We consider ourselves very lucky at Further. We get to work with interesting clients in different sectors all over the world. They use our technology and expertise for online market research in applications that are many and varied.
In our 'How we roll' series, we'll be showcasing how we integrate with our clients, what they use our technology for and the successes they've had. Georgina Clarke is a Director of the Financial Services team at IFF Research. Based in London, IFF uses Further's Together platform to manage their online Fintech Beacon community.
Ask yourself, what do Pierce Brosnan, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Bacon have to do with banking?
How did you first hear about Further and their online research technologies, how did the relationship come about?
I hadn’t heard of Further until I joined IFF Research in September 2017 and was introduced by one of our Research Managers. She had worked with Further in a previous role and used them for a number of different projects. We were looking for a digital community provider to run own research with our recently established Fintech Beacon – a qualitative research community of engaged users of digital-only banks and robo-advice. As we were funding the research ourselves, to launch Fintech Beacon to clients, we wanted a cost-effective solution that was quick and easy to set up. Dub was the first provider that our Research Manager recommended and when they came in to give us a demo it was clear they were the best option for us.
Which sectors and clients do IFF work with?
IFF has been around for over 50 years and the team has a wide range of experience across many different sectors, with particular expertise in: Financial services, Regulation, Business and enterprise, Professional services, Learning and skills, Employment and benefits and Health and wellbeing. We have experience across banking, investments, pensions and insurance, working with a range of clients. As well as researching different types of consumers, we have expertise with financial intermediaries and other hard-to-reach business audiences. Our Business Spotlight, which provides a monthly hotline to 500 UK senior decision makers, is popular across both private and public-sector clients.
Which questions have you been able to help your clients answer using Further's technology? What has the feedback been like so far?
We have developed our Fintech Beacon community to enable our clients to undertake cost-effective and quick turnaround research with a niche (but growing) consumer segment. We see the Together platform as a core vehicle for this research, as it supports the innovative approach that these types of consumers would expect when participating in research. Our clients are fintech companies as well as established financial providers, who can use Fintech Beacon to support product innovation, assess partnership opportunities, test marketing/communications material, explore user experiences or simply build a richer understanding of the needs and motivations of this group. Our initial self-funded research study with Further delivered fantastic insight into member experiences with established and digital-only providers, as well as behaviours and preferences with regards to financial services more broadly. More traditional research methods would not have generated the amount of material that was possible through the Together platform. For example, we asked our community to imagine bringing their ideal financial provider to life and what they would be like as a person. Participants were incredibly creative in their responses with ideal providers being compared variously to Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Bacon and Morgan Freeman, relating perceived aspects of their characters to the way they would like financial providers to behave.
Why did you opt to test and structure a research study community prior to launch?
Our research helped us better understand who our Fintech Beacon members are and why they are so interesting for our clients. It served as an excellent case study to show the richness and depth of information that digital qualitative research can provide in such a short amount of time. The ability to collect insight through different formats, such as real-time experiences, member interactions, pictures and films, was great to help us really bring our personas to life when sharing findings with clients.
What do you think are the most exciting new areas of online research and how will technology support these areas?
I think the real-time capabilities of online research are really exciting, as is the ability to capture experiences and opinions in-the-moment is so important for generating richer and more insightful results. In today’s world research participants need complete flexibility in how they share feedback, while at the same time they need to be engaged. Developments in the area of VR, specifically with regards to use within market research, could support both the generation of insight and participant engagement.
Want to start an online research community?