April 28, 2022
Marketers are putting first-party data to the forefront of their strategies. The most-recent CMO Survey finds that 75% of marketers plan to increase their emphasis on this type of data in the next two years as changes continue with second- and third-party data. Why wait to acquire data when you can start now? In the latest episode of The 19: Entrepreneur Edition, we take you behind the scenes into one of Orange Label’s methods of acquiring first-party data, called the View From the Field, and how it can be used to not only build your brand but help you connect with your audience.
Ashley Ruiz: [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.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:00:28] Hello and welcome to The 19: Entrepreneur Edition! I’m Ashley Ruiz, Senior Content Writer at Orange Label. I’m the one who writes Orange Labels monthly blog covering a range of marketing topics. In our April blog, we shared five key takeaways from the biannual CMO Survey. One interesting finding from the survey is that 75% of marketers plan to increase and focus on first-party data. This is a big change as marketers have generally relied on first, second and third party data equally in the past. For many, this means adapting to a new way of gathering information. At Orange Label. It’s confirmation that the agency’s View From the Field a method of gathering primary research, is as valuable and necessary as ever. Today, I’ll be interviewing Orange Label President Rochelle Reiter to tell you all about this process. She’s our usual host of the 19 podcast, and today she’s on the other side of the mic. Now I get to say her usual line: Rochelle, welcome to The 19!
Rochelle Reiter: [00:01:23] Thank you so much, Ashley! It’s so great to have you on the other side of the mic and hosting me.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:01:28] Excited to be here. Rochelle, were you surprised to see a growing emphasis on first party data reported in the CMO survey?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:01:39] Well, we really saw it coming over all of the restrictions that have been put in place about collecting data over the past few years. So the good news for Orange Label is that we’ve been collecting first party data with our clients for many, many years.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:01:52] Okay. How long would you say that Orange Label has been conducting this first party data research?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:01:58] Well, our agency was really founded with a research philosophy, so asking questions of our clients, customers and prospects has always really been part of our DNA. One example of this in action is our testimonial radio commercials, where we produced for some of our clients across the country. And we actually visit our clients, customers in their own business environment and conduct one on one interviews with them. So the nuggets and sound bites that come out of these interviews are to create messages that authentically and emotionally connect with the audience. In addition, we use that messaging from the interviews in other forms of marketing, such as digital ads in websites and more traditional pieces like brochure and outdoor advertising. And then about ten years ago, we formalized our interview process and named it a View From the Field. So this method is a little bit different in that we conduct interviews, how we conduct them for the radio commercials, but it has the same end goal in mind, and it’s really to gather authentic and emotional responses from the marketplace so that we can develop messaging that resonates and actually elicits a response. So really connecting with that audience in the marketplace.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:03:07] That’s awesome. The evolution from the radio commercials to this View From the Field. So when we do these view From the Field interviews, who is interviewed? Is it always brand advocate?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:03:16] So it really depends on the client. So for retail clients, it’s typically current customers or clients of theirs. And then we also like to interview past customers so we can learn a lot from people that have been a customer and then for whatever reason, aren’t a customer anymore. So we can figure out why they left. What were the specific reasons? And really dig into that and the research behind that in health care in that industry, it’s typically patients, although we need to take caution in these instances because of HIPAA regulations, it can also be key staff members or even other types of stakeholders, such as board members or physicians when it comes to health care.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:03:53] Okay. So in the instance of people who might not be customers anymore, how can they feel safe sharing their full and honest feedback?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:04:02] So we’ve done that a couple of different ways. One will tell them that it’s anonymous and we won’t share with our client who that person was. But a lot of times I think people are willing to share their past experience if it wasn’t good and if they know that we’re intending to work on it or the brand is intending to work on that and make it better for others, it’s usually not a problem.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:04:25] Okay perfect. How are these interviews usually conducted?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:04:29] So interviews are typically conducted via telephone. In this way, it’s easier to capture the authentic tone that someone’s using. You know, in an email, if you read something on a piece of paper, you can’t gather the emotional insights that come from that. But when you’re on the phone with somebody, they’re able to share authentically. If you notice a pause in their reaction, or if you notice they’re wanting to share more, you can ask follow up questions. So we’ve found that phone interviews are very efficient, and it’s a way that we can actually hear emotion from our client’s customers. So the way that it works is our clients typically provide us with a list of names to call, and it always works if they give their clients a heads up or their customers a heads up that we’re going to call. So they don’t think we’re like some just some random person trying to gather market research. It’s actually a connection that’s made there. And we structure the interviews to last about 20 minutes, being sensitive to the person on the other end of the phone and their time. But we find that some people will spend 45 minutes with us sharing because sometimes people just love to share. So we are sensitive to the time, but also will spend any time that’s needed with this customer to get all the nuggets of insight that they have to offer.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:05:46] Okay. What type of questions do we usually ask in these interviews?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:05:51] So some questions are very straightforward about media habits and preferences of, you know, where do you get your information from or where do you shop? But other questions are all around benefits and experience. So we ask a lot about benefits, and then we ask about the experience of the brand, how they heard about them. And then we always ask what’s one thing that could be better? So although we might not include this in messaging, at the end of the day, it’s useful insight for our customers, our brands that they don’t naturally get from people. And I think since a third party, we’re doing that research for them. They’re able to. Share more authentically when we’re on the phone with them.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:06:35] Okay. Yeah, I know in my experience having some of that feedback and listening to those interviews has helped me tremendously in writing the copy, definitely.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:06:43] Yeah. Yeah and that’s you make a good point. It’s really important that we have other people sometimes sit in in those interviews on our team so that whether it’s a copywriter or a designer, so that they’re really capturing that emotional feel that that they can gain from direct experience from that customer.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:07:03] Yeah, definitely. How do people typically respond when you ask to interview them?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:07:08] So this also really depends on the client. Sometimes people are very willing and then other times they’re very hard to wrangle. So it depends on schedules. Like if we’re interviewing a lawyer, for example, we have to get ahead of their schedule in advance. And so and also if we’re interviewing an entrepreneur, we know that they’re very, very busy or they may want to talk at 7 a.m. or 6 o’clock at night, and we just have to be willing to adjust our schedules. On a few occasions. We’ve had to offer incentives for the interviewees, so we’ve done gift cards and things like that. In other instances where clients are in one place, for some B2B clients, we’ve actually done the interviews at trade shows. And then so for some retail clients, we’ve actually gone to their locations for their business where customers are coming in and out the front door and we’re able to ask the questions there.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:08:02] Okay. Do you think that people appreciate this interview process that brands are going out of their way to to do this and to speak to them?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:08:11] Yeah, and I think that it helps. As I said earlier, when the clients are giving them a heads up and they say, oh, we’re, we’re doing some market research to enhance the experience of our brand, they find that we find that many people are willing and able to do that and they think it’s a positive thing that they’re investing the time.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:08:33] Yeah, I know that. I would feel pretty neat if I knew that I contributed to a brand and where it’s at today.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:08:39] Sure.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:08:40] As far as the interviews go, once they’re complete, how is that information used exactly?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:08:44] So first they’re collected and then analyzed for trends and common themes. So we have a process for this that we do internally that results in a lot of data collection, but then disseminating that data into easy to read charts so that the client can understand it. The key insights are usually used for audience targeting as well as media vehicle selection, and then they’re incorporated into their brand messaging and the campaign themes that we’re running. So a lot of that brand messaging will be used in websites, but then some more specific messaging will be used in promotions or campaigns that they’re doing that are more short term.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:09:19] Okay, that’s exciting. Can you think of an “aha” moment that came from a View from the Field interview?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:09:25] Yeah. So we always have ah-ha moments during the interviews. It’s one of my most favorite things that we do here. What’s really fun is when our creative deliverables actually change as a result of the insights that we learned. So an example of this would be one time when we were conducting interviews for a client in the pet industry where we actually did the interviews at their different locations. We actually ended up uncovering very distinct brand values for them, and so they had a list of brand values that were or were stated, but they ended up being slightly different. So some of them were very, very similar. And then others we uncovered those nuggets. So then in addition to using them as their brand values, we developed campaigns, monthly themes around those brand values. And the result in the marketplace was, was really astonishing. It was it was very powerful. Another time we were able to clearly identify the real patient journey. And this was a little bit different than what the client actually thought. So by talking directly to the patients, we were able to see the steps and the flow of the process that they went through in their marketing funnel. And then the client was able to use that as an organizing principle for all their marketing tools.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:10:35] Okay. Yeah, it makes me think of that quote like saying that, you know, this is the way we’ve always done it. So, when you take a step back, you realize…
Rochelle Reiter: [00:10:42] Absolutely!
Ashley Ruiz: [00:10:43] Yeah!
Rochelle Reiter: [00:10:43] Usually it’s people. You can’t see what you’re so close to. So why we do what we do with the View From the Field, we first do our orange exploration where we’re talking directly to the clients and their internal team. But the second step is the View From the Field where we’re talking to the people in their field. So it’s actually people that are experiencing the brand real time and they’re outside. So they’re outside the four walls of our client’s business. So between the internal feedback and the external feedback, we’re able to develop really powerful messaging and strategies for them that actually work and produce a great ROI.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:11:21] Yeah. Have you noticed a difference between the clients that go with the View From the Field and go through that process with Orange Label and those that don’t?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:11:30] Yeah, it’s typically clients that want to invest. Best in a long term brand strategy. They’ll have us conduct the interviews. We do have clients that don’t choose to do it. It’s usually either for a financial reason or they want something really quick. It does take some time, so it takes about three weeks from start to finish for the interview process alone. And then we have the creative time to develop that. But the end result is worth it because a lot of times when people don’t go through that process, they end up wanting to do it six months down the road. So it’s better for us to start with it on an engagement than to do it like halfway through the relationship. It’s invaluable data that you can gather for them and and incorporates a much deeper message and all of their marketing materials that actually resonates with the audience.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:12:16] Okay. I would imagine that it’s not really a one-and-done type of situation, right? Are there ever clients that go through the View From the Field again?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:12:24] Yeah. So we recommend it probably every 12 to 18 months like that’s a good rule of thumb and especially if there’s been a lot of changes in the marketplace or if there’s been a new product introduction or if things like COVID hit, you know, it’s good to get a pulse on that more often. But in between doing the interviews, you can also gather data from social media metrics and insights, or sending out an actual survey. In between the time when you can actually do a View From the Field.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:12:53] What would you say is the most valuable insight that brands typically gain in the View From the Field?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:12:58] It’s really gaining a deeper understanding of their target audience that is so, so valuable. As we talked earlier, it’s like sometimes clients are so close to their brand that they don’t see these nuggets. So it’s just this deeper understanding that they can weave in to all of their marketing pieces and their direct interactions and creating that better customer experience for the audience. So in addition, what that does is it helps their marketing dollars work more efficiently so that they can make a larger impact.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:13:30] Well, Rachelle, thank you so much for letting me interview you for this podcast on The 19th!
Rochelle Reiter: [00:13:35] You’re welcome. It was super fun!
Ashley Ruiz: [00:13:43] Thank you for listening to The 19: Entrepreneur Edition with Orange Label President Rochelle Reiter. To learn more about the Orange Label approach and View From the Field, visit Orangelabeladvertising.com/capabilities. If you have additional thoughts on the rise in first-party data or the View From the Field, send us an email. You can send questions, comments and more to rreiter. That’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashley Ruiz: [00:14:12] A special thank you goes out to our contributors Controller Ryan Nagel and Micah Pazich, who edits our show. 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!