IIeX Amsterdam 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series – Lucy Davison – Keen as Mustard Marketing

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Lucy Davison, Managing Director at Keen as Mustard Marketing.

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Keen as Mustard


Lucy Davison, Keen as Mustard. You and I have operated in the same circles and never met in person, which is a travesty.


It is.






Now, you’re getting ready to speak here, at IIeX, in just a few minutes.


I certainly am.


What is it you’re talking about?


It’s the great internal communication experiment, which was an experiment that we carried out with Coca-Cola. It’s all about getting engagement with insights from broader stakeholders within the Coca-Cola community. The problem the client at Coke had was that they had set up some wonderful systems, and libraries, and searchable platforms and they were doing a lot of wonderful work, but getting engagement from people outside the core stakeholders… We’re not talking about the brand manager of the Monckton guys, who was saying, “Can I launch my campaign?” We’re talking about accounts. We’re talking a broader operational audience, and they’re getting no traction. Now, those people need to understand and know about insights. They need to know about the work of the insights team because they can use that in their day-to-day job. But they were not engaging at all. So, we carried out an experiment to find out which type of communications could have most impact with that audience. We’ve since then started doing ongoing newsletters and infographics with Coca Cola and to deliver that.


By type, is it a mix of video, print word, audio?


Absolutely. Actually audio, funnily enough, wasn’t one. But what we did was a baseline, which was a simple HTML plain text email, so nothing else in it, just everything you need to know written in a text. We did a newsletter, which was a link through to the platform, S&I Connect, with more detail on it. We did video interviews, we did animated videos of the data and the results. We did an infographic. We did PowerPoint as well, because when you do benchmark… Because at the moment, they’re emailing PowerPoint, which I think is the case in most companies. We needed a benchmark to see what kind of impact that had, and we found that emailing PowerPoint was a complete waste of time.


This is going to be an exciting topic.


I hope so.


I have a funny story on that point, or relevant, maybe not funny. A chief insights officer for a major hospital network, they were trying to institute employee engagement with the data. The idea is that, “We have patient satisfaction data. We need to improve patient satisfaction. How can we get our employees to care about the reports?” Because they were forwarding PowerPoints or slides or PDFs of charts. She did a video, it was, “Give me 120 seconds,” kind of a thing. She just plowed through the content, and it was very well received and got a lot of attention, organizationally.


If you’re doing 280 individual research projects a year, and you’ve got three or four major trackers going on, you need to be able to institute this on an ongoing basis. We did two-minute video interviews with people talking about their project. We also did the animated stuff, as well. It was really interesting tracking what got the most traction. In fact, the face-to-face stuff… When you could send around those face-to-face interviews, those talking heads, as we call them, that had massive impact because people could see the person who was looking after the project. They could then feel more familiar with them and more likely to go back and ask them more and to find out more information. It was really key, and that was a useful way of doing it.


I can’t even remember off-hand, how long ago. It was a long time ago, I want to say about seven years ago, a major study with eBay. It was eBay and Amazon, and it was comparing and contrasting the two businesses. After producing the report… This was a full-service report that I helped put together, a side project, for free, just for clarity. The data wasn’t impactful. It was just charts, graphs, this-versus-that. We took recordings of respondents actually saying their verbatims, their open-ends. It made it all the way up to the board room, and I have the quote from one of the board members that said— This is a major company that spends millions of dollars on consumer research every year. They said, “This is the first time we’ve actually had the voice of the consumer in the boardroom.”


Boardroom. Yes, that the impact video, which is absolutely superb, and I totally buy that. I have to say that I don’t think we should take away from the storytelling within the individual reports anyway, because what we’re trying to do is drive people to the platforms. You’ve got your lake, we need people to go sailing. It’s getting people into the boat that is the problem. At the moment, we have a lot of the information. We have a lot of the systems and the platforms, but what we don’t have is the ability to get people into those boats and have them go sailing.


That’s a great analogy, and you’re seeing that bridge being the video element.


Not just video, no. You’ll have to come watch the presentation (laughter) to find out what was the winner.


I will definitely do that. Then you’re going to have to do a subsequent interview probably, to tell us what’s going on because this isn’t going to aire for a couple weeks.




But… (Laughs.)  


I’m fine with that.


Awesome. Really quickly, Keen as Mustard, tell us about what the business is.


We’re a marketing firm, and we work exclusively within data and insights. We work with tech companies, we work with end-clients. We help them communicate their insights, and we do a lot of PR. We do a lot of content marketing, and we’re just about communicating insights, no matter what. That’s our mission.


I get you for one more minute. If you were a startup research company, and you had only… because you’re boot-strapped… you had only $20,000 to spend, only, in your first year. You’ve got to make this count. What would you do in marketing?


I’d definitely try and get on a platform. I’d be trying to get on a platform here, IIeX, or an SMR or one of the local events. I would definitely be trying to do some content that was new, original. I’d preferably be spending that money on actually doing some research on research, or something to prove the value of what my service offer was. I would be pitching that to the platforms. Then I would be using that to not only get contacts, so networking and database building, but also to get PR and exposure and awareness. That, I think, would be the most beneficial thing to do.


Yes, I was talking with— I won’t tell you which company, because this was off-the-record conversation, but one of the fastest-growing research technology companies in the last three years. Their CRO and I were talking, and he’s like, “IIeX…” In those days, it was Atlanta. He says, “It cost me $20,000 to give a speech, but I get in front of 600 buyers.” He said, “There’s just not a better ROI, when you think about the lifetime value of those 600 prospects.”


Absolutely, but you don’t even need to pay because you can go to… If you pitch to events like SMR, if you’ve got really good content—


It’s going to get picked up.


Then you can go up… You get on the platform for free. Obviously, you’re not going to be there pitching because you’re going to be presenting really nice, interesting insight from your study from whatever it is you’ve developed. By doing that, you’re going to be winning people over and getting people onboard.


That point you just raised, I glossed over it. I just want to make sure it’s crystallized, and that is, you add value when you speak, you don’t pitch. But a byproduct of adding value is a relationship. Relationships are where we do business.


Absolutely, and it’s all about building those relationships.


My guest today, Lucy Davison, Keen as Mustard. Thank you so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


It was a pleasure, thank you.


Good luck in your talk.