want their voices to be heard. People want to be a part of the process. And there’s so much low hanging fruit out there. I mean, sometimes I believe that some companies forget that we exist to serve the customers, right? Like we do not exist without customers and then buying our products and services. And they in a world right now, especially what we’ve just lived through the past few years. So much has changed in every way, shape and form. And so if we are not staying close to the customers and staying close to the people and really asking them what’s going on in their lives, what matters most to them, what are they looking to accomplish, then we’re becoming disconnected from our customers, especially right now in a very competitive space. Everyone, one should be looking at their competitors, and that’s not only their direct competitors, but their indirect competitors. Like where else are customers spending time, attention and money because there’s so much competition out there. So why does it matter to me? It gets back to the question why does it matter to get close to the customer and getting customer insights? Because they’re the ones buying from us.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:06:57] Right, right.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:06:59] I mean, it’s just this, you know, and they will tell you what matters most to them. They’re going to tell you why they’re looking to buy where they’re going, what else is happening in their lives. I think sometimes we forget as brands that our products and services don’t operate in a vacuum.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:07:16] Right.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:07:16] And so if we can then find out what else is happening in their lives and kind of step back a little bit, then we could better serve them and say, okay, I’m not only selling this one product, but they’re also trying to solve this. And now I can also expand the products and services that I have. This is how we pivot and evolve and staying close to them. There’s so much opportunity right now for brands that actually lean in and listen and connect to their customers. Might not seem like it right now, but customers, like I said, want their voices to be heard. They want to be respected and they want to be loyal to companies that actually listen to them and create products and services for them. There’s so much opportunity right now.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:08:01] I agree. I agree. The holidays are coming up. So do you see any I know already, right. How can brands use data to enhance the experience, especially during the holiday season this year?
Jenny Dinnen: [00:08:12] Oh, my gosh. You know, I think that there’s how do they use data and customer insights? It’s like a few pieces and not just in the holiday, but yeah, for the holiday season. One, I think it’s really important for brands, as I said in the very beginning. So many companies are drowning in information, I guess I’ll say drowning in data. How do we step back and say, what information are we collecting on our prospect’s customers to start seeing what patterns and trends are we seeing happening? Right? So instead of just looking so closely of exactly where they clicking, what are they doing? Like, what is the bigger picture that’s kind of emerging and trying to evolve here. So that we can get a bigger idea of what consumers are looking for and what they want from us. So one, use the data that they have. It’s again it’s such a funny thing to say, but I think a lot of times companies are out there looking to say, how do we collect more and more and more information? So one, let’s use the information that is already sitting in your company’s website. What are they looking to buy? What’s going on? And then if we start asking them like what really matters to them right now, what actually are they most excited about for the for the holidays? What are the pieces that they want to be bringing in for tradition with their families? What are the things that we can be digging into to create a deeper relationship with people? So we’re moving out of just the transaction, right? Because that we don’t want to be in a race to the bottom on pricing, right? We want people to have a personal connection with us to be telling the stories that are happening to engage deeper with us. So using the data. So how do companies use data today for the holiday season? Dig in deeper!
Rochelle Reiter: [00:10:03] Right.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:10:05] To find out what is all this information telling us, like, what’s the why behind the data? Those are the people that are going to be coming out ahead in addition to I mean, I guess I should say at the very least, if customers are telling you I’m putting kind of an air quotes here, by the way, that they’re engaging with you, that they want to be shopping online or they want to be going in store, they want to be doing these things. Our customers are giving us a lot of information that’s telling us how they want to be engaged with us, Right? Listen to it.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:10:35] And use it.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:10:36] And use it, yeah. So that should be kind of table stake at the moment.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:10:41] Sure.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:10:42] And then how do you want to create a deeper relationship with your customers is then going into the why behind of what they’re doing and creating your story to match along with what they’re looking to accomplish?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:10:54] Sure, sure. If you were to give one piece of advice to brands about the importance of data, what would you say?
Jenny Dinnen: [00:11:01] I think a really big piece is remembering. I feel a tiny bit like a broken record, but remember that there are human beings on the other end of the data of the information yhat’s coming in. You know, I think a lot of times companies get so fixated on the number, right? Like, so we do a lot of customer satisfaction surveys, MPS surveys, like all of these type of tracking type of pieces or brand awareness numbers. And so we’ll get stuck on the we’re a 92.7 or we’re the six point whatever on the MPS. We’re a number, you know, in that data and tracking the number so closely. But if we step back and remember that there are human beings on the other end of this, and what is it telling us?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:11:47] Right.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:11:48] You know, as you’re coming in and we’re getting information on surveys and if scores are going down, then people, scrambled, oh my gosh, you know, what are we doing? We’re going from a 7.5 to a whatever, 6.8 or something. And so we’re fixating on the number as opposed to then coming out and saying okay, what’s actually happening? How do we go out? How do we talk to people? What is actually happening, How do we talk to our employees? Because they probably know. I mean, a big part of this is not just data from our customers, but also from the internal team. They have so much information. What’s going on? Are there more hold times out there or did we have a defect in our product or did we have something like what is actually happening to drive the numbers in the data? So remember, there’s human beings on the other end of it, one to tracking over time. So you can see what happens. A lot of times I think we’ve talked about before, sometimes companies are brands will do a one time survey, you know, and think like, okay, this is this is it, this is the answer. This is what’s going on. But that’s giving us a snapshot in time. If it just sits on the shelf. You know, how do we use that information? How do we go? How do we give the information and the data to the internal team members that actually can use it?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:13:06] Right.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:13:06] You know, like back in the day, one of my first jobs, I worked at Home Depot and I was on the B2B side of Home Depot in marketing. But we got our weekly reports of all of the, we’ve got, tracking reports based on this. But we had every single call that came in the call center, so we knew exactly how many came into the call center. They were coded and again, that’s looking at the very top number of what our scores was, but it was broken out for department of what the issues were. We knew for marketing, this is what we had to deal with merchandizing, customer service, logistics, like every single one. It came down so we could actually fix the problems and we knew what was going on and they were assigned to the right department because if we’re just looking at the high up number, nobody’s really doing anything with the information. So how do we then assign the issues that are coming in or the questions that are coming in to actual people within the organization that can solve those problems?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:13:57] Yes.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:13:58] So it disseminate. That’s not that’s more than just one piece of advice.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:14:02] Yeah, but that is okay.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:14:03] I rolled in a bunch of stuff, but make sure that you’re taking the information and disseminating it down to people within the organization that can actually help and solve some problems.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:14:13] Exactly.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:14:14] Yes, empower your employees.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:14:16] Yes!
Jenny Dinnen: [00:14:17] With the data!
Rochelle Reiter: [00:14:17] Right?
Jenny Dinnen: [00:14:18] Yes!
Rochelle Reiter: [00:14:19] It seems intuitive, but I think sometimes there’s so many initiatives going on at companies that that that step gets lost.
Jenny Dinnen: [00:14:26] Yes. Yes. And I think of taking a look at the entire customer experience. Sometimes it gets so big, but when you do break it down and say, okay, here’s a piece of information, who can actually do something with it? And then that empowers the employees to say, hey, what can we do? How do I make things better for them? What’s happening with our customers so we know what’s happening.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:14:47] Right, right.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:14:53] Thank you for listening to The 19: Entrepreneur Edition with MacKenzie Corporation’s Jenny Dinnen. You can connect with Jenny and learn more about Mackenzie at MacKenzie Corp dot com. For insights on Orange Label’s data driven marketing services, visit Orange Label Advertising dot com or email R-R-E-I-T-E-R at Orange Label Advertising dot com.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:15:25] A special thank you goes out to our contributors Ryan Nagel, Micah Panzich, who edits our show, and Senior Content Writer Ashley Ruiz. Be sure to subscribe to The 19 on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify. And if you like what you heard today, leave us a review!